Moving to a completely different part of the country

(100 Posts)
Erimentha Sun 03-Feb-13 13:55:59

My DH is in the final year of his degree and it has always been his intention to go on to get an MA and a PhD and have a career in teaching at either university or college level. Initially he was going to do the MA and PhD at the Uni he is currently at, but they don't offer a course he wants to do for a taught MA. He has then repeatedly changed his mind about where he wants to go to study (7 different university's in different areas of the country in the past 3 months).

I don't particularly want to move. Practically we would struggle to rent a house as I am disabled and we have pets (we have previously tried to move in the area we are in to a bigger house and have struggled for the above reasons) Other reasons include I have friends and a support network here and i do struggle to make friends, I have MH problems and now have a good relationship with my psychiatrist and CPN. My eldest has just been referred to CAMHS for behavioural issues, and both my youngest and DH are under neurologists for their epilepsy and my DD is still undergoing various tests for hers. Commuting is also an issue as it has to be within a reasonable bus journey because he can't drive due to the epilepsy

My friend has commented to me that it is unreasonable for my DH to expect the rest of us to just up and move to a different part of the country so he can study when he could do a different course (albeit not one he really wants to study but still relevant) at the Uni he is already at. I really don't want to move and I do feel he is being a bit unreasonable to expect us to give up our life here and support network for his study. However I feel I AB a bit U as to stay here would be stopping him from studying the course he would love to do and is the career path he want to go down.

What do all you lovely people think? Sorry for the essay I just wanted to ensure I was clear, it's also my first time so please don't be too hard ;)

DeepRedBetty Sun 03-Feb-13 13:58:20

How long is the course? Could he stay at the town/campus just during the week?

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 03-Feb-13 14:06:02

I think he's being unreasonable, he has other commitments and priorities now that need to be taken into account. Three children, a wife with disabilities, pets and a support network that you all need, as opposed to a move for what appear to be very weak reasons.
Plus, my OH has a double first, and an Oxford PhD and found it impossible to get a teaching post, so I'd worry if your DH was counting on that as a certainty.
He needs to be realistic about his responsibilities, his plan would be fine if he was an unattached man with no serious prior claims on his life.

Erimentha Sun 03-Feb-13 14:06:21

The courses, MA and PhD would take approx 7 years for him to complete. The university he wants to go to is over 2hrs away by car. He can't drive due to his epilepsy so it would have to be public transport. We are having to pay for the MA ourselves which will leave us a quite tight financially and trains twice a week would put us over our budget. He gets free bus travel, but I'm guessing it would take way over 2 hours by bus which is quite impractical.

I don't want to hold him back, but don't want to give up my life just to follow him IYSWIM.

Erimentha Sun 03-Feb-13 14:07:34

Nebulous that is exactly what my friend said.

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 03-Feb-13 14:08:57

Does he not see the reality of what your lives would be like?

Erimentha Sun 03-Feb-13 14:12:20

He can see where I'm coming from, and he is looking into other options. But, I think he had sort of set his mind on something and was single mindedly driving towards it. He is good in so many ways, but sometimes it is like he is single student and it is worse since he has been at Uni.

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 03-Feb-13 14:14:09

Oh, I wouldn't have a problem with it at all if he were single, or if you didn't have so many different complex needs on both of your plates. But you do, and he can't be single-minded if he's one of a team of 5.

mumblechum1 Sun 03-Feb-13 14:14:39

YANBU. I've had to relocate 4 times with DH's job, always to hundreds of miles away from the last place, and with 2 small children, one of whom was severely disabled but the difference was that it was for his job and he was promoted every time.

I think your DH is unreasonable to even think about studying for another 7 years when you've supported him financially, (I presume) for at least the last three.

He should be job hunting as soon as he graduates, or at least looking at a more sensible option like a PGCE.

redexpat Sun 03-Feb-13 14:17:51

Is he aware that you dont have to have an MA before you do a phd?

pingu2209 Sun 03-Feb-13 14:19:32

I think he is being selfish. He could argue that YOU are being selfish, but you and your children came before his studies.

I wanted to be a top flight career woman in the city - I still could, but I put my children and family first. We can't have it all.

However, more to the point, if he thinks this protects ALL your long term futures, financially etc, then he could be very wrong. Has he really looked at how easy it is to get a job in his preferred field? It may be that where you live there are only a handful of teaching positions/colleges/unis. He may not get a job after all that up heaval.

Does he intend to move again once he has completed his studies to go to where the work is?

So many colleges and Unis are closing because they don't have the students any more due to the fees. This is a massive issue in London where there are a plethora of colleges. My friends thought they had jobs right up till 1st week September, but then had their courses pulled as there wasn't enough student take up. It has been a nightmare for them.

rainrainandmorerain Sun 03-Feb-13 14:20:39

Just a bit curious - is the area he is studying in really an 'in demand' subject? I know some very well qualified people who are finding it hard to get tenure - they are all in their 30s/40s and working part time jobs to fund phds or supplement part time teaching jobs.

I would never want to put anyone off doing what they really want to do! but if his MA isn't funded, then would he be likely to get funding for a phd....? (my dad took nearly 20 years to do his, as he had a young family and needed to raise us and work as well as do his phd, so it just took a while)

I know your immediate problem is 'where to do MA' - I'm just wondering if any/all of this is being undertaken with a 'it will be tough for years but alright one day' attitude. Academia is a tough profession and increasingly squeezed....

NonnoMum Sun 03-Feb-13 14:26:01

Maybe he could just get a job.

Erimentha Sun 03-Feb-13 14:27:38

I don't think he has even looked into the job situation potential at the end of all this. I have asked him to consider doing a different course which would offer a wider range of employability at the end. But he is mostly set that he want to do a course along these lines because it is what he is interested in. As I said before he has looked into some other courses but when we discuss them it's always along the lines of 'this course is available, but....' Then reasons why he doesn't think it's suitable, or other reasons not to do it. He says he wants a career not a job and wants to enjoy what he is doing and not be stuck in some job he hates just to pay bills. Which I understand and I think is admirable but life can't always be like that.

Alligatorpie Sun 03-Feb-13 14:29:55

I think he ibu and has unrealistic expectations, for all the reasons already mentioned.

BubaMarra Sun 03-Feb-13 14:31:18

I think he needs to make compromises as he is not a single student any more (and it seems that going back to uni reinforced that notion in his mind as you said it became worse since he started his studies).

The compromise would not have to be very big - when it comes to PhD relationship with the supervisor is far more important than the University in general. In other words he needs to find a supervisor that can match his research area. This is not necessarily limited only to universities which have taught courses in the area he is interested in.
In other words, he needs to find a suitable supervisor and s/he might not happen to work at a university which offers MA taught courses your DH wants to pursue.

Also, as already mentioned, research/teaching career is very very competitive and many find it very hard to get into academia despite having obtained their PhDs form top notch universities.

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 03-Feb-13 14:31:54

Not really grin but he does sound like my 18 year old.
Are the children his? Because he doesn't really seem to be thinking in a parent role here, or like a mature adult.

TheNebulousBoojum Sun 03-Feb-13 14:33:28

What jobs has he done previously?
I mean full time grown-up ones that he used to support himself and dependents for a significant amount of time, years rather than months.

Erimentha Sun 03-Feb-13 14:33:56

rainrain I wouldn't say it was in a particularly high demand subject, I don't know of the likelihood of getting funding for PhD I think he is sort of doing a we'll cross that bridge when we come to it kind thing. He wants to to have completed the PhD in the next 6years as he says otherwise he will be to old to be employed as no one will want him. He is late 20's currently.

It's my preference that he widen his field outside academia, but his first career choice was shot down the pan due to his epilepsy and after much soul searching and months of depression he set himself on this. I was and still try to be supportive. But it seems like he has this rosé tinted idea of what it's going to be like at the end and I'm not so sure.

Erimentha Sun 03-Feb-13 14:38:59

nebulous yes the children are his. He worked as a waiter when he was 18 to support both of us while doing his first degree (ended up dropping out) and I worked full time too. Since then he has had 3 different jobs in the finance admin sector each held for years at a time and only changed due to moving.

I feel I should add when our eldest was a newborn he did give up everything and move to this area, particularly for me to have this better extended support network. It makes me feel like maybe I should return the favour.

BackforGood Sun 03-Feb-13 14:39:11

How come he's looking at another 7 years study ? Surely an MA takes 1 year, or a PhD takes 3 years ? I originally opened thread to say he should travel / stay away for the course.
However, aside from that, he's not been realistic. If he has all the responsibilities you list, how is he planning to finance this 10 years of study ?
A bit fanciful if you are 18 and carefree, but once you have a family, then surely your priorities have to change. Is there a reason he can't do a PGCE and then start earning next year? If you move for a paid job, it's one thing, but to attend collecge, which is obviously not going to be permanent seems a bit silly in your circumstances.

rainrainandmorerain Sun 03-Feb-13 14:39:50

Hmm. I think a lot of people would rather have a career nor a job, and to do something they love rather than hate. Nothing wrong with that - but it is not an entitlement, and it needs balancing out against other responsibilities that may conflict with that.

Btw - studying a subject is very different from teaching it. Academia is no different from other work environments (and sometimes worse IME) in terms of office politics, pay, colleague conflicts and working hours. This may not be be at all relevant to your dp (how old is he btw? what other experience does he have of working?) - but I think a lot of undergrads go through a period of imagining life as an academic, and it's all a bit rose tinted tbh.

Erimentha Sun 03-Feb-13 14:40:47

Thank you for all your advice and opinions, please keep them coming it is helping me see exactly what tough questions I need to ask him and what needs looking into and discussing.

Erimentha Sun 03-Feb-13 14:41:36

rainrain he is 28

rainrainandmorerain Sun 03-Feb-13 14:43:40

Sorry erimentha - lots of x posts, you had already answered a lot of my questions.

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