Can a marriage work if the husband works away?

(174 Posts)

Dh has been headhunted for a very good job with an excellent salary and a very big company but it will mean working in London Monday to Friday and coming home at weekends.
We live in Northern Ireland and there is no possibility of him doing the job from here. I can’t move with him as I work part-time and love my job and have 2 ds’s one who will start p1 in September and one at 16 months who are both settled at home.
He has a job at the minute and is happy there but this is an amazing opportunity for him and it would mean that for once we wouldn’t struggle finically.
Our marriage is great, I really do trust him, but I worry that I will be jealous that he will be out having fun at work events and dinners ( as the job will involve winning and dinning new clients) and I will be stuck at home putting 2 kids to bed and feeling resentful that he is having all the fun. I hope I don’t feel like this and hope we are strong enough to make this work. He will be home every weekend and has lots of holidays etc, but I just worry the kids and me will miss him too much. He is a very hands on father and I hate to think of the kids missing him and I know I will be lonely. He respects my decision on this and said for me to think hard about it because if he takes the jobthere is no going back but he wants to make sure I am ok with it.

NinkyNonker Tue 22-Mar-11 13:27:34

I'm sure it can work, I think it is quite common. I'd probably move though.

Could he use the offer as leverage at his current job?

Would it be forever? We are to do a similar thing soon. Me and DD are moving to England so she can start last year of junior school. DH will remain in Antwerp and fly to see us at weekends. We already know that it will be pretty short term, either one or two years and DD will be ten in May.

altinkum Tue 22-Mar-11 13:29:43

My best friends husband works overseas Monday to Friday, they wouldn't have it any other way smile fabulous marriage they have also.

Nagoo Tue 22-Mar-11 13:30:15

you say you can't move. You can, you just don't want to.

I'd think it could work, it's not a family life I would choose though.

Snotgobbler Tue 22-Mar-11 13:31:54

It can be lonely but it is something that an awful lot of people do - think Forces families, truck drivers, shift workers etc etc
A lot of kids/wives don't see father during week even if he is at home - due to commutes,long hours
My own dad was away all week as an auditor (not glamorous at all!) but as a child we just accepted it.
If you have a good circle of girlfriends and a trusty babysitter, you won't even miss him grin

izzybiz Tue 22-Mar-11 13:32:12

My parents have been married for 36 years and my dad has pretty much always been away all week.
He's a long distance lorry driver and used to drive all over Europe, I actually think its played a part in their successful marriage wink grin

Onetoomanycornettos Tue 22-Mar-11 13:32:46

We are currently doing this, due to the lack of jobs in the area we currently live in. Not having a good job was far more destructive to our marriage (due to my husband's utter frustration) than living apart could be. However, I also work as well, and so we both work in the week and meet up for a lovely family weekend, and I think that's a different dynamic than if you are at home feeling resentful (if you love being home, this might not be an issue).

I also wouldn't want to do it for the long-term ideally. And if it did turn out that it was too stressful for you, you might have to rethink sharpish.

Otherwise, in the middle of a recession, I don't think working away is outrageous at all.

4FoxAche Tue 22-Mar-11 13:33:58

I'm not married but have been with dp over 3 yrs.

Apart from a couple of breaks between contracts, he's always worked away Monday to Friday. For the last 3 months he's been away 12 days out of 14 as well.

It's hard, but you adjust, and it makes the weekends he is home even more special.

I would prefer him to come home every night but this is just the way it is for the moment and will be for the forseeable future!

We are hoping it would be for a year or so, but it could be more, if this goes well then, he could come back home and manage a new team, but at the moment there is no team in Northern Ireland doing this kind of work.
NinkyNonker I dont think I could leave my job or my family I have lived here all my life and my mother just moved from Spain to be close to the kids, they adore her and I am lucky to have her support. If I move I wouldnt have that, plus we own our home here and have a dog etc and both kids are settled with childcare etc I dont want to uproot them

mmsmum Tue 22-Mar-11 13:36:18

That is my idea relationship, part-time husband grin

Works for a friend of mine, her DH works away for weeks at a time and they've been married about 30 years!

Pancakeflipper Tue 22-Mar-11 13:36:31

It's hard but do-able.
It's hard when they walk back in Friday and expect you to devote your time to them when in fact you are knackered from working, running a home and being a mummy, taxi driver, nurse, bathtime entertainer, arts and crafts expert etc.... You need to build in some "break" time for you cos you won't get an evening to go out to pilates or a chat with the girls. You can work round this but just sort it out mentally do you don't feel begrudging.

If you have good support around you - use it.

Trust is obviously essential.

I wouldn't say you won't ever move but agree to review in 6 months.

I don't think there is a yes or no answer to this. There are lots of ways around it and just saying no to a good opportunity will make him resentful.

I suppose the thing to do is to see how it goes.

Saying that, I would also be quite strict about the weekends.

Good luck - at least you are both going in to the situation aware of the difficulties and being adult about it!

I suppose it is finding a way to make it a win-win situation.

Niceguy2 Tue 22-Mar-11 13:38:10

I echo what Nagoo said. You can move, you just don't want to.

There are perfectly good schools in London and plenty of jobs too. Your kids are young enough to cope with a move and arguably its better now than in a few years when they have a circle of friends.

So the bottom line is this:

Do you want to live in NI and take the risk that the distance/travel will cost you your marriage?

If yes, fair enough. Stay and see what happens. It may work, it may not. You know better than us how strong your marriage is and the type of person your DH is.

If no, start packing.

scurryfunge Tue 22-Mar-11 13:39:07

Short term it can work.....we do it but after two years I am totally fed up and DH is looking for another job.

I would move now when it is easy to move the children. We have got stuck because of DS' GCSEs. You are probably at the most flexible time, school wise at the moment.

designergirl Tue 22-Mar-11 13:42:11

I wouldn't like it personally, but seems like it works for some ppl.

But what about my job if if move? I love it. I could never do the wort of work I do in London, too much competition. For once I am happy in a job i work hard at and its only a 3 day week so allows me plenty of time with the kids. I would be giving all that up if I move.

Hassled Tue 22-Mar-11 13:45:27

Well mine does - although he tries to work from home Friday and that makes a huge difference. The main downsides:

He misses loads of the DCs' stuff - and I forget to tell him the little things (DS3 did well in Maths, DS2's having a hard time with that little shit in his form) so he does feel a bit out of the loop. He is a bit out of the loop.
I'm so used to coping with everything that there is sometimes a clash when he comes along and meddles tries to help.
He's so used to living like a single man that the switch to married father takes some adjustment sometimes.

But we cope - it's just become normal. He enjoys his job, the work doesn't exist locally and we have too many roots/family complications to move properly.

mummytime Tue 22-Mar-11 13:46:32

It can work, but at the ages of your kids I see no reason for you not to move. Working like this will put a strain on a relationship, and to be honest it doesn't sound as if you have a good case for not going too. I'm sure you can get another part-time job. Treat it as an adventure.

Its not just a part time job I have, its a job I love, with colleges I like working with and I have a life here. A mother close by, who moved from Spain to be close to the kids, a house we own and cant sell as its in negative equity, we could rent it out, but I hate the thoughts of someone living in our house.

DH worked away from home for 5 days a week for 4.5 years.

Then we moved to be close to his job, and he was still out three nights a week because his job meant he was wining and dining customers, vendors and business contacts.

Eventually he got so sick of it he transferred to another department.

It worked for us because I am pretty selfish self-sufficient and like being on my own in the evenings watching whatever I want on TV. I also had work that I did after the DC were in bed so not having to keep DH company helped with that. After a while it did feel like DH was a visitor, not really part of the family.

It was hard on the DC too. If your DH can make a real effort to spend lots of time with them at the weekends it could work.

Sidge Tue 22-Mar-11 14:03:45

My husband is military so spends a lot of time away from home.

It is hard but I subscribe to the 'quality not quantity' school of thought! Our time together is precious.

You need to be a fairly strong, independent sort of person to parent alone for the majority of the time - you can guarantee that the washer will pack up, the car will break down or the kids will get ill when they are away, never when they're home.

It's entirely do-able but adjusting can be difficult. Don't underestimate the relentlessness of doing it all alone AND working. It's bloody exhausting and can get lonely. It may be easier for you if you have your mum nearby to help.

Onetoomanycornettos Tue 22-Mar-11 14:03:47

One of the hardest things is that the partner who is away is knackered from their concentrated work and then travelling home, but you are waiting for some childcare relief and practially throw the children at them. Or at least I do. I think your partner has to understand that it will be tiring and they will have to be fully involved if they are only there on weekends, as this will be their only time with the children. Luckily my DH is a hands on type and he is happy to get stuck in when he gets back (to childcare, not housework but that is a whole other issue).

I also don't want to uproot my family for my DH's temporary job, and leave behind my family support and so on. I think you have to be realistic about what they are missing; if we moved to London, my husband would still work late 4 nights a week as he works more than one job. So, for us, it's likely we wouldn't see much of him in the week anyway, for others who are used to having a partner around much more, it will feel much harder.

Onetoomanycornettos, I think we are the same, We wouldnt get to see DH is we moved as he would be working 80 hours per week so wouldnt get to put the kids to bed or see them when they wake as he would have left for work already. So me and the kids would be there alone, with no support network etc.

FabbyChic Tue 22-Mar-11 14:18:16

Of course it can work, no different to a long distance relationship which is what I am in.

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