An Unexpected Trip

Life continues to change unexpectedly.  A week ago, we wouldn’t have guessed that we would be taking a trip to see family in India and Hong Kong mid-April.

About five months ago, I wrote a post celebrating being married for 2.5 years.  I listed all the things that we had experienced as a couple in those short years.  We are now adding one more item to the list: the loss of a job.  

Bob called me at 5pm exactly one week ago informing me of “a bit of a bad news”.  He was let go by his company.  We went through a lot in our relationship to finally decide to take this job.  You can read about it here, here, and here.  From August to October last, I went from being ambivalent about switching from a big corporation to being proud of him that he was willing to take a risk and try something that he liked.  We prayed and sought the Lord’s guidance.  We believed that it was God’s leading that we finally decided to take that job.  We still believe that it was a good move.  In this situation where he was let go, I believe that he was being wronged and treated unfairly.  For that I have been angry at his bosses and have been bitter about it.  But, there is nothing we can do about it but to accept the fact that he no longer has that job.  

Thanks to this biblical financial workshop that we took a couple of years ago, we have saved up funds for emergency such as this.  We also have separate funds for trips (which my husband passionately called our “Babymoon” fund), IVF treatments, and a replacement car.  I still have a job.  We did some math.  My monthly income and his unemployment income should be enough for our monthly expenses if we cut things down a little.  Praise the Lord that financially we can last for a while before he finds another job.  However, it’s not the finances that I am worried about.  I am worried about a man’s psyche… of losing a job, not being able to provide for his family for a little while, and the self-doubt (albeit temporary) that may come with the job loss.

We were in shock for a little… I don’t know what stages of grief we have been going through.  I mean, back in January, we were in shock that his bosses used this smallest misunderstanding and blew it up big time.  They gave him an “official warning” with an HR person in presence without even talking to him about what happened or hearing his side of the story in private first.  He was told one thing by one boss but another thing by another boss.  The two bosses’ stories didn’t match and he got blamed for it.  At that time, we were saying that if this company was not the right one for us, and if he was let go, then we would take a trip to India and Hong Kong.  We have wanted to go but there never seemed to be time in Bob’s work schedule.  Every time he switched jobs, he was talked into taking the new job right away.  It has been two years since we went.  But I really did not think that these people would actually let him go because of something so small.  At the end of last month, he was told by his boss that everything was fine.  The lesson is, not to easily trust when someone like his boss said that everything was fine.  My husband worked so hard at his job and loved it.  It was the people that made it a difficult work situation.  My heart hurts for him that he lost his job under these circumstances.

For now, Bob is taking a break.  He has been home.  He promised me that he would change out of his pajamas daily and he has been doing that.  He has been taking care of some maintenance in the house.  My brother asked him for his resume and has forwarded it to the appropriate department at his company.  There were companies that he had turned down second interviews previously.  So there are leads that he can follow.  But I think it IS a good time for him to take a break.  He went to the library that he never had the time to go to and really enjoyed his time there.  When we did the budget, we discussed about whether or not to continue to pay for our fitness bootcamp.  I strongly believe that working out is going to keep him sane and fit when he’s unemployed.  So we wrote our bootcamp instructor, told her this situation, and asked if we could get a discount until he gets a new job.  She said she’d work something out for us.  So Bob still goes to early morning 6:15am bootcamp with me.

We also got into a huge fight over the weekend.  I can’t even remember the last time we got into a huge fight.  I guess losing a job can do that to you.  Let’s just say that our ears are highly sensitive because we are highly sensitive these days.  We totally misinterpreted the intentions of what we said.  Instead of walking away and letting go immediately, like what we would usually do, we chose to fight.  It was ugly.  And we made up quickly, like usual.  But in the moment, I realized that I have to allow Bob time to heal and mourn this situation and not to underestimate the impact of this news, despite us being financially secure at this point.  In my morning prayers, I asked the Lord to give me extra patience and love for my husband during this time.

We originally were going to plan for a trip for Hawaii as we had always wanted to go to Hawaii for our honeymoon.  After we got married, I was too tired to plan for a trip like that so we never went.  But after a lot of thinking, I feel that visiting with family is more important than us lounging around on a beach by ourselves.  And I want to do the international trip when I am still taking a thinking break from the next IVF cycle.  In the big scheme of things, it will be okay to wait for another month or two before we embark on the IVF journey again.  Bob asked me if I wanted to do a cycle before we leave for the trip.  I gave him an “Are you crazy look?”  We are not doing a cycle before we fly out.

So how about we talk about what to expect in India?  Well, we can’t talk about our expectations without talking about my father- and mother-in-law.  Before we booked the plane tickets, I insisted on Bob calling his parents to tell them our plans.  His mother was very upset that he lost his job and that it was the result of him “abandoning” his big corporation job.  He heard no consolation from her.  The next phone call, she complained that he did not buy her a house like she wanted, as she compared herself to her friends whose children bought them properties.  And now that he lost his job, she has to wait longer for the money that we give them annually.  I get so mad at her sometimes for not even asking how he is doing.  All she usually says is to blame him for things.  She also complained that I was yet again going to be there in India the whole duration of his stay.  She was envisioning me leaving early so that she and my father-in-law would get some alone time with Bob.  Well, MIL, it is not happening this time.  I am going to be sticking with Bob the whole time.

We were in India a bit over two years ago.  We just started trying for a baby.  Because his mother and his father did not accept our marriage, they told their neighbors that I was his “project manager” rather than his wife.  We found that ridiculous and joked that yes, I was his project manager but it was for “Project Baby”.  Little did we know that after over two years and a lot of effort, the project is still in the development phase.  We joke that I am failing as a project manager for “Project Baby”.  Although it’s a joke, sometimes I do feel like a failure… 

Hong Kong will be a much more pleasant place to be in terms of friends and family that we will see.  I haven’t seen my dad for 18 months.  I can’t wait to hang out with him.  Both of my grandmothers are in their 90s and are alive and well.  I am thrilled to be able to spend time with them.  My paternal grandmother, with whom I grew up, last time joked that Bob would not be allowed to return to Hong Kong without a baby.  Poor woman, I think she stopped joking about that.  Instead she wishes us for all of our dreams to come true during Chinese New Year.  I will also see my childhood best friend and maybe tell her all the details about the cycles that we went through.

As for our TTC effort this month, I ovulated but I didn’t know exactly when because the temperature shift was kind of weird.  We timed it every other day so it was quite well timed.  This is our last chance to reach the goal of having a baby in our arms by Christmas this year.  Hoping and praying that I will receive the biggest surprise of my life.  I went to acupuncture a couple of times and Maya abdominal massage once.  But, I haven’t written Dr. E after she checked in with me a week after our pregnancy loss.  I have not taken any prenatal vitamins since AF came.  I have stopped DHEA and the other supplements.  I guess, I just need a break.

So here you are.  The update of my life.  We are going on an unexpected trip to recuperate and rekindle our relationship with our family and friends, and on an unexpected trip of navigating the world of unemployment.  Although we are bitter at times, we are still grateful for all the blessings that have been poured upon us.  Life is still not too bad.


27 thoughts on “An Unexpected Trip

  1. With every challenge comes an opportunity. I see this as your opportunity to go see your families, which seems to be much needed! I’m sorry Bob lost his job, but I’m sure he’ll find something soon!


  2. I am so sorry for the loss of your husband’s job, that’s never easy. You are so kind and sweet in your unselfish prayers to be extra patient and loving during this time- that will be my prayers for you as well! I’m so glad you are taking a much needed trip! I hope it is filled with sweet memories made and relaxation and rejuvenation for the both of you! I’ll also be praying for that miracle of a lifetime for you as that would be the best news ever! 🙂


    • Thanks Amy for all the kind words. 🙂 Yeah it’s not easy to lose a job, but I am still grateful for all the blessings. The trip will be amazing. I just know it. 🙂


  3. One of the hardest things we have gone through as a couple was Rob’s job loss. It was not an easy time- but things ended up working out just as they always do. Praying for you guys!


  4. Oh Isabelle, I just wanted to say I can relate to this difficulty. Last November, at the end of what had been the hardest year of our marriage (continued infertility, pregnancy loss), my husband was let go from his job in a similar situation. They gave him until the start of the new year, and he has been unemployed since the end of Jan. Like you, we are ok financially as long as we’re careful, but it’s the emotional side of it that is so hard, like you said. And you are not alone in the fighting–in our almost 8 years of marriage, we have fought only a handful of times, but since the job loss, it’s not uncommon for us to have disagreements (and sometimes big disagreements). I think it’s just a natural part of the whole situation.

    We are still muddling through so I don’t have any advice, but I just wanted to say I understand. I think it’s great you are going to take the trip. One day this job loss will seem like a blip on the radar, but the trip will give you memories to last a lifetime. I really admire your courageous spirit. Even though it’s hard, I hope this time will bring some good things for you both as well.


    • Yes I remember clearly that you guys experienced the same thing after you had your eyes on your dream house. Sorry that he’s still going through it but I’m happy for you that you don’t have to worry about the financial side of things either. I am very sure that what you said is true, that this job loss is going to be a small event in our whole life time. Thanks so much and hope that all is well on your end with your little one and the house. 🙂


  5. I think that it is great you are going on a vacation, sometimes just getting away can make such a difference. Sorry that your MIL is such a .. um.. difficult person. I have one of those as well but she is less direct and just super passive aggressive.

    The jub thing sucks, but I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I bet something bigger and better is right around the corner for him!

    And I will be praying for a miracle!


  6. So so sorry you’re going through all that but so glad you have such good cushions. I hope your trip will be everything you need for your relationship. Maybe at some point your in-laws will learn to appreciate you and what you and Bob are able to give them. I know its tough now but at some point you’ll look back and be proud of what you’ve weathered and what you learned from it.


  7. So many, many thoughts. Bob’s parents are RIDICULOUS! Honestly, they expect a house? They’re upset that their annual money is going to be late. And yet the don’t accept you, you who contributes to this cash infusion. They called you a project manager? What does that even mean? (And B and I would totally laugh about failing at project management, and we’d also think it was kind of a sad thing to laugh at). That’s just so insulting. I can’t believe you’re even going to go back there. I’m learning everyday that appearances are as important as what’s actually going on–but she should be proud of her son and all he’s accomplished. You should tell your Indian MIL that my Indian husband has been out of a job for 5 years, so should could have been dealt that crappy hand. I just want to shake her–where is her Christian charity (I’m guessing their Catholic, but that may be wrong, maybe they’re Hindu? Regardless, where is their charity?). I mean, I’m so mad over here!

    As for Bob losing his job, that’s terrible. But I’m confident that he’ll find something else very soon. It’s important to take risks in life, and sometimes they work out and sometimes they don’t. But, I agree, this will ultimately lead him to a happy life, just not the same one that he envisioned a few months ago. I also agree that having healthy outlets for grief and shame are important, so as long as you can swing it, I think that keeping up fitness bootcamp is important.

    Your trip to Hong Kong sounds amazing! I’m so glad that your family is so supportive of you and of Bob. I’m sorry that your India trip will be sullied by Bob’s parents’ attitude. Bob must be some kind of amazing person to have grown into such an accepting adult even with such narrow-minded parents.

    Have fun on your trip and at least you should have delicious mangoes in India!


    • Oh yes. Maddie. Out of all the people, you would know. My inlaws are devout Hindus. Yes they expect a house and more money than what we give them. Honestly, it gets easier after a while. This is a lot better than what they said and how they behaved before. I always say that in comparison to the infertility mess, our struggles with the in-laws are nothing. But to give her some credit, the last time we were there, although she claimed she didn’t want me to show up at her place, I ended up going there every single day and ate her yummy homemade food. So I have no complaints there. She treated me well when she could see me. They were really happy to see him. So I got to see another side of him that I usually wouldn’t see: being loved by his parents. I will definitely try some mangoes!


      • I keep having to tell myself that my ILs are different–they lived in the US for 30 years, after all. But I’m still steaming over here. I’m glad that your MIL has softened and you see the good in her and her relationship with Bob. Have such a great time, and honestly, your compassion and understanding is not surprising; you treat everyone around you so well, even when they don’t seem to deserve it.


  8. I’m so sorry that you have to deal with the stress of unemployment on top of everything else. I think you are making good choices to take care of yourselves and take a holiday. I hope you get some rest and perspective and peace. You are both so brave. xo


  9. Wow. Can’t believe you’re dealing with so much – Bob’s job AND his parents! I know some parents who are like that, always comparing what their friends get from their kids versus their own. I know it’s hard to ignore but not much else we can do 😦

    Job searching is so stressful even though most of the time it works out well and we go back and think ‘we should have done a trip before the new job’. Glad you two are planning one, and hopefully HK will be fun for you! Keeping you in my thoughts & prayers!


  10. I’m so sorry to hear about Bob’s job! That had to be really tough for the two of you. Good for you for making the best of it, and using this ‘opportunity’ to take a trip… Though unfortunate that Bob’s parents are so awful. As if you don’t have enough on your plate! With so much to deal with, I can only believe that you have some good things coming your way down the road. Thinking of you!


  11. I am so sorry to hear about your husband’s job. Working with dishonest people is such a horrible thing to have to deal with. I know he will find something better!
    Your MIL is a piece of work! Good luck with that… you deserve a medal for putting up with her.
    Enjoy your trip! You deserve it!


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