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Long distance relationship, but with no potential to be together full-time in the future.

(23 Posts)
Futuredilemma Wed 28-Dec-16 14:10:27

Regular poster but namechanged. Been with DP for four years, got together through mutual friends.

It's a long distance relationship and we live four hours apart. He comes to see me at weekends as I have DC who live with me full-time and he lives in a house share during the week so practically it's easier for him to come here than the other way around.

We got engaged just over a year ago, and the plan was for him to look for work here and to move down to be with us as my DC are teenagers and have GCSE's coming up so me moving isn't an option for the foreseeable future.

But once we started looking at the logistics of DP moving we've started realising that it's just not going to be possible. He works in a very niche job, so much so that there are only two companies in the country who do what he does, and neither of them are anywhere near where I am. As such he has very few transferrable skills, so finding work for him here is an impossibility.

We had talked about me moving once the DC have left school, although practically I'm not sure how possible that will be. However I have recently joined a programme to help me back into work after being a SAHM for an extended period, so there is every chance I will be working soon, and if so I won't be in a position to just quit my job in a few years and move either.

I love him, but the more I have thought about this, the more I have begun to realise that marriage, living together, a full-time future together is not something we can aspire to any more. sad I obviously don't want to lose him, but I also think that it's unfair of me to hold on to a relationship when I know that he could find someone he can be with for ever, when I'm not in a position to offer him that.

I need to end it don't I? But how?

NotTheFordType Wed 28-Dec-16 14:18:46

there is every chance I will be working soon, and if so I won't be in a position to just quit my job in a few years and move either.

I don't get it, why not? Assuming you're not joining a similarly niche field to your DP, there should be plenty of scope for you to find a job closer to him?

user1471518295 Wed 28-Dec-16 14:28:02

If you both want it enough, you will make it happen.

Sounds like you want him to give up everything and you give up nothing ...

Futuredilemma Wed 28-Dec-16 14:40:38

In an ideal world I would hope that I would be in a position to change jobs. However I have a long-term illness as well as the fact I haven't worked for sixteen years due to being a SAHM and then struggling with illness and now being in a position to go back. So there are no guarantees that I would be able to find another job even if I already have one.

'Sounds like you want him to give up everything and you give up nothing ...' that's not fair. The reason I feel I need to let him go is precisely because I don't feel he should have to move etc because of me, but I wo't be in any kind of position to even think about moving for at least another five years when my youngest finishes school. I liv where I do because my children's dad lives here, and now they're in school years which would make moving incredibly unfair on them just because it was in pursuit of my own happiness.

And saying that if we want it enough then we'll find a way to make it happen is just idealistic and not realistic. At the time we got together we talked about the future, and DP knew the score. But when it came to thinking about his changing jobs the reality became very apparent that that just wasn't going to be a possibility for him. So yes, I could wait for another five years and hope we can make it happen then. But if I'm not able to find work where DP lives we'll be back in the same position, except we'll have been together but living apart for almost ten years by then, There surely comes a point where you either have to settle for a life-long part-time relationship or recognising that things can't go any further. To be honest I think he deserves more than to be with someone who he only ever gets to see at weekends. If we split I wouldn't be interested in wanting to look for another relationship.

. Sometimes with the best will in the world there isn't just a way to make it happen.

DorindaJ Wed 28-Dec-16 14:52:22

So, you don't give him an opportunity to have an opinion? I think you do love him, but you feel like you are not able to offer him what you feel he deserves in a relationship. Let him decide.

Also you never know exactly what the future has in store. Things may turn out very different from how you imagine.

I would rather a part time, long distance, but overall good relationship, than none.

Futuredilemma Wed 28-Dec-16 15:00:30

I have told him that it seems unfair that he is the one expected to make the sacrifices and that he deserves more. But he's very naive about these things. When we first started talking about it he said that it would be easy and he would just get another job but that turned out not to be the case. He says that he believes in marriage and wants to be married to me next year but the truth is it's not going to happen.

He currently lives in a house share. If it wasn't for the fact that hE travels to see me every weekend so essentially only lives up there during the week he would be in a position to rent a flat which would give him more space etc.

I know that friends have told him that he should aspire to more and that he should move on. sad. So I know that I am just being selfish even wanting him to stay with me and that I have no right really.

Ellisandra Wed 28-Dec-16 17:09:36

He's a bit of an arse if he's the source of you knowing that his friends think you should split!

He's in a house share because he chooses to be, not because he's dating you.

I'm a realist, sometimes the practicalities are just too great.

But your kids are nearing GCSEs so you're really not far from being able to move, if you want to.

Unless he lives somewhere with less employment prospects than where you are, then it will be no more difficult to get a job there than here.

The overall tone of your post though... maybe it's just because you're sad... but you don't sound too enthusiastic about him. Has it become a comfortable habit but actually you don't WANT to move for him? It's OK to change your mind about someone.

(I'm dying to know what's so niche that only two companies do it and it means no transferable skills!)

Ellisandra Wed 28-Dec-16 17:13:28

I'm guessing you're no older than 45... in which case of it takes another 5 years, then you could have 30 years living together.

What is it about the current situation that needs to change? Why NOT continue as you are?

We're not that used to post kids relationships with all their Location complications yet... we're still stuck in a paradigm of meet / date / move in / marry all within 5 years or it's going nowhere. Why can't you do it differently?

Montane50 Wed 28-Dec-16 17:19:00

Something has got to give, i struggle to understand how you can decide at this early stage that you wouldn't be able to get a job near him in the future? You surely should focus on getting back to work then eventually job hunting. Or could he not do a different job to the one thats so niche?
It does slightly sound like the closer its getting to moving, the colder your feet are getting?

cheekyfunkymonkey Wed 28-Dec-16 17:23:25

If you want to be together one of you has to make a leap of faith and given his job situation and based on what you have said, I think that someone has to be you. If you're not prepared to do that then yes, you have to end it. If you're not ready to commit now after 4 years and an engagement, then let him move on.

JennyHolzersGhost Wed 28-Dec-16 17:27:58

Well if your kids are teens then there's not that many more years to go before they leave home, surely ? At which point you will be in a position to move up to be with him ?
I'd stick with the engagement for now and save marriage for once you've lived together for a bit. Focus on getting a job that gives you a broad range of transferable skills and experience and have a look at what the major employers in his area want in case there's any training you can do to make yourself more employable when you get there.

JennyHolzersGhost Wed 28-Dec-16 17:29:04

Alternatively if you feel you'll never want to move to be with him, is there any training he can do that would enable him to move sideways into a job with broader employment opportunities?

Futuredilemma Wed 28-Dec-16 18:14:22

Ellisandra saying what it is would totally out me, but think specialist work within the disability accessibility industry. smile

WRT his friends, yes TBH his friends have been an issue throughout our relationship, with many of them refusing to accept me as part of DP's life. The distance has made it easier to deal with as when he goes out with friends it's usually in his home town, but he's had conversations with many of them in which they've expressed an opinion that they would rather not get to know me at all.

FWIW I was not the OW.

TheNaze73 Wed 28-Dec-16 18:49:55

So you want him to give up his life and you provide no flexibility whatsoever?

JennyHolzersGhost Wed 28-Dec-16 19:01:09

On the other hand OP if the idea of breaking up with him because of the distance fills you with relief then I'd say go with it. Because clearly you're not as into him as you would need to be for a longterm long distance relationship to work.

Futuredilemma Thu 29-Dec-16 08:15:13

Where have I said that I want him to give up his life? When we got together I wasn't in a position to move to be with him because I had primary aged children who had a 50/50 contact schedule with their dad. I'm sure had I posted then that I was about to uproot them 200 miles away from their dad I would be being called selfish there as well.

Moving wouldn't actually bother me as I don't really have a life here. I moved here because my then DH relocated for work but we split up six months after coming here, and I chose to stay here because of his relationship with the DC. But I had no family, no friends or support network here.

If when my youngest leaves school I'm not working then of course it goes without saying that I would be the one to move. But if I am working then we just won't know, as for me getting a job isn't as simple as just being able to go and get another one when I want to due to my illness.

To the PP who said that it seems he is more into me than the other way around, that's not true, but after talking last night I realise that his sense of urgency for this all to happen is greater than mine, not least because he's currently the one doing the travelling, is the one who has to go back to his home town every week, and is also feeling the pressure from others saying that he could do better because he should be thinking about permanency after four years and waiting another five years is too long to wait.

He tells me all the time that he wants to be living with me, married to me, but with the best will in the world I can't make that happen for at least another five years, and even then I can't guarantee anything, so it's not as if there is a tangible time in sight for me to reassure him with. Which is why I have questioned whether I should just let him go now as I can't currently promise him the future he wants.

DeepAndCrispAndEvenTheWind Thu 29-Dec-16 08:21:23

If you can continue with the status quo indefinitely, you lay out your position clearly and ask him to choose.

If he got A one bed flat instead of the house share, could you go up to him on weekends the kids are seeing their dad?

Barefootcontessa84 Thu 29-Dec-16 08:33:43

It does sound like you're not willing to compromise yourself OP. You have said even when the children have left home it may be impractical to move, and that you also couldn't move job either. I don't really understand why - if you get back into work now, three years down the line with some experience under your belt again should put you in a good position. What impracticalities mean you couldn't move after DCs left?

You are also arguing every point made by other posters - by defending your position, it sounds like you can see the relationship is doomed (perhaps for other reasons) and you are looking for a justification to move on.

I agree with PPs- if you want it to happen enough, you can definitely make it happen. It is realistic (there are no major elements such as visa requirements etc!) if you are willing to make compromises.

LobsterQuadrille Thu 29-Dec-16 08:34:22

Hi OP, contrary to his friends, I'd say that DP has a reasonably good deal with you - and he must think so, as he has stuck around all this time with no guarantees.

You say that you have your children full time, so I assume that means 365 nights a year - therefore does your ex H living nearby mean that you are prevented from moving nearer to your DP, once the children finish school? I'd be aiming for that route, if I were you - giving you both a goal to aim for.

Like you, I've had DD (only one) full time for 19 years but now that she's at university, I'm relishing my space during term time and cannot imagine living with someone! So maybe also see how you feel then? As long as you don't make false promises, I don't see why you should be making decisions for an adult male who knows what he wants.

wannabestressfree Thu 29-Dec-16 08:42:00

I agree with the poster who said do things differently. I have been In a relationship seven years and we don't live together (both have resident children) and it works for us.
You are creating blocks where there needn't be any. Also if he really wants to move maybe apply for different jobs?? I don't get this 'has to stay in niche market only two places available' he doesn't really does he??

Helloitsmeee Thu 29-Dec-16 08:47:21

You are talking about not being able to move to him because of your job but you haven't worked for sixteen years. It's an obstacle that currently doesn't even exist.

Are you sure you actually want to be with him? It sounds like you are giving up.

That's ok as relationships change. Try to work out what your feelings about him and the future really are.

Futuredilemma Thu 29-Dec-16 08:49:32

Deep we discussed him getting a flat rather than a house share fairly early into the relationship but he didn't want to as he said it was too expensive compared to the amount he pays for a room now which has all bills included. At that point the DC were staying with their dad 50/50 however since then they have stopped going there for numerous reasons on both sides and now see him maybe one or two nights a month if that.

Ironically if that had been the case when we first got together then I would have been in a position to move with them, but now they're at stages in school where moving would be totally unfair on them.

Barefoot if I am working then and in a position to change jobs then I will. But my condition means it's more difficult for me to find work, and there are some jobs which I am excluded from being able to do plus employers are not keen and it's an employer's market, so it's not as straight forward as just moving jobs, I wish it was. I've actually been looking for work for over five years now but due to the fact I was considered not eligible for ESA before I wasn't entitled to sign up for any programmes which give help to people with disabilities in finding work.

DeepAndCrispAndEvenTheWind Thu 29-Dec-16 08:51:14

That's a pain, Future, about their dad.

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