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. . . to expect more contact from DP when he's away?

(99 Posts)
ZiggyForever Thu 04-May-17 09:15:21

The major bone of contention in our relationship is how DP does (or doesn't) keep in touch with me when he's away. I accept that he needs to travel for work and I don't want to have a negative impact on that. The evenings are very sociable and they're always out eating and drinking and DP enjoys it, so it's not really a hardship for him to be away from home. It can be difficult for me because, as well as missing him, he spends a lot of time entertaining female clients, one or two he freely admits to finding attractive, and historically he hasn't been good at keeping in touch when he's away which has caused arguments. He's also done a couple of unwise things in the past, but not with me, and I do believe he wouldn't cheat on me.

This week he's away for four days. Before he left, I tried to make sure we had a nice evening together to ensure we parted on a loving, happy note. But he didn't seem to want to engage and just sat on the sofa watching movies, so I kind-of gave up trying to get his attention, feeling a little hard done by.

For this trip, I'd suggested that we don't contact each other, as if I don't expect to hear from him, then I won't be disappointed if he doesn't message me. It removes the obligation on him to send me the occasional courtesy texts I used to ask for but he wasn't very good/consistent at sending and avoids the upset I'd feel when I expected to hear from him but didn't.

Basically, I don't want to argue. No-contact means there is no expectation that he fails to live up to. It's extreme, but at this point I just don't want to argue.

But, late on the first night away, he messaged to say he was back in his room, and we had a brief conversation, then at 10am the next day he messaged "Morning x" so I let him know my plans for the day (drinks after work etc.) I assumed the no-contact thing wasn't happening (he wasn't that keen anyway). But instead of letting me know what his plans were in return, I heard nothing more from him, and then later in the evening Facebook informed me he was somewhere random - not a million miles away from where I thought he was, but clearly the evening jolly was more adventurous than usual. But he hadn't bothered to message me at all, and I didn't know if he even planned to at some point.

I'm so annoyed because I feel like if he didn't want to do no-contact, then he should at least let me know where he is and what his plans are - just a message or two during the day or evening, NOT constant updates or anything.

At the moment I feel like he just messages me very occasionally when it suits him; other than that he totally forgets about me because he's off enjoying himself. It's as if he has a whole other life that I know nothing about.

I fear I'm about to get flamed for being an insecure crazy woman but . . . AIBU?

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LilacSpatula Thu 04-May-17 09:30:26

Oh dear. I mean this kindly but you seem very, very invested in what DH is doing. It is incredibly irritating to have to constantly check in when you're out with work and i say this from experience. Im female and this gets right on my nerves so I don't expect and wouldn't provide updates to DH throughout a trip.

Maybe you need to be busier? I'd strongly suggest that you stop the texting and ask DH to call you when he has the time for a conversation. Make it a nice conversation. Incessant texts are really not good communication.

LilacSpatula Thu 04-May-17 09:32:46

I'd also try and examine the impact that his contacting you has on your self esteem, as it seems (and I may be wrong), that if DH messages you then you feel cared about and if he doesn't then you don't. This isn't right and you should feel secure enough that a couple of missed text replies don't matter.

MasterOfDisguise Thu 04-May-17 09:39:43

Well I think you need to ask yourself what level of contact do you actually want from him?

I think the fact he didn't like your suggestion of no contact for 4 days & the fact he sent messages when he could is a positive sign that he gets in touch when he can & that he thinks of you whilst away. Not sure exactly what else you want/expect from him?

My DH works away 3 days every week. We barely ever have any contact in the day, and have an agreed 8.30pm phone call slot which we try to stick to but move as necessary to accommodate him being out for dinner or if I'm busy with something etc. I think speaking to him for a few minutes each day he's away is plenty but I understand everyone is different so you need to work out what your version of plenty is.

ZiggyForever Thu 04-May-17 09:41:10

Hi Lilac - I did mention that I don't expect constant/regular contact - just an occasional message to let me know what his plans are, as I do for him when I'm away for work. Also, I'm very career-driven and I'm usually reasonably busy - I had an evening out yesterday, I have a volunteering shift this evening, so I'm not exactly sitting around the house waiting for him to get home. My boredom or lack of "life of my own" is categorically not an issue.

I worried, writing that post, that people would think I'm a sad little soul, checking my phone every five minutes in the hope he's messaged, but that's not how it is at all . . . I just think that when he's away for days on end, a message here and there shouldn't be too much to ask.

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HildaOg Thu 04-May-17 09:45:14

Do you have kids? If you don't like the lifestyle that comes with his work then you have to decide if you can be happy and secure in your relationship with him. You can't change people. Accept them as they are or move on.

ZiggyForever Thu 04-May-17 09:46:29

Hi MasterOfDisguise - I don't expect phone calls, I think it would be unreasonable to expect that of him if he's busy during the day and then socialising in the evenings, and I don't want to be woken up at 1am smile

I think an example of what I think is reasonable is when I told him my plans for the day when he said "Morning x" yesterday, he might have sent a message at some point saying "cool, enjoy, we're off to XYZ for dinner".

It's not really unreasonable to want to know where in the country your partner is, is it . . . ?

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ZiggyForever Thu 04-May-17 09:48:55

Hilda - no, no kids.

And I agree that you can't change people but it's possible to alter your behaviour slightly to make your partner happy, as I've done for him on occasion.

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irregularegular Thu 04-May-17 09:49:16

I think you are being incredibly inconsistent and sending very mixed messages tbh.

You suggested no contact. I imagine he interpreted this as removing any obligation to contact you, not that he shouldn't! He sent you some messages any way, because he wanted to. This is a good thing! However now, even though you suggested no contact, you are now unhappy because there is not enough contact. This makes no sense! You seem to think it has to be all or nothing. I don't really understand this and I doubt your DH does either.

FWIW when DH goes away for a few days I usually (not always) get one phone call, and a text when he is on his way home to confirm time. I'm perfectly happy with this. You are clearly not - and it seems your DH is happy to have a bit more contact too. That's OK. But you need to be consistent! I'd tell him you would like one text a day to stay in touch. But I wouldn't get too worked up if he misses the odd one when he is busy - unless there are some needs/issues that you are not telling us about.

HildaOg Thu 04-May-17 09:51:14

Ziggy, I don't think you're being remotely unreasonable to expect to be in contact but you've told him that and he's ignored you. So he isn't going to change. This is who he is.

gleam Thu 04-May-17 09:51:30

I'd 'miss' his text and respond the next day. Maybe.

MasterOfDisguise Thu 04-May-17 09:55:24

Honestly, you seem nice OP, from a complete outsider's perspective this seems like a case of picking your battles.

I wouldn't feel the need to get that level of detail, and although I don't think it's wrong for you to want it, it equally isn't wrong for your DH to not provide it. I think the little message saying morning shows he's thinking of you.

Have you actually told him you'd like a bit more detail?

Sunbeam18 Thu 04-May-17 09:57:15

Gosh, that sounds very hard work. Why do you need to know details of what he's doing and where he is. It would make me panic if my partner started doing this, and I'd want to run for the hills.

Pinkheart5917 Thu 04-May-17 09:58:56

Why do you need to tell each other the plans for your day when one is away? That would do my head in! His away with work, your at home and presumably have a life, you do not need a bullet point presentation of each other's days

You say no contact, he sends you a morning message I assume becuase he missed you which is a nice thing and you get annoyed because he then didn't want a text conversation about every single thing your doing that day.

Have you ever thought maybe he doesn't want no contact while his away he just doesn't want contact demanded and he doesn't want to have a run down of what you had for lunch, drinks after work etc.

when either me or dh is away we might call/text once to check the dc are ok and then nothing until we are on our way home to confirm times.

JaxingJump Thu 04-May-17 10:00:02

Stop playing games! You keep trying to be cool in the hope he'll think you're fab and want to be it touch but he's lazy and disinterested when away (hopefully not when at home) and you are just going to always be disappointed. He really has the upper hand here.

I would also question the mindset of someone who thinks it's ok to not really bother contacting his DP and also mention how attractive some of the women are when away!!! People away on business cheat a lot, sorry op but it's true, and him saying that is quite a red flag.

LilacSpatula Thu 04-May-17 10:00:56

I'm genuinely trying to be helpful not horrible, I promise. It's just that I've been like this in the past and honestly when you're secure in your relationship, stuff like this just doesn't matter. IMO.

LilacSpatula Thu 04-May-17 10:02:45

Read PinkHeart's post. Then read it again.

LilacSpatula Thu 04-May-17 10:03:08

Especially the third paragraph

cricketballs Thu 04-May-17 10:03:34

My DH works away regularly apart from a nightly phone call the only other time we are in contact is if I need to let him know something asap e.g. DS not well

OneOrgasmicBirthPlease Thu 04-May-17 10:07:29

It almost seems as though there is something else going on emotionally underneath your need for contact while your partner is away.

Like irregular, I think that you are sending mixed messages to your partner about the kind of contact you would like when he's away. Personally, I am never all that interested in the minutiae of the DH's plans, but we do text occasionally mostly with declarations of undying love. As to where he is in the country, occasionally I will only register the first letter of the city he's going to. Before kids, we used to holiday separately every year, because we had separate sporting passions. He is as interested in a skiing or yoga holiday as I am I am in going cycling for a week.

Regardless of how other people feel about it in their own relationships, this is clearly an issue for you. Your partner is not willing to accommodate that, either because he doesn't want to or because he doesn't really understand what your expectations are. It is, however, quite unfair that his lack of contact is eating away at you, but probably quite hard for posters to gauge whether this is your problem, his problem, or a relationship problem. Do you resent his having fun while working?

Wheelerdeeler Thu 04-May-17 10:07:36

How long are ye together?

FritzDonovan Thu 04-May-17 10:09:13

YADNBU. I am often in a similar situation. OH is out of contact (through work) for periods of time, and when he is 'connected' we can track his exploits and socialising by the things he posts on FB. We generally get a short call while he's on his way to drinks/dinner/days out with mates. And it does make me feel rather taken for granted, forgotten about and boring! I can't live it up at the same time because I've got the kids. So I understand that a little consideration and updates are not about being insecure - its just nice to know they have thought about you while away, not just enjoying the free time.
If it was a few days away here and there I wouldn't mind minimal contact, but it's different when it's a regular or prolonged occurrence.

Neglectedbythesun Thu 04-May-17 10:15:15

I'm not sure how long you've been together. But in the early years of my relationship we spoke all the time wherever we were. When my dh went to work away years later I was got pissed off with it all and the random contact. To be honest I felt a bit abandoned and his seeming disinterest could upset me if I was stressed or whatever. I decided eventually I was gonna have to discount him whilst he was away- for my own sake. This worked better. Facing the reality of what was happening rather than wishing for something different made an easier life. I think it perhaps eroded the relationship a bit but I wonder if I was interpreting my neediness as closeness anyway. Step back a bit would be my advice.

Kokusai Thu 04-May-17 10:15:33

I think the whole 'lets not contact each other' was a silly thing to do, but I can 100% see where you are coming from in wanting a few texts and to know what he is u[p to so you feel a bit connected in his absence.

ZiggyForever Thu 04-May-17 10:17:04

To be clear - again - I don't want details. I don't want text conversations. I don't want presentations or bullet points or itineraries. Just an occasional message to let me know whereabouts in the country he is. No drama.

The no-contact thing was because he seemed resistant to doing that, so I tried to remove the thing that causes arguments.

But if he can send a "morning" text, couldn't he just say "morning, off to X Town today" . . . ? Not that hard, surely.

Also, isn't a message lower-maintenance than a phone call? I don't feel the need to speak to him for half an hour every day, especially when I'm out or busy. I think that's a little unreasonable confused

I think you're all a lot more tolerant than me - it's not too bad now, but if we had kids, there's no way I'd be happy for him to skip off for a week and not be in touch occasionally.

Hmm . . . not sure I can accept that I'm being unreasonable about this . . . grin

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