My husband had a nervous breakdown last year; he left me and we have since separated. I have since moved out of the apartment we shared together. All my stuff is in storage and I haven't talked to him since January. Since then, I've been crashing at friends’ places and at my mom’s; I’ve been traveling ever since, back and forth to different countries, trying to figure out what to do...feeling unsettled...and undecided about my future. Should I continue to travel and not get my own place, or should I settle down, and become more stable? I can't figure this one out? I love traveling but also miss having my own space where I can rest my head every night.
Dear Restless Lady,
Sounds as though you have had quite an eventful year. Separating from your partner so abruptly and under such difficult circumstances must have been very upsetting, and very overwhelming. I completely understand the need to want to pick up and head of of town for a while. And it sounds as though you have done quite a lot of traveling in the past few months, which may have been just what you needed to physically separate yourself from the emotional trauma and put distance between you and your husband.
But now, clearly you are beginning to view the situation differently. At first, traveling and seeing the world may have been exciting. An adventure every day; no one to answer to, no one to worry about, just you and the open world. However, it seems that you have had time to process those “immediate” feelings and are now unsure if traveling is what you want to continue to do. People often look at defense mechanisms as negatives, but they can help us cope when a situation is emotionally overwhelming or overly distressing. Sounds as though you were in a bit of denial about the truth of the situation, which was fine for a while, but now you are coming out of that head space and questioning what you should continue to do in the future.
And I think you may know where I’m heading with this. It’s time to stop running. It’s time to stop avoiding the inevitable. It’s time to take on the crisis and deal with this lingering issue so that you can move on to a better place both emotionally and physically. No matter how much traveling you continue to do, the truth of the matter is, your problems are still going to be waiting for you when you get home.
I suggest that you stay at home for a while, find a new place, meet with your husband and discuss the relationship. If you want a divorce, call an attorney and get that ball rolling. He abandoned you; this is a completely justifiable reason for ending your marriage. I know this is tough to read and to acknowledge, but the sooner you get your house in order, the better you will feel. Then, once you have truly removed yourself from this toxic marriage and situation, you will be free to travel without fear, without guilt and without the stress of coming home to a big mess.
Be strong, lovely lady! Good things are heading your way!
Thanks for the question and good luck!