Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Anyone else struggle with partner who works away a lot?

(47 Posts)
Lovemusic33 Sat 27-Feb-16 08:10:06

We haven't been together long ( living together ), I knew he worked away a bit when we got together but he told me he did this because he was unhappy with his ex and then was single and had nothing else to do. His job involves working away quite a bit ( more so in the summer ), this weekend is the3rd time he's been away since we have been living together and I am finding it really hard sad, he says he hates being away from me, misses me etc..etc.. But he has hardly messaged me despite him not actually doing much work until later today. I kind of feel like I'm sat around at home waiting for him to call, waiting for him to come back. Last time wasn't this bad, maybe it's because I have awful PMT at the moment and I am feeling a little insecure?

I know it's going to get worse in the summer as he will be working away most weeks and I will hardly see him. Originally I thought having a man who works away a bit would be a good thing, means we wouldn't get on each other's nerves, means we would enjoy it when he got home ( due to missing each other ) but instead I feel really annoyed by the time he gets home ( being stuck at home struggling with my 2 dc's and trying to work from home ). I don't want him to think I can't cope without him here, I know I can as I have coped without a man around for quite a while.

Does anyone else find it hard having a partner that works away? Does it get easier?

Only1scoop Sat 27-Feb-16 08:13:58

My dp works away quite a bit but to be honest it doesn't bother me as I find the break quite nice sometimes.

He has a career he loves and when he gets back he does all the early school run stuff and I get heaps of lie ins wink

CuttedUpPear Sat 27-Feb-16 08:18:14

It sounds like he's not undertaken to share responsibility for your DCs - was this something you discussed before moving in together?
It's hard to have a partner who can so easily distance himself from the day to day life of home. I know because I'm there myself.

Only1scoop Sat 27-Feb-16 08:25:34

Start as you mean to go on though Op and please don't sit around waiting for calls and messages.

In my 20's I spent years with a forces boyfriend we bought a house together I sat in it pining alone constantly. It was miserable.

Keep your life busy As I'm sure it is anyway with two DC. Have you spoke about how long his working away will go on for?

Salene Sat 27-Feb-16 08:26:24

Husband works offshore 30 days away 26 days home.

Before kids yes I missed him but it keeps the relationship strong, you get reminded regularly how much you appreciate them as when they go it hits home so In turn you never take each other for granted

Now we have a 17 month old I find it harder , partly because of how much my oh misses his son and my son constantly asks for dada and grabs phone looking for him ( he face times him) I assume it's only going to get harder for him and my son

For me it's a struggle sometimes looking after him , working pt and I'm pregnant again, and I get zero support from anyone else so it can be difficult at times, especially in the early baby days and I'm sure it's going to be hard again when baby no 2 comes along in August

That said you get into a routine and the days just got past till he is home again.

QuiteLikely5 Sat 27-Feb-16 08:29:32

I think you have to get used to it if it's his job. You make it sound optional whether he goes or stays, is it?

You mention about being stuck with the dc but that is an area that is not related to him in any way, only you can change that.

How long have you been together

Lovemusic33 Sat 27-Feb-16 08:46:36

I don't expect him to take responsibility for my dc's but when he is here he is very good with them, one of my dc's has sn's and finds change in routine hard.

He has just called to say he will be late back sad

He works for a company onsite and gets a good wage, most of the work away he does self employed and doesn't really need the money, so he's working a 9-5 job and does this on top so I don't get to spend much time with him, he has dc's so has to fit in seeing them when he has time off. I kind of feel like I'm just here to cook his dinner ( when he's not working away ) and to do his washing, we get to spend a few hours alone a week if we're lucky.

I am hoping it will get easier, obviously we havnt been living together long and I guess it's kind of a honeymoon period where I want to be with him a lot, I'm sure this will change over time.

Lovemusic33 Sat 27-Feb-16 08:50:32

Salene, that must be really hard sad
I think I am finding it hard as the dc's dad has backed right off, he used to help me out a lot with the dc's but now he has a new partner and is planning on moving away. I have been trying to find work ( I do a bit from home but I need to get out ), but due to dc2 having sn's it's very hard to find childcare.

I would understand more if this was his main job but it's not, it's extra work which he takes on, he gets a good salary from the company he works for and they rarely send him off site.

Only1scoop Sat 27-Feb-16 08:54:12

So it's extra work he chooses to do?

Don't get into the habit of cooking every meal on his return. Mix things up a bit ....you could all go out?

Same with his washing.

Start as you mean to go on. You are not there as his housekeeper.

Lovemusic33 Sat 27-Feb-16 09:05:28

Yes, he chooses to do it. Obviously he has been booked in to do these jobs ( before he moved in with me ) so he has to do them but he doesn't seem to want to stop doing them. He takes holiday from his salaried job to do some of these jobs away which means he doesn't get any holiday to actually have time off to spend with me or his dc's. I have expressed that I don't like him working away and he has said he will work away less but then he takes on more jobs so I don't see it happening.

Obviously my kids are not his responsibility but I would like him to realise what I do at home for him as well as my kids. I didn't want to get into another relationship where I end up looking after a man ( like a extra child ) but it seems to be happening. I would like to move my small buisness forward but it's hard when I have to do everything at home. He will help cook on the one day that he is actually here, he will wash up every night ( seems to want a medal for doing it ) and tries to help out when he can.

I don't see any of the benefits from his earnings, he has moved into my house and pays towards the bills but I am worse off financially having him here.

Cabrinha Sat 27-Feb-16 09:08:12

I'm the one that works away, usually a 5 night stretch in every 14. By fiancé and I don't live together yet.

The problem of feeling that you're sitting around on your own waiting for his call is all your problem. What did you do before you met him? Why are you hanging around waiting for him? It's not a good thing that your life and emotions are so wrapped around what he's doing at this stage.

It sounds like you didn't talk this through enough - he may have unfairly implied that he wouldn't work away as much, you assumed that as he earns well in one job he wouldn't do this. (plenty of people still want to earn more, or enjoy the work)

I'm a bit hmm at whether he's a good person, if he's stretching himself too thin between his kids and you and this additional work. You should come second to his kids - is he seeing them enough though?

The short term answer is to stop waiting around for him. The longer term answer is to decide how often you want to see him, and talk to him about that. If you can cope with 4 weekends gone every summer season but nothing else - tell him. He'll have to choose what's more important.

The worst thing you can do is sit around thinking it'll get better. It won't unless you address it.

CalleighDoodle Sat 27-Feb-16 09:13:14

How long have you been together?
How soon after bevomming a couple did you move in together?

If he is only paying towards the bills, is it costung him less to live with you than it is to live where he was previously?

Henisnonly there One day a week?

Lovemusic33 Sat 27-Feb-16 09:15:39

Thanks Cabrinha, I will talk to him, I do worry about his dc's, he does try and see them every weekend if he's not working away, I do think that he needs to see them every weekend, it's not good for them if he misses out a weekend due to work. At the moment I only get alone time with him when my dc's see their dad which is for a few hours on a Sunday ( unless he brings his dc's here on a sat ).

Maybe things will change, maybe I havnt given him enough time to change them? He can't just say hes going to stop as he has work booked for the summer but he can stop taking on more work. I know some people want to earn more but now he is living with me I can earn that extra money from my buisness and he can still bring home a good enough salary.

MeMySonAndl Sat 27-Feb-16 09:19:11

Ok, there are people that are just like that, and that is not a problem as long as you manage to get used to the situation.

There are 2 ways to see it:
1) DP works away a lot and I feel miserable while he is not here. I feel used. <- if that is the case, it is better to leave and find someone that can be around most of the time.

2) DP works away a lot. Which is fine because although he is not here all the time, he is great with my kids when he is. I know that he is there for us and that we work as a team. His salary and mine together make us feel more secure, and it is great to have someone to talk about your day and help you discuss difficult decisions. When he is away it is hard work, but that also gives me some one to one time with my children, and the opportunity to have some time to myself.

Frankly, I would prefer number 2. But if you can't get used to it, it is better to leave. The only one thing that I would say is that if he has to spend so much time away, do not agree to have more children until he can provide more hands on help.

Lovemusic33 Sat 27-Feb-16 09:20:13

I will try not to sit around waiting for him, just feels like I'm at home doing all the house wifey things which isn't what I want, I want it to be equal, I want to work more and earn more from home ( to pay for my children to have a better life ), I don't want to spend all my spare time cleaning up after him, washing his underwear and keeping the house up together so it's nice when he gets home, I have done all that with my ex husband and I am not looking for another one grin.
When we do spend time alone it is amazing, there's just not enough of it sad. What's the point of earning extra money if you havnt got the time to enjoy it?

MeMySonAndl Sat 27-Feb-16 09:21:39

Do not forget that his job may be providing him with personal satisfaction, so take this in consideration when you ask him to reduce his commitments.

dontaskdonttell Sat 27-Feb-16 09:22:42

My dh is in the army and is regularly away, sometimes for weeks on end and quite often with little or no contact at all. I have 2 dc, 3 and 1 and I'm heavily pregnant. It is hard when he's away but what I miss is his company, his presence in the house. I get out as much as I can when he's away, friends, play groups, parks etc and in the evenings I watch tv, get things ready for baby etc, keep myself as occupied as I can.

There are times when he volunteers to go and do things away from home which used to frustrate me but it doesn't bother me now.

You have to adjust to the way of life and accept its his job and he wants to do it.

MeMySonAndl Sat 27-Feb-16 09:24:41

So don't take the most traditional SAHM version, let him clean after himself. If he has been living on his own he should know how to survive without a cleaner so... Don't ruin it.

IMO the women who end up mothering their partners are the same ones that take over in acting as their mums wink

crappyday Sat 27-Feb-16 09:27:20

My DH is away during the week for 4-5 days every week. He also does work at weekends - most Saturday's and some Sunday's.

As pp said, at some point you just have to accept it and get on with your life. If I want to go out, I don't sit at home cross cos he's not here- I get a babysitter. ( we have 3 DCs)

Some days it is shit. Some days it's great- I can eat what I want, when I want & watch what I want on tv!

When I'm ill, it's really hard via I have to deal with the kids on my own.

But when he comes home, I expect him to parent equally, and pull his weight. that includes cooking/washing etc.

It's not what I would have chosen, but it's how it is and it's not going to change.

MeMySonAndl Sat 27-Feb-16 09:28:08

In terms of being an equal work wise, good grief woman, act like a single mum, do your best, earn your keep and see him as a bonus. If he was not around at all, that's what you would do, wouldn't you?

Lovemusic33 Sat 27-Feb-16 09:29:32

Memyson, obviously 2 is the better option, maybe part of the reason I am not happy is that me and my dc's are not going to better off for him working away a lot, he's not paying for my kids ( I don't expect him too ), because he is working so much I can't work as much, I'm working as much as I can to clothe my kids and to be able to take them places, I can't earn a huge amount of money and with hardly any help around the house from him I don't have the time to do my work. At the moment he pays me a set amount each week ( which is for half the rent and council tax ) and he helps pay for food.

We havnt been together long and I am hoping things will change, I need to be more upfront with him and tell him how I am feeling. I'm not looking for another husband, I want someone who is there for me when I need them, someone to enjoy my time with and share experiences with, at the moment I don't feel like I am getting that.

Secretlove Sat 27-Feb-16 09:36:25

It sounds like he has it all set up to suit him. The problem is it doesn't suit you.

It sounds like he moved in but he doesn't particularly want the family life that goes with it.

I would have a serious chat about his intentions re work after he has fulfilled his current commitments.

What I don't get is why you are feeling/acting like a sahm when he's hardly ever there. Surely you can get on with your life as you would if you were not in a relationship at all.

PurpleThermalsNowItsWinter Sat 27-Feb-16 09:40:22

You have to have your own life. Speaking as someone whose DH works away mon- fri (5 years now).

Cabrinha Sat 27-Feb-16 10:03:35

Why do you keep saying you're hoping it'll change? Why would it? That's just silly, to think it'll magically change! It won't change unless you change it.

Cabrinha Sat 27-Feb-16 10:11:27

It sounds like you've moved him in far too quickly, as the pair of you aren't agreed on how this will work.

If he's a "seeing how it goes boyfriend" having the benefit of sharing some costs with you, then bank the extra money (or have you maybe lost the same in benefits?) and carry on developing your work - using his rent to pay nursery for example. There is no need for his moving in to create ANY more time away from your business. Why does it? You've got full time work with kids and your business - why are you even posting that you wash his pants?!!!

Now if he is just a boyfriend, then why should he give up his extra income so you can earn more? I wouldn't. Especially if it would be hard to get back to it (broken contacts) or I enjoyed it.

But if he has moved in as a committed and sure about this long term partner, that's different. You still shouldn't wash his smalls, but he should be supporting the family income more - rent not 50/50 but according to income etc.

Are you sure you should be living with him?

My fiancé was married for 20 years before his wife died. He suggested renting a place together, she said "good enough to live with, good enough to marry". And they did. I admire that she knew what she wanted and wasn't afraid to say it. They were very happy.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now