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Husband living away during week - any experience?

(24 Posts)
HensAndRabbits Thu 17-Aug-17 10:44:29

Dh and I are currently considering this. We moved to rural SE 3 years ago to give dc's nice quality of life. However, I've struggled to make friends, feel incredibly isolated and h is struggling with commuting 3 hrs a day. We're having a rough time in our marriage atm, no affairs, abuse or anything. I'm just struggling with being completely in my own from 7am - 10pm week days then dh is struggling at weekends because I need a break and he needs a break and we're just knackered.

If we sell our house we would have enough for dh to buy a 1 bedroom flat next to his work and also buy a decentish house in my hometown in westcountry. The schools are good in my hometown, my very helpful dm lives there, so do several school friends of mine with similar ages dc's to mine.

However, this would mean uprooting dc's, ds1 is about to start yr1 and has asd. He doesn't really have any friends as yet so that not a problem but he does seem settled and he receives a lot of help from school with his extra needs. Ds2 only 1 so no problem there. Dc's don't see dh during week anyway so won't make much difference. He could work longer hours, finish at lunchtime on Friday and head back Sunday night/ Monday morning.

Is there anything I haven't considered? One big thing I'm worried about is our marriage. If it doesn't get better and we live 200 miles from dh and end up splitting that would be really hard on him and dc's. I really want to make it work, he claims he does too. I just can't carry on living somewhere that I don't talk to anyone for days on end. I ended up sobbing the other day because I realised it had been a mint since someone had called me by my name

thenightsky Thu 17-Aug-17 10:55:38

We did it for five years when DS was a baby and DD had just started reception year. We had no choice as DH had been made redundant and I was on mat leave and we were totally skint and in debt. The only job he could find was one in the NE of England.

We made it work by him only staying there from Monday morning until Friday afternoon. He rented a room in a house with another professional man (it helped towards this chap's mortgage). It was a good arrangement because the home owner never had his lodger (my DH) around at all from Friday morning to Monday night.

Weekends could be stressy though as he was not used to being around the demands of small children and got a bit shouty sometimes. He was okay once I pulled him up on this and DD pushed him out of the door saying 'go back to newcastle daddy, you are too grumpy'. grin

This was all a long time time ago though (20+ years) so my memories may be a bit hazy. Ask me anything and I'll try to remember.

EnglishRose1320 Thu 17-Aug-17 11:04:27

Haven't done this yet but it's in the pipeline for us, have already done him working abroad for 4 weeks and home for 2.
I think the move to your home town sounds like one you need to make, you have given it a good try and you are miserable.
Yes your DS will struggle to adapt but he will adapt and believe me moving our DS with Autism in primary school was tricky but doable the reason we are looking at OH working away in the week now is because trying to move DS now he is going into Secondary school would be incredibly tricky.
One thing I would suggest is if possible being out in a Friday after when DH gets in and letting him have a couple of hours to rest/change over from work to parent/husband, that way he can then throw himself into parenting etc, because you will want a break to and if you are on each others cases about who is the most tired from the minute you see each other it will still be miserable.
Also if you are going to be near family again, use them, make sure you have date nights child free.
Whatever you decide, good luck

Cricrichan Thu 17-Aug-17 11:30:54

I think the obvious answer is moving to your hometown.

Emboo19 Thu 17-Aug-17 12:02:57

Not the same exactly, but my dp is currently working away from home mon-fri. It's not all the time, he can be on a job at home for 6 months then away 6 months, although work have said all jobs starting next year are away from home.
Honestly I hate it! But for us the most difficult thing is fitting everything into just the weekend. Obviously we want to spend time as a family and get some alone time but then Dp has hobbies and there's family and friends to fit in.
In your case I wouldn't hesitate, it's not as if you really get much time with him anyway and you'll have support back home.

A few things that help us.......
He FaceTime's DD at bedtime and reads a story/sings to her etc (she's only 10 months).
He joins a gym where he's working and cancels his home one, so he's not trying to fit that in on weekends.
I take up offers from family for babysitting and try to do as much of my social time/interests through the week,(this is easier at the moment as it's uni holidays, but we'll see in September!)
I joined a gym with a crèche so I can go through the week.
He pretty much takes over with DD when he's here, bath/bed time and generally gets up both mornings as he wants as much time as possible.
I try to be organised and the house cleaned/food shop done so we have less of that to do. He has to bring his washing back home so that's a pain, he still does all the ironing when he's home though and he tends to take over with cooking (I'm usually fed up of cooking and want to eat out, he's been eating out all week and wants home cooked food) if you could afford it could you get a cleaner or out source the ironing to make things easier?
He takes DD swimmung Sunday mornings so he gets one on one time and I get a hour of peace, a strictly no jobs done hour!
We fit in as much adult time as we can DD allowing and make sure to have couples time planned. He's booked us a weekend away this weekend and my parents are having DD.
We have holidays booked so we have that to look forward to.
We make sure to still consult each other on what the others doing/planning in particular in regards to DD. So I don't just think I'm the one with her, I'll make all decisions.
We both miss the intimate time and it's something that I think needs a conversation, how will you both cope with only sex at the weekends, are you ok with porn etc if he uses it? Is he ok with it if you do?

Emboo19 Thu 17-Aug-17 12:08:48

Sorry that's longer than I realised!
And swimming not sure what my phone was spelling!

yetmorecrap Thu 17-Aug-17 12:12:06

what I will say is if anything does go wrong (and I hope it doesnt)--you will at least be close to family etc without having to move kids schools etc-- I would say go for it whilst everthing is ok. I live in Bath, hard to beat really.

Emboo19 Thu 17-Aug-17 12:20:47

Oh and obviously in your case, would finances cover two sets of living costs? It's not just buying the house outright, but the bills etc? And travel costs, although you might save there as he was commuting every day.
My dp's work pay for him to stay over so we don't have that and he earns more working away.

If he has his own place could you possibly spend some time there in school holidays so you see more of him, or if you have family who'd have the dc you could go visit him a few times a year. I think having that extra time together planned helps it not seem so bleak.

HensAndRabbits Thu 17-Aug-17 12:24:57

Thank you everyone. That's made me feel a lot more positive. I'm in my hometown atm, having stayed for 2 weeks at my DM's. Driving home this evening and I'm just dreading it (and not just because of the 5 hour drive with 2 young kids). Just the thought of living here makes me feel happier than I have in years. Dh isn't as keen as me but I think he'll come round.

HensAndRabbits Thu 17-Aug-17 12:26:36

It would actually work out a lot cheaper emboo. Dh currently commutes on high speed line from Kent which costs 6k a year. Gulp. He also always ends up eating out/ at the office which if he had a flat right next to work he wouldn't have to do.

Emboo19 Thu 17-Aug-17 12:34:23

That's a positive then Hens in your case I think it's definitely going to be a good thing for you. Do you work?

HensAndRabbits Thu 17-Aug-17 12:41:39

No I don't atm. I'm a reluctant sahm, my older ds (with asd) wouldn't cope with breakfast/ after school club. He only just about copes with school. Also we live rurally so would need to commute at least 30mins each way to get to nearest town.

If we lived in home town my dm lives across road from school I'd like them to attend. I haven't checked whether there are places yet though. It would be too much to ask for dm to do every day (although she'd probably love it!). I would love to get a job even if it was just volunteering or pub work. I'm really not the right personality for being a sahm which I think is another reason I'm feeling so down and trapped with where I live.

Emboo19 Thu 17-Aug-17 12:50:26

I feel you on that Hens our DD wasn't planned and I was supposed to go to uni last September, I go this one instead. As much as I love her I've struggled with a year at home, especially seen as my friends have all been off at uni or working. Before holidays I'd started volunteering a few mornings at a primary school, just helping with reading etc and I got back into dancing which I'd done before DD.
I definitely think having family support is going to be the best thing for you. You'll make him living away from home work if you both put the effort in.

FritzDonovan Thu 17-Aug-17 12:56:47

I may have missed something, but why haven't you considered all moving closer to dh's work? My OH spends a lot of time away and it can be quite difficult for him to integrate back into the family for short weekend visits. Plus the fact that he has a lot of downtime and no responsibility apart from work, while I'm full on with two kids through the week, it's hard work and can breed a bit of resentment if you're not careful.

HensAndRabbits Thu 17-Aug-17 13:22:14

emboo I can't imagine how hard that must be. You sound very mature and I'm sure you'll do amazingly at uni.

Dh works in the city fritz. We could just about afford a nice house in London, but wouldn't have a garden obviously. I lived in London just after uni and loved it but it's just not the environment we want our dc's growing up in. Plus if dh got a little flat that we could all stay there now and again to see sights etc.

Josuk Thu 17-Aug-17 13:43:45

OP - so if rural living hasn't worked out, why not consider alternatives?
And with a shaky marriage - living apart is not likely to help.

How about a compromise solution - moving all together to a place you can afford and agree on where yours H can come home and see the kids everyday?

Big garden and fields around, or even grandmother nearby will not compensate for not seeing their father ever during the week.

I understand that your hometown is a better place for you personally.
But - you did ask about children&family.
So - given that you don't HAVE to split the family (it's not a foreign assignment, or an army, etc.) - why would you chose that?

Emboo19 Thu 17-Aug-17 13:48:22

Typically now it's the final month of being home everyday with her, I'm worrying about leaving her and missing out! Who'd have thought parenting would be so difficult!

caffeinestream Thu 17-Aug-17 13:55:40

In a healthy, happy marriage I wouldn't see this as an issue so long as both parties were happy.

But, if things are rocky, I don't think spending 5/7 nights a week apart is going to help things at all. I would consider other alternatives before effectively committing to living separate lives through the week. Can you not live in zone 4/5 and DH could commute into London? Or move to a city with a direct connection to the nearest mainline station to his work? There are lots of commuter towns an hour or so on the train from London.

Like I said, if this was a happy marriage with no issues, by all means consider living apart during the week for a while, but if you're already struggling on your own, I don't think this is the solution. Having your mum or friends around to help is great, but don't you want to see your husband during the week as well? Surely their kids would also want their dad around in evenings? Not so much an issue for the little one who is probably in bed, but it won't be long before the 6yo is up until 8-9pm in the evenings and he's going to miss his dad, and you're going to want some adult time with DH too.

yetmorecrap Thu 17-Aug-17 13:55:48

How about he gets a Monday to Friday share ? It's less lonely and even in London can still be had for around 750 in an ok area

MadeForThis Thu 17-Aug-17 14:09:25

We are doing this for 6 months. Only 2 left to go. Have found it surprisingly easy as like you if DH was working at home DD wouldn't see him anyway due to work. We keep in touch via FaceTime and I make sure my weekdays are busy with work and meeting friends. We are in regular contact throughout the day too.

Weekends are special. DH wants to spend all his time with DD. They go to the park and have their time. Which allows me to shower in peace. I tend to cook while he plays with DD as I enjoy the quiet time. We also meet up with friends and family. Weekends go too fast.

I wouldn't want to do it forever but with an end date scheduled it's doable. Staying involved in each other's lives is important. Still make decisions together.

Major downside is that DH feels like he misses a lot of DD's development. She is under two so every weekend she has new words and attitude. I don't think he would want to do it long term either.

HensAndRabbits Thu 17-Aug-17 23:29:17

Living closer to dh's work in another part of SE is an option caffeine. We moved from Surrey when ds1 was 1yo to where we are now. This was because although it was only 45 minute commute as opposed to current 1.5 hours the trains were so unreliable and regularly so packed dh couldn't physically squeeze himself on them. I was still working when we lived there and was much happier. The thought of going somewhere else, going through all the awful baby groups in attempts to make friends again just fills me with dread.

It's tricky with dh's job. He earns (relatively) crazy money in the city but his job is very much one that if he quit for a year he'd never get back to the same level. He also really enjoys it. He does have a professional qualification which he could use to get a job in my hometown. It would be at around 10% of his current wage but we have enough equity to buy a little terrace house outright and we'd be fine. He refuses to consider this and I'm just a but sick of being miserable for the sake of his job.

FritzDonovan Fri 18-Aug-17 00:38:29

Tbh although you find the thought of starting again with baby groups etc difficult, I really think after a while you will come to resent having to be a lone parent each and every week, especially as you're not happy with it now. How would you feel knowing your dh was going out for dinner/drinks/socialising in the city on an evening while you're stuck at home with kids? Because I can assure you, he won't be just sitting in his flat by himself when he's not at work. Do you think your marriage would cope well with this?
If you could afford a suitable house in London, there are plenty of places (with gardens) you could look at in the suburbs. He could go in earlier to avoid the worst crowding on trains, I still think it's better than deliberately living separate lives. I'm sure that often doesn't end well. (speaking from experience)

Salva Fri 18-Aug-17 01:28:22

We did it for 6 months, the weekends were horrible and stressful and we ended up moving abroad so we could all be together. It's been 5 happy years so far.

SeatOfMyPants Fri 18-Aug-17 05:38:50

Hard decision.

I get that you have money, but the thought of purchasing a flat would set off alarm bells in my head. For one thing, your current living scenario isn't working - there no guarantee this one will either: why make your lives more difficult by committing at this early stage?

If your marriage is in a tricky place, then the purchase of a property nearer his work just seems to make it easier to spilt to be honest.

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