When Dr. Mr. Palimpsest and I first got married, we decided we would rather live in the same home than both be employed. We reaffirmed that decision when Bunny was born.
We thought we would eventually find a university willing to hire us both. We knew it would be difficult to find two tenure-track jobs, but since were were willing to be flexible (by sharing a position, for example), we thought it would work out, somehow, and we would both be fully, fullfillingly, employed.
Fast forward five years. It hasn't worked out.
So now we're considering the unthinkable: should Dr. Mr. Palimpsest take a job elsewhere, while I stay at Tiny U? Neither of us is thrilled by this idea, but neither of us is willing to settle for the status quo, either. Staying here, without reasonable employment for my husband, is no longer an option.
If we were separated, it would be for no more than one or two years. But what a difficult time to be apart! Pumpkin will turn two in the Fall. Bunny will be starting kindergarten. Kids change so much during that period, and parents need so much support from each other. It's no wonder that Dr. Mr. Palimpsest is incredibly reluctant to leave.
On the other hand, perhaps a difficult year or two now would lead to a much happier family for years to come. Surely Dr. Mr. Palimpsest's life-long career, and our family's long-term happiness, are worth a year or two of sacrifice?
I've discussed our options at length with a colleague in Chemistry. When her husband was unable to get a tenure-track job here at Tiny U, he applied for jobs across the country. They've only lived in the same house for one year out of the last seven. They have two sons, aged ten and two, who hardly know their father. My colleague wishes her husband was willing to do what my husband has been willing to do: stick around, even if that means significantly fewer professional opportunities. When I asked about the advantages of separation, she strongly argued against it. But is that just a case of the grass being greener?
This is not a discussion that I'd ever hoped to have. Anyone out there with experience? Any advise?