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long distance relationship....with dh.

(18 Posts)
alexsmum Fri 18-Feb-05 16:43:38

my dh has been working away from home for an average two or three days a week for a year now.I have been finding it really hard but its one of those thngs that has to be done..it's his job.The job is coming to an end and as a result he has to be away monday to friday now and i am just so pissed off. He's due home tonight and i should be feling really happy and excited about seeing after a week alone, but i'm not .I just feel really flat.Like, he's coming home but so what?
I do love him , i love him dearly and when he's here he's supportive and helps with the kids;he's always been a very hands on dad.But it's getting to the point where i'm sure he's thinking " oh god , she's going to be really resentful and moody when i come home" and to be honest , i am.
he was away for valentines and sent me beautiful flowers and i really appreciated it, but it didn't make me giddy the way it would have once done.I hate this flat feeling that i have. I want to make the most of him while he's home but it just doesn't seem to working out like that.
My friends have just been saying that we don't spend enough time alone together but that's just the way it is.he's away all week,and i don't have a legion of supportive relatives etc. plus i would feel bad taking him away from the kids when they are only seeing him once a week. Just need to vent really...

alexsmum Fri 18-Feb-05 16:53:26

ok didn't just want to vent . wanted someone t tell me that i'm not going mad. anybody???????

Prettybird Fri 18-Feb-05 17:07:44

You're not going mad, but sometimes you need to work at a relationship, especially with the difficult circumstances that you describe.

Wouldit help to "pretend" that you are happy to see him. By "pretend" I mean "Act out to yourself the stronger emotions that you seem to be wanting to feel. It may be that you have just got out of the habit of feeling them.

How about arranging some special time for once the kids are in bed. Get some LUSH massage bars, put a bottle of bubbly in the fridge (Lidl do a great Cava for just £3.49) and light some candles in the bedroom. Yes it's contrived - but it might rekindle some feelings.

And you DO need some time to yoursleves. Could you arrange for maybe one night a month/every two months for you to go out with him. Even if it's not overnight - just somewhere and some time for the two of you to have same space together.

Hope it works out

80sMum Fri 18-Feb-05 17:15:56

Hi Alexsmum,

I really sympathise with you. It's not easy having a long distance relationship. My dh and I lived apart on and off for years. He worked abroad for 2 years back in the mid-90s and we only saw him during school holidays, then he had a few months back home before going overseas again for 4 months and after that for the next 6 years he was working away from home and only coming home at weekends. Finally about six months ago he changed jobs and now comes home every evening. Much nicer for me having him around, as our children have now left home. This year was the first time he had been around on my birthday for as long as either of us could remember, so it was nice to go out for a change!

When he was working away for months at a time, I found myself getting into a routine that (obviously) didn't include him. It seemed that when he did come home everything was disrupted and I had to supress feelings that he was just 'in the way.' I'm sure he picked up on this, and it wasn't an easy time for either of us.
It's important that your dh knows how you feel. If you feel you're missing out, or that he's missing out on the children, then you should tell him. You should definitely sit down and discuss it. Seriously consider the potential impact on the long-term health of your relationship. It's important that you both feel you can cope with the separation.
Good luck. I hope it all works out for you.

alexsmum Fri 18-Feb-05 18:14:31

jeez, 80's mum, i really think we would have divorced by now if the situation was more like yours.i don't know how you coped.
i know exactly what you mean about routines though.for eg, when its just me and the boys , they are usually in bed asleep by 8.00 or 8.30.when dh is home he likes to do bath and bed and then the kids are still running around like loonies at ten pm.they are excited to see their dad,obviously, but he gets impatient that they won't go to bed and i get annoyed because it means we don't get to be alone.
it's just crap.
am going to try and get kids bathed and in pjs before he comes home and i'm going to cook us a nice meal.
we've talked this over so many times but basically he has to do this right now , it's his job and no matter how much we talk it doesn't change that.

Lonelymum Fri 18-Feb-05 18:23:43

Well, alexsmum, you know I am in the same situation, although not as frequently as you are. What can I say? There really is nothing, especially as you are the one who has been helping me through this week!

I can't stand the way I feel I am the only parent who has any influence over the children and I am the one who has to make all the decisions about what they do and where they go. Parenting should be a joint job. Also, I feel if ever I do become accustomed to dh's absence, I will begin to wonder what point there is in me being tied to him. If I can do without him, why not just get on with life by myself? Of course that is not what I want, but it is the sort of thought I have when I am left alone. Any of this sound familiar?

I agree you should try to make some special time together, however short or infrequent it is. You have to both acknowledge that your relationship came first and needs to be nurtured.

Is there really no way you could move to be near him? Is his job travelling?

oxocube Fri 18-Feb-05 18:24:59

80's mum, I have been in your situation and know exactly what you mean about having your own routine. I found I built a life which was quite separate from my dh and although I so looked forward to him coming home, it was inevitably a let down for the 1st day while we all got used to a new way of doing things. I resented him for 'being in the way' (I know that sounds awful ) and he couldn't cope with the frantic activity of children hyper because daddy was home. No tips really but we are still married!! His job has changed now and he is home most of the time but the shock to me was how much I actually came to enjoy the time we spent apart and I'm sure he felt the same. I think you need to keep sight of the long term plan and remember why you married and what you loved about him in the first place. Has worked for me so far

LGJ Fri 18-Feb-05 18:25:16

My DH worked in London and we lived in North Yorkshire. He used to leave home on a Monday(at silly O clock) and come back on a Thursday or Friday evening every week for nigh on ten years. We used to argue on Sunday, either he would engineer it, or I would.

Then we worked out it was the fact that we were dreading the seperation and that is what sparked us off. From there on in we made a point of saying, this is how I feel, I have XYZ on this week and you are not here. Or he would say I have XYZ corporate entertaining to do, and I have to do it on my own. (In the good old days of corporate entertaining) .

What I am trying to say is, we found the middle ground, after a lot of talking.


Granted we had no kids, but then I had very few friends in comparison to the amount I have since moving South,so I was lonely

Hope you are feeling better.

oxocube Fri 18-Feb-05 18:26:14

meant to add and lonelymum, too

alexsmum Fri 18-Feb-05 18:51:12

lonely mum, so glad you are online!!!!
Yes , I said the exact same thing to my friend today " i might as well be a single parent ...I really might"
Of course thats a simplistic way to look at things and i would be broken hearted if we split up, but just right now it seems like the ' connection' for want of a better word is missing.
I want him here so much but when he turns up I just feel annoyed and resentful.

I was so sad, today.Some of ds's friends were going to the cinema with their mums and ds was upset because he wanted to go.I explained that we couldn't go because 2 is too young for the cinema but once daddy was home I would take him. His reply..? " i want daddy to take me" could have cried.

Lonelymum Fri 18-Feb-05 19:06:55

Oh I get something similar weekly. My kids want to go swimming (the two older ones have lessons but they never get to go and just splash around). Well I can't possibly manage 4 children in the water at once. Only ds1 is a competent swimmer, ds2 has recently become confident but his swimming is still limited to two or three yards at a time, and dd and ds3 are complete non-swimmers. I say to them (repeatedly) "I can't take you on your own. We can only go if Daddy comes too". Well Daddy doesn't like going
a) because he seems unlucky in that, of the times he has been swimming with them, there have been a number of unfortunate occurences usually involving poo or vomit
b) because he is so rarely home, he really appreciates just being around the house
So, the upshot is, kids don't swim, they repeatedly nag me to go and I have to repeatedly bear their disappointment and be the wicked witch who says no all the time.

alexsmum Fri 18-Feb-05 19:10:03

ggrrrrr.....bloody men. make him go , lonely mum, just make him!!!
I'm starting to clock watch now. he said he wou;d be home at seven.....my clock says quarter past.

Lonelymum Fri 18-Feb-05 19:12:59

Oh god is it? Mine is due at 7:30 and I moaned to him when he rang up and said "But the kids will be in bed by then". Well needlesstosay, they won't as I am on the computer and they are all fully dressed, unbathed etc!

LGJ Fri 18-Feb-05 19:16:38

Just tell him you thought about it and you were being unfair, and you think it would be only fitting and fair for him to put them to bed.

And BTW can he pour you a glass of wine before he takes the 4 of them upstairs

oxocube Fri 18-Feb-05 19:19:30

Give him the benefit of the doubt, alexmum, maybe he's stuck in traffic . I don't think the situation was easy on my Dh either, even though it seems like they're the ones having all the fun and the freedom while we are left in the front line (and i do empathise, esp with the swimming pool story - I have 3 kids and am only now able to do things like cinema trips as my youngest is 3 and a half now). My dh also found it hard. But on the plus side, I have experienced good things with the kids that he has completely missed out on like their first bike ride without stabilisers and their first day at nursery. IMO, you have to try to keep a balanced perspective.

alexsmum Fri 18-Feb-05 19:40:21

i know that what you're saying makes sense oxocube and i know he finds it really hard , but it's hard to be sympathetic when for eg. he doesn't pick up his calls because he can't hear the phone ringing in the restaraunt! which is what happened last night when i called him!

oxocube Fri 18-Feb-05 20:02:08

Mine has his phone on silent permanently and just checks it every so often, which was a bit difficult yesterday when ds3 (aged 3) broke his arm and I was ringing him from casualty!!!! I do know how hard it is and I've had so many run-ins with my own dh about this but at the end of the day, it comes down to compromise on both sides imo. Good luck

suedonim Fri 18-Feb-05 20:18:41

Dh and I have spent a lot of our married life in this sort of situation, Alexsmum, so I sympathise. It is really hard - you either have the 'so-what' feeling or the 'really-excited-but-then-it-falls-flat' feeling. I think being aware of how you feel is half the battle. I also tried very hard not to give in to the often irrational emotions swirling around. If I could manage to stay civilised for the first 30 seconds it often seemed to set the tone for the rest of the weekend. Not easy, though! Good luck.

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