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Those of you who choose to live away from where your DH/DP is based, yet are too far away to see each other every weekend

(27 Posts)
saltire Wed 13-Aug-08 14:08:07

Is it difficult? How often do you see them?

saltire Wed 13-Aug-08 14:45:21


kerryk Wed 13-Aug-08 16:47:55

very difficult.

much more than either of us imagined.

during the week is fine because you are both busy with your own lives but the weekends are hell.

i will be here getting on with things with the kids while while everyone else is doing family things, meanwhile he is stuck in his base miserable about not being with us.

i would never ever live apart like this again, at least when he is away for 6 months at a time i know that there is no chance of seeing him and we just get on with it, but knowing that he is miserable and the dd's and i are miserable but we have to stay apart because of the commuting distance is to much for me.

i have to add he does make it home nearly every 2nd weekend but i still whinge and moan about it blush

sorry if thats not what you wanted to hear but us living apart really was the worst desision we made.

hf128219 Wed 13-Aug-08 18:01:12

I would say that if you are based in the UK it is possible to see each other every weekend - expensive mind!

I actually quite like my own space (sometimes!) - and it makes the time together more special. Everyone is different though and I appreciate that it is not everyone's ideal situation.

saltire Wed 13-Aug-08 19:54:58

Kerry - where are you and where is your DH/DP? if you don't mind me asking.
I'm thinking of doing this next year, moving with the Dses back to Scotland, and leaving DH down here in Mess. It would be a 7 hour drive each way though so not much chance of him getting home every weekend

hf128219 Wed 13-Aug-08 20:09:27

Saltire - would the train be workable?

SammyC Wed 13-Aug-08 20:17:51

Many moons ago lived apart from the OH he was South east and I was South West 4 hours each way (m25 on a friday very hit and miss).
We did the journey for around 3 months OH was in the Mess so some comforts as opposed to the block. There were no babies at that time. OH got fed up so i moved up.

We now live 2 1/2 hours apart but he is away from the camp an awful lot........

I miss his support, but now live with my parents a stones throw away, their help means I keep sane and am able to have a life where if I lived with him I would have no support, he has been on 3 6 month tours in the past 3 years........

Its hard when they are on down time but have to be at camp but the up side of my family supporting me here is second to none, esp when he is away so so much.......

SmallShips Wed 13-Aug-08 20:46:11

My DH is about to be Faslane based again, im on the Isle of Wight!!

We did it before for a year, its hard, but TBH i got into a routine and we just got on with it. The worst part was the Sunday PM just as he was about to leave, we usually had massive rows, about nothing!

I was Faslane based with him before i left the Forces, but moved down for family support when DS was born, we talked about moving back up there together again this time, but its a bit pointless as he'll spend most of his time at sea.

I miss him whens he away, but like alot of you, hes been deployed 3 times this year already.

Could your DH fly home? We found that alot easier than the hideous train journies!

kerryk Wed 13-Aug-08 21:58:00

i am middle belt scotland, dh is north(ish) england wink hope thats not to cryptic.

it is a 3 hour drive. when we decided to do this we were going to buy a second car, then the car we had decided to give up the ghost. dh found someone that would be coming back here every weekend so we bought a brand new car for me to have up here.

it worked out fine for a few months then the person giving dh a lift was rtu'd for abusing recruits.

we thought once more about getting a second car but were now landed with finance for my new car and we were both a bit taken aback at how much extra it was costing us to live apart every month so we did not want to stretch ourselves to much with a second car.

dh started getting the train every second weekend and to start with this costed £25 return journey, its now up to £45 return journey.

sorry going on a bit now blush

i dont want to be to personnal but have you thought about the cost of living apart?

i thought i would save a lot with dh not eating us out of house and home during the week but it has not worked out that way.

there is also the extra things like his phone line, sky tv etc

we dont qualify for married seperation allowence as dh is under 35 (think thats the cut of) so we also have to pay for his room/ cilcot and food as well as rent and cilcot on our mq.


SmallShips Wed 13-Aug-08 22:25:41

The money thing is a MASSIVE problem with me and my DH (infact i was about to start a thread) He seems to forget he has a family and spends like a single matelow and is often leaving us short.

What is this married serperation allowance you speak of??!!

kerryk Wed 13-Aug-08 22:51:52

we are army so things might not be the same for anyone else.

basically when we decided to live apart we were told we would get seperation allowence (we only decided we could live apart because of this so it was a major blow when it fell through) it means iirc that you get your room paid and get some extra on top of that to cover living expenses.

they withheld it from us to start with because we had major problems getting written confirmation that i could keep the house, when we finally got this 10 months later!!!!!!!! we were expecting a back dated payment, at least thats what we were told. turns out you have to be over a certain age to get it but dh fell short by a few years.

my dh really does not spend a huge amount, he has always been happiest phoning me and the dd's at night and playing his games consoles rather than going out but we still struggle some months.

on top of our £300 rent for this place (inc council tax) we pay, we also have to pay near £100 for his room/c tax.

i transfer £220 into his account at the start of the month which he tries to make last the whole month and that is for his food etc. it sounds a lot for one person when i write it down but it only works out at just over £50 a week.

because he is a pti he goes through loads of juice and mars bars while on a run, he also buys a crate of beer the weekends that he stays down and gets together with some of the other guys for a few drinks. (which i dont mind at all, just pointing out how far he has to make the money go)

i pay £20 a month for his phone line and he gets free calls to me on that

also £15 a month for his sky tv which he does really need when stuck down there for the whole weekend.

travel costs on top of that are about £100 a month.

actually when i see it all written down i wonder why the hell we are doing this, but after being messed around for months in his own battalion it was the only way he was guaranteed promotion and he has been told today that he is on course for being promoted again next year so fingers crossed it will all have been worth it.

scaryteacher Wed 13-Aug-08 22:54:15

We have done Teddington, Northwood and Shrivenham for 2+ years each, with me staying in Plymouth/Cornwall and dh weekending. It suited us. At Teddington, he was often away at sea, and whilst at Northwood, he wasn't home for long periods of time due to deployments and other things kicking off in the late 1990s.

We did from mid 2004- mid 2006 seeing each other every six weeks, as he was in Brussels and I was in Cornwall. That worked, just, but when he got another job here, I let the house, resigned and moved. It only worked as we e-mailed and spoke every day. I was teaching, so was like a hamster on a treadmill, plus the house, plus ds, so was busy and didn't have time to miss dh. The thought of another 4 years of it however was too much, hence the move.

My limit for weekending really is about 2.5 years, at which time I want him home again. Being RN, you can't go to sea with them so it makes sense to have a base, buy a house and settle down.

When dh was at Shrivenham and living in the mess, we paid a food charge, but I don't think we paid for a room as he was married unaccompanied. We also got a get you home package which covered the costs of driving from Shrivenham to Cornwall each weekend.

A friend of ours was based in Glasgow and lived in Devon, and got the RN to pay for plane fares home for the get you home as it was cheaper than the petrol. Just looked, and Flybe do Glasgow to Southampton Airport for £246 return including taxes. Cheaper than driving?

saltire Wed 13-Aug-08 23:20:42

If he flew up, he would ahve to go either Glasgow or Edinburgh, both of which are about 2 - 2 1/2 hours from where I would be staying. We wouldn't be in a quarter, our own house. The finance thing is worrying me a bit, DH doesn't go out a lot at the minute, but if I'm lucky it will be one weekend a month when he gets home, which means 3 on his own, with 2 other colleagues who stay here, both of whom go out drinking a lot.

scaryteacher Thu 14-Aug-08 00:05:42

When dh moved to Brussels, he got a flat as there is no mess here. He spent wk/ends doing domestics / joined a walking group / found a gliding club and occupied his weekends like that. There should be some sporting facilities up there, so he could he do sport at a weekend, or go and explore bits of the gorgeous Portsmouth/Southampton conurbation that have escaped notice so far? I noticed that Fareham was still looking wonderful when staying with the pils in Titchfield 10 days ago! I remember bracing walks on the beach at Lee on Solent when younger as well.

saltire Thu 14-Aug-08 08:49:11

Fareham? Wonderful? Are you sure you are on about the same place I live? Surely not, this place is a dump
I guess DH and I need to sit down and really chat about what we both expect from it. I have made my mind up though, I've done 15 bloody years of trailing round after him, and I would like the Dses settled in Scotland before they start secondary school. I also have my health to think of. I haven't been out the house for 3 days because of a really bad Fibro flare up, I've got pains in my feet and legs, numb toes, pins and needles in my feet and shoulders and a blinding headache, , I have to get up every day and carry on despite being in so much pain I want to cry. if I lived in Scotland I would have back up - my mum, MIL, my friends

PavlovtheCat Thu 14-Aug-08 08:53:25

For over a year my DB was in inverness while his family lived in Northern England. He commuted every weekend home, doing the 7.5 hour journey to see his wife and three children.

It was hard for them but the managed fine.

He is now 3 hours away. (well right now he is in a hotel with them, and in a week or two he will be thousands of miles away, but the general rule is 3 hours now!).

hf128219 Thu 14-Aug-08 08:59:44

Saltire - have a really good think about geography - proximity of airports, railway stations, motorways etc. Draw a radius around where you would like to live - and near your family.

Obviously secondary schools are of prime importance - think about everything you would like - and realise that not everything will be ideal!

I understand exactly where you are coming from - I am about to move to my 9th house in 13 years - and stalled my own career in the process. But heh, you can't have everything!

kitkat9 Thu 14-Aug-08 18:49:37

reading this thread with interest as dh and i will be doing this from next summer. Our ds will be about tostart primary school, and we really, really don't want to drag he dc's around from school to school for the rest od dh's military career...

like you, saltire, i want to be home, close to family. dc3 is on the way, and i've had nough of not being home! And we've only been doing this for 5 years...

dh is the one who has to make the sacrifice, and he is expecting not seeing the dc's (and me, hopefully) every day to be really hard. But he also loves the thought of coming HOME every weekend, to his own, non MOD owned house. I am worried about how we will cope financially, and also we don't know yet where he will be posted. however, we are expecting a deployment sometime soon which may happen next year.

bloody military. I honestly wish he'd never joined. I'm so envious of all the wives out there who live where they choose, without having to make sacrificies. I know there are benefits with job security, and the pension...but i would like a normal life!

jcscot Fri 15-Aug-08 09:52:36

We're currently weekly commuting (my husband is Army and is in company command right now).

We own our own home and that makes a huge difference (both financially and to morale) as we (myself and our two boys) feel much more settled.

As of next year, we'll have to face fortnightly commuting as my husband's subsequent SO2 appt is likely to be in or around London.

There is a financial package available as we are classed as being Invol Sep - we don't pay for Mess accomodation, although he does pay a contribution towards his meals and we're just waiting on the back-dated GYH pay to come through. I don't know what sort of package will be available when he gets posted.

We make the most of weekends and we talk every night but I don't know how it's going to be when every weekend becomes every other or every third weekend.

scaryteacher Sat 16-Aug-08 19:52:14

I don't think Fareham is that bad Saltire - I grew up there; my ma lived there for years, and my pils live in Titchfield, and have done for at least 40 years. It wouldn't be my first choice as Plymouth is supposedly dh's base port, so was in the West country for 20 years until I moved to Brussels, but it could be worse....Abbey Wood springs to mind!

I've been married 22 years, and we have done sea time/weekending for 16 of them. My mum didn't move down to the West Country until 2001, so I did a lot of that without family around. It can be done, and for me was worth doing as I didn't want to live in MQs. I'd had enough of moving when I was a kid as my Dad was in the RN. I wanted my own place from the off, and the chance to have a career, and that it what I've had.

Yes, it can get hard, especially when whatever can go wrong does go wrong; but the plus side is having your own space both in the form of a house, and time apart. I would have found the intensity of a couple of dh's appointments irritating as he would always have been away at very short notice, or in the office until silly o'clock, and that would have impinged on home life; so weekending meant that that time was ours. I would also have found my PGCE hard to deal with if he'd been home, whereas teaching practice and academics with just ds was easier, as I could just put him to bed and he didn't need to be talked to after 1900, giving me time to study.

I think it's what you make it - you could be married to a civvy who travels a lot, it's getting more and more common now, and the pension and gratuity are big incentives to bite the bullet and get on with it, especially at the moment. Also, what would your dh do outside? Mine is due to retire in 6 years unless he gets promoted or extended, and we've started to kick ideas around; but it's hard to decide what to do; where to live etc, and I don't think my dh appreciates what civvy street is like and the fact that he wouldn't be changing appointments every 2 years and having a new set of challenges to tackle. He would be so bored, so quickly. That scares me more than weekending does.

mousehole Mon 18-Aug-08 10:03:59

has anyone's dh had jobs in the UN in new york - and if so what was it like to live there?

mousehole Mon 18-Aug-08 10:06:48

oops - so sorry - meant to start another thread - duh

SandyChick Sun 24-Aug-08 12:42:27

We are just about to start living apart during the week after 3 years in MQ. DH is home on summer leave at the mo. He will be going back to work tomorrow into single accom instead of us all going back to our MQ.

I am in North East which is where we are both from, DH is based in South East so commuting at the mo is 2 1/2 hours by train which isnt bad.

I am staying with my parents until we find a house to buy. We have a 1 year old and DH had never been away from him so its all starting to sink in now. We dont hand back our MW until Sept 1st and im so close to chickening out and going back with DH.

glucose Mon 25-Aug-08 11:29:48

Hi Sandy,

I was in Sandy yesterday, did it not work out there?

SandyChick Mon 25-Aug-08 19:09:49

Hi glucose,

It's not really a case of it not working out.

We have been there 3 years and DH is going to be there another 18 months. It has been good him being in one place for so long but now we have DS its time to settle.

DS is 1 and i've really struggled being away from my family. Its my time to get some sort of life back instead of just being a wife and mummy. Im looking forward to catching up with my old friends etc but putting DH on the train today was awful and i was on the verge of saying we would all come back with him.

We'll just have to see how it goes. We could always go back into MQ if it doesnt work out.

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