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Advice for dating a teacher

(15 Posts)
Singleandproud Thu 20-Nov-14 00:55:34

I'm posting this in here opposed to the Relationship forum because I think my issues come from dating a teacher and their workload more than anything.

My BF and I have been dating since last Summer everything went great at the beginning we saw each other twice a week, then he got promoted to be on the SLT team and it became harder to see each other whilst he got used to his new role and balancing my child free days ( I don't want to involve my Dd with anyone unless I'm making a serious commitment). I also work in education at a different school and took on a 6 month cover teaching position we saw each other rarely maybe once or twice a month, but at least I understood more about the workload/stress and sheer emotional exhaustion that he goes through. The Summer term we saw each other more as the workload lessened but now this term seems even worse. He is very career focused / the only one on his SLT team without a family so seems to get delegated more work, I know he gets up at 5am very rarely leaves work before 19:30 and pretty much just eats and goes to bed and as an introvert much like myself likes some quiet time to recharge and is very task orientated and although we saw quite a bit of each other over half term I haven't had so much as a text from him since then, he is notorious at not replying to anyone not jut me, I know he is struggling with the workload and I don't want to add to his stress. When I've brought up whether we should call it a day as we aren't moving forward and I'm frustrated he seems offended and that isn't what he wants at all, I've never met any family or friends although they live the otherwise of the country so understandable but for what should be an 18 month relationship it doesn't feel like it and how on earth are teachers supposed to have their own relationships if this is what it is like???

What I would really like is some advice on dealing with the situation without adding more stress or maybe what you wish your partner would do when you've got a heavy workload?

makeitabetterplace Thu 20-Nov-14 11:20:01

I'm on SLT and I leave the house at seven and I'm home by seven. I very rarely bring work home. He's not managing his time well. If he's the sort of person who feels he 'has to' work these hours all the time then you need to decide if you're the sort of person who's ok with that. On the plus you've got the hols together. If he's working through them as well you have a lost cause.

dorasee Thu 20-Nov-14 11:33:37

He sounds like a time bandit. I don't think it's intentional at all but it sounds as if your relationship won't evolve in a hurry. You need to have a cards on the table discussion about your relationship and decide from there. Good luck.

nottheOP Thu 20-Nov-14 11:39:00

I think when you're single it is very common to work ridiculous hours as a teacher because you can always do more. Your work is never done.

When you have a family or a busy social life, hobbies etc you fit in what you can but also prioritise your life outside of teaching. He needs to readjust but may struggle if he's become accustomed to doing those hours.

DH is the teacher. He leaves the house at 7.45 (we all do). He is home at 5.30 and cooks dinner. Once DS is in bed, he will often work for another hour and then we watch TV together. It's enough because we live together and eat dinner together. Sundays are also free time. Often no work at all but if he does have to then its just an hours planning after DS has gone to bed.

Obviously there are exceptions such as open evenings and parents evenings as well as more evening work when reports are due.

noblegiraffe Thu 20-Nov-14 11:51:20

At the beginning of a relationship it's supposed to be intense and marvellous. If he's not even bothering to text you now, I don't think you can expect it to get any better. He says he doesn't want to split up but presumably having you hanging around waiting for the holidays suits him quit well.
I'd bin him.

Sorry, that's relationship advice not teacher workload advice, but teachers with heavy workloads can still find time to communicate with their partner.

DriftingOff Thu 20-Nov-14 19:04:44

i nearly replied to this thread earlier, but thought my opinion was a bit negative, in that I think you need to dump him. However, other people seem to have the same opinion. I wouldn't even call this a relationship anyway, since you don't even communicate with him for weeks, never mind see him. There are various ways to handle it. You could give him an ultimatum eg. if it's not possible to see each other one night in the week and once each weekend (or whatever), then I'm breaking it off. Or, since you don't really have a lot to do with him anyway, you could in your own mind assume you've split up, and just let it drift to that conclusion by not getting in touch with him anymore, and let him do the chasing - wait it out and see if he does contact you of his own accord. Meanwhile, you can catch up with friends and family, and enjoy a bit of the singles life, and if you meet someone else, then so what, if he's not contacted you in the meantime?
There are many deputy heads out there who have partners and children, and they cope with that and the job, so he must be working far too hard.
He's probably set his sights on a headship in the not too distant future, in which case I can't see it getting any better.
If you give him an ultimatum, there's a slim chance it may shock him into seeing the light, but I wouldn't hold out much hope.

Singleandproud Thu 20-Nov-14 21:26:41

Thank you everyone for your replies.

It is such a frustrating situation and if I hadn't seen how much he was struggling and how shattered he is first hand I would have ended it ages ago, when we first got together he told me he was terrible at time management. One of his colleagues has just gone on maternity and most of her work seems to have been put on to him too.

It isn't so much the time apart that is the issue in fact it sort of works quite well as having a 5yr old Dd it can be hard to get child care more than once a fortnight but it's the time in between I find harder having spent nearly every evening for 5 years on my own all I really want is a bit of company and a cuddle sometimes in the evenings.

I'll have a chat (if I can actually get through to him) and stick it out till Jan let this term get out the way and then if things don't get better I think it'll be time to walk away. Thank you all for your input.

Placeinthesun Fri 21-Nov-14 10:33:58

Ok, I’m sorry but this is going to be an honest post.
XH is a teacher, I have to say that I have regarded his job as utterly detrimental to family life.
He had a 30/40 min commute, left at 7,50 am, was rarely home before 7pm.

When we first started going out he told me straight up that he couldn’t really see me in the week due to his workload. I’d sometimes pop round to his after my work finished but sometimes just for a cuppa/meal then I’d watch tv on my own or read while he marked. Before we moved in together he used to get in from school, have a cuppa and a snack, sleep for a few hours, get up cook dinner then mark til wee small hours on weeknights.

Even once we were cohabiting we never really had evenings in the week together….he’d come in help out with DC’s bedtime then do an hours work til 9pm (having been busy at school he’d never have gotten around til eating his sarnies until after 3pm so didn’t want dinner any earlier), then we’d eat together and he’d maybe watch 10pm news headlines then back to it. Usually till midnight or beyond. We very, very, very rarely went to bed at the same time. Lots of nights he’d fall asleep in his study or choose to sleep there so as not to wake me coming to bed at silly o’clock.

Friday’s he’d finish early but use the time after school to catch up so often not be home til 7 again (this was a killer when I had 3 under 3) but did change that to do Friday school pick up but I know he struggles with the loss of time after school on a Friday. He’d then want to switch off on a Fri so would just read paper, net noodle, drink….and end up going to bed late, often falling asleep on the sofa.

I felt bad that he worked so bloody hard in the week so would often let him lie in at the weekends so I’d be up with the DC’s….so our body clocks remained out of sync and the mismatching bed times persisted.
He never worked on Saturday’s but loathes Sunday’s due to return to work on Mon, Sunday evenings for working, quite often me and DC’s cleared off for the afternoon on a Sunday so he could have time to mark/plan.

On top of that parent’s evenings, open evenings, staying late for media work, school newspaper, school yearbook, all nighters before Oftsted/Insight/Lesson Obs, after school meetings and training, ‘sickies’ to catch up on marking, one room of house dedicated as his study and FULL of books, teaching resources etc, computers and hard drives filled up to bursting point. Endlessly keeping papers/magazines/books , recording things that were ‘valuable teaching resources’. I really tried to support him as best I could by doing all of the household stuff in the week and keeping on top of laundry, cooking, housework etc. If I was out for evening I'd make sure I'd done him dinner to reheat so he didn't have to spend time cooking. It was virtually impossible for him to take time off in term time so house moves, general household admin and things like dentist trips for DC and vet trips for pets always fell to me to fit in around my own work and the school run. When we had DC1 he only had 5 days off as paternity leave (and sent in cover each day meaning he was on the computer every evening for 2-3 hours) as it was frowned upon to take more and has never been able to re arrange hours to do something like school drop off once a week. He was away on a school trip when I was admitted to hospital for a horrible thing when DC1 was tiny and couldn’t get back (even though he was only actually 40 miles from home) so I had to get my DM to come up from 150 miles away to have DC1 while I was in hospital, he wasn’t back til I was home 24 hours later. On another occasion I discharged myself from hospital at 1am and got a taxi home so that I could be back to have DC1 and he wouldn't be late for/miss school and there was the time he was off site on a course and couldn't take a call so I had to drag all 3 to a&e solo – picking DC's 2&3 up from nursery en route - when DC1 had bust a bone as I had no guarantee he’d make it to the nursery before it shut for the day.

It is fab that he has the long school holidays in terms of childcare now all DC’s are at school but invariably half terms would end up with me taking a few days off so we could travel to see his family on the other side of the country then us buying childcare so he could have a couple of days clear to mark when I was back at work, ditto one week of xmas and Easter hols. Even the summer hols he ends up going into school for about 3 days in either the first or last week to sort stuff. There are supply cost implications if he takes time off in term time so for years cover for ill DC or anything would fall to me and of course his INSET days always fall in the DC’s term time or clash with their school ones so I have to take leave or buy childcare to cover (…and teaching salaries don’t run to having much spare cash and his employer only recently set up the childcare vouchers scheme so the childcare has come mainly out of my salary to get the benefit). It used to always be much better after the Whitsun half term as exam students would be gone and marking load down but now with the modular AS/A2 system the back half of the summer term isn’t so laid back at all, life was always better in the summer term though.

The lack of evenings I found the hardest really – no opportunity for a shared hobby, no opportunity to get on with say a DIY project so everything piled into the weekend…which understandably he’d want as ‘time off’ or for doing stuff with DC’s rather than for household crap/jobs. We ended up really not feeling like a ‘team’, I found myself resenting the job and school more and more and feeling bad if I did have to ask for his time in the evenings. I will admit he’s not the best at time management and I possibly propped him up too much but I do sympathise with the workload and don’t know how anyone does it. It may have been easier had we had local family for support/childcare but we didn't.

That’s a grim tale of woe after nearly 20 years dating and married to a teacher – it was very lonely and very hard work at times, it was easier before we had DC’s. Sorry. Good luck

Placeinthesun Fri 21-Nov-14 10:39:25

Just to add XH is not HOD or HT. Just a regular mainscale teacher in a large comp in the suburbs with a fairly mc catchement .

Singleandproud Fri 21-Nov-14 14:58:58

Thank you for taking the time for writing that out Placeinthesun pretty much the sort of response I was expecting sad

Singleandproud Sun 14-Dec-14 00:42:01

So it turns out he wasn't too busy with work he was too busy with his 'online dating profile' angry wishing I'd known this before I spent money on his Christmas present

Hhhhmhowtochoose Sun 14-Dec-14 00:46:45

Sorry OP. Sending you a hug. (I know you're not supposed to here).

Singleandproud Sun 14-Dec-14 07:51:28

Thanks, Hhhhmhowtochoose. Can't say it's a huge shock I knew something was wrong, just brushed it off as him being stressed from work but I guess at least I get to start the new year afresh.

More cross with myself, he wasn't my normal type, seemed such a 'good' person as in seemed to have good morals and was first person I'd been with since having DD (5). Her dad had cheated on me too although by the time I found out I was pregnant with her so at least I'm not this time.

DriftingOff Sun 14-Dec-14 08:09:58

So sorry to hear that OP, but at least you know where you stand, and can move on from it. Maybe you're subconsciously attracted to the cheating type? I'm just wondering if there's a book or a website or something that could help you to avoid them. I just say this because neither I nor any of my siblings nor some of my very close friends, have ever been cheated on (that I know of! - but I'm pretty certain they haven't). But then, I've got a couple of friends, who always seem to choose the wrong type, and I'm coming to the conclusion that it's not luck, it's something else, but I'm not a psychologist, so what the 'something else' is I've no idea!

ScrambledEggAndToast Sun 14-Dec-14 09:01:34

You haven't had a text since half term?! I don't think you can really say you're in a relationship if you haven't heard from him for so long.

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