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DP wants to work away...struggling to cope

(103 Posts)
laurajaneP Wed 20-Jan-16 12:37:58

Hello Everyone

DP is ex forces (left many years ago now) and since leaving has always struggled with 'Normal' 9-5 jobs, although he now has a very good job which allows him to be home pretty much every evening.

We have a DD (13Months) and he has mentioned on numerous occasions how much money he could earn doing his line of work in say London or a bigger city...which is very far away from where we live. We are not hard up for money nor is his job at risk he simply sees how much money he could earn and wants to do it so I can give up work and be a SAHM and pay off our mortgage. (I only work PT so have plenty of time with DD as it is)

He knows my feelings on this..i feel it is un necessary and he would miss out on so much, plus I do not want to live away from him Monday to Friday, I am under no illusions if he was at home on weekends he would be tired, wouldn't want to do much and also that once mortgage was paid off he would naturally want a bigger house etc and so I cant see any end to this whatsoever.

Some of you may think im mad to complain but I love him and would miss him terribly, also I do not want to effectively bring up our DD by myself!!

Have had huge argument and now he feels I am being un supportive of what he wants to do and I am feeling very upset as we are just at loggerheads. Don't know where to turn.

Has anyone got any experience of living apart like this? do you think im being selfish for saying this really isn't what I want?

stairbears Wed 20-Jan-16 12:55:39

No, you're not being selfish. It's a pretty big lifestyle choice. If it's a non-negotiable for you then he has to decide what to do, really

WhereYouLeftIt Wed 20-Jan-16 12:57:16

If he wants to work in London, why does it mean that he would be working away? Why does it not mean that you move to London as a family?

AnchorDownDeepBreath Wed 20-Jan-16 12:58:23

If he's always struggled with having a "normal" job, I think you probably need a compromise. It's fair enough saying you don't want this, but if you split, you'd essentially be doing those things you don't want to do anyway.

Is there any way you can compromise? Move to a big city? He works away four days a week?

VimFuego101 Wed 20-Jan-16 12:58:32

YANBU. DH works away a week every month. It's really crap rattling around by myself in the house, and I work full time so it's difficult to juggle picking up/ dropping off/ covering sick days for DS on my own.

Presumably he would have to pay for accommodation during the week so that would probably offset a lot of the extra money.

DorotheaHomeAlone Wed 20-Jan-16 12:59:45

I don't think you're being selfish at all. You chose him as a partner and co-parent presumably because you like having him around! DH and I were long distance in the week before we were married and it was really hard. I wouldn't even consider it now we have dd.

Is it the whole plan you dislike? Would you like to SAH? If so could the whole family move? I think it's fair to discuss all options but to suggest you be a lp 5 days a week and be annoyed when you refuse is not really reasonable.

PennyHasNoSurname Wed 20-Jan-16 13:06:09

Pre kids it wouldnt have bothered me if dh worked away. Now we have kids I am of the opinion that he should be around and help parent them. I wouldnt support his choice to move away monday to friday.

As a pp said could you all.move? Presumably this would result in higher living costs so that may negate the move though.

Im wondering whether he just wants less hands on responsibility? Could you say you have seen some jobs away mon to fri for you and see how he reacts? Because why should he be the one to get evenings to himself and no resposibility on weekdays.

OVienna Wed 20-Jan-16 13:06:15

I don't understand why you couldn't move either, although the increased salary in London would come with increased living costs. Is that part of his argument?

It sounds like what he enjoys having a significant chunk of time to himself, really. I think this is a bad thing to encourage.

I'm wondering if there are any charities that support families/servicemen who might be able to provide some counselling around transitioning into civilian jobs and lifestyle? It sounds like this would have been useful to your DH years ago. Maybe they could help now.

laurajaneP Wed 20-Jan-16 13:07:17

I've said many times we could move with him but he doesn't want to uproot us, I have lots of family close by and he says he wouldn't want to take me away from them. I wouldn't mind being a SAHM but I don't mind my job (I've moaned to him before about it as we all do, so now whenever this comes up he says I don't like my job so wouldn't I be happy? which isn't really the case at all) he would have to pay for accommodation, food etc and to me it just seems crazy to do that. He says it's not because he doesn't want to be here with us but you know what it's like I do start to wonder!! Just feel so lost want to be supportive but I just can't happily wave him off every week which is what he wants

Epilepsyhelp Wed 20-Jan-16 13:12:55

YANBU at all. I'm amazed he can't understand that his presence is more important to you and DC than more money. He will be missing out on more than 2/3rds of DC growing up, that's a crazy choice to make voluntarily if finances don't require it.

SushiAndTheBanshees Wed 20-Jan-16 13:15:14

A decision like this has to be joint. You both need to get straight in your minds what your priorities are. For him: higher pay, which means working in London. For you, keeping the family unit together. Conclusion? You move to London.

Something has got to give, and that will be proximity to your family. Which hundreds of thousands of families deal with all the time.

FWIW, I would move to the other end of the country if it meant my child would see her father every day. It may not be so bad at 13 months but give it a year or two and she will really notice and mind (never mind any second child in the mix).

HINBU to want a better paying job, YANBU to want to live together. The solution is for all of you to move together.

42andcounting Wed 20-Jan-16 13:18:53

We are in much the situation your DP is aiming for, and we both dream of the day he manages to get a job where he can get home at night. Its hard on us, and worse for our 2yo, although of course we put happy faces on for her, and make the most of our weekends and holidays. We can't relocate with him because he's currently on a temporary secondment, and will relocate again in less than a year. I'm probably biased but I would say don't do it if you don't have to. Life's too short to be away from the people you love, and to miss seeing your child growing up.

laurajaneP Wed 20-Jan-16 13:18:57

I have said I would move with him many times but as in my previous post he always says he doesn't want to uproot us, I can't do anymore than that. He says he loves me and is happy but this whole thing makes me wonder if this is more about him living a different lifestyle whilst maintaining a family?? (I may be totally wrong but do wonder)

Goingtobeawesome Wed 20-Jan-16 13:20:21

I wonder too. What would he do if you just said no?

laurajaneP Wed 20-Jan-16 13:23:36

I've said no every single time but it keeps coming back up and always ends in a argument, I can't keep going round in circles thinking he's happy then it's brought up and we argue about it!! He obviously can't let the idea go so I'm now at a total loss what to say to him

LentilStew Wed 20-Jan-16 13:23:38

I have 4 and DH works away mon-Thur. You get into a routine and it's fine. However, DH would far rather come home every night so he'd love us to move closer but kids are settled and ds1 is at secondary school so it wouldn't be fair to them. It's a bit strange that he wants to work in Lonfin but doesn't want you all to move closer as a family. I'd be a bit hmm about that. Do you think what he really wants is some bachelor time? I don't necessarily mean casual sex opportunities but living in his own answering only to himself, no childcare responsibilities etc.

LentilStew Wed 20-Jan-16 13:24:25


pinkdelight Wed 20-Jan-16 13:30:40

It is worrying that this vision of his involves him becoming more independent and you becoming more dependent. Why should you give up work while he clearly defines himself by his work? Fair enough if you were desperate to be a SAHM but that sounds far from the case and that he isn't listening to you at all while expecting you to support his ambitions. I too would fear that he wants the wife and family without the day to day reality of that life. Okay if he has itchy feet and is dissatisfied then that's something you can work on as a family and come up with a solution together, but this 'he wants' based approach, whether it's 'he wants to work away' or 'he doesn't want to uproot me', is not the way to drive this. Yanbu.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Wed 20-Jan-16 13:31:01

Has he checked out the cost of renting a room in London Mon-Fri, plus his commute costs in London and any share in bills he might be liable for along with the weekly return ticket/car costs? Salaries might be higher in London but it is offset by the enormous cost of living too. If he's "single" in London too he's not going to be sitting in watching TV every night either. He'll have a gym membership and lots of pub time with colleagues if he doesn't have to be home for bathtime.

I would ask him to work out detailed financials based on average incomes for the roles he thinks he is qualified for. I would also suggest that you both sit down and work out whether you could still be a SAHM within 1.5 hours [door to door] commute of London eg Hitchin, or Bedford for example.

I also think you are right to wonder. But it's also January which is when most people express dissatisfaction with their lives in some way smile

LittleLegs25 Wed 20-Jan-16 13:31:49

If you are willing to move to London to be with him and keep your family together then make that your final decision and don't let him tell you no. If he wants to work in London that's fine but he has to realise family's are meant to be together, its way more important than money. YANBU

donajimena Wed 20-Jan-16 13:34:38

Oh for the love of God don't become financially dependent. You are not married. I've seen so many people get shafted. I'm one of them.

SonjasSister7 Wed 20-Jan-16 13:35:00

I think you can be supportive by helping him explore what it is about civilian life he struggles with, why he thinks working away will ease that, and how else he can overcome these issues in a way that is compatible with being a husband and father.

Its not being 'supportive' to let him do something that won't work well for his wife and family because he thinks he knows what's best. Its submissive.

It seems he wants your family to stand in as husband and father. But it was him you married. He sounds very controlling - or very dim, or very 'blocked' when it comes to listening.

Yes of course if he is , you need to work together on helping fix this, but there is no logic in just swapping so you are unhappy instead.

SushiAndTheBanshees Wed 20-Jan-16 13:35:40

Going by your last two posts, I too think there is more to it than he is letting on. I wouldn't necessarily jump to the conclusion that it's about other women or freedom from the daily grind with a small child. After a career in the forces, surrounded by mostly men, lots of headspace, discipline and the luxury of being able to think only about yourself, adjusting to daily life with a wife and child could be hard.

Can you have an open conversation with him about this? To get to the root of the problem? No judgements, no umbrage taken, just honest truths? It might help you see what's really going on and find other solutions. I wouldn't think he is necessarily wrong to feel the way he does, but neither are you. As ever, it's about meeting in the middle somewhere. If he wants space, you all moving to London together won't give him that. But him having time away regularly might (for example).

Potatoface2 Wed 20-Jan-16 13:36:05 husband worked away for a while, with a group of friends.....they saw it as a time they could pretend they were affair (that i know of) and the lies (having an early night tonight, followed by him accidentally ringing me from his last caller/ass while in a night club) nearly put an end to my marriage/sanity....all while i was juggling children and working full time myself....was a few years ago now, doesnt work away any more and if it came up again i wouldnt agree to it....i would be divorcing him!

SonjasSister7 Wed 20-Jan-16 13:36:25

Ach sorry just seen you aren't married. Reason? Do you want to be? Has it been discussed?

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