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partner leaving to work abroad

(154 Posts)
chloe2727 Thu 12-Jul-12 20:49:06

not sure if i should even be on this site but really need someone to talk to...my partner of 8 years is leaving to take a job abroad for 2 years...we have no children together although i have children of my own..they have all left home apart from the youngest who is 17. neither of us have ever been married and started living together within months of meeting.

he is taking a job in the most remotest place i can think of...the island of st helena..its a 9 hour flight on an RAF plane then another 2 days on an RAF boat to even get there...he leaves in 4 weeks

he has said i should go with him...but i also have 5 small grandchildren all aged under 4...my kids live 5 minutes away from us.

i cant leave my family behind...my children and grandchildren are my world and i couldnt imagine not being able to hold any one of them even for a day.

when he leaves i wont see him for a whole year as he can only take 30 days leave from the island at the end of july next year..

he says he will still pay the household bills from his end...and talks as though he will be coming home.

i know im probably sounding silly...but my heart is breaking at the thought of him leaving..he is my soul mate,my hope for the future..

i cant begin to imagine how i will live my life without him...im counting the days until he leaves..i feel like my world has come to an end..i have an ache in my heart that wont go away, i cant stop crying, i go to bed with a broken heart and wake up feeling the same way...i know it sounds crazy and probably not the right thing to say...but to me it seems like im just waiting for him to die...he says all these things about how hes doing it for us and how he will be back and i so desperately want to believe him but my mind wont let me (been hurt so bad in the past)

i have no friends to lean on for support and my children just dont seem to understand the pain im feeling...

please please please tell me how i can survive this

ladyWordy Thu 12-Jul-12 21:06:43

It sounds as if you do all the giving in your world chloe2727....and of course you should be on this site. We all need to reach out sometimes, that's why any of us are here.

Of course you're heartbroken, and what you say doesn't sound in any way crazy. It would be an appalling wrench to leave your family and go to such a remote place to do - what? (you, I mean. Was he serious about your accompanying him?)

Tell us a bit more about your partner. How does he feel about this new job? Was it his idea, or has he been sent there? It sounds very sudden.

Justsofedup Thu 12-Jul-12 21:10:09

Im sorry for your pain, but can I just say, the way you speak about your children and grandchildren with such love and passion is wonderful. They are so very lucky to have you.

Tryharder Thu 12-Jul-12 21:13:14

I would go with him. Seriously. Your DCs and DGCs will be fine. You have your own life to lead and this sounds like an adventure.

kinkyfuckery Thu 12-Jul-12 21:16:20

Oh god, I'm not surprised your heart is breaking.

What is the job? Has he been told he HAS to take the job, or did he apply?

chloe2727 Thu 12-Jul-12 21:19:02

when i first met him he always talked about teaching abroad (hes a secondary math teacher)...he lost his job back in april due to redundancies...

i stupidly believed that him wanting to teach abroad was just a crazy idea he had..and when the grandchildren came along his mind would change...i thought that he would 'worship' them as much as i do...i know he does adore them but in reality they are not his blood, as much as he says they are.

he started applying for jobs abroad in may...without telling me at first...he told me when he didnt get the first one he applied for..i kind of buried my head in the sand and hoped that was the end of it...until he told me 2 weeks ago that he had been shortlisted for this job....he says its all hes ever wanted to do..and he feels the time is right for him to go now..hes 43 this year so i know hes not getting any younger..

he says he loves me and he will come home...but if he loves me that much then why is he putting me through this...i sound so selfish especially when i think about all the other women whos problems are a million times worse...but i really can imagine breathing without him sad

Lipstickandlashes Thu 12-Jul-12 21:19:43

You say he's your hope for the future but as ladywordy says, it sounds like you've been the one doing all the giving in the past and the present and he doesn't even have the good grace to consider your feelings when making a life changing decision.

he says he will still pay the household bills from his end...and talks as though he will be coming home.

I'm frankly astonished that after so long together this is the most concrete commitment he can give you (besides you ditching your kids and upping sticks to the middle of the Atlantic).

You have five grandchildren and sound like a devoted mother/grandmother. You are clearly a strong, loving and much loved person. You will get through this.

The important thing at the moment (cliched as it sounds) is taking things one day at a time, enjoying your precious family and not forcing yourself into any big decisions until your mind/feelings are settled.

Don't let him drive the agenda.

HerRoyalNotness Thu 12-Jul-12 21:31:29

Wow, it sounds like an isolated place. Is he in the RAF, or is that the only way to get there? I guess if he's in the RAF he can't negotiate his home leave to 15 days every 6mths instead.

I don't have a lot of advice to cope with the length of time tbh, all I can say is focus on what you are doing and your family. Use skype to keep in touch. The only way to know if this will work out long term is to live through it. Once you are busy with your life again, the time will pass quickly, it won't if you mope around the house. Start thinking of how you can and will fill the 2 years.

Unless his absence for that long is a complete deal breaker for you, better to end it now. But only you will know that.

anotherteacher Thu 12-Jul-12 21:32:57

I think you are making far too big a deal of this. Go with him, visit your home every eight weeks or so. It is for two years only. Your grandchildren can skype daily. They will grow up and lead their own lives. You need to lead yours.

RancerDoo Thu 12-Jul-12 21:36:57

I think you should go with him.

If you were my mum I'd miss you like mad but be glad you were having your own adventures.

HerRoyalNotness Thu 12-Jul-12 21:43:24

I think the big deal about this is the location. I've googled, and there is no commercial airport on the island (currently one will be finished 2015). It sounds as though it will be an expensive prospect for the OP to just up and leave every 8 weeks. What would your 17yo do?

You could possibly visit him a couple of times over the 2 years, so that you would see each other every 6mths. Is this more palatable to you?

Has he applied to any other positions that may come up, and are in an easier/cheaper place to get to?

lostmywellies Thu 12-Jul-12 21:45:08

It doesn't sound as though you want to go with him, and you are likely to feel trapped if you talk yourself into going.

He is going and it IS something he has always wanted to do. Let him have his chance and be happy for him that he has the opportunity. You have to trust him. If you are soulmates, it will be ok. Put your energies into planning something wonderful for next July. When he goes, keep in touch, make Skype calls with the dcs and dgcs; in the meantime, use the extra freedom you have not having him right there to do something extra for yourself.

lostmywellies Thu 12-Jul-12 21:48:56

planning something wonderful together, I meant to say.

orangeandlemons Thu 12-Jul-12 21:57:19

But if you go what aboutthe 17 year old? Where will they be? Are they in the moidle of college/A levels.

Whilst he may be doing what he has always wanted to do, how has he considered you in this? It seems a bit naive to just up and move to a fairly inaccessible place, without expecting you to have some say. Is he not being a tad selfish in all this to put it mildly? Were you consulted at all? Isn't he lucky that he can move to the other side of the world and ignore eveything else? Wouldn't we all like to do this? I'm with Lipstickandlashes. Where are his felings and comittment to you in this?

chloe2727 Thu 12-Jul-12 22:33:42

i have no real friends to lean on for support which is why i decided to write on here, every reply i read gives me a huge feeling of support and i appreciate that you have all taken the time to 'talk' to me.

i am at such a low at the moment and cant see a way out of it but will try to answer some of the replies as best i can...

i agree with everything said about his commitment to me...there really is nothing that commits him to me...we rent our home,we have no children together, we arent married...all i have to go on is his word...i dont think he has considered my feelings in all of this and he never discussed the fact that he was applying for this job...he just did it and told me when he had the interview..

my 17 year old is in college..he says she can come with us....but me going would NEVER be an option..as i said..my children and grandchildren are my life and i could never ever leave them, omg i could never imagine not being able to touch my little granddaughters hand or pick up my baby grandson even for a day...i cant help how i feel about my children, leaving them would destroy me...even for a short time...he knows this but still tries to convince me to go..

maybe just maybe if he wasnt going to such a remote place, where getting to is a mission itself..not to mention the extreme cost of doing it, i wouldnt feel so desolate about him leaving me..

all i have is his word that he will come home to me...nothing else...and i know that only time will show me whether he is being honest with me or not..

but right now all i can do is cry...i want to sob like ive never sobbed before, want to curl up in a ball and make this pain that im feeling go away...how am i going to watch him get on that plane, not knowing if i will ever see him again...maybe i am a weak person but i have come to depend on him, to lean on him...i love him with a passion....and cant imagine being without him

lostmywellies Thu 12-Jul-12 22:55:10

It is an extreme location, isn't it?! I guess they have more trouble recruiting than a school in, say, France would!

He hasn't considered your feelings? Well, now he has to face up to them. Maybe that will be good for him. Does he show emotion? Do you have much idea how he's feeling about leaving you? Or is he not admitting to that possibility yet?

symfem Thu 12-Jul-12 23:04:41

Tough one. People need to follow dreams. If he stayed for you he may always resent you for holding him back.
If he goes then maybe you arent high on his priority list.
Neither is pleasant. Id say try make a go of it but it seems unlikely as you may resent him for leaving

chloe2727 Thu 12-Jul-12 23:07:31

lostmywellies...it really is an extreme location..he says its the chance of a lifetime...

he knows my feelings...he sees me crying constantly, i tell him constantly what this is doing to me...he talks to me in a way that he is trying to convince me that nothing will change between us..

when i first met him he used to show emotion..but over this issue it seems that he doesnt have any..hes excited about the job..and his excitement is hurting me even more

i would never ever want to stand in his way and as much as i want to beg him not to go, i know that wouldnt be fair...its his dream...

i want to believe him when he says he will be back...but there is such a big part of me believing that this is the end and he doesnt want to tell me..

i just wish i could stop hurting....i know it will take time for me to accept that he is not here...and i know that everyone says time is a great healer...but i would give my last breath right now just to make this pain im feeling go away sad

izzyizin Thu 12-Jul-12 23:26:51

You're banging on about his commitment to you; what about your commitment to your dp of the past 8 years?

He's made it clear that you and your 17yo can go with him and have the experience of a lifetime,, but you are adamant that you will NEVER leave your adult dc and dgcs.

Why aren't you willing to consider broadening your horizons for a couple of years, particularly as you can take your youngest with you?

It seems that you don't have any life outside of your dc/dgcs and that your dp comes a poor second to them. He's your 'hope for the future'? What about the present?

He's only 43; give the man credit for having the oomph to fulfill his ambition and either go with him or fully support him in his new job. He'll be back for a month's leave in a year's time and, although he's not in the Servces, that's not so very differerent from how many other dws/dps have to arrange their lives.

Premature grandparenthood over a couple of years with their dp on an albeit remote but tropical island? I suspect that many others, myself included, would feel blessed to be given the opportunity to choose.

Justsofedup Thu 12-Jul-12 23:42:22

I dont think I would choose a man over my own children and grandchildren who didnt even seem to acknowlege my hurt and pain, and merely focused on his own excitment and putting his needs as priority.

What kind of a man secretly applies for jobs, such life changing ones, too without even discussing this with their partner?

There is absoloutely nothing wrong with your family being the centre of your universe. Your very lucky to have that.

symfem Thu 12-Jul-12 23:53:12

End it now. Resentment is the only likely out come.
He wants to go
you dont want him to
he said u could go
you dont want to go

there is no solution

squeakytoy Thu 12-Jul-12 23:59:20

It is two years... GO!!!.. there is skype, your kids have their lives, they have their relationships. This is YOUR relationship.

You know it wouldnt be fair to hold him back. Look on it as an adventure.

Your family will miss you, but they will cope absolutely fine.

You only get one life you know... your kids and grandkids will still be here when you get back.

sternface Fri 13-Jul-12 00:26:47

I wonder whether the posters urging you to go are actually biological parents themselves? Or understand why it's so important for a 17-year old on the brink of adulthood to have some stability at home? There's no way on earth I'd have left one of mine to fend for herself at that age.

Beyond all that, it's pretty clear that this man is not as committed to your relationship as you'd thought. Making secret job appplications should form no part of a committed relationship and it doesn't sound as though he has ever applied for jobs that are nearer to home. Teaching abroad might have always been his dream, but why apply for jobs that are so far away? Why not Europe or somewhere with reasonable infrastructure and travel connections?

It's also in my view unreasonable to expect you to wait for him for 2 years while he has this adventure.

My guess is that he wants out of the relationship and has chosen a fairly extreme but cowardly way to do it. I suspect he was bluffing when he said that you and DD could come too, because he knew you wouldn't dream of uprooting your DD from her life and education and that you wouldn't leave her alone either. I think you'll find that when he goes, at some point he will claim that the distance has driven you apart and the relationship will end, but only after you have sadly wasted months or years 'waiting' for him.

dreamingbohemian Fri 13-Jul-12 00:39:18

I agree with sternface.

It just sounds mad. Whether you are married or not, eight years is surely a serious commitment, can you even imagine deciding on your own to move to the mid-Atlantic without telling your partner?

I'm all for adventure, I'm currently applying for jobs all over the world, but I tell my DH about each one and he can veto anything he's not up for.

So he wants to teach abroad -- seriously, St Helena??? That's the only option?

OP I'm struck by what you said about your children not understanding how much this is hurting you. Do they get along with your partner? He's their stepfather, basically, are they not going to miss him too?

chloe2727 Fri 13-Jul-12 00:47:25

sternface...i believe your last paragraph is the truth...i have said this to him but he strongly denies it...

deep down i know you are right...i did say to him..that if he is going to leave me for good then i need him to tell me now so i can start the road to recovery..rather than tell me 6 months down the line..because as you said i will of wasted those 6 months hoping and believing he will come back to me...6 months that i could of used to start to come to terms with him not being in my life..

even though deep down i know this is probably what is going to happen, i would still give anything to take away this deep hurt and pain i feel right now...to be able to fall asleep smiling and wake up with a happy heart instead of this empty feeling deep in the pit of my stomach...to stop the tears, to be happy again...i know time will heal...but i would give anything for the pain to go now sad

knowing that when he gets on that plane will be the last time i see him...how do i come to terms with that...i wish someone had a magic wand...

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