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A Long-term, Long Distance marriage – husband barely contacts us

(47 Posts)
Salsadancing Sat 24-Sep-11 23:16:37

I need some feedback as I don?t know if I?m being unreasonable. I know I?m extremely annoyed by it all as I wasn?t expecting this when I got married.
My husband is currently working abroad in his country and has been there for just over two years. When he had told me that he was going there to set up a business he told me he?d be gone for three to six months (he was to set up a business and then have someone manage it while he was back in England). He came back for a two week visit just over a year ago. Things seemed ok between us and I felt a bit more positive about the future of our marriage when he visited. Since then I can count on two hands, but less than ten fingers & thumbs the number of times he has contacted me and our two young DDs.
When I told him this fact, and that he needs to pick up the phone regularly and speak to his DDs he told me that when he gets home from work he is tired!!!!! Tired! That was like a red rag to a bull. He?s only got himself to look after. I?m looking after a three and five year old, both full of energy, when he left I was at the time working full-time, have had to deal with being made redundant, have since set up my own business online and work after my DDs have gone to bed so that I can earn money to feed, clothe etc my girls, as well as pay bills etc.
I haven?t a clue when he?s returning, despite me asking him. He can?t give me a definite time. I have been asking him since February to tell me what his plans are for the next 12 months (7 of those 12 months have already passed) but he hasn?t laid out his plans and told me, except to say ?there are risks involved in starting a business?. To continue with his lack of contact, as well as barely phoning us ? I?ve been the one doing most of the phoning, so that our DDs can speak to him, I once decided to not phone but wait for him to phone instead. Three months passed by before I?d had enough at his no-contact and picked up the phone. He doesn?t email me despite me having emailed and got no reply. I set up Skype and ever since he left I?ve been telling him to set it up also, which he still hasn?t done. He just keeps saying he?ll get it done ?this week?, which hasn?t happened
When he left, our youngest DD had just turned one and our eldest was three. The eldest misses him a lot and has told me of nights when she has been crying in bed because she misses him. She wants to know when he?s coming back, which I can only answer ?when daddy has finished his work he?ll be back?. It makes me so sad to see her upset, yet he can?t even be bothered to pick up the phone. My eldest DD has said to me on a couple of occasions that ?daddy is never coming back?. My youngest DD doesn?t really know him as he went abroad when she just turned one, but used to say that she misses daddy when she heard her sister say it. He?s missed over two years of their lives, but it seems he doesn?t care.
Three months ago I gave him until the end of August to greatly improve his communication and to tell me his plans and intentions that I had previously asked for, or I would have to assess things (our marriage). Since then I?ve heard from him twice and then very briefly yesterday he phoned when the DDs had already gone to bed, so they weren?t able to talk to him ? he knows when their bedtime is. Still, I don?t know how long he?s planning to stay abroad for.
I don?t know what he?s getting up to out there. He?s living on his own, and when I?ve asked him if he?s got a woman out there he?s said no. My H is also good at lying, so I don?t know whether to believe him. Our marriage wasn?t good when he was here. There were constant arguments and times when he?d suddenly flip if I disagreed with him and he?d say ?f**k you? to me with such venom, once in front of the DDs. When I was six months pregnant with my last DD he raised his hand to slap me, with a snarl on his face and his other hand clenched. He didn?t slap me but from that moment I admit I lost all respect for him ? since that occasion he then did the same thing on two other occasions.
I thought that going away for the 3 ? 6months would have been the break that our marriage needed. It seems not.
We?ve been married for four years. I?ve been unhappy for all four.
I feel empty inside and stuck. I don?t know if I can continue in this marriage, but I only hear of people breaking up because of something major such as physical abuse, cheating or addiction.
Would like to hear your comments because I feel alone with my thoughts towards my marriage, and I want my DDs to live in a happy home not the type of home environment that they were being put through. Reaching the end of this post has been emotional. Thank you in advance for your comments. Sorry it has been long.

Tryharder Sat 24-Sep-11 23:26:12

I think your marriage is over and that your husband probably has another woman abroad. Sorry.

You don't say anything good about him. He doesn't support you. He is a rubbish husband and dad. Why stay?

HerHissyness Sat 24-Sep-11 23:30:37

You'd be better calling time on this relationship.

It sounds like if he were here, you'd be being abused anyway.

I think you need to face facts that he is not going to come back, and from the sounds of it, your life is better if he doesn't.

You deserve better than this for goodness sakes!

buzzskillington Sat 24-Sep-11 23:32:54

I don't think you have a marriage.

He's aggressive towards you when you're together and seems totally disinterested while you're apart, and doesn't have enough respect or care for you to even tell you when he'll come back. It must be soul-destroying.

It seems to me you might as well get out and at least start being a single parent officially, when you are one in effect already. Plus you could move on with life and possibly find someone nicer. But before you did, you might want to look at doing some counselling so you can set up good boundaries and expectations for any future relationships.

moondog Sat 24-Sep-11 23:35:40

Good God, you poor woman.
May I just say, my dh has been abroad for most of the past 10 years and he Skypes us every single night?
He wants to speak with us and see his children and hsare his news.

FabbyChic Sat 24-Sep-11 23:36:54

Your marriage is over, wait three years and file for a divorce for desertion.

Get on with your life, cease contact with this man he is neither a husband or a father. You deserve better.

bumbleymummy Sat 24-Sep-11 23:40:39

Sorry but it doesn't sound like you have a marriage at all. I think you'd be better to just end it properly and move on with your life. I hope you can find the happiness that you deserve with someone else.

Northernlurker Sat 24-Sep-11 23:46:28

I agree. Your 'husband' has abandoned you and your kids. Get legal advice and move on and meet a decent human being who will cherish you not ignore and/or threaten you.

Salsadancing Sat 24-Sep-11 23:59:51

Thank you for your replies. I guess deep down I feel its the end but taking the step to come out and say it to him isnt easy. I have been so consumed with looking after my absolutely gorgeous, funny and smart DDs that I hadn't allowed myself to really look at my marriage. Until the last three months when my DD2 started full time at nursery.
Yes, buzzskillington, I do feel like a single parent, even when H was here I felt like I was one.
I can't image things being any better between us whenever he returns, its as if his behaviour abroad has magnified his behaviour and attitude towards being a dad and a H. He feels like a stranger when we do speak. He tells me that he misses us and loves me but I'm finding it hard to believe.

RitaMorgan Sun 25-Sep-11 00:08:00

Does he send you any money or anything?

I'm sorry, but it sounds like he has left the marriage/family. He's not interested, and I'd guess he probably has a new woman where he is. I'd get divorced as soon as possible and put him behind you.

sickaboutdad Sun 25-Sep-11 00:08:58

I agree with all the above posters. Your marriage ended the day he went abroad.
I hate to say it but I think it likely he has a partner/wife even where he is, I wouldn't be surprised if there was a child also.
You are already a single parent, from what you say it sounds like he isn't even sending any money home so why put up with it, you have nothing to fear by ending this 'marriage' you are already managing on your own, you already have a home and the routine of a single parent, you will be able to move on with your life.
People don't end marriages only when there is domestic abuse and the other big dramatic things you mention, marriages sadly end every day for simple mundane reasons, people fall out of love, the change, they grow apart, it doesn't always have to be something huge and dramatic, anyway, as others have said it sounds like if he had stuck around you would be in an abusive situation, better this way for all, the children are already used to not having contact with their Father, ending the marriage gives you and the children certainty and a future.

SingingSands Sun 25-Sep-11 00:13:49

How awful. I'm really sorry you have found yourself in this situation, but you must know that you have no marriage? I think you should set divorce proceedings in place. He is not acting like a husband or a father and you are wasting too much energy on him. Your children say they miss him, but they deserve better than this, he is not showing them the least scrap of love or attention.

As awful as it sounds, I agree with the other poster who said he probably has another women, it really sounds as though he has.

Get a solicitor to start divorce proceedings ASAP and you can all move on with your lives.

What a rat, get rid. I wish you all the best.

Salsadancing Sun 25-Sep-11 01:15:23

RitaMorgan, sickaboutdad, to answer your question, no he doesn't send anything - not even a card on DDs birthdays - but then again he didn't even do that when he was here - I always bought cards and presents and said it was from both of us!

BrikSchittHaus Sun 25-Sep-11 01:24:45

What do your girls and you get out of this relationship? He seems to contribute nothing.

What Country has he moved to and what is this business that makes him so busy but unable to contribute time or money to take care of his wife and children? How does he expect you to eat and pay housing/ bills?

callmeovercautious Sun 25-Sep-11 01:27:11

I hope you have found writing it all down helpful. I always hate seeing responses to relationship questions on here that say "leave him!" But tbh I think he has left you.

The occasional calls are probably just his way of soothing his guilt. You can and will move on from this - take steps for divorce as soon as you can and don't talk to him if he calls unless it is to speak with your girls. X

HairyGrotter Sun 25-Sep-11 07:18:08

This is no marriage, no partnership. Get a divorce and move on with your life.

One positive to all of this, is that you are already too aware of life as a single parent, at least that fear can't hold you back.

Good luck

cookcleanerchaufferetc Sun 25-Sep-11 07:38:05

What a bastard! He has already walked away from you and your dc and first thing tomorrow you should see a solicitor about sorting out your affairs. Sorry but there is no love, respect or consideration from your husband and he clearly doesn't give a hoot about you and the dc. Get him out of your life now.

floosiemcwoosie Sun 25-Sep-11 07:44:26

Im sorry but he has left

Does he even provide financially?

I think i would contact a lawyer, the one benefit is that you have gt used to him not being there.

kat2504 Sun 25-Sep-11 08:00:48

What is the point in him working abroad if he is not sending you money. He may as well be at home and unemployed at that rate. You are providing for you and your daughters, whereas he only has to provide for himself. I could understand him being abroad if it was financially necessary for your family.
However, it seems he has chosen to make a life for himself away from you and your family. I think you would be better off calling time on this marriage.

myhandslooksoold Sun 25-Sep-11 08:27:49

I'm so sorry for you and your DD's. Of course you have been devoted to bringing them up and have trusted your H to be an honest and faithful man. I think you know now however that this marriage is over. He has left you. What an awful man- I hope you and your DD's recover from this and you meet someone who can show you kindness and tenderness.

babyhammock Sun 25-Sep-11 08:39:51

OMG if any one had a good reason divorce it would be this!

Don't waste anymore of your life on this moron and go and see a solicitor.
xx

solidgoldbrass Sun 25-Sep-11 08:40:50

Don't waste another second pursuing this man - he has left you and his DDs. File for divorce, make sure all the UK assets like your home are in your name. Depending on where he has gone, it might be possible to extract some money from him, but given that you haven't had any off him so far at least you know you can manage without. You will be better off mentally once you put him out of your mind and stop wasting your energy worrying about ways to make him pay attention to you. He's not interested.

happymole Sun 25-Sep-11 08:42:43

I'm sorry OP, but i think he has left you.

lalalonglegs Sun 25-Sep-11 09:04:37

Three months without phoning! shock Stop feeling empty inside and cut yourself free - he seems to have done that already. Take legal advice, get on with your life - and good luck with your business.

3littlefrogs Sun 25-Sep-11 09:09:26

This happened to a friend of mine. she put up with it for 12 years.

Her husband did indeed have another family abroad. She divorced him and is now happily married to a lovely man.

Don't wait as long as she did. You and your children deserve better.

Make sure you get a good solicitor.

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