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Dh working abroad, would you stay in the uk?

(25 Posts)
Lavenderhoney Tue 26-Feb-13 18:42:22

Does anyone have experience of living in the uk with dc whilst dh is abroad? My dh travels so much when we are there we might as well be at home! Even weekends he works. If he is in country, he is in meetings and work load is high til late. He is fed up too but he is there for the money- in the uk he wouldn't earn so much and he wants to further his career and maximise his earning whilst he can. this is ok by me as he is doing it for us ( and him) but I am starting to wonder. We talk about his workload a lot but he won't change.

I do everything for the dc which is fine, I like that, but I don't really like it here ( middle east) and would be happy to leave.nI have friends etc and have been here a number of years ( no maid, don't want one)

My quality of life would be better in the uk but not his! Would it work? I can't imagine it but I am alone so much I wonder if i would rather continue to build my social life at home than in the ever shifting sands of expat land. Plus I miss the UK so much.

AhCmonSeriouslyNow Tue 26-Feb-13 18:44:31

I think it can work but you'd have to work out how often he'd come back and stuff.

It could actually mean you'd have more "quality" time with him if all worked out properly.

How does he feel about the idea? Have you mentioned it to him yet?

ripsishere Wed 27-Feb-13 00:13:00

Personally, I think it would be hard. My DH stayed on for a year in Antwerp while me and DD moved to England. He was planning to come home every month since the distance was so little. He couldn't manage it.
We did speak every day, but DD really missed him.

MarjorieAntrobus Wed 27-Feb-13 00:27:48

We did this for a year, then decided it wasn't really working. We seemed to be diverging, iyswim; each living such separate lives most of the time. The upside was that the short periods we were together did feel like "quality time". Now I'm in the same situation as you OP, and if it weren't for DD tied into school here, I'd also be tempted to go back. You see how I have contradicted my first sentence?! I don't know what the answer is, tbh.

SavoyCabbage Wed 27-Feb-13 00:49:50

I'm in this situation at the moment. We are in Australia and I feel like I can't bear it for another minute.

I don't think it will work as I have worked hard on my other relationships with people in the uk and feel unable to maintain them. You stop sharing news about your life with them as they don't know the people and the places that you know. You think you will be able to see each other so many times a year but you can't because its the school play next week or somebody is going to a sleepover.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Wed 27-Feb-13 01:53:37

I think it would be hard but do-able. I mean, lots of people have one partner in the forces/ working on rigs etc and it works, but that's not to say it's easy. It may be that if you weren't there he'd find it easier to compress his workload into the week and free up a long weekend every few weeks for a trip home.

Another important thing to consider is residency. If you're in the UK in the family home, and he visits frequently, he may be considered Uk resident for tax purposes and that would be a major bummer.

anonymosity Wed 27-Feb-13 03:18:05

I wouldn't do it and I'll tell you why - I would get used to him not being around become completely self-sufficient OR lonely and then would either forget about him pretty much, or miss him terribly and resent his absence. For me personally it would bring doom, but that's very specifically for me. The reason I say this is because it did cross my mind on a foreign posting. And then I worked out the consequences....

NeitherShreddedNorSmug Wed 27-Feb-13 03:34:47

I'm coming towards the end of an overseas posting. DH has been back in the UK since early Jan. While I'm happy here, have a good circle of friends and plenty to do (and enjoy my own company) I do miss him. Speaking every day isn't the same as being together.

I find that it takes a couple of days to get back into the habit of being together and in each other's space, and the last couple of days are hard because you're building up to saying goodbye, so you only get 4 or (if you are lucky) 5 quality days if you're together for a week.

I wouldn't want to do this long term. But having also been the "trailing spouse", I know how hard it can be to live overseas with small children, and a husband who works long hours and travels, and how attractive home can look.

Labootin Wed 27-Feb-13 04:24:25

People do , do it

I considered it, then discounted it

In the 3 years that i've been in the ME I know of six divorces/separations/affairs all of those have been the result of the spouse being back in England.

Thats obviously anecdotal but it would seem to sway the odds of it happening.

And yy if you're marriage is strong it'll probably fine may even be beneficial but I think it's a pressure too far for me.

HairyHandedTrucker Wed 27-Feb-13 04:35:41

If you don't see him regularly what would be the difference? Try and work out the actual time he home compared to how often you woudl see him if you were in the UK

Labootin Wed 27-Feb-13 05:03:53

hairy it's not so much the time spent together it's the separate lives/friends

also it's been mentioned upthread check VERY carefully the tax situation

If you are resident in England you may find HMRC wanting a nice slice of your dhs formerly tax free income.

deXavia Wed 27-Feb-13 05:19:07

I know a family who genuinely considered this for very similar reasons....but didn't in the end because in their view it was the snatched time during the week that kept it a family ie breakfast at the weekend before he went to work/airport, drink before bed when he came home, social events with mutual friends from time to time. When they sat and really worked out how much time they saw each other versus living in different countries and planned long weekends -they decided the frequent but shorter time actually was better. He did change some habits and it was a bit of a wake up call, made no difference to his earning potential.

Timetoask Wed 27-Feb-13 05:26:46

DH and I did this for a year, but it wasn't the middle east and he was able to come back home every Friday and well as Skype every night.
It was awful, for us as a couple, for the family.
I think it is workable if it's only for the short term.
An acquaintance moved back from Dubai with her two children (for schooling reasons), left DH there. It lasted 2 years but the marriage broke down and they are now divorced.

Astelia Wed 27-Feb-13 05:38:04

We are considering doing this for two years to get DD through sixth form. Really in two minds. The alternative is that she goes to boarding school and I oscillate between her and DH. DH will be in a place with no schools.

butterfliesinmytummy Wed 27-Feb-13 06:00:27

I couldn't. My dh is away for a month every other month (one month here, one month away) and will be til June. I couldn't do it more than 6months, the kids and I miss him, plus he's on a totally different time zone (Asia /US) so it's not even easy to speak to him during the week between school, work etc.

I've been an expat for 17 years and seen many many couples live apart, mostly because dh's industry is based in "hardship" locations (west Africa, Central Asia, South America) and I only know of one marriage that survived and that one because the dw turned a blind eye to everything that went on behind her back. The other marriages failed because of infidelity, independence and people growing apart. It's really sad and although there are marriages that can survive this, is how long do you spend apart before its no longer a marriage?

nooka Wed 27-Feb-13 06:44:35

I think you need to sit down with your dh tell him that you are totally fed up and plan an exit strategy for you both. If he is not amenable then I would look to go and live somewhere that you are happy and build a life on your own.

Money is well and good but being a part of a family means giving things up from time to time. I can't see from the OP's post that she has very much to lose in some ways. Her dh quite clearly doesn't prioritise his family at all if despite the fact he is away a lot when he is at home he chooses to go to work at the evenings and weekends.

The families I know with a parent who works abroad or very long hours make sure that when they are home they spend significant amount of quality time with their families because they miss them. I wonder if the OP's dh misses his family?

laptopwieldingharpy Wed 27-Feb-13 09:25:37

Your marriage, as it is, would not survive. For all the reasons mentioned above.

There are 2 of you in this marriage to decide what's best for the family.
This particular time in your life is about sacrificing your yearning to be home to secure your finances for the long run, are you prepared to do your bit too and suck it up for financial security? Because that's what your husband is doing after all no?
Would he have a decent job back home? Would take the leap and support your family if he couldn't?
The middle east is really NOT a hardship posting.

Totally understand how you feel, but in the big scheme of things it sounds a bit self centered.

Bue Wed 27-Feb-13 12:38:57

For a year it would be doable I think, we've discussed me moving back to Canada a year before DH, but he has long holidays (boarding school teacher) and so we would have considerable periods of time together. It wouldn't work for us longer term - I never, ever miss people and know it would end up being the same with DH after the initial difficult bit. I'd become so self sufficient and used to being on my own that I wouldn't need the marriage anymore and it would disintegrate.

However, I do know people who this has worked for. But it's a hard road.

Lavenderhoney Wed 27-Feb-13 13:58:48

Thanks for all the replies, I'll try and answer questions

My dh job means he has to work evenings and some weekends- its not a choice and if he doesn't do it they will find someone else who will.

I am very self sufficient now- I have to be or nothing would be done! Dh has always worked away from home since uni, and his family are scattered all over so there is no one place to miss really- we see them in the summer.

He wouldn't be able to see us except school hols as the flights are long and the weekend in the ME is fri- sat so he would use all his holiday then have no time for a long holiday ( 2 weeks) We could talk on Skype etc but the time difference means it wouldn't really work for the dc except at weekends.

The ME is not a hardship posting depending where you are and your package. If you have a villa, maids, school fees paid, car each and still save plus health insurance and flights home it makes it easier. Sadly this is not the case now as the ME is considered a great place to work and salarys have changed as the amount of people wanting to go and accepting less is high.

Don't forget the ME is mostly dictatorships even if not on the surface for expats, freedom of speech, blocked sites, treatment of women and the treatment of people due to race etc.

It's hard for the dc as their friends often leave and for me as friends leave - its quite sad to see people go. They can go anywhere to, so it's unlikely to see them again- just expat life.

However thinking it through it won't really work for us - but we need to sort out an exit plan and stick to it.

tigerfrog Sun 03-Mar-13 03:32:55

I was in exactly your position two years ago. I decided to leave and return home, mainly due to my husband never being in the country we had moved to- six weeks with us in first year. We are still together but it has been very rocky. I am now very independent and too be honest do not need him anymore. The dd's although love it when he is home have learnt not to rely on him for anything. I don't know what he gets up to whilst away, I really don't think he has time or the inclination to do anything too naughty! I suppose we happily get on with our lives, drop everything when he comes back for a few days then carry on again! Ask again in another two years and I wonder what the answer will be then?

SparkleSoiree Sun 03-Mar-13 16:36:58

I am in this position at the moment. DH in Australia and us in the UK. We actually lived in Perth for 6 months last year but came home for various reasons and DH remained out there. It has been one of the hardest things to do. I find its the feeling of being single again and having developed my own life without him in it, vice versa for him too.

Now we are discussing the children and I returning out there to be with him. Not easy as there are MANY issues that we need to address in relation to our children like schooling and medical issues but something has to change.

scottswede Fri 29-Mar-13 08:14:22

My dh and I have lived this way for 15 years. I think it all depends on what you are used too. This month I have seen him for 5 days in total. The kids think it's normal too. I think it would be hard to 'become' used to being apart, especially if you have kids.

calamityjane Tue 30-Apr-13 11:09:26

We are in this position too, except we all returned back to UK last year. Dh found work but the salary is crap, the hours are long and we are struggling financially as I can't find a job! So we are talking about dh going back overseas for a maximum of 2 years, ds and I will stay here as ds is settled into school. We really don't know what to do for the best.

OldBeanbagz Tue 30-Apr-13 11:17:48

Personally i wouldn't as my own Dad worked in the ME for all of my teens and it was really hard on my Mum who only saw him twice a year. Phone calls were limited to once a week due to the high costs at that time.

As such i didn't have much of a relationship with my Dad and my sister went of the rails a bit. I don't know how my parents managed to make their relationship work.

ZZZenagain Tue 30-Apr-13 11:20:05

I might, if he is going to be travelling a lot anyway he won't be in whatever country he has to move to much. It would depend whether I was attracted to that country and felt ok about spending a lot of time on my own there.

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