then (8 years ago)- Mr Unfound was asked to accept a job in his field of study. He was working a few jobs already, but we could use the money. I thought nothing of it, other than he was the kind of guy that would do what it took to provide for his family.
Over time this job started to consistently require (?) him to be there earlier and earlier, and at the same time, run later and later in the evenings. Some days, he would leave at 5am and not be home until 11pm. The phone calls during his breaks became shorter and shorter until they eventually stopped. The job became a separate entity that didn't overlap with "us", family or his time away from the job. I knew less and less about what happened at his job (under the excuse of "it's the same thing, nothing new happens"). I tried to chalk it up to his work ethic, his commitment to provide, the pressure of the job and keeping the stress at the job and not bringing it home....but something was off, wrong. Dday came and it was clear that this job was being used as tool in the A. He quit on Dday, per my demand. No questions asked, no fussing, no hem hawing around.
then II (a year or so after dday)- He was offered the exact same job. He didn't seek it out, they sought him. When he told me about it, I lost my mind. How dare he even entertain the thought of working there again?? Why didn't he immediately tell them "no" instead of "I'll have to think about it"? I was livid...even though he assured me that OW was probably no longer there (I knew she wasn't there). I'd had and would continue to have access to all his communication, I could even come to his work while he was working and observe, he would call me as soon as he got there and keep the connection open until he got home, take pictures with time stamps, give me detailed official lists of everyone he'd be in direct contact with/in charge of/peers (highly illegal and definite termination and career ruining) etc and every kind of accountability known to man.
Nope. Not only was I not able to handle it, I still didn't trust him. The trigger was too strong, too identical, too soon...
He declined the job, without resentment. We'd find another way.
Then III- About 3 or 4 years ago or so, again, he was approached to work at this place. Not the exact same job, but in the same field only in a higher capacity. This time, I didn't feel the anger, but did feel the old fears. Again, he came to me and we talked about it. The pros, the cons, the reassurances of accountability.
Something was different this time. Trust? Time? Growth? I'm not really sure, but I do know that it was different. After much discussion, he accepted the job.
After a year or so working this job, I began to get uncomfortable with it. Not suspicious of anything, but the time away, again, missing out on family activities...the physical aspect of not being here. We talked. As soon as the time commitment of the job ended, he arranged/requested to do the job from home, or at a different location, something that wasn't available the previous times he was offered this job, due to the higher position he was in now. He stated to the higher ups that if he couldn't do this from home or at a different location he'd have to resign.
It was a compromise that earlier would have made me feel that he was putting the importance of the job ahead of me/us, doing whatever he could to keep the job. But this time it was the opposite.. I felt as if he was putting me/us ahead of the job.
Like a bruise though, it hurt when poked. Not excruciatingly, but annoyingly. I took solace in knowing that it wasn't the beginning of a hurt, but a hurt in the stages of healing. Not a new hurt, but a reminder of an old one. Trust had been built, proven, tested and passed.
Now- He has continued to do this job, both at home and traditionally, depending on what was available. I'm okay with it.
Recently, he was asked to, in addition to his current position, accept the exact. same. job. as before. Again, he reassured me, offered accountability, and even negotiated doing some of the job from home, or at the least, in a different location. To be perfectly honest, it triggered me. Not in the same way as before..no rage, no crying, no old feelings rushing in overwhelmingly.. but quietly, softly, almost fuzzily, foggily. It was too exact, too familiar, too.. too... well you know. When he let me know, I said I needed some time to think about it (ie: stew, mull, analyze, over analyze, process) .
And I did:
It's just a job. A brick and mortar building. It didn't cause the A, it just happened to be where the A began. The people he worked around didn't know (at least they didn't voice that they did..I'm sure they knew something, someone always does) or encourage the A. Nothing at the job had changed, not the location, the general population or type of people there. The job requirements were the same. The responsibilities, paperwork, and goals were the same. The only thing that had changed was him.
But I thought: Had he changed those other times? Maybe, probably. Thing is, I hadn't. I hadn't gotten to where, even if he had changed back then, I could fully see it much less accept it. I hadn't healed enough. I wasn't ready, even if he was. He trusted that I hadn't then, and now trusts that I have. Even in that, he still respects the old connections and handles them as though they are fresh. He's not become any less humble in my continually growing trust.
So much the same, so different.
As from the first time, he's made it clear that if at anytime I become uncomfortable with the situation, he'll quit, no questions asked, in a heartbeat.
***I don't really know the point of this post. Maybe to purge it out, maybe for ME to see how things change and how I've reacted differently to the same situation as time (and hard work) has passed. Maybe for hope to others. Maybe to let out one big sigh as to how the universe keeps throwing the same ball at my face and how I've finally learned to catch it instead of dodging it or letting it bounce off my head.... I don't know, but there it is