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Not to want to commute 2.5 hours each way to work

(75 Posts)
lauralaughs Fri 22-Feb-13 04:51:42

In sum, we live in a small flat in West London, but an opportunity has arisen for us to rent a lovely house at more or less the same price from a family friend in the Sussex countryside but we had only 6 months to get organised, and I need to give 3 months notice on my job (in Middlesex) At the moment I am the breadwinner and dh looks after the 2 young kids at home, although he does try to work on his fledgling business from home too and we would all welcome the space of the house with the garden etc, he would be able to do his stuff more effectively in an office, the kids would have room to play etc.

Although I have applied for several jobs in the area, I did not see any real job opportunities in my sector until quite recently, and I am still waiting to hear if I have an interview from the jobs I applied for within the last month. I have told dh that I would love to move to the house, however, I cannot give notice on my house or job until I have work in the new area. We have calculated that my commute would cost around 1/4 of my earnings, and would be a 5 hour round trip each day! Youngest dc is 20 months old, I would not see as much of both kids as I would like and would be exhausted, my job is already putting me under a lot of pressure. My parents and sister have advised my not to move, for both job security and health of mind and body. I agree with them, much as I would love to take up the opportunity. The owner of the house really does need to let out the house asap for his financial position. Dh says we should bite the bullet and go for it! I will be able to get a job in the area soon and it will only be a temporary situation, with such a commute! He promises to come up with the goods financially with his business in a short space of time, but his track record in that respect is not great!
I have told him I will not take the risk and do the commute, and he now wants a divorce!

nooka Fri 22-Feb-13 05:00:36

Your dh is (obviously) being completely unreasonable. I wouldn't personally commute for more than an hour. Two and a half would be grim.

How much research have you done on the job market in the new area? Does your dh think you've not really tried to look for a new job perhaps? Do you think he has really taken in the impact of the commute into account or is blinded by the loveliness of the potential new lifestyle for himself/your children?

chutneypig Fri 22-Feb-13 05:01:53

I've done a commute like that pre children and its very hard. I'd consider it again short term, but not with children unless i was very confident of finding work more locally.

Five hours on a good day can be a lot worse, i spent up to 8 hours travelling some days and it's very draining. Also your employer my be concerned, as disruption is likely. That's extra strain for you and your DH too. It may seem like a great idea now, more space etc for him and the children but it could be very lonely for him, with you away for so long.

Would you be driving or by public transport?

lauralaughs Fri 22-Feb-13 05:08:13

Hi Nooka,

The job market is quite good, I'm in education and there are colleges, schools etc in abundance. However, it's a tricky time for education as you may know, and there have been no vacancies of the type of job I have until recently, which I have obviously applied for. As an indication, too, where I currently work, there have been cuts in my area and no new vacancies appearing.

whiteflame Fri 22-Feb-13 05:11:50

I sometimes have a 1.5 hour commute here (when I take the train). It is very, very tiring, much more than I thought it would be. You think "oh I can read on the train", but somehow it's like an extra 3 hours a day at work in terms of tiredness!

And I don't have DC...

nooka Fri 22-Feb-13 05:30:27

Sounds like you definitely need to stay put then. You know that you have done your best, but this time and this opportunity isn't going to work out. It's sad, but that's how it is. I hope that your dh is just upset and letting off steam, and that he apologies for his talk of divorce. Assuming that your relationship is good in general and this was just a frustrated outburst you may need to sit down together and figure out if there are other ways you can both work towards to achieve more space and a greater likelihood of his business being successful.

OhMerGerd Fri 22-Feb-13 06:39:15

It's Monday morning next week say. You've got to be in work for 0830/ 0900? That means leaving home at 0600/0630 if the trains are an exact match and you're right by the station both ends. If you're driving you'll need to leave extra for potential rush hour traffic. So that means getting up showered dressed etc in the semi gloom, trying not to wake everyone up ( oh they will get up with you for the first couple of weeks but it's dark and cold and probably one of the dc will leap into your warm spot in the bed for cuddle with dp so it's only fair to let them snooze on). So imagine its the best day at work ( so youre not totally stressed or having to stay late to catch up or attend a staff/ parents/ student meeting ) but still you can't stop for a coffee / drink with colleagues to celebrate/ commiserate etc cos dashing off home it's 1700/1730 and you've got train to catch to get you home by 1930/2000 if they're running in time or that drive back through rush hour in the rain. All goes well, no delays you are in and you creep upstairs to kiss sleeping DC, get changed in semi gloom go downstairs to eat heated up dinner while DP fills you in about how well youngest did in the nursery play and what went on at the birthday party they all went to with elder DC where he ended up doing the music cos he was the only male and all the other mums were feeding him sausage rolls and bits of cake. Such fun! Gosh is that the time, 2200 you're nodding off better get up to bed you've got to be up at 0515 to get ready for work ( hope you got all your marking and lesson prep done during the working day or on the train if you got a seat) DP? ...Oh he's not really tired yet so he's going to fix his bike, walk the dog, watch that documentary you said was interesting... See you in the morning love. You miss your kids, spend no time with DP except weekends when you're cheesed off cos you spot all the little household chores he's not done so you end up doing them. You don't feel like socialising because a) you cant face travelling to see friends as youve spent 25 hours this week on the road already, b) youre a bit skint cos you've spent a quarter of your wages on travelling to work c) you've got half an eye on the fact you're up at 0515 on Monday morning and d) your DC have parties, sleepovers, etc that you don't want to stop them going too but you haven't seen them all week.
Gosh I'm sounding a bit ranty and negative.. Well I did this commute thingy from when my DC were 2 and 9 for several years because the local job never came off. I was going deranged with it all. Had to stop, I still commute 1.5 hours but work from home at least one day a week and of course my DC are now pretty much grown up. I wouldn't do it again if I had my time over. I won't go into how it's affected DC thats another story
So think hard about the reality of your day to day minute by minute life. It is exhausting commuting. Trains are cramped they are not relaxing unless you can afford 1st class it's hard to do work either. Having said all this it can of course be sustained short term so if you are even half certain you can find a job locally in say the next 6 months then perhaps go for it . Otherwise don't rush. Other houses in Sussex will come up at reasonable prices if you all want to move there.I'd say get work first and then move together and make a new life together.

AngryGnome Fri 22-Feb-13 06:47:26

Is there any opportunity for you to work from home? Dh has a 2 hour commute each way, so 4-5 hours in total. He has negotiated to work in the office two days a week and at home 3 days a week. Thus has actually worked out really well for us since having ds - dh gets to see a lot of him, have lunch with us etc on his working from home days.

Southeastdweller Fri 22-Feb-13 06:56:08

I would stay put until you find work. An hour commute is bad enough but a longer one can be even worse as oh illustrated. You don't know when you could find work do you, so the grim commuting could go on for months and months, tiring you out and eating away at your family time.

I sense some guilt about the owner maybe not being able to find someone to let the house. But it's really not your problem.

McNewPants2013 Fri 22-Feb-13 07:00:04

I wouldn't like that commute every day. I think it would be wise to stay where you are because there will always be another rental within the same area.

HollyBerryBush Fri 22-Feb-13 07:09:47

Commutes like that are just not sustainable in the long term, especially when you have family commitments.

I just simply would not pour that amount of money into the rail company profits.

I suppose one alternative might be to weekly house share with a collegue and go home at weekends - but then, I don't see why you should work yourself stupid to facilitate your husband playing at The Good Life down in the sticks.

As an aside - the amount of people and 'fledging businesses' I read about on forums? You've said it yourself, he's never going to be Richard Branson, he's just faffing about pretending and getting a free ride into the bargain.

Wants a divorce does he? Tell him to sling his hook, put the kids in daycare and see how far he gets with no income.

>folds arms and realises that isn't very helpful<

RedwingOnFire Fri 22-Feb-13 07:14:31

My parents and sister have advised my not to move, for both job security and health of mind and body. I agree with them, much as I would love to take up the opportunity.

You said this. Job security is very important in these times. You also don't know how long this rental opportunity may last. I wouldn't.

Gosh, didn't even get to the last sentence, just re-read, he wants a divorce?? Seriously?

FergusSingsTheBlues Fri 22-Feb-13 07:14:46

You couldnt possibly survive it.
In this environment, relying on 1. A job to materialise 2. New business to take off is simply crazy, can you imagine the pressure?!

I had a 1.5hr commute, it wore me out, plus our family life really suffered.

forevergreek Fri 22-Feb-13 07:20:03

Is that 2.5 commute by train? Could you get a cheap car to use? We are kinda at the same dilemma now and even the outskirts of dirty is only 1.10hr by car to say v central London. It is also cheaper

HollyBerryBush Fri 22-Feb-13 07:24:17

A cheap car = high maintenance. Cars on those commutes are worse than trains, rush hour traffic, you only need a jack knifed lorry on the M25 and everything is screwed up in the surrounding area for half a day. Plus the congestion charge.

NaturalBaby Fri 22-Feb-13 07:28:37

We have been in a similar situation but the commute is only 1 1/4hrs each way and I am the sahm trying to set up a business. From my point of view, I'm struggling and I need more from DH. He has no more to give!
I'm focusing on the fact that this is a temporary situation, DH's career is the priority (he is doing really well) and we can just about make it work. I can't see your situation working with the commute and distance.

He needs to look at the bigger picture if he things the only other option is divorce. That is madness. You would be doing a big favour for a friend and potentially destroying your family - where are your DH's priorities?!

frillyflower Fri 22-Feb-13 07:31:33

I did a commute like this. 2 hours each way. Train journey was against the main flow of commuters so always got a seat. Could read on train etc.

It was Very Exhausting. I felt like I was on a hideous treadmill. Start the day in the dark. Always pressure to catch the train. Back so late the evening half over. Cooking dinner with my coat on sometimes as pressure to get food on table before 8.30 pm. Weekends horrible (Saturday too weary to move much), Sun did housework).

Seriously your husband is being v. Unreasonable and rather unkind.

You don't have to rent this house. Get a job first and rent a different house if you still want to move.

Monty27 Fri 22-Feb-13 07:33:32

You could spend your commute money renting a room? Then get back to dc's for a few days a week feeling fresh and glad to see them.... no I can see how that wouldn't work for any of you, just as I can see how commuting 5 hours a day and spending all that money doing it wouldn't work either.

Ok, I'm a cumudgeon, just think it's madness, the person who will suffer most is you by the way, on all levels.

GailTheGoldfish Fri 22-Feb-13 07:34:41

How selfish of him. Would he be prepared to find a job in Sussex in order to make the family financial situation better and take the pressure off while you find a job down there? If not HIBU and stamping his feet about not getting what he wants without considering the bigger picture.

BigAudioDynamite Fri 22-Feb-13 07:42:16

Hold up! He wants a divorce???!

That is blackmail. Selfish wanker. Stand your ground angry

Monty27 Fri 22-Feb-13 07:47:02

OMG I missed the divorce bit, I'm still half asleep.

Tell him to sod off to sussex and divorce him asap. He sounds horrible.

specialmagiclady Fri 22-Feb-13 07:51:57

I agree it sounds hellish but I know families where the father has done this for years. Basically, the happiness of most of the family has taken precedence over the happiness of the breadwinner. But now they're settled somewhere fabulous and it was worth it. Is Sussex where u want to be in the long run?

Monty27 Fri 22-Feb-13 07:54:19

Yes fathers and mothers have done it successfully, but if she doesn't he wants a divorce?


OhMerGerd Fri 22-Feb-13 07:54:19

Sorry I missed the divorce bit shock. Joking surely. If not.... I'm afraid it's the old Mr Bennett logic for him....
Script goes, You..' DP it seems as if our marriage is at and end for you will divorce me if I don't move to Sussex and commute two and a half hours a day never seeing my children and ending up looking and feeling like I'm 20 years older by the end if six weeks and I my dear will divorce you if you don't graciously smile give me a hug, accept it was a pipe dream and we can always move out when your business is making enough money to keep us all, go run me a hot bath and bring me a glass of wine to drink in it and apologise for selfishly putting me through all this stress'.

SPBInDisguise Fri 22-Feb-13 07:54:39

Not sure if the divorce comment was flippant?
OP you say you work in education - do you actually teach and need to be on site? If not, could you negotiate 2 days working from home and 3 days in the office, maybe staying over somewhere cheap nearby for one of those nights?
Would you commute be car or train?

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