Husband travels for work for long periods of time

A - posted on 12/14/2015 ( 2 moms have responded )




I'm really trying not to sound ungrateful and resentful for the sacrifices my husband makes for our family but we BOTH started this relationship 6 years ago and from the VERY beginning the plan was to grow together NOT grow apart. The background story: We met online and developed an LDR for 4 months until meeting in person. We WANTED to be together so he moved ALL the way down to the lower 48 and across the country just to be with me. At the time, he had a job that required travel but he was never gone longer than a month. Fast forward to 4 months of dating BOOM pregnant. He found a job locally and was home every night. Another 2 years later BOOM pregnant. 6 months after our second was born he was offered a job by his Dad and his Dad's friend in a new company they started together and accepted without really talking about it and he knew I didn't agree with it because it required travel. My husband's Dad was in the military throughout his childhood years and his parents divorced when he was 8 yrs old and all he talked about was how much he would miss his dad all the time and that he would never want his children pining for him while he was away like he did for his dad. He told me he would give this job a year, that the longest period of time he would be gone would be a 1 1/2 and that if it wasn't working out after a year then he would start looking for a new job locally with equal pay. Well, it's been a year and a half and it is not working for me and the kids anymore the longest he has been gone was 3 1/2 months! Every other job was 2 1/2 months and he only gets a week to 10 days off for holidays. They are 4 & 2 yrs old and it breaks my FUCKING heart hearing them cry over their Dad every night and day. I can't go out for a night to myself because of how upset they get when I walk out the door just to go grocery shopping while my Mom watches them. I've told him quite often in the past 6 months that I don't know how long I can do this and that he NEEDS to find a job locally or we won't make it as a couple. I love him more than words could EVER express but I didn't go into this relationship to be ALONE ALL THE TIME and have NO ONE to share our kids days and my nights with! He told me it wasn't going to happen and that he WON'T get a job here because he is proud of what he and his Dad accomplished with this company. I told him that's great and all to be proud of what you do but is your pride worth missing your children grow up? He told me over the summer (when I broke down in tears watching him leave again) that he was looking for a job from home and come to find out he hasn't even tried looking or taken any of my suggestions as I am looking too. So now I wonder if there is someone else or if he just doesn't want the typical family life. Our last big fight was 10 days ago and it was over the phone, I accused him of cheating because he was spending a lot of time and money at a bar that was near the hotel he was staying at and he hasn't been really calling or skyping lately. I was so hurt and angry I told him he should just drive to his Dad's to have Christmas instead of coming home and that it would just be another day anyway (his Dad lives in the mid-west). We haven't spoke or texted since and this is the longest we have ever gone without talking and I don't think he's coming home. I thought he might try to call and talk to the kids but NOPE nothing! Am I overracting? Any other moms with traveling husbands? How do you cope? Do long distance marriages even work?


Sarah - posted on 12/15/2015




You don't like this arrangement and you are projecting your feelings onto your kids. Rather than frame this in a positive way: Tell them Daddy is working very hard and far away, find where he is on a map and mark it with a heart. Every night they could Skype or if he is unavailable, leave him a video message of bedtime kisses. He could read stories aloud to them and record them to listen to at night. Making a calendar countdown until he comes home is a good visual tool for the older child to cross off day by day until he gets back. Then when he gets home make the most of it and celebrate! They don't have to be sitting home pining for him. Many children of members of the military don't see their parents for over a year at a time.
I am not saying it is an ideal situation, but it is certainly doable.


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Raye - posted on 12/15/2015




Marriages where one partner travels can work if both people are mature about it. It sounds like neither of you are being very mature. I'm sure having him gone for months at a time is very hard emotionally for you and the kids. But it didn't have to be so hard. If you didn't make a big deal over their daddy being gone, then the kids wouldn't consider it a big deal and would be better adjusted. They would still be missing him (and hopefully he would be missing them, too). But you have been very upset about it, and the kids pick up on that and get more upset, themselves. It's a vicious cycle that just keeps feeding the negativity.

If you're so unhappy with the relationship, then maybe you would be better off on your own. But if you have SOME nights alone now and are so bent out of shape about it, then what would you do with ALL your nights alone? What would your kids do with LESS time seeing their dad? I would never tell someone to stay in a marriage that they were so very unhappy in, but just to take a good hard look at the alternative and ask if you would be happier if you left. Unless he really is cheating on you, then you should leave for sure.

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