AIBU to be upset with my husbands job...

(39 Posts)
Pinkslipper82 Tue 23-Jul-13 13:25:00

First time poster here! So we live overseas in a crappy country and the kids and I have to leave to go to our home country over the summer due to there being nothing to do in residence country.
We have currently been out of the country for 3 and a half weeks and will be returning to residence country in 3 and a half weeks time. My husband travels a lot for his job to other overseas countries. I am an extremely jealous type of person, for no real reason as he does not give me reasons to not trust him, however I just cannot get over my jealousy issues and I am worried of what the consequences could be if I do not get my reactions under control.
This week he has an extremely important week of meetings in an amazing country. This has involved him going out for dinner and drinks at very fancy restaurants every night since last Friday and I am so angry and jealous and I keep sending him sarcastic and passive aggressive texts, I can't help it!!
I guess I am angry as I am stuck in our home country with our two kids aged 3 and 5 and we have all been struck down with a tummy bug this week so I have had a horrible week and he hasn't even asked how we are, just informing me of his wonderful dining experiences and complaining he is tired! I just want to shout at him that it's not fair!!!! I want him to be stuck in his hotel room , miserable and missing us but he is having a ball and I hate it.
How on earth do I get over this? I hate that I am like this but as soon as I hear the text come in, I boil with rage!!!

I think you probably know YABU. Wishing misery on someone you love is just weird and you need to get it under control.

I can sympathize a bit if you are feeling ill and bored but you really need to look on the bright side of your own situation and make the most of it, otherwise you'll just burn up with pointless and misdirected anger.

ProudNeathGirl Tue 23-Jul-13 13:30:40

I used to do a lot of travelling for my job, and it isn't as much fun as it sounds. He probably is tired - you're usually expected to get straight down to work after travelling long distances, regardless of timezone differences and jet lag, and eating out night after night gets to you after a bit.

What country are you in? and what is your home country?

Would you be able to leave DCs with someone occasionally and go with DH on his work trips? You'd have the evenings together, and could stay a few extra days for a short holiday. Its a good cheap way for you both to have a hol.

foodtech Tue 23-Jul-13 13:34:36

I think you don't realise how rubbish it actually is being away from home on your own for work. It may be 'amazing' going out for dinner but it is with people you work with and would possibly not socialise with outside of work. My DH works away from home and says he has never felt lonelier so far away from family and friends. At least when at home you have friends/family around whereas he is on his own. Also if he wanted to cheat he would find a way.

foodtech Tue 23-Jul-13 13:36:16

Sorry I meant he would find a way to cheat no matter what. He doesn't need to be away with work. Sorry that kinda sounded mean at the end there.

I have just spent a week with work in Dubai. Stayed in a nice hotel, but eating on my own 3/4 nights was dull. I wanted to go to Wild Wadi - could have gone on Ladies Night, but actually it would have been no fun at all without a friend, or more ideally my DH and boys. Went for a walk round the Marina - looked amazingly impressive, but without someone to talk to, the experience was not that exciting. I enjoyed the taxi ride back to hotel when I was chatting to my children!


I've seen both sides. Used to have a globetrotting job, and hated the fact that, no matter how classy the first class flight, it was cheeseburger for one and the rolling BBC service at the end of it, and being away from my son, and the tedious, tedious meetings.

Now I'm on an enforced career break having moved with DP's work, and just had twins. And I would give my right arm to be sat in a departure lounge with a good book and to be having an adult conversation with people not in nappies.

To which end, have done what proud suggests above and muscled my way onto a Bangkok trip. I'll only be there 2.5 days, but it's exciting, even looking forward to the flights, have done myself a little itinerary to pootle around during the day while he's sweating over powerpoints...

Could you maybe do that?

Numberlock Tue 23-Jul-13 13:51:16

I also travel all over the world with work and agree with the comments above but I think it's pointless telling people that the reality can in fact be quite boring, they rarely believe you!

OP - is there something you could do for yourself to make you feel better? Do you have a career that you could plan to return to at some point? What did you do pre-kids?

Lambzig Tue 23-Jul-13 13:51:52

I dont think you get how grim travelling for work can be. I used to travel all the time for work. I stayed in 5 star hotels and got taken to amazing places by some of my clients. I was taken on safari in africa, on beautiful house boats in India, diving in the Maldives and even on a yacht once for the weekend. It was lovely, but I always felt a bit sad that I was not sharing the amazing experiences with a partner or close friend. It's always a bit lonely.

It just gets lonely and dull and you have to be on your game all the time as you are with clients/colleagues.

I know I would rather be with my DC any time.

Sorry you have been so ill, not nice.

Lambzig Tue 23-Jul-13 13:54:17

Oh god just reread my post and realise I sound like I used to be a high end Prostitute. Just normal business stuff honestly.

Pinkslipper82 Tue 23-Jul-13 13:56:39

Unfortunately I can't leave the kids with anyone and join him on business trips as we are based in Uzbekistan and our home country is South Africa. No support system in Uz and for me to travel to meet him is really expensive.
I don't think he is going to cheat on me (although I do accuse him of that) I am not in a good space at the moment as I am overweight and have been a SAHM for 6 years so feel like I have nothing to offer him at the moment and jealous of all the intelligent, well dressed, beautiful women he must be meeting on these trips but he is not the type to cheat.

Pinkslipper82 Tue 23-Jul-13 14:00:27

I can't work where we are living at the moment as its a non English speaking country and I haven't worked in so long that I don't actually know what I would do!

LazyFaire Tue 23-Jul-13 14:02:57

You do sound quite unreasonable in the form of sending him narky messages with no provocation other than to make yourself feel good.

I would like to know what crappy country you are in and why you seem to be complaining about weeks and weeks of time back in home country on holiday, pick one to be upset about. I doubt there is any country on the entire planet which offers 'nothing to do'. I realise those comments probably come from feeling like shit and being ill but they sound petty and spoiled.

I would love to go away for any length of time abroad or even a weekend in Cornwall or something but that won't be happening, think yourself lucky.

Do think it's also a bit unreasonable for your partner to not ask how you or the kids are. One little PA text would probably do me though, 'Hi glad you're having fun, me and the kids have nasty bug and are all in a big heap of sick and shit thanks for asking.' and MAKE UP and TALK ABOUT IT when he gets home.

Numberlock Tue 23-Jul-13 14:05:35

How about taking on other projects then, eg learning the language; long-distance studying to get a qualification ready for when you go back to work.

Don't make excuses, look at what you can do, not what you can't.

sleeplessbunny Tue 23-Jul-13 14:06:45

It sounds like there are other issues that are adding up and contributing to jealous behaviour, which I think you know is U. Do you need to do more for yourself? Job, hobby, or even just time without kids? It sounds a bit like low self esteem to me. I know living abroad can make this harder due to the lack of a support system. Would you be better off staying in SA and your DH visiting when he can? It sounds like he travels a lot anyway, so perhaps it wouldn't change the amount of time you spend with him terribly?

Also I agree that business trips are rarely fun, but I don't think that is the crux of the issue here.

redskyatnight Tue 23-Jul-13 14:06:46

DH has just been a way for a week (in Stoke, nowhere exciting).
I had a bit of a moan to him about how hard I've found it juggling both the DC with him away.

His response was "at least you got to see the DC and kiss them good night every day. And to sleep in your own bed and organise your own day - not be at the mercy of whoever made your dining arrangements."

Would much rather be at home than away on business trip smile

Pinkslipper82 Tue 23-Jul-13 14:09:47

Lazyfaire I live in Uzbekistan, google it, it's not as exotic and fancy as it sounds. Also I am not on holiday, I am staying at my parents house while they worry and I look after my kids same as I would be doing anywhere else except there is actually playgrounds for my kids to play in here!
I know how I sound and that's why I don't like the way I have become and asked for advice on how to get over it. As it happens have just received a text from him saying that he is out for yet another business dinner and he is bored of the constant work conversation. I have not lived in my home country for 6 years and do not have any many friends as a result so cannot just pop out for a drink whenever I feel like it.

Pinkslipper82 Tue 23-Jul-13 14:12:06

Sleeplessbunny I am learning the local language :-) its really difficult and I am also doing some courses online.

LazyFaire Tue 23-Jul-13 14:16:04

Yes I cross-posted with that, I don't suppose Uzbekistan is high on tourism and know little about it but I stand by there will not be 'nothing to do'. Maybe you need to make your own things to do.

Since you are a first time poster I guess it would be kind to tell you that if you post in AIBU, people will answer your question without pussy-footing around trying to make you feel better. Well, we want to help, but in this case the help we can offer is to say maybe you can help yourself a little more?

Hope you feel better and things look brighter next week, it will be easier to think about when you have properly got over feeling ill.

sleeplessbunny Tue 23-Jul-13 14:27:11

it sounds to me like you don't really want to go back to Uzbekistan. I probably wouldn't want to either. Do you know what you want? THat might sound like a stupid question, but really I think loads of people (esp SAHMs) don't ever think about what they want or give themselves time to do things they like. I didn't, and when I finally worked out a couple of things I did want to do (only little things, hobbies really once a week) and then went out and did them I felt SOOO much better. It sounds pathetic, but it worked for me. But you have to know what you really want, which isn't always easy.

Rambling a bit, sorry.

BlingLoving Tue 23-Jul-13 14:32:26

OP, I do sympathise in that it’s not easy living away from home with small children in a strange country where you don’t speak the language. If your husband travels such a lot anyway, have you (as a couple) considered looking into basing yourselves somewhere else? I know people who have done that – and while there’s an increased cost/effort involved in not being in the same place as the job is technically, it can work. I appreciate this might not be an option.
While you’re in South Africa, can you not make more effort to see more friends and family and do fun things? In which case, perhaps you and the DC could spend more time there. I’ve lived away from SA for over 10 years but when we visit I still can generally find old school and university friends to spend time with, as well as extended family.

wundawoman Tue 23-Jul-13 14:34:59

How about teaching English??

SlangWhanger Tue 23-Jul-13 14:43:25

Oh dear!
As you know, YAB spectacularly U. I have been in your situation (although we were fortunate that our postings were no way near as grim as Uzbekistan sad )
I wasn't jealous of my DHs travelling it was more that I craved to escape my kids, lovely though they are.
You really, really need to stop sending the PA texts and stop haranguing him. It must be awful for him. There really is no good that could come of it. You need to give yourself a good talking too grin
You need to concentrate on working out how to improve your lifestyle. More domestic help, more trips home, the occasional weekend away, hobbies or whatever works for you.
I f you can't come to grips with this then maybe your DH has to change jobs. Some people are not suited to do overseas postings - especially in countries like Uzbekistan.
Good luck, I hope it works out.

Numberlock Tue 23-Jul-13 14:43:28

I've always wanted to go to Samarkand and Tashkent but appreciate the reality of daily life isn't the same as a tourist visit.

<Fascinated by former Soviet republics>

Branleuse Tue 23-Jul-13 14:46:54

i think you need to work out what it is youre actually angry about. I suspect youre feeling unfulfilled, lonely, scared and trapped, and this living abroad for your husbands job is very difficult, especially if he travels away a lot too, because you have no support, no friends, and dont speak the language. Of course it is driving you a bit crazy.
Dont be so hard on yourself, but also, I think you need to have a really deep talk with your husband about the future and what needs to happen so that YOU can enjoy life too. Maybe this will mean moving back to SA, even if he has to get a different job? Whatever happens, something has to change, and being passive aggressive and jealous of your husband isnt going to help you, or him, or change anything. It will just make everyones life unpleasant, for no real benefit.

cory Tue 23-Jul-13 15:07:36

Pinkslipper82 Tue 23-Jul-13 13:56:39

"I don't think he is going to cheat on me (although I do accuse him of that)"

However unhappy you are, however lonely and frustrated- this has got to stop! It is not fair on the poor man, in fact I would go as far as to consider it a form of emotional abuse.

It would certainly be a dealbreaker for me, I would walk out on anyone who kept accusing me of cheating because I would see it as my duty to safeguard my own menal health.

Get help, see a doctor if you think you need to, above all, have a serious talk with your dh about other solutions to your life (less well paid job for him, moving somewhere you can have a career). But don't do it to him.

foodtech Tue 23-Jul-13 15:16:38

Would it be possible for you to live in SA and then for your DH to travel for work as at least then you will have support and hopefully friends? Obviously I don't know what your H does so this may not be possible. It must be rubbish my H travels in Africa quite alot and I would be reluctant to move there and be on my own especially with language difficulties.

Pinkslipper82 Tue 23-Jul-13 16:43:21

Thanks ladies I do know that I am being unreasonable and I do regret the messages that I send him and do apologise afterwards. Slangwhanger you have hit the nail on the head with saying you craved time away from the kids. I love my kids, they are great however I do fantisise about doing all the things we did before we had the kids, it seems like he is living a bit of a carefree life, staying in fancy hotels and fancy restaurants having drinks and adult company every night whilst I have chicken nuggets with the kids watching cartoons!
We lived in Qatar for 5 years before this posting and I did not feel like this while we lived there although he did not travel while we were there. Living in Uz is not the problem it's the travelling and the socialising that he gets to do while I am with the kids 90% of the time.
We have a years left on this project and then we will move to the next job, hopefully it's one that does not include so much travelling!

Pinkslipper82 Tue 23-Jul-13 16:46:05

Cory, I realise that and that is why I need to stop. I have been good today, he has gone out for the fifth night in a row and I have not sent any sarcastic or PA messages, I am grateful for the fact that he keeps me updated with what he is doing as he knows I worry.

hermioneweasley Tue 23-Jul-13 16:51:53

I wouldn't fancy living in Uz either.

If he's away a lot anyway, could you base yourself somewhere else?

Pinkslipper82 Tue 23-Jul-13 16:56:43

We have to be based in Uz as per the companies policy, although its not nice living there I can do it, it's the fact that we have to be apart so often that I battle with.

cory Tue 23-Jul-13 17:12:11

That does seem tough.

Is there any way in which you could investigate alternatives for the two of you? There are other companies in the world- does he have to work for this particular one? Doing this particular job?

Sit down with a piece of paper and draw up possible scenarios for a bit. If you had your freedom and could pick how you really wanted your family set up to work, what would it look like? Where would you like to live, how would you like to live? What is important to you, what is less important?

And then ask yourself, is there any way you and your dh could actually make this happen?

Ask yourself, what would the likely price be that you had to pay. Less income? Both of you working? And then weight that against the gains.

Also, ask yourself (or better, both of you), where is this going? What will happen in a few years' time when your children are older, need better education, become teenagers? What will happen to you when they leave home? Is the whole of your life going to be about getting posted to places which you have no control of and where there is nothing for you to do? Is this a way of living you can cope with?

I suspect that your jealousy and irritability stem from a feeling of powerlessness: you feel you have nothing to set up against the dictates of your dh's firm. But they don't own him and he is only one of the two adults in your marriage. Decisions have to be taken by the two of you. Together. Time for a serious talk imo.

ilovesooty Tue 23-Jul-13 17:14:22

I agree with cory and it seems that saying 'I can't help it' has the potential to damage your relationship beyond repair so I'm glad you're addressing your behaviour to and treatment of your husband. Until you get to the root of why you feel the need to behave as you have been doing it will be difficult to move on from it.

WilsonFrickett Tue 23-Jul-13 17:41:05

Uz is grim, you absolutely have my sympathies on that one OP.

I think however you're taking your frustrations out on your DP and that's not fair. So you need to work out what your plan is, with DP. If you only have a year in Uz left, what's next? How are your finances looking? Do you still have to be living overseas, if so, can you work out a short list of countries you would like to live in?

How about getting your skills up to date, there are lots of online things you can do, like Open University in the UK, which is all online.

On a simpler basis, you need to work out something to do with your hands instead of sending PA texts. Take up knitting (I'm serious!), or download one of those apps that blocks numbers between certain hours. It's a nasty habit which is grinding you both down and it needs to stop.

Good luck, as I say I do know that Uz is a really shit posting.

SlangWhanger Tue 23-Jul-13 20:02:59

I know I didn't live anywhere as difficult as you but there were times when we were living as expats when I did feel a bit sorry for myself. I have had to fend for myself a lot and sometimes the uncertainty would be really frustrating. My DH had to travel shortly after i gave birth and i always seemed to be husbandless whenever we moved. I nearly always travelled (internationally) alone with the four kids shock No mean feet with a baby, two toddlers and a 5 year old. We were fortunate that we had 'easy' countries and that we enjoyed ourselves but sometimes I daydreamed about living around the corner from my Mum and Dad in the Uk.

Whilst we never motivated simply by the money the aftermath of years of living as expats has now put us in a very comfortable financial position. It shouldn't be the be all and end all but it is compensation for those times I felt a bit sorry for myself.

I haven't read all the replies but it sounds like you're feeling resentful more than anything. I can't blame you. Yes YABU but it's hard.

My kids are 4 & 5 and I know I'd feel the same in your shoes. But you need to find a way to deal with these feelings and a way forward where your H helps you and supports you when with you and encourages you when he's not but you also need to learn to not sending passive aggressive texts to him or snipe at him when home, if the feelings bubble over then too. Or it will really damage your marriage over time.

Wish I had more wise advice but I do feel for you.

midori1999 Tue 23-Jul-13 20:24:00

YABU to send the texts, which you know, but I do sympathise OP.

My DH does a job he adores and it involves him travelling a fair bit, which are often social/networking things. It also means we have to live wherever his job sends us, so far in different parts of the UK to my family. It's tough being on your own with the kids all the time, especially when you or them are ill and I can see how it's irritating when he is sending you annoying texts, particularly if they are about how tired he is...

ProudNeathGirl Wed 24-Jul-13 11:11:15

Are there any ex-pat groups you could join to make some friends, and perhaps find someone who would have the kids for a couple of nights for you? Can DH's work help with that - most companies who ask people to travel for work have a department that deals with helping ex-pats and their families to settle in.

Or, if it's really grim, would you be any worse off if you and DCs returned to SA to live, and DH could visit every so often? Company might pay???

CuChullain Wed 24-Jul-13 13:07:30

As others have pointed out the whole international jet set thing sounds very glamourous but more often than not the reality is quite different. Getting up at 3am to catch the 6am flight, not sleeping well or having to work on the plane, landing in a different time zone, heading straight to the office to work a 12 hour shift before being taken out by the client where you are expected to be full of life and chatty in the company of some truly dull people for several more hours when all you want to do is go to bed in the identikit hotel room that looks identical to all the other hotel rooms you have stayed in. Very occasionally you might be able to tag a day off at the end of the trip to relax and see the sights (if any), more often though you are back on the plane to the UK where you are then straight back on the coalface. It is not all cocktails, Aston Martins and exotic beach locations.

Texting your DH with sarcastic bitchy comments is probably the last thing he needs when he is knackered, alone in a strange country and missing his family. YABVU and he is probably wondering whats the point of it all.

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