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Would you end a relationship even if you loved someone but knew you could never be together permanently?

(26 Posts)
Headingforheartbreak Tue 05-Jul-16 21:24:49

Been with DP for 3.5 years, got engaged last year.

We live 3.5 hours apart and see each other at weekends. When we got together the distance was something we talked about and I made it clear that I wasn't in a position to move because of not wanting to move DC away from my ex who lives in the same town as me. So when we talked about being together he talked about finding work here and him moving here to be with me.

However, as time has gone on it's become increasingly obvious that finding work here is almost impossible for him. He works in a very niche job, and has worked for the same company since he left school over twenty years ago, so realistically has no transferable skills.

We honestly didn't think it was going to be this hard when we got together, but now it's the only thing we argue about.

I don't want to end the relationship but realistically I know that this is the only way it's ever going to be, and that being together on a permanent basis is never likely to happen in the current circumstances. DC are in secondary so me moving with them is not an option either. Plus I own my house here so selling up to move without me having work is logistically not an option even in the future.

It's breaking my heart thinking that perhaps I just need to end this relationship before arguments about the future end up tearing us apart anyway.

Cabrinha Tue 05-Jul-16 21:35:27

Presumably you do actually love and see and future with him, to have become engaged.

If it's not something you can accept any longer, of course you should split.

Was the plan only ever that he should move to you?

At secondary age, if you think your kids are uni-bound then you're max 7 years from being able to move too. Although you need to consider whether they're likely to settle near their home town and father and whether that's a problem for you.

You could rent your house out once you've found work hear him.

If he's in such a niche non transferable skills job then maybe it's time he jumped ship anyway. He's very vulnerable to redundancy, surely? He will have some skills to take elsewhere. Would be retrain? Would you support him whilst he does?

Does he want to move though? Or does he feel like he's the one having to make the change?

If he was just your boyfriend I would say life's too short and there are other men, for a 3.5 hour distance (who does the travel?). But to have decided you're getting married...

Headingforheartbreak Tue 05-Jul-16 22:00:07

Yes, I do love him and see my future with him. smile.

He was always going to be the one who moved because he doesn't have DC whereas I do. And he's the one who travels because he lives in a one bedroom flat and my DC are with me most weekends.

Have thought for a while that he needs to do something else and I would obviously support him in that, it's just that after so long in the same job/occupation it's hard for him to make the jump.

purplefox Tue 05-Jul-16 23:37:44

How pro-active has he been with the job search? Does he actually want to move in with you or is he using the job issue as an excuse?

Summerlovinf Tue 05-Jul-16 23:47:11

what do you argue about? I can understand that the distance is a challenge but you've managed to work around this for 3.5 years. What's changed?

Religieuse Tue 05-Jul-16 23:59:18

If your children are in secondary, surely you're in a sense counting down to them being independent?

Also, how much effort has he put into finding work close to you? I would be wondering about the possible lack of enterprise of someone who's stayed 20 years in the same job....

Smorgasboard Wed 06-Jul-16 00:35:42

The ball has been in his court since the first time you discussed this and agreed that it would make sense for him to come to you, which it does, on the face of it.
The procrastination his end is likely fear of the unknown against a job and life (I assume he has friends, family, roots, where he lives?) that he has been solid in for the last 20 years. Always going to be a hill to overcome in the age of OLD if you place the catchment area wide (just saying, you may have met some other way).
Either he will get to a point where what you have is more important to him than his roots, or he won't. The key is how long is reasonable for him to work it out? How long is to the point where you become fed up about his procrastination, I think you are reraching this point, you need to tell him, it will either be the shove he needs, or he will assess that it's not worth the risk, either way, you will know where you stand.

WillIEverBeASizeTen Wed 06-Jul-16 04:36:12

I was in love with someone in the Army. He lived 40 mins away initially and then posted 2+ hours away. His DC were at boarding school.

I realised after 3 years it was all on his terms so I told him I couldn't carry on the way things were. He didn't compromise in any way, just let me go, so I did. Hardest thing I've ever done, but I knew it wasn't going to work long term.

Can he not stay with you from Friday night till Monday morning? Lots of married people with long commutes do this. It may actually work when your DC get to teenagersconfused

Cabrinha Wed 06-Jul-16 07:23:08

3.5 hours is a bloody long way.
And he's bearing the brunt of that. And he's the one that has to change everything to be with you.
What are you actually arguing about?

StillDrSethHazlittMD Wed 06-Jul-16 08:18:35

Religeuse What a bizarre thing to say: "I would be wondering about the possible lack of enterprise of someone who's stayed 20 years in the same job...."

So, should all builders retrain to be web designers after 10 years? Should all plumbers retrain after 12 years to be tax inspectors? 30 years ago most people had a "job for life" and while they may have been promoted once or twice, they'd still probably be doing the same basic thing or work for the same company.

The OP has already said it's a niche job. He might have trained for ages in this one particular field and is bloody good at it and really loves it. So many people don't enjoy their work, he clearly does so good for him.

daisychain01 Wed 06-Jul-16 08:54:01

you both need to be realistic and make a few compromises if your relationship has any chance of surviving. If you keep thinking the same way, you'll keep hitting the same barriers and nothing will change.

Even though you say your DP has "no transferable skills" the whole point is that he may need to increase his existing skills with other skills (training, evening classes, online etc) to enable him to find an alternative work opportunities. What would happen if he lost his job, he'd have no choice then, right? Without knowing what field he's in it's impossible to say how viable it is, but if he's in a "trade" could he set up his own business in that trade, doing what he's good at, in your area?

I can see his point that if the work isn't there, in your location, why leave his stable employment.

You both need to consider options because the reality is that jobs for life very rarely exist nowadays and having that mentality in 21st century leaves you vulnerable to LT unemployment!

daisychain01 Wed 06-Jul-16 08:57:24

Presumably he knew from Day 1 that your DCs needed to be your priority, location-wise, so no big surprise there smile

The alternative is to put your personal life on hold until they have left home, which seems to be too long to wait.

Cabrinha Wed 06-Jul-16 09:05:15

We don't know what the arguments are about though.
It seems to me it's the boyfriend with the raw deal here.
He does ALL the travel. That's 7 hours (if no traffic issues?) EVERY weekend. Why aren't you travelling to him on the weekends you don't have the kids?

I work away in the week (longer than 3.5 hours) and it's pretty hard going. It also splits your life in two - he can't just nip to the pub on Sat evening for a few hours.

You are asking a lot of him to be the one that moves and gives up his job.

Religieuse Wed 06-Jul-16 09:08:48

Staying in a job for life has largely gone to way of the dodo. I'm not suggesting that plumbers retrain as teachers, or doctors as train drivers. And of course the partner may love his 'niche' job - that's irrelevant to the situation. I'm simply pointing out that, given that there has been the explicit understanding for several years now that the OP's partner will need to be the one to move in order to live closer to her, he seems curiously reluctant to make any useful moves towards retraining/considering alternatives to a job he's worked in since leaving school and/or acquiring the transferable skills he doesn't seem to show much interest in acquiring.

Headingforheartbreak Wed 06-Jul-16 09:26:47

Just to clarify, at no point have I said to him that he needs to move, nor have I put pressure on him to do so. But when we got together it had to be made clear that if there was ever going to be any talk of long-term, I wouldn't be in a position to move while I still have children at school here and in close proximity to their dad. So when we did talk about long-term and got engaged, he then started talking of finding work here and moving to be here.

If anything I have been reluctant to even talk much about it because in my previous relationship I was the one forced to move jobs and towns several times in order to facilitate my ex's career progression and this caused a lot of resentment. So I have been very keen to not apply that same kind of pressure to him.

We've argued because I have said to him that we need to move the goalposts and realise that actually, given his work situation, living together permanently in the near future isn't going to be an option until the DC are no longer living here. He says that this is me being negative about the relationship, even though he is not in a position to move. I'm being realistic, he has his head in the sand, and yet he's still not actually facing the reality of looking for something here. Iyswim.

AlfrescoBalconyWanker Wed 06-Jul-16 09:52:58

he has his head in the sand, and yet he's still not actually facing the reality of looking for something here

So has he actually looked for work closer to you? Or just assumed he wouldn't be able to?

daisychain01 Wed 06-Jul-16 10:04:49

The fact is neither of you can change the fact you have DC. That's central to any decisions you make individually. Either he has to be prepared to be mobile, or you have to jointly agree to putting a move on ice until later.

Your latest update also suggests you don't like the idea of uprooting due to the history of chasing your ex's career path to where he needed to be.

I think the whole situation feels stressful, full of unresolvable sticking points and so many compromises that one or other of you (or both) will end up resentful.

Smorgasboard Wed 06-Jul-16 10:05:51

It all depends on what you both want, and when you want that to happen. I think you are being realistic in that, as he has not shown any signs of changing anything, the current status quo looks likely to be maintained until your DC's are independent. So, how many years is that likely to be? Is it something you both will be willing to put up with for that long?
If he is still feeling positive about the relationship, I'd guess the frequent travelling and times apart have not got to him yet.
If you continue how things are for the foreseeable, it may run its course before the kids grow up, however, then you may be left feeling that you have wasted many years meantime. If it lasts till you are in a position to move, yet again you are moving for someone else, either you are ok with knowing that or will be bitter at the one to be upping sticks again.

Somerville Wed 06-Jul-16 10:20:40

So he's has been and still is happy to travel to you at weekends. But when you got engaged/planned a future together he agreed that he'd relocate. But then he's not doing anything about it, and now you argue about it. Is that the issue?

If so, then yes that would annoy me too. I'm 1.5 hours away from my chap and also can't move because of children. Moving to be with me is going to mean more commuting for him and less good work/life balance so I wouldn't have asked. But he's saying he's up for doing it and if he now doesn't do it I'll be very disappointed.

When were you planning on getting married? Would you consider marrying him if he's still working 3.5 hours away every week?

I agree with PP that you have a maximum of 7 years until you can move anyway. Would you want to?

magicmysterybus Wed 06-Jul-16 10:54:12

I find it hard to believe your DP has no transferable skills after 20 years' work experience. I had to retrain in order to make a new life with DH, which meant paying for a course and the stress of selling my home, and DH supporting us all through a two-year period of retraining. But I knew we were in it for the long term, and that ultimately my dc would benefit because they are happier being part of a family unit and having a mum in a happy relationship. I think your DP is happy with the status quo and I would be questioning his commitment really. When you say you are engaged, have you actually made any concrete plans for a wedding?

Headingforheartbreak Wed 06-Jul-16 13:01:09

Well, I likely won't have a choice over whether to move when DC finish school because I only stayed here to facilitate their relationship with their dad which ironically has broken down over the past year or so, but given the stage they're at in secondary moving out of the area isn't an option for me anyway atm.

When I say that DP works in a specialist job, I mean that there are only two places in the country which do what he does.

I have always been afraid that I am the selfish one here, looks like I was right

daisychain01 Wed 06-Jul-16 13:21:31

I don't think you are being selfish, you are being a great mum to your DC putting them at the top of your priority list.

If I were you I'd sit with your DP and do a brainstorm of possibilities (no idea too stupid, kind of approach).

If your DPs profession is rare, maybe he could set up a training facility to teach people what he does (clutching at straws here smile ). FYI my DP has one of those weird and wacky jobs, only about 1 or 2 of him in the country, but he is mobile/works for himself. Otherwise we'd probably be in a similar situation!

daisychain01 Wed 06-Jul-16 13:22:35

Oops he's my DH now! And we were a LDR so don't give up

newname99 Wed 06-Jul-16 13:44:14

It seems he's happy we that the distance but you are seeking more? Understandable as you agreed to marry and most people assume you would be living together.

If you are not happy with the distance then it's either put up and wait for children to leave or give him an ultimatum.A concern however is that as you haven't lived together you may not know each other as well as you think.If he moved the stress of new living arrangement plus adjusting could cause high stress.

I do have sympathy for him however, good jobs that you enjoy are not easy to find.Its maybe too romantic to give up security for love so I can understand his worries.

What ages are you both?

sleepyowl12 Wed 06-Jul-16 14:56:15

I am sorry for the dilemma you are in. Can I though ask you to clarify what you mean when you wrote 'Plus I own my house here so selling up to move without me having work is logistically not an option even in the future.'? I don't understand why logistics will prevent you moving? Thank you

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