I decided to go for the pay-cut job, as it would be a much better working environment, but after being honest with myself I knew that with J out of a job, I couldn't justify a pay cut. Plus, I'd be working for a friend, and if it went south, I wouldn't want a friendship soured. I'm a little sad, because I think it would have been great. On the positive side, I got a letter from human resources (re: the big job) saying they were sending my application to the search committee, so it looks like I cleared the first hurdle.
We've been doing a lot of talking about whether to stay or go, meaning, whether J should make more efforts to find something local. I've been dissecting the chip on my shoulder about a "fresh start". Am I forcing a move? I was playing the game for years, with moving as the main objective, so if I'm causing friction it's because I've been planning my life around it. I hate to bring up resentment, but I feel like I'd be resentful if I had martyred myself at my job so he could get a cool one somewhere else, then we stayed. I know I should let go of that, especially since I know I could. I could have any of a hundred reasons why I want to move on, and it shouldn't be because THAT WAS THE PLAN.
What do I really want? To be swept away somewhere else so I have no choice but to leave my job and start afresh somewhere else. But that's a lot of pressure on J.