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.

minipie Tue 22-Mar-11 14:19:46

There was a long thread on this a few months ago - I can't find it though, maybe someone else can.

As I recall the general consensus was that it is very hard and people wouldn't do it unless they had no other real option. The main issue seemed to be that the weekends were often tense because the DH wanted his time off after working all week and the DW wanted her time off after having the DCs all week.

Sorry not helpful without the link to the other thread, I know! Maybe you will be able to dig it up.

Checkmate Tue 22-Mar-11 14:23:35

I agree it can work, if necessary.

However, I wouldn't choose to live away from my children mon-fri though, and neither would DH. He has to work away (his work is based in two different locations) mon-weds every other week, and the DC really miss him. He finds it incredibly lonely.

Prioritise your children's relationship with their father ahead of that with their grandmother, and move with him.

Or say not to the extra money, and all stay where you are.

runnyhabbit Tue 22-Mar-11 14:25:05

Well, it can work - my parents have been married for 39 years, and my ddad works away mon - fri.

Up until I started school, we used to move to Dads work (contractor working on various UK sites) As soon as I reached school age, they decided that dad would work away, and me, mum and my dsis would stay at home.

Speaking as their dc, it didn't not make one bit of difference to me. I often felt that I saw more of my dad, than my friends, as theirs would work 6 days a week, iyswim.

Bizarrely, dh works a lot of hours - to the point of if he's home during the week, it's a bonusgrin

History repeating itself.

DandyLioness Tue 22-Mar-11 14:25:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

penguin73 Tue 22-Mar-11 14:28:29

Lots of people do this very successfully, for others it is a disaster. There is no definitive answer, I think it comes down to the people involved at the end of the day. You both have to be totally open and honest with each other about how you really feel and take it from there. we have doen it successfully for 8 years but many friends gave up after 2 and moved so it really does depend.

runnyhabbit Tue 22-Mar-11 14:29:34

minipie - thats an interesting theory. My parents, and now myself and dh, actually see it the other way round.

Weekends are time for us to get together. Dh thinks that his time off should absolutley be spent with the ds's.

For it to work properly though, I think ground rules work well.

Checkmate of course I prioritise my childrens relationships with their Father, and that is not the reason I dont want to move.
I have no desire whatsoever to live in London. I have a great job that I love and the kids are very settled here and have lots of friends etc, as do I. If I move I will leave all that behind to sleep in the same bed as my Dh at nights as he wont be there to help with the kids anyway, or see them in the mornings or evenings as he will be working. What would be the point in that?

BetsyBoop Tue 22-Mar-11 14:32:05

Good advice already.

My DH has mostly (I say mostly as for the past year he's been at home!) worked away M-F for 10 years now as an IT contractor.

It can work, but you have to be prepared to effectively be a single parent M-F. I expect it will be a bit easier if you have family support around to fall back on if you need help (I don't unfortunately)

The thing we found made the biggest difference is the "deal" you do on when you start on a Monday & when you can finish on a Friday. Some firms are happy for a late start/early finish meaning he would get home tea time on a Friday & leave early o'clock on Monday. However some insist on "office hours" When you don't get home until 10pm or later on a Friday & then have to leave after lunch on a Sunday it doesn't seem like much of a weekend....

If you decide to go for it, it's definitely worth getting this agreed up front & maybe him to have a day a week working from home if he can? If they want him badly enough they might agree to it & if you don't ask you don't get...!

Strictly Tue 22-Mar-11 14:35:49

DH works away Mon-Fri and I find it very difficult. I find myself ridiculously resentful and angry with him and times as I am totally exhausted with a 3 year old and a 5 month old baby. I find the weekends are just filled with me telling him how tired I am and making him do jobs round the house and him planning and organising for the week ahead

I wouldn't recommend it in a million years.

vintageteacups Tue 22-Mar-11 14:35:57

we have been doing weekend commuting for the last 2 years as my DH is in the armed forces.

It's been awful, but in the first year, he was allowed to leave lunch time on a Friday and start late MOnday morning, which meant he had sunday night at home. Now though, he has lectures early monday morning so travels back sunday night.

It's hardest on the children and hard for me in that I have no adult to chat to at night when the kids have been monsters etc.

We should have stayed together as a family but thought that having stability at the kid's school was more important - it wasn't. Having Daddy at home (they are now 6 and 9) is far important and it has really mucked up the dfamily balance.

He hates coming home and having to 'start again' every weekend and hates having to discipline the kids when he hasn't seen them all week.

If possible, I'd move with him. NI is a long commute and I know a forces wife on MN who's DH was based in Portsmouth and monthly commuted to NI. She hated it, as did he.

zikes Tue 22-Mar-11 14:36:42

I think it could work, but I know that my bil really hated living like this and being away from his family. His wife kept getting peeved with him, thinking he was having fun doing the hotels & meals while she had the hard slog at home.

She used to give him a hard time when he came home at weekends. She'd ease up by Saturday night and then spend Sunday getting tense and pissy that he was packing to go again.

They divorced eventually.

This is his side of the story, of course.

vintageteacups Tue 22-Mar-11 14:37:04

Didtto the resentment strictly talk of - he resents me as I'm able to have the kids all week and I resent him for behaving as though he's on holiday every weekend!

DandyLioness Tue 22-Mar-11 14:37:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

vintageteacups Tue 22-Mar-11 14:38:51

It's true though Zikes - I get annoyed that DH wants a lie in both Sat and sun morning because he's been studying so hard all week.

He gets pissy all day Sunday as he knows he only has one day left and when he gets back Late Friday afternoon, he's pissy due to long 3 hr drive and is shattered from working week.

runnyhabbit Tue 22-Mar-11 14:39:12

I think betsyboop has hit the nail on the head:

"It can work, but you have to be prepared to effectively be a single parent M-F"

I totally agree. Don't get me wrong, I don't always like this (my dh doesn't work away, just very long hours) but to a degree, it can be easier when it's just you organising the home, dc etc

DandyLioness Tue 22-Mar-11 14:39:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

vintageteacups Tue 22-Mar-11 14:41:28

why not have a London adventure whilst the kids are little. Rent out your NI house and move back there in years to come when it's more important for the kids to settle?

I'm sure it can work, but I personally would hate it. I would really, really miss DH. It's the sort of thing I could do for a few months but couldn't commit to long term. I suppose you could see how it goes, and if it doesn't work out after say 3 months reassess? Sorry, not much help because I'd probably move.

stream Tue 22-Mar-11 14:45:14

andypandy - dh and I have been doing this for 20 years.

Works for us.

zikes Tue 22-Mar-11 14:46:19

I know the resentment part's true, I just wanted to point out it's only BIL's side of the story, cos ex-SIL probably has a slightly different take on it.

I think it's worrying that the OP already thinks the wining and dining of clients will be pure fun and something to be jealous of, when it sounds like hell on earth to me, smarming up to people grin. But indeed, it might be part of the job her dh likes.

Strictly Tue 22-Mar-11 14:47:52

vintage we're forces too so know your pain It is a very hard life.

anniemac Tue 22-Mar-11 14:48:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

vintageteacups Tue 22-Mar-11 14:52:10

Forces families move away all the time and many see it as an adventure. Yes, there's the upheaval but you do get used to it. We're about to move into our 8th married quarter in 12 years and whilst the kids have been little it's been fun.

I think if you can go with him, your family will benefit more than you staying put and your DH commuting but obviously, it's choice only you can make.

lazylula Tue 22-Mar-11 14:56:21

My dad was a long distance lorry driver and went off to work early hours of Monday morning and mainly wasn't back until lunchtime Saturday. This was for the majority of my childhood (until I was 11 or 12). It worked for them, they will be celebrating their Ruby wedding anniversary next year!
My dh often doesn't see the children during the week as he leaves well before they get up and comes home after they are in bed. The children get used to it tbh, they know how it goes!

Zikes, I know my DH will like that part of his job, it wont bother him to be smarming up to people, he will just like the free food.
We have a lovely house here with a nice big garden, we could never afford that in London. I know I am saying really focusing on how this will affect me and I know the kids will miss their daddy, but I am not willing to move somewhere I really dont want to, leave my job, my family, my friends, my house behind so my DH can see my kids when they are sleeping. As I have said he will work till way past there bed times and be gone in the moring before they wake, so I really dont think its in the kids best intrest to take them away from all they know when they wont see there daddy anyway until the weekend.

WentworthMillerMad Tue 22-Mar-11 15:03:53

Yes it can work, if fact I think it adds to a marriage. Not sure how many hours I see DH in the working week anyway. I know people who do this, they seem very very happy together, good luck

zikes Tue 22-Mar-11 15:10:00

TBH, I don't think it'd bother the kids that much at their ages. But I fully understand it'd make a huge difference to you between having that support structure from friends and family to moving somewhere where you don't know anybody and he's not home til late every night anyway.

I think I'd stick where you are, and see how it goes. If it seems destructive to your relationship, then think about moving maybe.

I'd just be aware of the pitfalls: the afore-mentioned resentments plus the pressure to have a 'perfect' happy time when you're together and feeling it's all ruined if it doesn't go to plan.

CaveMum Tue 22-Mar-11 15:16:02

Another yes vote here.

DH is also Forces and in the 9 and a bit years we have been together he has been overseas for a total of about 16 months and has lived away Monday-Friday for 4 of his last 5 postings.

We don't have children yet (TTC#1) but we know plenty of other Forces families that live in a similar way and as long as you have ground rules and a good routine it seems to work for them without too much fuss.

It is not easy, but these things are rarely forever (DH plans on leaving the Forces in the next 5-10 years) and nothing is impossible.

Snobear4000 Tue 22-Mar-11 15:23:35

The good news... you'll never get tired of him, he'll never get sick of you. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, it sure does.

The bad news... For you doing all the domestic stuff at home you'll essentially be a single-mum. Please do yourself a favour and get some help in, at least a cleaner ffs. This will not only give you more time, but also mitigate your feelings of jealousy that he's having all the "good times".

It is of concern that you already anticipate resenting him for wining and dining. This is the road to ruin in this situation. Get friends over for dinner during the week, get a babysitter once a week and go out drinking or whatever it is you do so you don't feel like this. I know many husbands who work away and when the wife starts ringing them up angry because she heard were out at a bar, that's the start of the slippery slope towards divorce. Believe me.

I think you are right snobear, I know it will annoy me, struggling with house work and kids etc and Dh is in a bar. I think if I get a nite during the week when I see friends then I wont feel this way.

anniemac Tue 22-Mar-11 15:35:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 22-Mar-11 15:38:39

I think one key question, is whether or not the additional extra money is going to materially improve your life.

Will you be able to afford a cleaner, to pay someone to do the DIY, more meals and days out together at the the weekends to make the most of being together as a family? Nicer/more holidays?
And longer term - does it give you more choices about where you live, how you live, etc etc.

If it does those things then that is a huge plus.

Personally I couldn't do it. DH and I have been in this position before and decided against it. We would miss each other too much and he thinks it's important that he is around while we have small DCs.
Fortunately for us he's been able to advance his career without having to work away.
There is the possibility of a job coming up in the US in a year or so with his current company, now that we would consider because we would go as a family.

scaryteacher Tue 22-Mar-11 15:40:26

Did 4 years weekending on the trot, plus various sea jobs, and two years where he was in Brussels, I was in Cornwall and we only saw each other every 6 weeks.

We've been married 25 years this September.

It works.

a family should all live together

your children are very young, you are still mobile, move to London. It's more imptt to be close to your husband than your mum, it's more imptt to close your dad than your granddad.

i think it could work, no problem

the only problem, the way I see it, would be your issue with visualising him having the life of riley.
Will he still be working long hours? it's not that much fun taking clients out!
If he works 80hours a week, does he help much anyway, would you miss that support. Or do you just get on with it anyway?

grovel Tue 22-Mar-11 15:51:35

I'd just say that wining and dining clients palls very quickly. Don't resent that element of your separation if it happens.

manfromCUK Tue 22-Mar-11 15:52:15

I've worked away for the last 15 years - I don't think it ended my marriage, but it didn't help. We had no kids. Now I have youg DD and DP issued me with an ultimatum that I had to be at home. Luckily I scored a short term job at home (working at home) but it's going to end soon. Her argument was nothing to do with seeing more of me - but she complained (with perfect validity) that she couldn't go out to the gym etc. This is partly complicated by the fact that she refuses to leave DD in the care of anyone else (except me and then only grudgingly) ever.

So, OP don't underestimate the tie that results from being alone and the feelings of resentment you may get.

From my perspective I'd prefer to be at home and see DD grow up, but I'm a bit spoiled @ present - if I have to get a job with a commute it may be no better than being away was. It was a laugh listening to her moaning because I'd been to the pub or out for a meal when I was away - what was I supposed to do - sit in the hotel room with one of DDs dolls pretending to look after it?

Having said that DP is selfish and unpleasant and I am only staying because of DD

amicissima Tue 22-Mar-11 15:56:54

I think it can work.

I think you have to be very strict with yourself and if you start to feel resentful, remember that he has to be in the bar/restaurant whether he feels like it or not, even if the people he is with are tedious or annoying, even if he's not feeling well or is tired.

I also think you need to have someone who can babysit so that you aren't trapped at home all week.

The advice about working out how the weekends will pan out is good, also not expecting them to be perfect.

Perhaps you can set up a time in the evenings, or on certain evenings, when you will talk/skype, to keep yourselves 'current' in each other's minds - perhaps before he goes out in the evenings. Get him to commit: 'I just need to give the family a quick call'.

I assume he'll be flying back and forth. As other posters have said, it would be great if the employer could be relaxed about Friday afternoons or Monday mornings, even if it's not every week. Be prepared for frustrating delays with the flights, though, specially in winter. OTH, think of all the Airmiles he'll earn - should be worth a good holiday!

zikes Tue 22-Mar-11 16:04:34

Oh I disagree, stubbornhubby, I think to move somewhere where she'll be starting over completely, with no friends or family nearby, and her dh working late could be worse for them as a family than weekends only as a family.

At least where she is, she is happy, settled and working, not wholly dependent on her dh for income and company. Sure, she could make a new social circle and find some sort of work in London but both take time and energy, and in the meantime he'd be having to focus on his new job and work long hours.

noodle69 Tue 22-Mar-11 16:12:54

My husband had to go away for 10 days recently and I thought it was horrible. You miss them too much. My daughter cried for him every night and was bewildered to why he was gone. I would never choose to do it on a regular basis.

Thanks Zikes, I am shocked at how many people think I should just up and leave my job and home and family etc to move to somewhere i dont want to be so we can "be together as a family" when we wont even see each other as he will be working so much. I know my kids are young and can adapt but they are lucky to have family close by who love them and care for them and so many of you think it would be better for the kids to leave all that behind to live in a different country so they can live in the same house as their father, even though he wont be able to see them during the week as he will be working so much. I really am shocked that so many think this is the best thing for the family

scurryfunge Tue 22-Mar-11 16:17:13

Would your husband consider staying with his family so that you are not disrupted?

I suppose it depends what your priorities are -his career/money/being together?

anniemac Tue 22-Mar-11 16:20:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

manfromCUK Tue 22-Mar-11 16:20:54

Definitely don't move to London. That will just be a quick way to misery and will almost certainly cancel any financial advantages.

scurryfunge as i said, my DH is happy to do what ever I think is best for us as a family. He would happily stay here, but we stuggle each month to pay the bills etc and this could be a way to be secure for life. It would also do be excellent for his career as he would be in the heart of the business doing something he loves and is very good at. I dont want to he the reason he turns this down, its once in a life time and if the roles were reversed I know he would NEVER stop me from going and would just get on with it at home. The company who want him will never ask again if he turns them down and I really feel he deserves a chance at this, he has worked very hard for us all and been an amazing father and husband and really deserves to pursue his career.

Checkmate Tue 22-Mar-11 16:38:34

Your kids are very young though. The 16 month old, particularly, would find it very hard. You may well find that s/he withdraws from your DH at weekends, to "punish" him for being away so much. My 21 month old does this to DH in weeks he's been away, but by the second week when he's around more, is usually fine again.

The issue to me isn't whether your marriage survives it - you're both adults, and if its truly both the decision you freely make, you can put things in place to make sure your marriage stays strong. But his relationship with the children is not so easy. Children can't be put "on hold" 5 days a week.

If it were the only job he could do, and you absolutely could not leave Ireland, then fair enough, people make it work when they have to, their DC just have to suck it up.

minipie Tue 22-Mar-11 16:45:30

Sounds to me like the main advantage of him moving is the extra money (since you say he's happy in his current job).

So the question is really, would you rather have the extra money, or have your DH around during the week?

Myself, I would always choose having DH around unless we were really really struggling financially. I don't know how much you are struggling?

I don't think that you moving is a sensible option. Apart from all the other reasons you've mentioned, living costs in and near London are waay more expensive and will quickly eat up any extra money your DH earns.

scurryfunge Tue 22-Mar-11 16:46:13

andypandy....it is the same for my DH....but I think our priorities have changed now.
You will soon tire of the swimming pools and Caribbean breaks and just long for a day together in the week grin.
Seriously though...it can be a strain but so long as you have decided as a family that this is what id best for you all, then do it, without regrets.

Scurryfunge, we will be a long way from Carribbean breaks lol.

Chil1234 Tue 22-Mar-11 16:49:26

Probably not what you want to hear but two people I know well who worked away from their families for long periods were 'secret life' types. One enjoyed an on-off affair in his second location for years. The other spent his time away as the gay man he always knew he was... shock Man #1 is still married and doting wife is none the wiser as far as I know. Man #2 decided to come out and that ended surprisingly well.

grin

cricketballs Tue 22-Mar-11 17:00:51

It all depends on how strong you are.

My dh has done this for years and I am strong enough to cope with being a single parent M-F. We don't have any 'special days' at the weekend but when he gets home I do expect him to act as a dh and dad as normal. The dc are used to it, and as long as they speak to him on the phone at least 3 times a week they are happy; we are in our 16th year of marriage and have been together for 23 years in this arrangement and we are very happy.

However a friend of mine really struggled with her dh working long hours and therefore it felt like to her like he was working away and their marriage ended as she felt like she had no support.

anniemac Tue 22-Mar-11 17:01:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cricketballs Tue 22-Mar-11 17:03:36

oh yes - forgot to mention that you have full control of the TV in the evenings without any moans, tuts, "why are you watching this rubbish"........

anniemac Tue 22-Mar-11 17:03:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

anniemac Tue 22-Mar-11 17:04:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

penguin70 Tue 22-Mar-11 17:13:15

It will work well sometimes and other times it will be a nightmare or at least that's what I've found.

My husband is a contractor so moves every few months making it unrealistic for us to move with him. He's been doing this almost ten years and the early years were definitely the hardest and loneliest. I'm a sahm so we had a very unbalanced relationship in many ways which didn't help. DC starting school made life much easier for me and helped our relationship though I didn't realise how "unconnected" he was with DC till he was without work for a few months. Although it was a nightmare financially, being with the DC everyday was FANTASTIC for all of them and really formed bonds I didn't realise they were missing. His contract now allows a 4 day week which makes a massive difference (be very realistic at how much travelling /packing etc will take out of your weekend).

We're the happiest we've ever been at the moment though with teenage years looming I know the will be more challenges ahead.

He did get a very good offer of permanent work a few years ago and I made excuses along the lines of your reasons - if I had my time again I would make the move to be with my DH.

Snobear4000 Tue 22-Mar-11 19:36:00

"It was a laugh listening to her moaning because I'd been to the pub or out for a meal when I was away - what was I supposed to do - sit in the hotel room with one of DDs dolls pretending to look after it?"

hilarious!

Imagine a 9-5 chap moaning that whilst he's at work his missus is enjoying coffee mornings with friends and that they should stop it forthwith because he's grafting in the office.

Works both ways. If someone is clever enough to land a job that is sometimes fun, everyone should celebrate that.

Xenia Tue 22-Mar-11 19:56:40

I don't understand why you don't want to move with him. There are good schools in London for your oldest and you'd remain together as a family and could surely find another part time job in London.

captainbarnacle Tue 22-Mar-11 19:59:16

OH was unemployed for 2 years, we had DS1 and then he got a job 3000 miles away when DS1 was 5months old.

That was 4 years ago. We see OH for 5 weeks a year - hopefully a few days every couple of months.

Since then we have had DS2 and LO3 is due in the summer (god knows how this happened! )

It's hard, but it works. We are not rolling in money - the boys and I live in a 2bed rented house. I get to stay home to look after them.

There is no chance in us going to live out there as he travels around some pretty remote places as part of his job and we'd hardly ever see him.

At least here DS1 and 2 get some continuity wtih school and nursery and I have established a group of friends.

It can be done.

Asteria Tue 22-Mar-11 20:31:46

I personally would move with him, but that is just me. You could always try a few months of him commuting and see how it goes.

I live just under 3 hours north of London by train and have about a dozen friends with hubbies that do 3-5 day weeks in London. It works for them, to a certain extent - but every single one of them would rather their DH was home each night.

My Stepfather has worked abroad - usually 4 weeks on 2 off, or thereabouts - for the last 20 years. It's not easy but they make it work. He does regret not spending more time with my younger siblings and there is a LOT of pressure on what little time he does spend at home to be absolutely perfect.

I envy you having such a brilliant job, we all dream of a job that we can look forward to. There is, however, a point where something will have to give and it will be down to you to decide if it is your fabulous job or your family life.

Adversecamber Tue 22-Mar-11 20:40:19

My sister and her DH had to do this for about 18 months. She always says it was the best time in her marriage. She did what she liked in the week and said he wasn't under her feet. They then seemed to spend the weekend having lots of sex!

MY DH travels for business, the longest he has been away is a three week stint. I actually find that a bit hard sometimes but I quite like it when he goes away for a few days.

NimpyWindowmash Tue 22-Mar-11 20:53:18

My DH worked away for a few years when our kids were younger. It nearly killed our marriage but we just about made it through. The kids and I eventually moved to be with him, when they were older and it was much harder to move schools. Bad decision, I wished we'd all moved together to begin with, but I was scared of leaving friends and leaving my comfort zone. To be honest it was miserable being apart, I resented him for never being around. He resented me because I resented him. It was crap.
I think it's a difficult decision you have, but it sounds like your mind is made up.

minipie Tue 22-Mar-11 23:29:14

Hang on a second.

Xenia you are suggesting the OP gives up her job to follow her DH? Even though she's said she enjoys it and wouldn't find it easy to get another job?

<faints>

<wonders what has happened to the real Xenia>

lurkerspeaks Tue 22-Mar-11 23:49:02

I'm with Xenia

In a relationship at various points you have to decide whose career takes precedence. It looks like at the moment andypandy that you have decided to prioritise your husbands career but only so far. If you are going to prioritise it then you need to go the whole way IMO.

I think you should seriously look into moving. Rent your house, rent somewhere in commuterville (there are nice green places around London, honest). The possibility of establishing a team in NI is so far fetched and I suspect that being apart with no end point could well end trash your marriage.

The children are so small that they won't notice a move.

Family / Friends..... well I'm afraid that I'm a hard hearted bitch who moved as a child because of my Father's employment and have moved as a (single) adult because of my own employment (now that is scary - new country, new job, no mates...) and you will make new friends. Lots of people get by with no local family.

Your job. You work p/t. Is it a job job or a career job. If the latter I have slightly more sympathy but you do need to look at your families needs in the long term rather than a short term. "I like my job and don't want to give it up".

Bluebell44 Wed 23-Mar-11 00:27:05

AndyPandy I get where you are coming from. If you moved now you would be so resentful. I have no idea if it is realistic that your DH will get a job back in NI in a year or two. But why worry about that now? Give it a go. Your children are so young I totally understand why you don't want to move from your very well set up life.

I don't know why people can't see that the DH won't see the kids if he takes this job no matter which country you the OP live in. It's about the job not the location.

If you and your DH decide that you are prepared for him to do this job which means none of you seeing him M-F whether you are in London or NI really, then you have to put up with the downside in order to get the career boost and extra finance surely?

I would do it. But then I appreciate time away from my DH! And as you have a mother and will have extra money you could easily afford a babysitter at least once a week and have your own fun. Especially if you make sure you go out early ish and avoid the whole bed time routine which can be very tiring eh? I much prefer going out at 6pm to going out at 8pm. Much more fun.

Other people on here have probably given good ideas about how to manage actually doing it. Personally I wouldn't be envious of my DH being with clients in the evening. I like food too but I like it with friends or on my own with MN or the television. Any possible enjoyment would surely wear thin very soon for him. I would feel sorry for him actually. You will have child free evenings to have some peace.

You've got friends and what sounds like a great life. I'd keep it and see in time if this career boost is as good as it sounds. I wish you well. And don't forget the ground rules and to keep talking and adjusting things as you see how it pans out.

madwomanintheattic Wed 23-Mar-11 00:45:31

will his additional income cover the costs of you maintaining two homes? even if one is a bachelor pad? there is an awful lot to factor in!

i've always been a follower - and kept the family together and studied/ worked wherever we've ended up. the kids have been in a lot of schools, and i've had a lot of jobs as a result, but it's worked fine. dh has done 'away' as well - we are (for the next few months) a military family. after all.

dd1 (eldest of 3) is in her fifth school in yr 6, still popular and well-adjusted with a lot friends. <shrugs> the kids will be fine either way tbh. it's one move you are looking at, not becoming a traveller.

but you are obviously happy where you are, so why not postpone your decision for six months, let him go off and test the waters, and decide later. nothing is fixed in stone. grin

It sounds as if you have made your decision not to move to London, OP. I would advise you to keep an open mind about it though, and review the decision every few months.

My DH was seconded to a job in SE Asia. I had NO wish at all to go too and hid behind the perfectly valid excuse of two of our DCs being halfway through A levels and GCSEs. Also I had a job I valued.

I didn't think the separation would be too difficult - we'd had times apart before - but in fact it was. It seemed as if we were living diverging lives; each so remote from the minutiae of each other's day.

Anyway, after a year (once the A levels and GCSEs were done) I did follow him out here (hence my name) and I know that it's better that we, and the two youngest DCs, are all together, but it is a compromise for me and I don't find it all that easy being uprooted from my comfort zone.

You will be able to see each other most weekends, so that's good, but he will be tired from working and travelling, and you will be tired from working and child-raising.

As madwoman has just said, nothing is fixed in stone. Let him go off and test the waters.

confuddledDOTcom Wed 23-Mar-11 01:07:14

Another story for you. My OH is working in an industry affected by the government cuts and because of what it is they rely on government work - despite the govt saying they expect the private sector to pick up the slack, it's just not possible. Most people have been laid off but he's fortunate that his age (he's my sugar daddy, but without the money) has gone in his favour because he has worked every system from paper and pen through to the most modern computer programmes so they try their best to keep him so they don't lose out on the versatility of his experience. That has meant though for the last three years he's hardly been at home.

He left when we had one child and I remember the rows because I'd made him promise when I was pregnant that he wouldn't work away again - back in the days when it was a couple of weeks to cover something. His project offered us a weekend in a hotel, they said to book the best and put our meals on his credit card. Two weeks later I found out I was pregnant! I can't remember how long he was away that time but he was sent away again when our baby was about 2 months old. Since then he's been away for about 3/4 of her life. She was 2 in January and I'm pregnant again, due July but expected May (I'm a short termer) and I'm begging him to get them to bring him back.

Whilst it's been hard in one sense, he has another family so we see him alternate weekends and that's not a lot when you have a newborn baby and to do that for most of her life, also being a high risk pregnancy and having to deal with that alone. In another it's not too bad. We have a routine and we deal with it, I'm grateful he's in a job and not unemployed or in Australia (where they're looking for workers at the moment).

So I guess my point is yes it can work, but it's not easy.

carabos Wed 23-Mar-11 08:25:58

When one partner works away, you have all the disadvantages of being married and all the disadvantages of being single. did you get married in order to live with him or live without him?

Greenshadow Wed 23-Mar-11 08:51:26

Personally, I think you have to look at it from your DH side as well.

We have had to move round the country several times for my DH job and I don't particularly enjoy it. I left my original career behind long ago, and although I do enjoy my current work, it is by no means what I was educated and trained for. nor is it as lucrative.

I would have loved to set up a base in the first town we settled in together and DH to have commuted to the 3 towns he subsequently had work in. He however is no fan of travelling long distances every weekend and would have hated it. So I and the DC have moved with him, even once we had school age children, although we have now said this was the last move as we are now at GCSE/A level stage.

Because of all the moves, I feel I have very few close friends. I don't belong to a good social circle and am not near family.

But you do get to know different parts of this lovely country and meet new people and have new experiences, so like most thingsin life, swings and roundabouts....

you are a family.
you should stick together and live in the same house
that's what families do

In my mind London offers more opportunities than Northern Ireland, and you always regret in life the things you DON'T do, more than the things you DO.. so I'd say give it shot.

But london v NI - that's up to the two of you, either way STICK TOGETHER

We did it for 8 months.

Only worked because we knew it was temporary. I wrapped up my work and eventually followed.
I think you are being unreasonable to cling to your little comfort zone as you are not the breadwinner.
If the financial incentive is the motive for his move in the first place then you should just accept and follow.

We have a very strong marriage, but we did grow apart anyway (all good now). the kids missed him and played up a lot.
His commute was 3h on a plane every friday night/sunday night. draining. I could not blame him for sleeping all weekend and wanting to go out and have a bit of a life during the week since I was doing the same.

think hard.

Morloth Wed 23-Mar-11 09:27:57

Honestly, I don't know a single couple this has worked for and I know a few who have tried it.

DH works long hours and travels regularly but he lives here.

I am not saying it never works, just that the couples I know who have tried it have ended up splitting without exception.

DandyLioness Wed 23-Mar-11 10:02:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NinkyNonker Wed 23-Mar-11 10:10:51

As I suggested earlier, could he use this offer as leverage for better terms etc at his current job?

giggles123 Wed 23-Mar-11 10:59:43

Oh dear. It has its pros and cons. Trust me, been there for 2 yrs.The time apart will make you miss each other very much. You will appreciate the short time that you have with DH when he comes home and this will help you use ur time wisely. You can try by making his time at home so wonderful that he'll only want to stay home. This may include u doing all the nasty house jobs. The down side is that he is practically away from the kids and misses out on their growing up. This is really bad for the kids. Its like not having a dad for most of their childhood. Another problem is that you grow, independent of each other and will survive out there without the other. Not great I tell you. I understand that certain situations cannot be helped. Do it if its the only option but make sure you are working to end it. I.e it should be for a relatively short time. Families should dwell together and grow together. Its so tempting to have your cake and eat it because i tell you it is sometimes so blissful without dh. But what gain is it if u gain the world and lose ur family. We all need companionship. That void must be filled somehow. Either with your family or something else. Make sure its with you. Hope that helps.

Haystack Wed 23-Mar-11 11:17:47

Dh and I currently living in different countries.
His job has meant we have tried it all over the years. Working away for weeks, commuting, family moving with him and now we see him for 5 weeks a year.
We followed him initially this time. I gave up a part time job I loved, moved kids from schools where they were happy and tried to make it work. I came home with the kids when it didn't. Long working hours meant he hardly saw the dcs. He even had a different weekend to them, kids not settling in school and the resentment I felt, missing my mum who is on her own and the knowledge that we would be moving again sooner rather than later informed our decision. So far it is working ok. Hard not to feel that it would have been better I'd we had not gone at all (eg. I have no job now, dd1 had difficulties settling back into old school where she had been very happy, 6th school move in 9 yrs maybe one too far!). The troubles in the Middle East have made it harder as we are so worried for dh, but at least we are not there now.

Whatever decision you make it needs to be one you make together, and I do believe you can make any arrangement work if it is the right one for you whatever other people's experiences. Good luck.

wonkeydonkies Wed 23-Mar-11 11:21:09

i wouldnt like it

ive done it for a short time while husband was on a residential course for 20 weeks and had one newborn and one toddler and it was incredibly lonely.

I once laid down with the toddler while he nodded off and I nodded off too and I woke up a few hours later and realised then how lonely I was that no-one else would be there to turn all the lights off, lock up and come up to bed too. It was just exactly as I had left it and would stay that way cos no one else was there

Rambling now, but I know what i mean lol

londonartemis Wed 23-Mar-11 12:50:33

I know people from NI who have lived apart because of one of them getting a job in London, and the marriages do NOT survive, despite the best intentions. A week end at home is never the full 48 hour week end. The travelling home back and forwards takes time and energy and eats into everything. (It would be easier if your DH was doing 2 weeks solid in London and then had one full week at home.)
You have a cosy set up where you are, but if you are serious about hanging on to your DH, you might have to rethink your plans within a year. London is a fantastic city. It takes getting used to though. What does your DH really hope you will do?

DH really does not want the kids, or I to move away from all we have and all we know. Ds1 has just got into a very good school here and has lots of friends, Ds2 has a creche that he loves and will be going to the same school as ds1. Dh does not want that to chage.
He can afford a small flat in London and still have a large pay increase, even taking into account the flying home everyweeked, however if we move with him, we all couldnt live in a one bedroom flat, with no back garden and where would we put our dog? We have a lovely big garden at home, with swings and a trampoline, we could never afford a house like that in London, plus we can not sell our house, as its in negative equity, so would have to rent at a loss of £350 per month, so we would never see the benifits and would be worse off. Im sure London is a fantastic city, but I do not want my children to be reared in a city full stop, its just not for me.
Dh thinks if we move with him and I give up work, which would mean we loose my wage, so would be no better off money wise (as I have said i cant not do the work in do in London) and he as to work from 8am to 8pm every day, then it would be a lot of pressure on him as he would feel he needs to get home to me and the kids as we have been at home all day in a place we dont know anyone etc.
I know my DH wants to go for this opportunity, he said he will leave it up to me, but I know its what he really wants and I am happy to make sacrifices in order for him to do this.
Dh will come home everyweekend and it will be a full weekend as he will fly back on a Monday morning and come home on a Friday afternoon. He will still get 30 days holidays which will be spent at home also so we will still get plenty of family time. I am already used to him working 8-8 so he is never there in the evenings to put the kids to bed and he is always gone when they wake up so they dont see him to weekends anyway

captainbarnacle Wed 23-Mar-11 13:38:51

You seem to have thought everything through and it all makes sense to me. I think it really does depend on how you are as a family, a couple and individually. If you are both quite independent and outgoing and happy about the move, then I think it can certainly work fine

DandyLioness Wed 23-Mar-11 13:39:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

You really are being cynical dandylioness that is not the way of it at all.
Not everyone has a marriage like that. As I have said, DH and I are VERY happy and I am in no way a mug. He will stay here and get on with our VERY happy life if I want him to. However I am thinking about the future and what is best for us in the long term and this would make us secure and in a posistion where we dont have to worry when the intrest rates go up.
I would be more of a "mug" as you put it, if I gave up my life, and my job so dh can follow his dreams. As much as I support my DH I no I will be miserable in London so why would I put myself through that.

I think is so funny that there are people who try to pick holes in relationships that are not there. I am and never have been a "mug"

madwomanintheattic Wed 23-Mar-11 14:06:36

like i said - you don't have to decide now.
<shrugs and wanders off thread>
pop back in a year and let us know what you decided and how it went. none of us (not even you) have got a crystal ball.

fwiw, my youngest has cerebral palsy, so every time we move to follow dh, i have to completely uproot her from successful care and therapy packages and start again with new waiting lists etc - as well as replacing brilliant schools/ nurseries for three kids. it's no biggie, really. i don't feel like a mug, and resent the implication that i should, because i have chosen to keep my family (largely) under one roof.

and it does make me laugh that you have decided that you will be miserable in london. grin fwiw, with both dh and i, every time we have looked at a place and decided it wouldn't suit us and would be awful/ make us miserable etc, it has always turned out to be one of the best places we have lived. i am totally not a city girl (was brought up rural) and wouldn't ever have considered city life. yet we have lived in london and even glasgow grin and survived to tell the tale.

no-one is picking holes in your relationship - but they are questioning whether the 'la la la hands over your ears' thing is a good response to 'can a marriage work if the husband works away?' which was your original question.

why ask at all, if your response was going to be 'well, clearly i know mine will.'?

but hey ho. good topic for an aibu.

muddyangels123 Wed 23-Mar-11 14:08:42

My OH has worked away mon-Thurs for the last 4 years.
The Dc do get use to it and weekends are for family time.
My DC are at very good schools and we have made the choice not to uproot them from their school/friends. Mainly DS2 as he's in Year 9 & has alot of outside school activities.
OH and i have been together 23 years and very happy.
If we moved down south as a family we wouldn't have the same lifestyle and the house prices are mad.
It's all about compromise and what's best for your family.

I would give it a year or so and see how you feel about things. Are the finances as good as you think (the commuting and the flat will eat up a lot) and how is it affecting you as a family.

I am a forces wife. DH has spent a lot of time away over the years, and I have found it harder than I used to before the DCs. Previously I had my single life and it was ok, albeit lonely at times. Now I have my (full time) job plus all the childcare responsibilities and running the house etc. I suppose the difference with you OP is that you have a lot of family support and that is absolutely vital.

Good luck and ignore the cynics!

Good Lord, you don't have to live in the city to work in London, OP, you can live in the suburbs, or commute in from Surry, Berks, Essex lots of places.

But if you are both convinced the best place for you DCs is Northern Ireland -- and why not? -- then you and your DH should be looking for jobs in, um, Northern Ireland. That's what living in a place means.

Yes I was asking can a marriage work if the husband works away. I was NOT asking should the wife and kids move with him.
I am not saying anyone is a mug that moves with their husband, but I am saying that I would feel more of a mug to give up all that we have here to move with him.
London may be a great place for some but it is not for me. I love where I live and I have no desire to move to a city, even the best city in the world.

I do not have "la la hands" over my ears, but find it hard to listen to people telling me to move with him when it wasn’t even the question I was asking. It is not an option, would not work money wise for us as we would be FAR worse off than we are now.
I appreciate all the advice I have been given here, on whether it was worked for some people and not for others, I have no way of knowing if it will work for us at all, and it’s nice to hear both sides.

DandyLioness Wed 23-Mar-11 14:19:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

madwomanintheattic Wed 23-Mar-11 14:23:14

oh, i see. you didn't want rl experiences or advice. you just wanted a list of 'yes' or 'no' with no context. that makes perfect sense. ok.

so, 'yes' and 'no'. depends on the context, really. hth.

confuddledDOTcom Wed 23-Mar-11 14:25:42

I don't think people realise how hard it is for the man in these situations. Not that single parenting is easy because it's not, especially when you're not one. He has none of the benefits of a single man and none of them of a married man. He misses his kids but has to be careful not to spoil their routine when he gets home for the sake of extra time with them or so he can treat them, otoh he can't live a single life because he's not. His money still has to support his family so he can't just go out at night, he obviously can't go on the pull. My OH lives on convenience food but takes breakfast as his main meal to save money (he lives in a B&B so that meal is free and he doesn't have his own facilities to prepare food) plays WoW when his connection allows him, goes to the cinema once or twice a month and has lots of early nights. If I'm ill he has to take a day off work to do school run rather than getting into work late and taking a late lunch, if one of the girls are ill he has to come home to help out - by that I mean that we've had one in hospital so it was impossible for one person to care for both or do school runs, I didn't bring him back for a cold, in fact my eldest had an ear infection last week and my youngest had croup this week which I've had to just get on with. His holiday entitlement this year has been severely depleted before we've thought about a holiday or that we're having a baby this year.

Don't fool yourself that he's having fun if you've never been there. You can get through it if you work together.

HooverTheHamaBeads Wed 23-Mar-11 14:26:58

Can a marriage work if the husband works away? Yes I think it can for the short-term or if there is a end-date to work towards.

We are forces family and know lots of couples who are living apart and weekly commuting. Almost all without exception have found it difficult, found their marriages to have suffered, and have stopped it and moved back together as a family unit.

If you are looking at it as a long-term proposition I'd be very careful and really think it through. The ages your children are they will be very adaptable and would fit in easily to a new school and neighbourhood. They will be happy and settled wherever they are as long as you and your DH are happy together. They will miss out on a lot by not seeing their father every day and you may well resent being the one doing the majority of parenting, discipline etc. How would you cope if your DCs were ill and all the care was down to you with no support from your DH until the weekend?

IMO keeping the family unit together is the most important thing. Plus I love my DH and want to be with him too.

I love my DH to, we are very happy and have been happily married for 5 years and together 12 years. We are very close, but I have to be realistic, he leaves the house at 6.30 am and is not back to 8pm-9pm every week night, so I have full care of the kids and i am lucky to have support of family close by. If I move he would still work the long hours, even more, and I would have no one close by and I would give up my job that I love.
There is the possibility that he does not take the job and stays here and we struggle on and find some other way to cope when the intrest rates to back up but there is no possible way of us moving with him, its as simple as that.

westernwaydomesticgoddess Wed 23-Mar-11 14:40:54

Of course it can work.smile DH & myself have been married nearly 19 years and were together for 5 years b4 that and throughtout our relationship he has either been away or working very long hours. In fact at one time earlier in our relationship when his job location changed to one nearer home (which meant he was going to be home again every night) I was worried that I would find having him around more difficult as I was not used to this! confused

The children thing is a little different as my 2 dd's have never known any different and are used to him working very long hours or being away. Although I was a little panicked when he left for a 2 week trip just after dd2 was born blush It just means that it is always me helping with homework / clubs / taxi services to events etc envy and not him (even at weekends).

I would prefer my children to be settled in a good neighbourhood, in good schools and with there friends than having to uproot them if we don't need to. And this still applies as DH job location is always threatening to move!

DandyLioness Wed 23-Mar-11 14:43:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

As I have said, the pay rise that they are offering would cover a a small flat and the flights back home and still be much more than he is getting now.
This type of job does not exist in Northern Ireland, the plan is that it will over the next few years, however DH has to work in London to get the experiece to lead the team that will be set up in Northern Ireland.
He does not have to take this job, he was not looking for a job, he has been headsunted by this company, they have came to him. He is quiet happy in the job he has now, however this opportunity deserves us to look into it as it would make a big change to our life style.

"This type of job does not exist in Northern Ireland, the plan is that it will over the next few years, however DH has to work in London to get the experiece to lead the team that will be set up in Northern Ireland."

so it's only for a year or two?? perfect GO WITH HIM! what have you got to lose? It will be an adventure, it will bering you all closer, and you'll all be safely back home after a while anyway.

are you serious stubbornhubby? What about my job, do you not think they would have a problem holding it open for 2 years? Maybe I could ask the school to hold Ds's place for 2 years also.

I have lots to loose, so I am not even going to go there

thanks so much to anyone who offered genuine advice from both sides, it has really helped, we are going to have to think very hard about this, but most of this thread has helped me see things more clearly.

Xenia Wed 23-Mar-11 16:03:20

Someone said he can't go out on the pull and yet 30 or 40% of people who live apart from their spouse whether male or female do that. Adultery is always much more about opportunity than malicious intent.

Try to have an end point on it and may be do it on the basis that he gets 3 years doing it and then when the time comes if you want a job abroad you can do that for 3 years whilst he works part time and keeps the home fires burning. Make it fair. Make sure you don't end up in an even more sexist relationship either such that he only plays with chidlren at home and you do everything domestic. If there will be more money perhaps sugegst to him that 2 nights a week when he's away you can buy a babysitter and go out to 2 social things even if it's just a church event and knitting club or even just an hour at a gym or runnning in the park. Perhaps also make a scheme that he will talk on skype every night between 8 and 9 to you and the children.

Make sure you have total disclosure, access to and knowledge of all accounts, pensions, on line bank account pass words and ability to know 100% what is going on. See his wage records and the spending and credit card bills.

confuddledDOTcom Wed 23-Mar-11 16:08:23

It's not that simple though. My eldest was 18 months when we started this game but we still have a life here, family, friends. This is the 21st Century where women have lives outside the home, train for their own career and have their own prospects. My OH probably wouldn't take us even if the option was there because, as much as he hates being away from us, he's an RAF child and wouldn't inflict that on his own family. He still, 30 odd years since his family stopped moving and found a home in their home town doesn't feel like he has a home town, the one place he identifies with is where his great-aunt and uncle live which we tease him about because it's not even his own country but it's the only place that has been consistent in his life as he spent his summers there.

penguin70 Wed 23-Mar-11 16:24:52

I don't know why you are asking the question op if you aren't willing to listen to the responses. The basic 'does marriage work' is so linked to who is giving up what and what compromises are to be made its difficult not to answer one without giving opinion on the other.

In my experience very few marriages do work and when another bites the dust it really shakes me because I wonder if we'll be next. Affairs have been the main cause, and the worst was an old friend who was blissfully happy one weekend, the next her husband of 15 years (together from childhood sweethearts for 22years) walked in and said it was over, there was someone else and he wouldn't be back. They'd agreed and talked lots about their arrangement being the best way for them and it broke her heart listening in the divorce court that he was lonely and couldn't help but fall for someone he was working the long hours with. Maybe it would've happened if he stayed at home but he was able to lead a double life so easily by working away.

Even if your husband works long hours never underestimate how much the little time you have in the evening matters and how much being part of a partnership means. From making sure you always have milk (can't just pop out) to never drinking in the week (perhaps just me) because I never know if thats the night illness will hit and I'll be solely responsible for cleaning up /comforting/ taking to the out of hours surgery (dragging other child too). Don't notice the continual sense of responsibility until DH is home and I'm just so much more relaxed (even though I'm still the one that does everything there's the feeling of backup there). I know you have your mum but having a mum that's more at home in your house than your DH is also a marriage wrecker in my experience.

You've obviously made up your mind anyway and I wish you well.

penguin70 Wed 23-Mar-11 16:45:36

Completely agree with confuddledDOTcom about the pressure on DH. My DH feels very guilty when he hears the DC or me are ill and can't help, then there's the missed open afternoons at school, parents' nights, shows and performances that are never on a Friday for some reason. His diet is appalling and he's put on a lot of weight, but perhaps that will stop the affairs wink

Xenia Wed 23-Mar-11 16:48:28

Ye,s if they start to lose the weight then you worry (applies in a non sexist way to women too) . Plenty of women work away from home these days too and plenty of men follow women's careers actually. Not all women work part time for much less money than their man these days.

sparklingsea Wed 23-Mar-11 16:54:42

In 17 years my husband and I have had to spend long periods apart, mostly 6 weeks at a time but has been as much as 6 months on a some occasions. It is not always easy but certainly marriages can work, ours works. The children are fine too. There is always an odd re adjustment period when we are together again, we somehow have high expectations of how lovely it will be when it isn't always for a short while, we both have to remember to be more accomodating to the other and a little less selfish. Good Luck!

confuddledDOTcom Wed 23-Mar-11 17:34:01

My OH has lost weight because he's walking in a rather hilly area (no public transport for his route) and he's making his main meal breakfast and lunch his light meal with a snack at night. I'm not worried about him cheating, but that's something I'll leave off discussing...

I'm at the hospital once a fortnight, our eldest is under a paediatrician for her asthma and constipation (she was premature which left her lungs and bowels not functioning properly) and our youngest is just starting with physio and testing for several autoimmune diseases so he's missing out on a lot. He's trying to work his five days over four so he can be with us one day a week without losing any more holiday time.

Xenia Wed 23-Mar-11 17:36:26

Why should it be you lumbered with all that rather than him though? It just seems incredibly sexist, very one sided and very unfair. How does it come to happen he earns more than you etc etc.

we did this for a few years and tbh it put an incredible strain on our marriage

it means that your week is relentless. yo are responsible for absolutely EVERYTHING

you get home from work, pick the kids up, do all the house work, cook all the dinners, do all the homework stuff/bathtime/bedtime etc lunchboxes and by then it's time to go to bed! and when your dh phones for his evening chat and is just about to go out to dinner or to see a film or have drinks with work friends..wel i felt very resentful

there is no back up at all-so if you realise at 9pm that you have no bread for the next day-tough. there is noone to sit with the kids while you pop to the corner shop

then at the weekend there is so much pressure to get on and have wonderful family time..

if there is ANY other option, take it is my opinion

captainbarnacle Wed 23-Mar-11 18:06:14

Why should it be you lumbered with all that rather than him though? It just seems incredibly sexist, very one sided and very unfair. How does it come to happen he earns more than you etc etc.

See - I would have thought that 5 years ago. But I look after the kids and the house and everything because I choose to. I didn't think I would want it like that, but actually I enjoy it.

OH earns more than me because he is educated to a higher level, has a mass or worldly experience, is willing to live in a car hundreds of miles from civilsation and can speak a few languages. I don't tick those categories.

It doesn't seem unfair to me. But then I haven't had it any other way - since DS1 was tiny it has been my daily responsibility to look after him, then DS2 - I really don't have much experience of shared parenting!

babyapplejack Wed 23-Mar-11 18:43:31

It's a really difficult situation. I'll just write a bit focussed on adultery because that's my experience. I'm not suggesting it is the main issue in your situation, but it's the one I am familiar with unfortunately.

You will both have to make a huge effort to keep your marriage on track. In our case, my DH had an affair with a colleague. The strain on our marriage/the affair happened because:

1) Time spent apart. Can't always talk - DH out on work dinners/events, me busy with DCs etc. Our lives started to separate and he admits that he basically forgot he loved me. It sounds ridiculous for an intelligent professional, but it happens so much.

2) Little kids in the mix. It's just stressful for so many reasons, you know them.

3) The female colleague - he spent loads and loads of time with her and totally misunderstood his feelings. He actually thought that he loved her but had nothing in common with her and she wasn't even his type. He just got so caught up in working with her. Again, sounds ridiculous, but it is so common.

Affairs occur because the person cheating stops giving enough to the marriage. Not because they don't receive enough from it. That's why you both have to give if you are far apart. DH got married to me thinking he would never cheat and the relationship was perfect, didn't need working on...it's that sort of complacent attitude that lets affairs happen. Both of you have to be really focussed on the marriage because you will not be in the same bed at night.

I don't blame you for not wanting to uproot. Your situation sounds good.

northerngirl41 Wed 23-Mar-11 19:17:06

We've done this for the past 5 years - I love it. We really do appreciate each other when we're together and make an effort to do stuff as a family and enjoy the time we do have.

You do have to be quite organised - what we've found works for us is having the travel planned well in advance at regular times, making sure you have a regular time each day when you speak to one another (even if it's just 5 mins to say goodnight), and making sure you have lots of support during the week when you are on your own.

People have commented on the "unfairness" of having to be sole charge during the week - the way I look at this is that DH spends 12 hours a week travelling for us to be together every weekend, so I should put the same amount of time into the relationship. Plus he has to organise himself to travel up and down, making sure he has planned in advance and has everything he needs for that week, so it's quite stressful on top of a hectic job and long hours. I don't regard my job as being anywhere near as stressful and I get to spend loads of time with the kids which DH would love to have but can't.

It definitely works for us. I don't think it would work unless we trusted each other completely and we had some extra family support here (and that's the main reason we decided not to live in London).

lazymumofteenagesons Wed 23-Mar-11 19:41:33

We have done this for thelast 18 months and it is open ended. I think it is harder on DH than me. Kids are teenagers, which made moving out of the question. It is very tiring for Dh and going back to an empty flat is lonely. I have the kids, friends and family for company. He also feels bad when things go wrong (and boy have we had a tough year and a half with DS1) and he's not here to help. He is quite down on Sunday afternoons with the prospecct of leaving.

LargeGlassOfRedPlease Wed 23-Mar-11 20:21:54

If this is a long term thing, I really don't understand why you wouldn't just move? Why/how does any job or amount of money become more important than you being together as a family? Your DCs will remember that their Daddy wasn't there, not that there was more money in the bank.

Are you a home-bird and cannot imagine life outside Ireland?
Your DCs are at the best age for a move.

MainlyMaynie Wed 23-Mar-11 20:36:05

Yes, living apart some of the time can work and you can be happy. Bits of it are hard and bits of it are easy. I think it has made us appreciate each other more.

I think the key is trust and honesty. You both have to do this from the start and it doesn't sound like either of you are. You are saying you can't go with him, but in actual fact you don't want to. It's fine not to want to, but trying to pretend you're doing anything other than making a choice about what matters most to you isn't a good way to start this. He is doing the same by saying he's leaving it down to you. You both need to be honest about what you really want and prioritise your decisions accordingly.

northerngirl41 Wed 23-Mar-11 20:55:21

LargeGlassOfRedPlease Because not everywhere is a good place to bring up children. We made a very concious decision not to live in London with the kids because:
a) I hate it and would make everyone else very miserable (*MainlyMaynie* I was very, very honest about that!! And yes I did it for 5 years beforehand so knew exactly what I'd be getting into)
b) We'd need to live quite centrally for his work and it's not great for parks/schools etc.
c) DH loves his job - he would never ever be able to do the kinds of projects he gets to work on without being based down south. I could never ask him to give that up - nor would I want to.
d) We don't have any family down there whereas here we have both sets of grandparents on hand and lots of very wonderful friends who step in if I have some kind of a drama, including next door neighbours etc.
e) With long hours, the kids probably wouldn't see Daddy at all during the week anyway, and when they did see him he'd be in work mode and a grumpy bear with a sore head.
f) We couldn't afford the type of lifestyle we have here in London. And please note, the money comes way, way down the list of reasons - it's not the main reason why people work away from home.

PoisoningPigeonsInThePark Wed 23-Mar-11 21:45:50

I think the problem you have OP is what ever you do there might be resentment.

I had to persuade DH to turn a next step job down - it was for very practical reason once we looked at cost of commute and price of places to rent and all the bills we could not cut the sums did not add up. He was not sold on ethos of place and said he was fine but it comes up when he's frustrated and there seems to be some resentment even though he concedes it was not a viable option.

Thing is I have moved with him twice for work before this- once before DC which had a unexpected detrimental affect on my career and pay packet and once after the DC - with young baby and a toddler. Everyone said it would be fine - but it was unbelievable hard. Everyone said toddler was to young to be affected -they were wrong it badly upset her for a long time. I really missed the support net work of friends I had built up and DH worked much longer hours with a long commute so they saw him less than before anyway. The family we left behind would now be unbelievable useful now I am aiming and planning to get back to work. There have been some very bad times for us and I have never despite being here longer and putting much more effort in have never been able to develop the support network I had and unfortunately there have been times when I have been unable to not vocalise the resentment and loss I felt for years afterwards.

Having done the move and bought a house DH was then unexpectedly made redundant from the job that had moved us here after two years. I know several people who have uprooted family only for them 12 months later to end up working else where.

Do know several people who have had DH away for long periods often in different countries. They say it is hard - they usually moved close to family or it was short term and they made use of help paid and friends. None that I know have separated but no idea if that is normal. We may yet have to go through this as DH dream job will have at least a 12 month probational period attached to it. I don't think I'd want to be away from DH much longer than that but life may have other plans.

goingmadinthecountry Wed 23-Mar-11 22:06:16

We have 4 children (17, 15, 14 and 7). The worst time was when we had 3 under 3 but dh's work means he does need to travel if we want to pay the mortgage!

Now I think it bothers dh more than me. It would help if I was the type to do loads of housework so there was only fun to be had at weekends but I don't really see why I should. It was great when we had a cleaner but we live extremely rurally so good ones aren't easy to find. I'm jealous of him eating out and staying in nice hotels, and he's jealous of me staying at home with the children. At weekends he wants to potter and I want to party. There's a book in there somewhere.

I have moved (when kids were at primary level) to live abroad, though now with A levels etc I wouldn't consider it. We make the most of holiday opportunuties (he works abroad in the week) and look for positive options. Loved it. I do work - I do supply teaching and some tutoring. I could have achieved much more work wise but like my life. It wouldn't work if I wasn't independent, and on the days when the children have too many clubs it's a different matter! It's a compromise but we make the most of it.

OP, you sound very grounded and you have not wavered throughout this thread.

We are all different, and you seem to have a great support system at home and at the end of the day its a decision for you to make now.

There is no reason for the marriage to fail, but from experience I know that it does change the relationship. It has not put a strain on ours but we did grow into our little habits during the year we were apart. I moved with the kids to join him 3 months ago and we are all good now but we are slightly different people nevertheless.
Reuniting the family has been great for us. The children were very unsettled with their dad away and that is what made every individual relationship in the family strained. It was not our couple as such.

Good luck!

Kosmik Thu 24-Mar-11 00:57:43

If he is at work Monday to Friday while you are 'stuck at home putting 2 kids to bed' I'd say you are the one that's having all the fun. Poor DH is the one that's missing out IMO

Thanks everyone for the advice. We are really thinking hard about this before we make a decision. The same company that headhunted DH have said if he does not accept the job in London they will try to fit him in somewhere in Northern Ireland. wont be as good of a job or opportunity, but at least he will be here. We are going to talk it through at the weekend and work out the money side of it.

Anice Fri 25-Mar-11 10:06:36

It can work but it is exhausting. You'll be in charge of the children and you might feel your DH is criticising your parenting if he tells his children off when at home at weekends (I speak from experience!).
A better outcome would be for you to move to the London area (could be the home counties, not London itself). Your lifestyle would be very different in the SE though and your money will not go as far.

I hope you don't mind me saying it but I can't see that your reasons given for staying (i.e. the children) are very strong because they could easily move at these ages. Is it that you don't want to live away from Northern Ireland for your own sake?

Snobear4000 Fri 25-Mar-11 10:15:01

No parks in Central London?

Heard of Hyde Park? Regent's Park? Hampstead Heath? Green Park? St James's Park? Primrose Hill? Queen's Park? Finsbury Park?

Just saying.

Xenia Fri 25-Mar-11 10:44:58

A man who says he has to live centrally for his job in London needs to realise how most people have to live. Like fat lazy middle aged MPs who say they couldn't possibly get the tube home at 10.30 after woeking late even loads of us do that from London to the suburbs. We all make sacrifices for our families and the muggins left home with the children whilst a man works away gets the worst of all worlds often although I think in this case you want to stay where you are.

So do my plan, agree as long as it's fixed term, he calls every night on skype to talk to the chidlren, goes through homework with them etc and plays a part remotely, you get to hire a babysitter to get the children to bed 2 o r 3 nights a week whilst he is away etc etc and when he's home he does more not less housework and childcare -eg you coudl have 100% of all Saturdays offg and he stays home adn does the child care and changes all the sheets or various other jobs like other washing which needs to be done.

milge Fri 25-Mar-11 11:12:08

I really don't know why you botherered to post. It is such a typical AIBU thread. OP has already made her mind up and is "shocked" that others don't agree. Twas ever thus.
OP has clearly made her mind up that N I is Nivarna and London is Hell.

IMO you already sound resentful, despite living in Nivarna, and this will get worse and worse and worse the longer he is away.
Given your attitude and approach, I think he should stay with you in Nivarna. Heaven forfend that you have an adventure together - you never know you may find there are Parks, jobs and Negative Equity in London too. Oh and as for your mother - take her with you!

GothAnneGeddes Fri 25-Mar-11 11:24:52

I lived apart from DH for 6 months due to work and hated every single day of it. Never again.

I think it is very strange you'd put so many nebulous quantities like schools and friends ahead of your marriage and it's a pity that you only want yes answers. I just think it's incredibly selfish you're not putting being with your husband first.

I didnt say London was Hell at all, but I would never raise a family there. Dont see why I havet explain it. I asked could a marriage work if the husband works away, not once did I ask for advice on wether or not I should move with him. Its really my business why I wouldnt move, not anyone elses.
Thanks again to those who gave real advice.

Checkmate Fri 25-Mar-11 14:44:35

Thereby dismissing all of us that didn't give advice in line with what you wanted to hear, as unreal. Sorry to waste your time (and my own) pointing out the wider picture that you should be aware of, ie your very young children. DH working away 3 nights every other week has a much greater affect on his relationship with them than it does on his relationship with me; that's the truth from someone living it.

You can't pick and choose the response you'll get on AIBU.

checkmate - you talk a lot of sense. In the past I have spent time working away from home, and it's the truth.
I was lucky that i was always working on a particular project with an end in sight, never an indefinite commitment as OP is considering, and even so it was miserable for both of us and does impact relationship with children.

And going out with your clients isn't really fun, even if the restaurant is a posh one, it's actually work, and your local co-workers don't want to go out.. they go home to their families...

northerngirl41 Fri 25-Mar-11 19:20:58

Snobear4000 Our situation here is ideal - we have a small playpark across the road from the house, and a big country park about 5 mins walk away - for us to go to any of the parks near us in London would have meant travelling to them and also I'd not want the kids to be playing in them in the evenings because they aren't very safe. There are loads and loads of drawbacks to living in London - I know, I did it for long enough!

Xenia Some jobs do involve working very late, and if you miss the last tube (which is, after all, only midnight) there's either a cab or the night bus as an option to get home. My husband is one of those people who make the metropolis a fun place to go out - therefore he needs to live very centrally otherwise he'd never actually make it home!! We tried living on the outskirts but he spent about 2-3 nights a week either crashing on friends sofas or spending £60 on a cab home. In terms of the time I work (even if you included the time I also look after the kids) I work nothing like the hours he works - and it's a hell of a lot more fun being able to spend time with my kids than what he does.

I can't believe the numbers of people saying that this doesn't work when they've never actually done it themselves.

DandyLioness Fri 25-Mar-11 20:26:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

northerngirl41 Sat 26-Mar-11 15:28:20

DandyLioness We used to live in Spittalfields before we moved and also in various places in North London and out in Zone 3 on the northern line. We always rented since buying was completely outside our grasp. The point is that we bought our 5 bed house with everything literally on our doorstep here, whilst some friends of ours paid the same amount for a tiny little 1 bed flat in Dalston - the lifestyle just does not compare. What we can give our kids outside of London is just so much better than what we could have given them in London, it just makes sense not to live there.

If we'd bought a similar property in terms of size in London we'd be talking about £800,000 minimum. If we looked for the same sort of situation in London with the same size of property it would be a fruitless search - it simply does not exist. We're 10 mins from the centre of town by car/train, 5 mins walk from a country park, 10 mins from the airport. We have cafes, little shops and a park just round the corner. We have big rooms, high ceilings, lots of period features and can park right outside the house.

Everyone who comes to visit from London is blown away by the house and our situation - in fact we've had one couple come to stay and they instantly started house hunting since they loved it so much. We also have 2 other families which we know who do the same commute and are perfectly happy doing so.

All I'm saying is don't knock it till you've tried it - there's quite a lot of negativity on this thread surrounding why people would do this - suggesting that it's for greed (moving for a well paid job) or selfishness (because you don't want to uproot yourself from the familiar) or because one partner wants to cheat or get out of looking after the kids. In my case, none of those reasons are true - we do it so our kids can have the best life possible.

Nancy66 Sat 26-Mar-11 15:32:06

My other half is in the film industry and he's often away for weeks, sometimes months, at a time.

I miss him but it's his job and he loves it - the upshot is when he's not working he's here all the time.

I think our relationship is stronger for the absences

GnomeDePlume Sat 26-Mar-11 20:11:57

AndyPandy - I have worked away for short periods and also worked on a long-term (5 year) project where many people were weekly commuters. IMO it doesnt work long term. Many of my colleagues gave up after a couple of years citing marital problems.

One of the problems was that the commuting partner would be out on the tiles during the week and would then be looking for a quiet couple of days over the weekend. The home partner would be looking for a bit of excitement after a week of domestic grind. Result misery.

Xenia Sun 27-Mar-11 13:43:41

No mentioned only having your other half physically there in bed only at weekends as a negative surprisly so far.

London suburbs are not too bad. Gnome is right that for some they wait all week for the husband (or wife) to get home and then want excitement and going out and he/she just wants to relax or they want the other half to do their share of teh housework when they get in

If you can stop them being out on the tiles in the week with my suggestion of an hour long skype call every night to do homework with the children remotely and really play a proper parental part (much after work stuff is not necessary or they work late as they messed around all day)

mollymole Mon 28-Mar-11 16:56:13

my other 1/2 was a sportsman who was away an awful lot - yet we have been married for over 20 years - just get on with it!!!

LaWeasel Mon 28-Mar-11 17:06:18

I have done this for a year stretch and then another 2 months.

If you have a good support network where you are (my best friend was a single parent living literally over the road and we helped each other out a lot) it is really not that hard on you. You can talk on the phone, and have lots of sex at the weekend, and really it's not that bad.

But we started this when DD was 6mths old and it was difficult for DH and her. DD didn't really get to know her dad until he finished the year stint. Which meant when he came back at the weekend he had to put up with DD not wanting him. As she got older she would ask for him repeatedly every tuesday and not understand why he wasn't coming home.

Sometimes you can't help the way of your partner's job (or yours) and sometimes there are things you can do about it - I know this is not what you want to hear but long term moving closer - it doesn't have to be london, but there are lots of nice commutable places, it will make you life so much easier.

I have worked away from home for periods (weeks - few months, not years).

perhaps i am unusual but I can tell you i wasn't out on the tiles every night... IME it takes about a week to get tired of that. two weeks if you are in Manhattan...

after the initial period of novelty i reckon most travellers end ip sitting in your hotel room / flat with a pot noodle and a DVD.

GnomeDePlume Mon 28-Mar-11 22:01:59

Stubbornhubby - I think you have hit the nail on the head. Some of my colleagues described the project I was on as being a bit like a long term rugby tour. This because there was a large group all in the same boat.

Alternatively if the traveller is on their own they end up spending long hours in hotel rooms.

OP - do you have the opportunity for you all to try it out? Say give it 6 months then see how you all feel?

yes - I have done the group thing as well. If you are a travelling team - like auditors, or consultants, is better as you do at least have people to get dinner with in the evening. That is fun for about a month.. and then are you fed up with that as well. it's actually not that much fun spending evening after evening with work-mates.

Also after a month of restaurant dinners you are about 10lb heavier.

mellicauli Mon 28-Mar-11 23:47:20

Are the company paying for the flights home? I wouldn't count on Ryanair cheapies always being that cheap if fuel prices carry on this way. When I lived in Belfast 20 years ago, £158 was the cheapest return flight you could get. Wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't go back to that.

I am thinking you'd need a quite a substantial salary to make it work. At least 3 figures guaranteed (i.e not commission based/bonus). London is such an expensive place. And he'll be out a lot as there's no one to stay home with.

kidzrfreaky Tue 29-Mar-11 01:38:59

I love my OH working away. Me and the kids eat when we want to, go out without having to come home early for OH, and basically suit ourselves. And the best bit is not having to share my bed and listening to someone snore all night.

I love to see OH come home for the weekend but I also love to see him go back to work - not least so I can get some sleep. A bit of nookie only on weekends suits me but it is not right for everyone.

I didn't read the entire thread, but am a bit shock at everybody that suggested giving up the whole life the OP has, taking kids out of routine.

It can work. It's bloody difficult, but it can work. I think it will be OK in a way if he's away 4-5 nights a week. IMO it's much harder when they're working from home until (checks watch) erm.. now.. and can't ever switch off.

I think it will be extremely hard, and you are the only person who knows if it will work or not, but if you have other support where you are, and your husband is happy, then it mihgt be a very good thing

I wholeheartedly agree with Xenia on one point..... The whole of Saturday should be your own.

NunTheWiser Tue 29-Mar-11 04:21:54

I think it probably can work as long as there are routines put in place from the outset: help with the domestic grind, set times for phone calls or skyped bed time stories, time off for OP during the week and when dad is home, regular one on one time for the grown ups at the weekend.
It's tough though. Have known one family that tried to do this in the way you describe - husband is now 14kg heavier because he's eating crap ready meals, permanently knackered with the commute and they're not that much better off financially because the travel and the cost of accommodation eat up a lot of money. He's desperately trying to find another job.
Another friend of dh's works month on / month off. Pros and cons - a month is a long time to be away and he misses huge chunks of the kids lives. He's always the fun parent because he's not there to nag over homework and the state of bedrooms every day and when he's home, it's day trips out etc. etc. His wife finds that hard. She also gets really lonely. OTOH, she hasn't had to move to some really remote locations and has the support of friends and family where she lives. Her DH does take the piss though when he's home - lots of nights out with his mates, days away playing golf while she's stuck doing all the housework etc. I know you don't want to hear it, but he did also have an affair. Not because of anything his wife was or wasn't doing or because he was unhappy with his marriage, but because the opportunity arose and he didn't think he'd get caught out.
If you really don't want to move, perhaps you should ask your husband to think very carefully about how this will impact on your family.

onceamai Tue 29-Mar-11 07:16:34

My DH does work away. He flys off to continental Europe on a Sunday evening or Monday morning and comes back on a Friday. We have been doing this for about a year. I miss him hugely but generally it works quite well - it's tough when there are two/three evening commitments though and I admit I have a lot of paid help. What worries me about your post OP is that even though your children are pre-schoolers, you will not entertain going with him. Our children are 12 and 16 and plugged into critical points at school so therefore we cannot be together. If the children would board or if they were small enough to move there is no way we wouldn't all be together. Does our DH want you to go with him - if he wants you to then I'm afraid you are not really supporting him and I dont' think this will work.

Anice Tue 29-Mar-11 10:30:39

My DH works away, exactly the same as onceamai. I agree - its about routines, but I don't have paid employment so I see it as my responsibility to do the cleaning/ cooking/ laundry/ homework help etc and I try to get everything done during the week so we can have a nice time when the weekend comes around.

I am aware though that I have emails and phone calls with him during the week and the DC don't, so I try to stand back and let them have their quality time together at the weekend.

Our marriage is actually stronger for it because we both have a good reason not to be tempted into an argument. Neither of us wants to feel bad and not be able to make up during the week and the weekends are so short that if he is annoying me I can just bite my tongue and wait for 5am Monday morning to arrive.

"the weekends are so short that if he is annoying me I can just bite my tongue and wait for 5am Monday morning to arrive."

you see, to me that just seems so sad

poopnscoop Tue 29-Mar-11 13:11:13

It totally depends on the couple, for many it works out fine, suits them even.

For me it would never work. We were apart for a week over Dec - the longest we have ever been apart - and it sucked. Big time. Phone bills were huge too.

No, we aren't newly weds either, been together 11 years!

Write a pros and cons list for each member of the family.. what they gain/lose by daddy being absent M-F. See what affects whom, then decide.

Anice Tue 29-Mar-11 13:12:18

no its just a much better way than getting into a stupid fight where a small irritation gets over-emphasised

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