Azha in New Jersey writes:
I feel the ground shift beneath my feet. I am in a bad marriage that has technically been dead for about five years now. In Graduate school I became politicized and he remains a right wing conservative with an energy that scares me. I have been in a long distance relationship with a European who works in India for the last five years. We meet when I go there to work which is about once a year, for many months. He loves me, is very passionate in bed, but emotionally closed and cannot give me anything.
I have not worked at a steady job because I kept myself free to travel and work abroad. But through him I have learned the value and beauty of working in the war zones of the world and now I seek a new beginning. I seek a new job that will be of use to the world. Do you see such a job for me? I am a social scientist. Which direction should I take? Research, humanitarian work or teaching at a university? Should I leave this relationship? What does this man feel about me Red? He was born on December 20. I am a Virgo.
Sometimes there are no simple answers, particularly when it comes to major life changes. In order for you to find your way, you must first come to terms with the fact that change doesn’t always come easy. Very often, a great deal of upheaval presents before peace and happiness can begin to settle in.
Your European lover does have love for you, but is quite emotionally reserved. Part of this is a measure of self-protection – as you have not been in a position to fully explore the potential of this relationship. He thoroughly enjoys the relationship you share, but understand that it has its limits and boundaries. While he will offer you the best of himself when the two of you are together, he isn’t very likely to offer you any more than what you have. You know what you have with him, and only you can decide if this arrangement is enough.
Even though you state that your marriage is a dead entity, I don’t see you doing anything to extricate yourself from the situation. As long as you choose to remain married, you will have a certain level of obligation to your husband and the illusion of your marriage. If you stay in this arrangement, you are limiting your avenues to pursue the humanitarian work you deeply desire to do. However, teaching could be quite the fulfilling escape, and ultimately is what I see you doing. It is the path of least resistance for you, and that seems to be why you choose it.
In order to live life more fully, you have to start living for yourself. Azha, you are a strong, capable, and intelligent woman. The only boundaries and restrictions being placed upon you are the ones you choose to honor or permit. This is your life, and your choices are the stepping stones of the path on which you walk. If you really want a new beginning, then don’t let fear keep you still. There isn’t always a right or wrong answer, only accepting that different choices bring different challenges and rewards.
I hope this helps you.