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Does you DP work really long hours? How do you do it?

(173 Posts)
TreeMonkey Thu 29-Aug-13 14:45:30

I fear this will make me sound like a spoilt princess but here goes:

My DP works for a private equity firm in their finance department. I joke that he's always having to save the financial world whenever he has to work late (which is a lot).

We're about to move into together, buy a new place in the spring and have spoken about children in the past. But part of me is really questioning whether this would work or whether our potential children will actually get to see him.

I don't have a great relationship with my dad partly because he was always at work. I wouldn't want this for my children but the way things are now he doesn't finish work until 8:30pm (should be 9-5:30) isn't home till 9:30 and by that point, any potential children would be in bed and most of our evening is gone too.

The spoilt princess bit is that its my 30th this Sunday. I've planned to go to a bar on Saturday night and was hoping that DP and I could have a nice lunch on Sunday together. Romantic and low-key just the two of us. He's now text me to say "Sorry, I have to work both days this weekend grin( " I'm pissed off. The world isn't going to end if he doesn't work over the weekend. I'm really hoping its a fucking joke.

Viking1 Thu 29-Aug-13 14:51:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

motherinferior Thu 29-Aug-13 14:55:55

I'd be v tempted to go out to a bar and snog someone who'd be nicer to me, in all honesty.

ArthurCucumber Thu 29-Aug-13 14:56:20

All I can tell you is that whatever the problems are in your relationship at this stage, those will be the massive issues in your future.You're absolutely right that those working hours would present a big problem if you were to have children. I wish I could be more positive.

Expecting the company of your partner on a landmark birthday is NOT being a "spoilt princess". The fact that you used that phrase makes me worry that you're already on a highway to becoming a handmaiden to his working hours. I hope he's joking as well, and has a lovely surprise planned for the two of you.

Ninetydegreeseastoflondon Thu 29-Aug-13 14:57:08

I don't know what to say other than I know the feeling - my DP also had to work on my 30th and missed my party. I just make the most of the time we do get together and be thankful that his good job means we have a nice home, nice holidays etc

Xenadog Thu 29-Aug-13 14:57:44

Your 30th is quite a biggie I think. If he chooses work over your birthday (and it is choosing - he is hardly a fireman who has to be on call/duty or a doctor working in A and E) then you are low on his list of priorities and I would be thinking seriously about making the relationship more permanent. You are wise to consider bringing children into the world with a man who lives to work - I don't envision he would put family life before work.

TreeMonkey Thu 29-Aug-13 15:06:39

Oh that smilie is supposed to be a downwards face - he didn't grin.

He has since texted to say that he isn't overjoyed by the prospect of working either to which I said to don't fucking do it, the world isn't going to end.

I appreciate that he makes good money and we're looking at nice places to buy but I don't believe he has to be a slave to the office (or let everyone take advantage of him which is what I think they do.) He's not going to get paid to work this weekend anyway...

nextphase Thu 29-Aug-13 15:07:36

I read through most of that thinking, it will be OK, he can see the kids in the morning before going, and at the weekends.
But your last paragraph changes what i was going to type. Thats NOT ON, and unless he is prepared to make some massive changes to his life style and work, kids will be really hard.

e.g. I'm in the office for my contracted 38hrs / week (well, usually 40 but not masses of overtime). If i need to do some more hours, the laptop comes home, I spend a few hours with the kids, and then get back to work. yes my evening has gone, and husband time reduced, but I get those precious few hours, and we always sit and have tea as a family (unless one of us is travelling).

I think you have every right to want to spend your 30th with your partner, as its a non working day - if he was on a fixed shift pattern, it would be different.

Hope you have a lovely birthday weekend

My guess is he is not joking; you could well end up being tied to a workaholic man. You are not number 1 on his priority list; work is his number 1.

We learn about relationships first and foremost from our parents; looks like you've chosen someone just like your Dad. I would also think very carefully about where this whole relationship is going.

SarahBumBarer Thu 29-Aug-13 15:17:31

Oh gosh OP - you do have my sympathies and you're not being a princess...

I work on a lot of transactions with PE houses and I know how it goes. People in PE houses (and their advisors) do get to take holidays etc/celebrate birthdays with their spouses uninterrupted etc but it is hard. SOME do get cancelled/postponed because sometimes deals do get fraught, run over, each advisor pushes the limits of when they can deliver their reports etc etc. But if this is happening a lot then I can guarantee it is because he is needing to be needed or worried about his absence being noticed.

But working in a PE House is NEVER going to be 9-5.30 or 38 or even 40 hours a week. Never ever ever! Not even if they were only ever investing into the UK and not dealing with different time zones etc. It is too simplistic to say he is not a doctor etc - a lot of the people involved in these transactions probably think their deals are more important than people's lives! Even if you retain the perspective to see that is not the case not many people can be the one to just say "well I'm not working this weekend and if that causes a problem so be it" especially if they are not overly senior (and if you're not the guy spending the £25m+ you are not senior) and actually want the job!

You need to work out how much is needing to be needed, what if anything he can do about that and to what extent you can cope with a guy who is simply not in a 9-5 job and probably does not want to be (me neither).

Sleepyhoglet Thu 29-Aug-13 15:18:29

I agree with xenadog. My DH works really long and hard hours, but he doesn't get the choice because the rota is decided for him. When he has time off though, he spends it with me. The only time he doesn't is if he is revising for an important exam coming up. I encourage this study because him passing the exam is necessary for his career progression and our future. I am really upset for you OP that he has chosen to work this weekend. That isn't just thinking work is important, it is down right rude and hurtful. Is he guilt tripping you because you are not being spoilt at all.

SarahBumBarer Thu 29-Aug-13 15:19:26

We generally don't have contracted 38 hours in those types of jobs. For example my overtime is "bought out". Basically I am required to do whatever is required to get the job done and meet my KPI's. I assume your DH is very similar (probably with a much better bonus scheme than mine).

Dobbiesmum Thu 29-Aug-13 15:21:04

Be very careful. DH works long hours and part of his job involves socialising as well. You must put your foot down now about important occasions otherwise it won't work and you are the one who will end up feeling resentful and unimportant, Especially when children are thrown into the mix.
We've managed our lives rather well but it's taken a long time to get here. I had to stand very firm on some occasions and probably, quite frankly sounded like I was being a bitch about certain things.
It's quite lucky that I enjoy my own company and am organised wrt family things (no joke, I instigated a weekly diary meeting years ago!). I tend to get quite businesslike with him, he responds better.
You need to talk to him and put your feelings on the table, the sooner the better.

Sleepyhoglet Thu 29-Aug-13 15:22:03

Also, I don't know what your OH earns, but I would take a guess at the 100k mark? If so, then earning this type of money will require sacrifice. I suppose you have to ask yourself what compromises you are prepared to make. If you love him, then you will make it work. An alternative viewpoint is that he is working hard to provide for you and future little ones and that is how he shows his love.

elastamum Thu 29-Aug-13 15:24:49

I think you have to decide what you want out of life.

Do you want your DC in private schools and living in a nice house, with a father who earns loads but they dont see that much, whilst you do the day to day parenting, or do you want a different future.

Then sit down and really talk about whether you want the same things.

Sorry sad

TreeMonkey Thu 29-Aug-13 15:26:35

I totally appreciate that a 9-5:30 job is unlikely. Mine is very yo-yo with periods of craziness and long hours and times when it is dead. We talk together about people in my projects who only want to work their contracted hours that leave others working more (culture / time zone differences etc)

But still.... just feeling rather low on the priority list right now and hate that its making me question the relationship.

TreeMonkey Thu 29-Aug-13 15:27:55

Not that much Sleepy. Half of your estimate. Not enough for total sacrifice but some compromise yes.

homebythesea Thu 29-Aug-13 15:29:24

Some jobs are like this- deadlines have to be met, working with different time zones, sheer complexity of deals. I would like to bet that the rewards are as a result very high. It is for you to decide where the balance should lie between the hours your partner works and the financial and other rewards it brings.

My DH works these sorts of hours, has the laptop out in the evening, is always "available" on holidays etc. basically never "off" work. He never saw the children awake on a weekday for their first few years.

However we have a fantastic lifestyle, are mortgage free and have no financial issues. I don't work and we have a very traditional husband and wife role IYSWIM. This works for us but I can see it wouldn't suit everyone. But you must go in with your eyes open to what that sort of career means for you and any children.

SarahBumBarer Thu 29-Aug-13 15:35:38

Yeah TM - that is the quid pro quo in my job too. It tends to mean that family time has to be a bit more ad hoc. If a project aborts and I suddenly find myself with an unexpected quiet week, we make the most of it and accept that even quite important plans might have to give when a really big project gets in the way. But I'm lucky in that DH's job is pretty flexible. Sadly, I do find that weekend/Friday plans are the most susceptible to change.

If your DH is half as much as Sleepy suggests then the reward for total sacrifice presumably is the lure of promotion and earning more? In some ways more of a drug than actually earning the higher amount.

motherinferior Thu 29-Aug-13 15:36:57

It also means that you won't have the same options about working when you have kids, I'd have thought.

Stepinstone Thu 29-Aug-13 15:45:38

Mother inferior has an important point.

What will you do if YOU want to work part time or full time? Lots of women love their children but find being with them all day for months on end utterly frustrating and boring. I work to keep my mind happy - not just for money.

For 50k I would NOT put my job above my partner's birthday!!!

ILoveDolly Thu 29-Aug-13 15:53:26

Some people are just really committed to their jobs. When my dd was 6m old my partner had to work far away for some months. He regularly gets home after the children went to bed. Luckily for us he was able to shift across slightly to get work which does not involve weekends or too many public holidays now but when our daughter was little he once worked Christmas Day. I would not expect him to take time off for his own birthday let alone mine, if he did not feel able to do so. I value the work he does, he works hard and cares about what he does, but it has impacted on my ability to work/what childcare we have. You need to have a long hard think before you have children wuth this man, because the shape of your whole life depends on your ability to accept playing 2nd fiddle to his employer.

TreeMonkey Thu 29-Aug-13 15:56:05

True. I have a career too and really enjoy working. I wouldn't want to give that up either.

TreeMonkey Thu 29-Aug-13 15:58:06

If it was a normal work day of course I wouldn't expect him to take time off. I'd be working too. Its just that it falls on a Sunday so I thought we could have lunch together...

motherinferior Thu 29-Aug-13 16:01:57

A Sunday lunch with someone on your goddam 30th birthday is really not much to ask.

He sounds, frankly, pretty boring. He's willing to go into work unpaid for a whole weekend? When it's his partner's birthday? Boy, work must love him...but I'd also not be surprised if he doesn't really ascend that madly fast if he's prepared to be made a mug out of like that.

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