Alright so I'm going to try and make this as quick as possible. I am in the US Navy, and in August 2016 I got orders to relocate from San Diego, CA (very close to home for my husband and I), to the east coast. We were excited at the time, ready for a change of scenery and for me it felt like a new beginning.
When we first got here, he wanted to wait on looking for a job because we had a vacation planned in September and he didn't want to risk not being able to get the time off if he found a job. After the vacation was over, I encouraged him to look for a job, and he started, but it turns out that his nursing licenses are not valid in this state because his degree plan lacked credits that were required in order for the degree to be accredited in the state we moved to. This really discouraged him, he had worked so hard to get this license so that he wouldn't ever have to go back to retail. So he didn't get a job, and I didn't really mind too much because he made my life so wonderful at home. He loves to cook, our house was tidy, our lawn was really nice, he went above and beyond my honey do's so no complaints here. We were for the most part pretty happy, however I just knew that it etched at his pride. I know he hated that I was the bread winner. I encouraged him to take advantage and to go back to school to get his BSN, he is about a semester away from finishing. He looked into it, and the colleges out here didn't accept all of his credits from his previous university, so he would have to retake some classes, as well as some new ones in order to have the same progress for his degree at the universities that are close to our home. So my husband just sat in this unfamiliar place with no job, not going to school. He is really good at making friends though, so he always had someone to hang out with. I really thought he was otherwise happy though, we were really affectionate with each other, he seemed happy to me, we had sex almost every day. He was in good spirits for the most part.
So around mid-February he told me that his dad was diagnosed with cancer. He wasn't feeling well and had some tests done. The next day, I called his mom and dad to give my condolences and to ensure that they know that I would support in whatever way I could. They were confused, his dad had not been feeling well, and he really had gone in to get some tests done. But they came back negative, and he was in the clear as far as cancer goes. I approached my husband and asked why he told me his dad had cancer when he didn't. I was upset because he made me look really stupid on the phone with his parents. He said that with his nursing background and his dad's symptoms, he was certain that his dad had cancer, so he told me that he did. I'm not one to hold on to small things like that, but it was definitely a flag for me that something was up. A few days later, he told me that he was thinking of going back to California so that he could work and finish his degree. My immediate response was no, I thought he should stay here do what it took to do those things at our new home, so we don't have to separate. I suggested that he visited home, even for a month or two if he wanted. I adamantly opposed him moving back home permanently. I feel that being with me is a priority. He could still accomplish the things he wanted to do at our new home, it just would've taken longer. If he had started them when he first moved here, he'd be done and working by now. He persisted, we fought relentlessly about it until I submitted to the fact that he wouldn't compromise, and that he was just going to move back to California with his parents. I told him that he could do whatever he truly wanted to do, but if his decision was to go home, he'd be making it on his own and I wouldn't support it. He understood and told me he would be moving on April 7th. I didn't want our last few weeks together to be miserable, so I just tried not to think about it. We aren't divorcing or separating or anything, we are still married and love each other. We just didn't talk about it anymore and continued on like nothing was wrong for the most part. We were both exhausted from fighting, and come April 8th (he waited an extra day because I begged him not to go last Thursday), he packed up his car and got on the road to California.
I was okay until today, I'm just kind of in my feelings. I want him to succeed and reach his goals, I just feel he could've done all of that here with some extra effort, and then we wouldn't have had to be separated from each other.
This situation is so weird and hurtful to me, I've been crying all day. I feel so angry and I don't know what to do. Any advice or comments would be appreciated. Thank you so much!
Thanks for your detailed post.
I'm really sorry about the situation that you are in. I know it's not easy.
A number of people have touched on this to some degree here but I have no doubt that he is somewhat emasculated by the circumstances that he finds himself in. To some extent as well, if he is really passionate about nursing and gains his self worth and significance through it, then sadly this takes priority over anything in his life - even you. What I mean by that is - of course he loves you - but his sense of self and identity is probably wrapped up in his work so much that he needs to feel worthy in that environment before he can actually let go and find the space to love you in the way you need him to.
I've seen a very similar occurrence in my own family when my BIL actually went back home because he simply couldn't get anything in his line of work where my sister lived. Eventually it all worked out but it can and does happen so try and maintain some hope and faith that it will pan out.
As for the cancer story, maybe he made that up to give him a reason to move back? I can't be sure of that or maybe he's genuinely telling the truth. It's hard to know without understanding all of the details...
So I think at the moment, whilst it's still fresh, it's best to try and do your best to have some empathy and support him during this time whilst he regains his 'masculinity'. I know you do understand what he's going through but the more you can express your support for him, the more he is likely to fast track the healing process within himself.
I hope all that makes sense.
If you have any questions, let me know.