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Young child, ex-husband, long distance relationship and career

(48 Posts)
DilemmaaEmma Tue 13-Nov-12 22:20:22

I want to keep this short so apologies if this comes across a little blunt and to the point but also a little disjointed as I dont want to drip feed.

I have a 5yr old DD and I'm no longer with her father. She spends weeknights and every third weekend with him, and the rest of the weekends (2 out of 3) with me. We also split school holidays 50/50.

I'm also in a long distance relationship and things are going well between us. We've been together just over a year and are now thinking that we'd like to live together. I can't uproot my DD to move nearer him, my exH would never allow it (we're talking about a 4 hour drive sort of distance). So we've been talking about the possibility of him moving here to be with me.

DP and I work in the same industry and where I live there are very, very few jobs. I was lucky to find the one I currently have. Whereas nearer DP career prospects are much much better. I know he's worried that he would effectively be limited to one company (where I work) or else he'd have to take a pay cut or retrain if he moved here.

Just yesterday I was headhunted for a very good job within a very good company, near to where DP works. I know I won't get that job, but it has really made me (and DP) start to think about the future and how things will pan out. I'm still young and I know that if I could move to where the jobs are I could do very well. I do enjoy my current job, but I'm underpaid and there's little scope for moving if my next payrise request is turned down.

The other issue is that I was young when I met my exH and had my daughter (in my teens). He was a little older and very controlling. We moved from where I grew up (where my DP lives and where all the jobs are) to where my exH's family all live. I feel trapped here now that we've split as although I understandably want to be near my DD, all my family are far away and I feel very alone.

I don't know what advice I'm asking for really but I feel very confused with conflicting emotions and very few people to talk this through with. My mother passed away so I can't ask her for advice, although I have a feeling she would want me to make the most of my life and be the best I can be. But whether that means focusing on my DD or my career, I'm not too sure.

Thank you for reading and if anyone has any advice (or just a friendly 'hi') I would be so so grateful.

maleview70 Tue 13-Nov-12 22:49:24

Moving a 5 year old who sees her dad regularly 4 hours away from him is not a great idea in my opinion.

Personally I think that any decent new man would understand the need for your daughter to be close to her father and he would make the sacrifice.

Dont underestimate the effect that taking a child away from a parent can have and also think of how you would feel if the roles were reversed.

It's a devastating blow losing contact with your child when you split never mind having to travel 4 hours to see them. Your dp has nothing to give up other than a job and he can move in with you when he finds the right one. No rush to move in is there?

annh Tue 13-Nov-12 22:59:37

Can you clarify who your dd actually lives with? From your post it seems that she lives with your ex and only spends two weekends out of three with you? Maleview seems to think that you are proposing that your daughter move with you? Is that the case?

HoolioHallio Tue 13-Nov-12 23:00:25

You are perfectly entitled to build a life for yourself and your daughter post divorce. Assuming that every third weekend is still doable and you would do all that you can to facilitate that, the difficulty will be addressing the reduction in mid week contact. It might be worth considering contact every other weekend - with a share of travelling? My kids contact with their dad has reduced significantly since he moved away (complicated by court and SS involvement as well) but they are still maintaining a close relationship with him. There are lots of options for contact using Skpye/Facetime etc.
You really have to balance the quality of life that you and your daughter would have if you move and that includes your ability to support her financially and also function as a human being who has the right not to be trapped living somewhere she doesn't want to be.
Good luck smile

DilemmaaEmma Tue 13-Nov-12 23:18:21

Sorry if my post was confusing, annh you are right she lives with my exH and spends 2 out of 3 weekends with me plus one midweek evening but not overnight. I wanted 50/50 when we split but as he was the main carer at the time and had more flexibility, the court decided the current arrangements were the best option.

I am not considering moving her away with me, it would be futile to even think of it as I know that 1) it wouldn't necessarily be in her best interests as she's settled here, 2) my exH would never let it happen.

I know I'm being selfish even considering it tbh and I should just make do with the life I have here. I am not desperate to move in with my DP, if he lived closer I would happily stay living apart for some time yet, its just the distance that makes things difficult. I also know that I would be having the same thoughts re the career situation whether I was with my DP or not, as I would still feel trapped with the lack of jobs in this area and all my family over the other side of the country.

In reality I know the move would never happen for me, I could just about handle being apart from my daughter but I know it's not fair on her. I do feel like I have never really started living my own life though.

Joiyuk Wed 14-Nov-12 03:18:59

I have to be brutally honest here, so apologies in advance. I could never be separated from my ds, let alone to be 4 hours away from him. It goes against all maternal instincts. Could you DP not move up to you? Don't sacrifice your relationship with your daughter for a relationship with a man. You will never be able to go back on that. I'm sorry, no matter how loved up you are you need to stay close to your daughter.

Lueji Wed 14-Nov-12 06:37:36

Here you have to chose between two long distance relationships.
At least your dp can drive the 4 hours. Your DD can't and you wouldn't expect ex to drive her there or pick her up, because it would have been your choice to move.

I don't think anyone should or can tell you what to do or how to feel. Just perhaps point out aspects that you may have not considered before.

As a long term plan, could you dp look for a job nearer you, with a view to eventually move?

maleview70 Wed 14-Nov-12 06:46:30

Sorry I misunderstood

DilemmaaEmma Wed 21-Nov-12 12:19:57

Had a recruiter from another big company contact me today. These jobs are in London and I'm in the IT industry. There really is no comparison career-wise around here. My DP is also being headhunted and I have a strong feeling he will move to one of these big companies.

There may be an option to live half way between the 2 locations, but I would still miss out on a lot of time with DD if I did this. I just don't think I can do it. DP doesn't want to carry on long-distance, he doesn't drive so the journey is actually more like 6 hours than 4.

ClippedPhoenix Wed 21-Nov-12 13:29:50

I think you have your answer in your last post OP. Your boyfriend saying he doesn't want to carry on long-distance. Whilst this is obviously his perrogative but it doesn't bode well does it?

DilemmaaEmma Wed 21-Nov-12 14:04:19

It doesn't bode well. It would be a shame because the relationship itself is good, including between him and dd. I dont want to pressure him to move here if its going to make him unhappy and unfulfilled at work. But equally I don't want to just give up when things are otherwise going well.

OneMoreGo Wed 21-Nov-12 16:13:46

Been there, both in terms of having a child myself and also once dating someone long distance who also had a kid.

Basically in your case, you only have two realistic options sad Your DP needs to move closer to you, or you need to split up. He isn't happy as things are (although you are) and you wouldn't be happy being so far away from your DD so you can't really move as that would just be so distressing for her. Personally in your DP's position I would be delighted to be able to move closer - he in unencumbered by any offspring of his own I take it, so relatively free to do so. If he is unwilling to do this, well, that says it all sadly.

Long distance relationships are a pisser like that and it's worth considering this situation at the beginning (for anyone else reading) before you embark on one.

OneMoreGo Wed 21-Nov-12 16:15:56

I meant to add that I have pretty much resigned myself to living in the area I am now in til DS is 18 or so (he is 4 now) so that he can have access to his Dad. Unemployment is high here but we are in the countryside and near beaches so at least there is that plus. I am the main carer so could technically uproot him and feck off anywhere in the UK but it would kill me to do that as he benefits from having a good relationship with his father.

CremeEggThief Wed 21-Nov-12 16:26:36

Would your XH agree to every weekend or every other weekend, if you did take the job? Could you live halfway between the cities?

DilemmaaEmma Wed 21-Nov-12 18:19:15

Thanks for the input OneMoreGo. He doesn't have kids himself so the only practical issue for him is work. But it is a pretty big issue considering he works in the city and the job prospects round here are so pathetic in comparison. I know that if I didn't have dd I would move there in a heartbeat for this very reason.

I had dd very young and worked hard at uni while she was small to get where I am now, so its frustrating to know that I'm sacrificing a lot to be here. I just hope that she isn't still somehow poisoned against me by my exH over the years. He is still very bitter that I had the courage and audacity to leave him when I did.

DilemmaaEmma Wed 21-Nov-12 18:22:36

CremeEgg - dp has suggested moving halfway between the two locations, but in effect I would still lose some time with dd as I wouldn't be able collect her from school on 'my' days as I currently do. ExH is not going to entertain any discussion over changing contact either. I took him to court to get the amount of contact I currently have as he refused to talk about it or go to mediation.

CremeEggThief Wed 21-Nov-12 18:36:26

Oh that's a shame, OP sad. I really hope you work out the best option for you all. You have some very tough decisions to make. <Hugs>.

DilemmaaEmma Wed 21-Nov-12 18:40:11

Thanks CremeEgg. Dp is supposed to be coming to stay with me for a few weeks in December and over xmas as he has time off (i'll be working). I know these discussions will really come to a head in Jan tho sad

ClippedPhoenix Wed 21-Nov-12 18:53:00

Could you not take him back to court OP? or would that be far too harrowing?

What about if you moved somewhere with easy commutes to London and took him back to court to get every other weekend and half the holidays?

DilemmaaEmma Wed 21-Nov-12 20:00:03

ClippedPhoenix I could take him back to court, but there is not much point as I would be effectively asking to reduce contact if I did - I actually have 2 out of every 3 weekends (so exH has 1 in 3), 1 midweek evening and half of all holidays.

I guess my issue is that this level of contact wouldn't actually be physically possible if I moved sad I wouldnt be able to get to the school for 3:30pm like I do now if it involved an hour's journey for example. At the moment I work 20 minutes from the school which makes it possible (with flexi-time). I know people face these sorts of issues every day (and worse of course on this board), but it really does feel like such a mess at the moment and it's hard to see the wood for the trees and work out what's best for everyone.

ClippedPhoenix Wed 21-Nov-12 20:07:30

It's still early days with the new partner though isn't it dilema.

Half of me says if he's not ready for the longhaul with this then he's not right for you and your child.

The other half of me is saying that its ok for you to progress your career and see your daughter less at the moment.

What I'm sort of saying I guess is in order for you to reach your full potential career wise you would have to move anyway and it's ok to do this, men do it all the time.

DilemmaaEmma Wed 21-Nov-12 20:28:20

ClippedPhoenix - yes it is early days still, if it wasn't for the distance I would be happy to continue living apart for some time yet but still be together.

Your point that in order to reach my full potential career wise I would have to move anyway is exactly what I was trying to articulate but failing. It's not so much the dilemma of whether to move to be with a man (and I told myself never again after exH!) but more the dilemma of whether to move for my career. I get lots of recruitment emails for jobs I'm qualified for every week but all of them are in London. I could add about 40% onto my salary if I made the move, plus work in the particular field that I love. If I stay, I would be looking at staying at my current company forever (or for the forseeable) or retraining, but neither option lead to anything near my full potential (imo).

ClippedPhoenix Wed 21-Nov-12 20:33:35

Well sweetheart not everyone is mother earth and if you feel in all honesty that your child is safe and secure with her dad and very well cared for then it's ok to follow a career path.

Anskabel Wed 21-Nov-12 20:39:20

There's no easy answer here, I don't envy you.

I've been in a situation where my career remained stagnant because of the limited job opportunities in the area and the effect was so demoralising and frustrating because like yourself, I worked so hard to gain my qualifications, wasn't fulfilling my potential, yet couldn't move for a variety of reasons. I spent 40 hours a week bored to tears, had no outlet for my creative energy and subsequently developed depression.

I've also been in a long distance relationship where neither of us drove at the time, so for 2.5 years, 7 hours of our weekends were spent on public transport - ultimately the relationship died because neither of us were able to move because of our situations and both of us were exhausted from the travelling. It was a very sad time for both of us.

I've never been married and don't have any children, so don't feel qualified to comment on the other side of your dilemma, but I do wish you the best of luck - personally I don't think it's as cut and dried as "stick with the DD", but then I don't have kids, do I?

ClippedPhoenix Wed 21-Nov-12 20:46:49

At the end of the day your ex is practically the full time carer, you are stuck in limbo if you stay there. Not all mothers (bearers of children) have the lioness instinct, that's not wrong either and if the dad is more qualified in that area then it's ok honey, it really is.

Role swapping where the two parents are happy in what they bring to the childs life at at the end of the day is very allowed in my book.

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