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AIBU? Don't want fiance to work away :(

(75 Posts)
MissWeasley Thu 02-Jul-15 16:07:46


Just after some advice really.

I have been in a relationship with a guy for 3 years. We live about an hour and half from each other, both live up north. His job is in IT Consultancy so he was away a lot in our first 2 years of dating. He was down London on weekdays so I only really saw him one day a week on Saturdays. I was ok with this but 6 months into our relationship, I started to fall for him and miss him.

I told him, that if this leads to a long term relationship e.g. marriage, I don’t want a part time husband or be effectively a single parent, living up here by myself whilst you are away Monday-Friday. So I rather us end it now, as that was not what I envisioned marriage to be like and not something I could cope with. I said however, I’d move closer to him up North so I’d be leaving my friends and family behind. He agreed and promised me he didn’t want the neither, followed by telling me he loved me for the first time and swore that he would never want that neither. So I carried on with the relationship, happy with the answer.

So 2 years after our relationship, he gets a job closer to home, and said he’ll be based here. He said that he did this for me and asked me to marry him a while after. I was so happy! I said yes. I started seeing him 2-3 times a week because I was still working and had a good career myself and we agreed we’d look for a place halfway, closer to our wedding day so we can move in and both still carry on with our careers.
In his new job, he gets paid quite well; he took a pay-cut but only a couple of thousand. I get paid quite well so it wouldn’t have mattered really. He has however been complaining to his manager over the lack of work he’s been getting. He is one of those, he likes to keep busy. I thought, you are getting paid a lot to do easy work and no stress, what’s the problem? But he doesn’t like the day going by without having stuff to do and he thinks it’s not good for his career. So anyway, he kept complaining to his manager. His manager has now offered to send him to London for a project!!!

He was shocked, and wasn’t expecting it...I was shocked because I assumed this new job didn’t involve going away and he was permanently based here. He said, its still contract work but he assumed he would be based here for years too. He turned the project down, which resulted in his manager getting angry because he’s complaining about lack of work and now he won’t take this project. My fiance is still on his probation, and they didn’t seem happy with him at all. So he thinks for him to keep his job, he needs to go.

Upset is an understatement right now. Because if this was a one off, I’d be ok because we are not married yet (Next March is our wedding day) and he’d be there 4 months minimum.

However, now he’s saying he cannot guarantee if they won’t send him off again and he will make that decision when we are married, we are not married yet so he should go on these projects.

So to me that sounds like, if we are married, he’ll decide then if he wants to go away like it’s a option?

What about leaving me by myself? What about when we have kids? Am I supposed to look after them by myself? I don’t have much family.

Am I being selfish??

I really want him to do well in his career but not the expense of our relationship. I’d only see him Friday night to Sunday night.
I really don’t know what to do. I feel like I am making him choose but I personally, wouldn’t think being a part-time wife/mother was even an option for myself and I thought he thought the same hence why I carried on with the relationship.
He’s really upset that I am making an issue of it because he loves me so dearly and I should be supportive and understanding but I just don’t want a part-time husband sad

I hate his job sad

crje Thu 02-Jul-15 16:22:35

my dh puts his work first , we are trapped in his life . He keeps saying he would be bored babysitting a job , he needs to keep growing.
If I has my time again I wouldn't have married him.
He isn't a good husband or father.
Im 18 yrs babysitting our marriage sad

Nolim Thu 02-Jul-15 16:28:19

Going away now may not be a big deal now but it will be if you have kids. Would he take a more family friendly job?
Fwiw my oh and i used to be away due to travel before we had dc. Now it still happens ocationally but we can manage, and he seeks my input regarding carrer advancement.

willbillycome Thu 02-Jul-15 17:00:12

I think yab a bit u.

There are other options. You could move to london with him, when you have kids you could work and he could be sahp.

You seem to be saying it's unfair for him to leave you alone, but you are close to friends and family, he is alone in london.

My dh works away and comes home eow, it's not easy but I take offense at you suggesting that situation makes me a part time wife, and worse, him a part time father.

Twinklestein Thu 02-Jul-15 17:08:55

I don't think you're being very fair OP, he doesn't have a choice if he wants to keep his job.

It's not that long. And the London thing becomes regular you could move down there.

chairmeoh Thu 02-Jul-15 17:10:37

Theoretically, it makes sense for him to secure his future with his employer by taking the contract, and others, until such time as you have children. By that time he would have built his career to a point where he could be choosier about which contracts he takes.

However, that assumes he will agree to take his foot off the gas when children come on the horizon and he/you don't become reliant on his good earnings in the meantime.

It's a risk.

QuiteLikely5 Thu 02-Jul-15 17:12:51

I think you are being precious.

You can't control somebody like this. It's his career & life.

Also it's not like he is going to be away mon til fri every week.

I don't actually believe you either when you say you won't marry him if he works away. Just a threat.

Forces wives deal with this stuff all the time similarly wives up and down the country take responsibility for the children whilst the man works away etc.

IHeartKingThistle Thu 02-Jul-15 17:14:40

My DH works away a lot. I didn't sign up for it, it happened gradually and it's a bit of a slog when he's away.

But he makes up for it by being an awesome husband and dad. I didn't sign up for so much time apart but I did sign up for him. He didn't sign up for me going brunette or changing my career to one that earns half the amount or getting so ill when DS was a baby that he had to take time off work to look after us both. It's just what happened and we have so far been strong enough to weather it all.

Our situation is different though I suppose. You shouldn't have to settle for a marriage setup you don't want, but he shouldn't have to limit his career or face years of you complaining about his job either.

I am sympathetic, it's no fun missing someone. But like a PP I would never describe my DH as a part time husband or father. I hope you can find a solution.

ElectraCute Thu 02-Jul-15 17:16:25

I think yabu. I get that it's not exactly what you hoped for, but is it really the end of the world? A few months where you see each other at the weekend, ok not great but you'd honestly stop him?

I'd be v pissed off if i was his manager too, tbh - an employee keeps complaining, saying they're not being challenged, so I give them an interesting project and they turn it down because their girlfriend doesn't want them to work away? I'm rarely on the side of employers but I would not be happy!

If you have kids, that's perhaps different (although many, many people manage) but you don't. You are making him choose, and I'm not surprised he's upset by it. You are making the possibility of him ever working away completely non-negotiable, and that's unreasonable.

Preciousbane Thu 02-Jul-15 17:32:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Thu 02-Jul-15 17:45:16

So less than 6 months into his new job [if he's still on probation] he's off back to London/busier climes because that's where the work is ?

I think you both need to be realistic about the nature of his work. I'll bet you anything that his contract states that he can be relocated for work.

Time to make a plan - if he's an IT consultant then the most lucrative work is typically in the SE. He could milk it until you have kids and then take a perm role somewhere or he could readjust now.
Or you could both move further south making it tenable for him to commute into London.

You need to talk to one another.

MissWeasley Thu 02-Jul-15 17:57:30

Sorry for anyone who took offense to the Part-Time husband/wife thing. I just meant it in gest as in the normal situation where you see your spousal all the time.

I've read a lot of threads here on women who's husbands work away and find it hard. So I'm really apprehensive.

I don't want to make him choose me or his career, that's why I told him 6 months into the relationship when it wasn't that serious that we should go our separate ways because I missed him a lot during the week and I know it'd be harder to cope with children involved. He was absolutely adamant that he wanted to remain here permanently with a wife and kids.

I don't live off his money. We both earn similar and are 50/50 on everything and that won't change. He wants me to have my own independence with money.

I'm thinking more along the lines of if I had kids, I'd have take them to school, go to work myself, bring them home, feed them, clean up after them etc do our house chore, whereas he just goes to work, comes back to his hotel and gets his meals paid for in fancy restaurants. No chores or anything. Whereas I have to do all the hard work with the kids and house?

What if I wanted to go to the gym or a class? There'd be no one around as neither of us have much family and I'd be leaving my friends behind.

We cannot move to London. His contracts are sprodic. They won't necessary be in London. They could be in Essex or Reading.

Also he refuses to move to London as he doesn't like to live there. He's a northern boy he said.

The house prices are also ridiculous down there. We've seen a lovely home up here for £200k here and equivalent is about £800k down there. There's no way we could afford that.

I feel bad because this is his career and I wouldn't mind moving to wherever he goes but I can't because he's never set in one place for more than a couple of months.

He told me this was permenantly here.

wallypops Thu 02-Jul-15 18:52:00

London to Reading or Essex are really short journeys in the scheme of things. Sorry but I think you have really different and probably incompatible views on life. Honestly you sound very young, how old are you?

I get that its horrible to be apart a lot, but your partner needs to get as far along with his career as possible.

You don't seem to have a very realistic idea of life with kids. If you have kids you can pretty much forget the gym etc. No new parents get to do any of that stuff for a long while. Most people with kids spend their lives haring round trying to get everything done, and when they work full time its extremely full on. But as the 1000s of single mothers here will tell you, it all gets done and we survive and generally thrive.

Twinklestein Thu 02-Jul-15 19:24:16

Realistically he needs to go where the work is.

If his work is Reading or Essex you don't have live in London. You could be in Berkshire, Wiltshire, Essex, Suffolk etc...

seaweed123 Thu 02-Jul-15 19:29:07

I'm an IT consultant. In a lot of ways it is a very family friendly job. I wfh regularly, flexi my hours and work 4 days per week. Lots of people in the industry - male as well as female - do the same.

The downside is that there is a clause in my contract saying they can send me anywhere. And if you want to chase the best roles and get good pay rises then typically you do have to travel a bit.

In my experience, people do the travelling early in their career, find a nice rut to sit in for the young family years and then start chasing the promotions again later. It's the sort of job where you can do that.

Sounds like your DP is a bit ambitious, and I don't think it is fair to expect him to give up on his career at this early stage. That said, my DH had to work away at a similar stage in our lives and I found it difficult. I do sympathise.

Nolim Thu 02-Jul-15 19:32:14

Op what about your carrer/job? You dont say anything about it but it is a consideration as important as his job.

TheFallenMadonna Thu 02-Jul-15 19:50:08

DH worked away a lot when we first lived together (and before that in fact). When we had our first child, he decided that it wasn't what he wanted to do any more and changed jobs. Just because he is working away now, before you are married and before you have children, doesn't mean that is the way it will be forever. DH and I have both changed our work and domestic roles a number of times to suit the needs of our family.

TheFallenMadonna Thu 02-Jul-15 19:51:23

And by family I mean all of us in it, DH and me included, not just our children.

SkodaLabia Thu 02-Jul-15 20:00:43

Upset is an understatement right now. Because if this was a one off, I’d be ok because we are not married yet (Next March is our wedding day) and he’d be there 4 months minimum.

I don't quite understand, do you live together at the moment or not?

You do seem very focussed on the circumstances after you're married, as if your relationship needs will magically change at that moment.

I think it boils down to him being in a career that requires flexibility, whereas you want a guarantee that he will be at home with you (and by extension any future DC that may come along). Is there a more challenging role available that has either short term travel (a few days at any one time) or none?

gamerchick Thu 02-Jul-15 20:08:28

I do think you're being selfish somewhat. If you demand he stay chained to you and never work away or get loads of grief then maybe it's time to move on before the wedding.

Don't use it as a stick to beat him with and keep him in line. He's been whinging to his boss and a door has been opened in response.

Cumbrae Thu 02-Jul-15 20:11:26

My DH now works away regularly. When we first got married he never travelled and I was away 3 weeks out of 4.

It's fine really. He calls me every morning and face times with the children every night.

I have a treadmill so that I can still exercise.

Yes, when he's away everything at home falls on me but to be honest it's not that much different to when he's here.

It just means there's no one to split washing up with or flip for making the dreaded pack lunches with. I have to be more organised but it's fine really.

He's away this week and I'm about to log in and get some extra work done, something I'd feel guilty about if he was home.

After that a bubble bath is planned. (So decadent)

He's away all weekend so the children and I have planned a fun packed schedule of activities

We miss him of course but we love him and it's important to his career.

You are right to think about what you want before you get married but I wanted to show you that it's not the end if the world.

Alibabsandthe40Musketeers Thu 02-Jul-15 20:18:05

My DH is an IT contractor. We live in the SE, it is where the work is most of the time.

A few of the people who DH works with live further north, they have bigger houses than we do, flasher cars, but we get DH home most nights which is how we wanted it while the boys were small.

I'm a bit confused by your post though. Contractors don't have 'a boss', or a probation. So presumably he is now an employee?

ZenNudist Thu 02-Jul-15 20:27:06

You seem to be saying 'you had your chance to change your mind 6 months into our relationship, things are set in stone now'. Which is unrealistic. As is expecting an IT consultant to give up travel. I think he's right to be hungry and hard working whilst he's young. That's when careers are made. Why do you want a man you love to moulder in a boring job trashing his career prospects in the process? Don't you think that's going to bite you in the ass when he feels you ruined his life?!

It's really not Cushy stays in hotels. He is likely to miss the comforts of home and family, it's likely to be a pain stuck in traffic on long journeys home.

You can't control what happens in the future. Although move south would be sensible.

My dh works away some of the week. I look after 2 dc around my 9-5 job which is fine. 2 days of the week he's home and I work late, go to gym or travel back from work. It's more 'tag team parenting' than I expected but it works. Just because we aren't always together doesn't mean we are a part time family!!

Anyway weekends is when you get quality time.

FiveGoMadInDorset Thu 02-Jul-15 20:28:03

What have you given up for this relationship because on reading your post it is all home at the moment.

addictedtosugar Thu 02-Jul-15 20:40:03

We have both travelled.
I can categorically say I'd rather be here, at home, with the kids, doing all the drop offs, packed lunches and homework than being the one in the hotel where DH is now

Either is hard, but it is what is needed to maintain (me) or progress (DH) our careers.

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