I know it is hard to imagine, and it was hard to believe at the time, but I really do think that deportation saved my relationship. Now, I don’t recommend it as remedy for any other couples out there, but somehow, for us, it worked.
Fred was at a crossroads in his life: look forward toward his future, his wife, his new baby… OR look back at his past, his parents, his country, his roots. For many, this choice is never one that comes up, but for Fred, it was glaring at him day in and day out — especially as he took up the role of stay-at-home-dad, which went so contrary to his old-world culture.
I never blamed Fred for his frustrations, but I never accepted being a lower priority. Our relationship to that point had been so much about him winning me over, that this was the first time I found myself trying to win him over… trying to convince him that I was all he would ever need. And it was hard for me to take that role. It was hard for me not to resent his frustrations, even though I understood them. I had been willing to give up all I had known to be with him, not realizing that I was asking the same from him. When he decided many years ago that he wanted to build his life with me, he knew that it meant not being able to go back to his family. I never knew that the sacrifices he was asking me to make were the same sacrifices he had already committed to making himself.
So when the crisis between my parents and me blew over (to some degree), and they became doting grandparents of our baby girl, it hit him pretty hard that he couldn’t share that same happiness with his own parents — especially when he knew how much my parents had rejected him.
To say the least, life at home got to be tense. We moved to a new house, I was working long hours, the baby was crawling, and my mother was being… well… my mother. Fred needed something more… to become something more. And to do that, he needed to go back home…