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Relocation, education, and marriage

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  • #110792
    Choccoffeewine
    Participant

    Hi all! I’m looking for some perspective on this and will do my best to keep it brief. 🙂 Thanks in advance.

    Hubs and I have been married for 18 years. His job, non-military, relocates every few years usually for promotions. Since having children, 7 and 9 yrs old now, we move more frequently. Somewhat understandably to me because I no longer work outside the home. Changes within the industry have pretty much forced hubby to take a promotion at the main office in another city/state. We see him on the weekends and he works out of the house….one week a month.

    Current location, we have only been here for one year but it is a place we lived prior to having children. So we have many friends and most have children the same age….it has been the best move, personally and home-life, yet. Professionally, the position in the other city/state is the best. Another difference is the job is in a capital city (lots of driving time, traffic, and all the fun stuff/challenges that big cities bring). Current place called ‘home’ is a community of less than 60,000 people and somewhere we all feel that we are a part of the community, rather than visitors to it.

    I’m conflicted and I’m also tired of moving. We’ve moved 3 times (different city/state) in the past 5 years. There’s more to life than the career and I understand the stress that hubby feels with being the sole provider for the four of us. His traveling, over the past 5 years, has been all over the world. So, with that, I haven’t felt comfortable in trying to find a job because I feel that I need to be readily available for the kids. I also haven’t worked the typical 9 to 5 job atmosphere for over 9 years….so a bit nervous about that too. No family in the area. Our friends all work too. So support after school with the kids is minimal at best, I’d need to find something that I have to pay for…as many parents do.

    Any questions on what I’ve shared…feel free to ask because I know I’ve omitted some things in the attempt to keep the post short.

    So why is this such a big thing now? Hubs mentioned last night, on the phone, that someone asked if we were getting ready to move again. His reply? “I’ve got two choices. Work out of ***** and move OR quit my job of 18 years, find another and don’t move.” Eighteen years with one company is a big investment on our part and also theirs. He is prepared to live out of a hotel and suitcase for the next year. I won’t sugar-coat this and say it is easy with him being gone because it isn’t. We miss him terribly. However, the flip side of that coin….he’s always been a work-aholic which I’m so tired of. Even when I did work, he was salary and CHOSE to put in 12-15 hour days. I feel most days that he is such an outsider in our family. Its me and the kids then he’s off by himself.

    I appreciate his hard work. We know people in the other city as well, just can’t get together often to do things as everyone are sooo spread out all over the metropolis and it has to be scheduled. Versus here, we can call someone and say let’s go grab dinner.

    Hubby has a great positive attitude and I know he’s not wanting to be away from us. Personally, I don’t feel he’s very ‘present’ with us when here but I know the past few years in the industry have been very stressful.

    I’m torn. I question how selfish it is of me to not want to relocate, am I not being supportive of hubby if I say ‘no way’. This would be the 9 year-old’s 4th elementary school. And while both kids excel academically, they’ve also managed making friendships…more difficult this move with the 9 year-old as kids have their ‘groups’ now.

    So, I’m emotionally close to this and having a difficult time getting a different view of things. I mentioned to hubby that I was researching houses and he became so excited, asking if I was ready to move in a couple of weeks to the city….I felt sick inside. Every move, we typically have 2 months (at the most) to find a house, neighborhood, schools, etc…..I really have no other feeling to relate to at the moment except to say I feel exhausted. When we move, it is the kids and I who start over with school and life in general….I’m the one that gets everything set up. Hub works, knows most everyone at every location so there’s always a support system in place for him….where it feels that the kids and I are left hanging to deal with it. Yes a little resentment on my part but I’m also the one saying “sure we can move” when we do relocate.

    This relocation would also put us closer to family but having lived away from them for 18+ years….can’t say that it really impacts us and how we all live. There’s a lot left out on that (my mom is elderly, health issues for 30 years but was/is abusive to her children and now I know she has been towards some of the grandkids as well.) My sisters and their families live in the same town as my mom; know they feel obligated to be there for her and sometimes resentful of me for not living there. Big age difference, 9 and 11 years older than me and their children are all adults. A considerable amount of things came to light after my father passed on which I haven’t found peace and forgiveness with yet….working on that. BUT that’s a completely different topic. 🙂

    If you made it this far, thanks for reading my short novella! Once again, any questions please feel free to ask and I look forward to different perceptions/perspectives to consider. Thanks so much.

    #110796
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Choccocoffeewine:

    I would say moving closer to your mother and siblings is not a good idea for you or for your kids.

    Next, I’d say- no longer moving is a good idea for you and for your kids. I would suggest to no longer be so compliant with your husband regarding moving. Before the next: “Sure we can move”- think a moment, and don’t say it. Instead start a conversation with your husband, one that would lead to more. Tell him just what you wrote here. And start a conversation with the intention that you will not come to a solution or a resolution at the end of that one talk.

    It will take conversations, thinking in between conversations, coming up with things to talk about next. Examine the well being of each one of the four of you. Look for motivations. From what you wrote, your husband himself is not that happy with the way things are. So maybe everyone is sacrificing for… whose benefit?

    Look into this: is the way things are going and have been going, is it working for your husband? How? What if his workaholic ways are about distracting himself from anxiety, like a mouse on a wheel going around and around. Are the lives of the four of you invested in a … distraction?

    Hope you post again.

    anita

    #110797
    Aislynn
    Participant

    Choccoffeewine,

    There’s a lot of information here, so let me see if I understand correctly. The changes in the industry are forcing him to move to another city/state. So what would happen if he stayed? Would he be no longer have a job, or would he still have the same job but with a lower pay? The reason I ask that is because I feel that that is the most important question to your dilemma.

    I understand your frustration, disappointment, and fatigue. It is completely understandable. I would be tired of moving as well if I were in your place, especially since you’re not always staying in the same state. If you were childless, then perhaps it’d be easier. However, as you said, you are the one being left to wander about trying to figure out the house, school, utilities, groceries, etc. Because of that, I can also understand the resentment. I’ve heard it said that the person who has to make sacrifices for the other ends up with resentment. I can see why that is true.

    Could you perhaps get a part time job while the children are away at school? I think that would still leave you enough time to attend to them and pick them up from school.

    I don’t think it is selfish of you at all to not want to relocate because the way I see it, you have been sacrificing yourself for his job since your first move. You have been the one who has repeatedly had to start over in the workforce, with friends, etc, while he has not really had to give anything up. Yes, he is the sole provider for your family, but moving is still a sacrifice you are making because you are uprooting your children and yourself all because of his job.

    I did notice that there was no specific question in your post. What are your thoughts on the matter in regards to if you were to stay?

    #110806
    Choccoffeewine
    Participant

    Aislynn and Anita,

    Thank you for your responses.

    Well, I’ve started this, typed that, deleted it and started over a couple of times. 🙂 I appreciate your questions so much, I’m thinking about a whole bunch of things now.

    Aislynn. Job-wise, he is well-known within the industry and someone that is approached many times by other places of employment. So I don’t think it is a matter of finding a job and quite possibly, not a matter of salary either. I’m thinking it is a difficult decision for him because this job WITH this company…he has had for almost 19 years and is really the only job he has ever held. Not a sure-thing but pretty close to it. We are both at an age that if he is going to switch companies, now is the time.

    I have no problem with looking for a job. Availability of part-time employment within school hours, now that’s a challenge. I have a degree that I can do something with online from home. It would be a first for me so yes, a challenge in many ways. Freelancing and not having that guarantee when you go to a job with posted hours…it will be a switch. I’ve entertained the thought of it over the past 3 years, seems that now I’m in a place in my life that I’m ready to tackle it.

    Yes, I’m feeling some resentment towards his job. 18 years and we’ve moved a total of 7 times. His traveling with work has increased instead of decreasing. I have boxes that I don’t bother to unpack, pictures I don’t trouble myself to hang. His job has provided a lot for us and I am grateful for that. Just weary of moving for it. And perhaps that’s where I need to redirect my thinking, in thinking that we are moving for his job. It would be so nice to have a conversation with the kids about something in the future that doesn’t require “…if we’re still here…” statement at the end. My thoughts about staying? Before all these changes came up in March, we were planning on being here until the kids were finished with high-school…at the very least. We enjoy the area, it feels like ‘home’ to us and its so nice to feel like part of a community instead of feeling that we’re only visiting.

    Anita. Whose benefit? Sometimes I think we psyched ourselves into thinking it would be best for our family…provide longevity in an industry that has a history of layoffs and forced early retirements. However, there’s no guarantee in any industry. I’m not sure what his anxiety with work is distracting him from but the workaholic bit was modeled to him by both parents. As I typed that…here’s what popped into my mind: His anxiety may stem from not having control over the uncontrollable. Perhaps he keeps himself busy enough so he doesn’t think about that….just a random thought that has come up.

    A year ago, we moved out of the ‘executive’ lifestyle. Yes, it is something we can both do but neither of us really enjoy it. It simply isn’t “us”. This position he is in currently….is executive. He has gained weight, dark circles under his eyes, misses us within an hour of having seen us because he knows it will be another week before he sees us again and living out of a different hotel every week can be stressful.

    As every parent does, there are things we want to do differently than what our parents did with us. On his side: work was always chosen over family/commitments. On my side: obviously; not repeating the physical, emotional and mental abuse from my mom. Hubby is the analytical, logical side of the coin while I’m the emotional, philosophical side of it. As a result, sometimes we balance each other out and sometimes we simply don’t understand the other one. We’ve both experienced amazing support from each other that we haven’t experienced within our families. Having said that, I wonder if now I need to support his growth in a different area of his life instead of his career?

    To me, the answer is obvious that we need to stay put for a while. I need to think on this, come up with more questions for myself and also to pose to him so he thinks as well. Nothing in life is completely ideal. I just don’t feel that it has to be a choice between professional and personal life, as he has pretty much stated (Personally he’d rather stay here but professionally the other town).

    #110827
    anita
    Participant

    You wrote: “I wonder if now I need to support his growth in a different area of his life instead of his career? ” I think so. I think you should support each other’s growth emotionally, mentally. I think staying put is a very good idea to all of you. His anxiety, that need to work, work and work some more is hurting him, this is why he is suffering physically. And so, he is acting against his own well being. I would have conversations with him when he is calm and fresh, maybe first thing in the mornings. I would talk with him about what is the best for his well being.

    After all, hurting himself is not going to secure a better future for anyone. If he continues to gain weight and maybe he loses sleep (dark circles around his eyes), this increases his chances to get sick or have accidents.

    He will need your help to choose what is good for him. He will need to endure the anxiety of operating differently (staying put, and what it means career wise).

    So it is a process of communicating with him for the purpose of operating for his well being (as well as yours and the children). I am tired and I don’t know if I am communicating clearly. This is why I think best talk to him when he (and you) are not tired, are calm.

    Hope you talk to him and post again.

    anita

    #110888
    Aislynn
    Participant

    Choccoffeewine,

    Job-wise I then get the impression that he is attached not only to his job itself, but perhaps to the progress he has made within the company and the environment as well. You say he is in an executive position, so I can imagine the pride he has in regards to his job and position, which is a great thing. However, in this case it is not such a good thing since you have mentioned how often he has to be away, how often you have to relocate, how he has gained weight and doesn’t sleep much.

    Freelancing is a great idea. You have your own hours (depending on the job and the load) and certainly then seems more feasible that a traditional job with full time or part time hours. Of course, since it would be your first time freelancing then you would have to do some research in regards to the process for your taxes, the best way to attract clients or work, etc. But it can be done.

    Having a conversation with you children regarding plans, “if we’re still here” seems exhausting and and like such a hindrance. Not just for you, but for your children. I can imagine that it keeps you from doing a lot of things that you might want to do or that your children might want to do. It also makes you feel like an outsider/visitor even in your own home because you don’t know how long you’ll be there. Therefore, you can’t plan accordingly. It must be frustrating to say to yourself, “I’m not even going to bother unpacking this” because it means that the items don’t get used or displayed and then there is something lacking and your house is not as you would like it to be. For example, I currently rent the house I live in, I don’t like the area too much and while I would love to have a garden and a beautiful backyard, I am not letting myself do it because realistically my situation could change in a few months or a few years, and then I would have done all that work for nothing. I feel so frustrated about it which is why I understand your situation.

    I think that the biggest part of your resentment comes from having started to plan to stay where you are until your children finished high school. The reason I say that is because prior to then you probably would have been expecting to keep moving every once in a while and would not have held on to any hopes. However, planning to stay must have sparked hope and opened up a lot of possibilities that you would not have allowed yourself to consider up until that point. Therefore, when he said that on the phone must have felt as though he was pulling the ground from under you because you were just getting used to the idea of staying. After travelling for so long, it must have seemed like a good change.

    In regards to speaking with your husband I completely agree with what Anita has told you. One thing I would say to consider speaking to him about is your resentment towards your job, and how planning to stay really made you feel happy and at home.

    #111281
    Choccoffeewine
    Participant

    Dear Anita and Aislynn,

    Thanks again for your responses and perspectives. Its a bit late for me so this will be quick (well, quick for me…ha ha).

    A handful of short conversations since Friday when hubby came home. He is working out of home for a week. He doesn’t want to move, it is difficult to think about right now. The job keeps him super busy, other departments needing 10 different pieces of information yesterday….y’know how that goes. I will say that since he’s been home, I noticed today that he didn’t have dark circles under his eyes. So he’s getting a lot of rest and relaxation with us, coupled with family time/playtime with the kiddos. PLUS good nutrition because its hard to have that when you live out of a hotel room.

    I know he doesn’t want to move the kids and I. I completely understand why he’s torn on the matter as well. I agree with Anita that it will take a few conversations not just one big one.

    Meanwhile, I’ve been doing some meditation the past couple of days and today felt TONS of motivation. Thus, the kids and I have begun unpacking ALL the boxes that we usually never touch. We’ll go through them and do whatever needs to be done whether its repacking some items and donating others. The clutter doesn’t help matters so we’ll get rid of the clutter….before school starts!

    I’ve also re-thought my response of “If we’re here”. You’re right, Aislynn, it is exhausting. So on some things it’ll be a “Sure!” and some things will have to be “We’ll see….” Either way, it really doesn’t matter where we live because the things they want to do have the activities available. i.e.: Can I take dance lessons? You bet! –they have them in both places.

    I put up workout and motivational posters in my ‘workout’ room and unpacked those boxes. Trying to find the other pictures and figure out how I’ll arrange the “family wall” of photos. I think the way I was looking at it all, the focus needed to be shifted. Will I have to take those pictures down and move again? Maybe. But this is OUR HOME now. And its up to me to make it feel like a home.

    The owner of the house, prior to us, was a Master Gardener. And did she ever plan this out! There are so many bees buzzing around the flowers and flowers bloom from early Spring into Fall. Tonight, I walked around outside, barefoot, looking at all the flowers. Smelling some of them. Rubbing my fingers on the lavender blooms. The neighbor’s cat came over and found the perfect place to roll. Every person that drove by, smiled and waved. The kids were out there with me, playing with the neighbor’s cat (no worries there because we have a house-full of our own furry children). It wasn’t a picture of complete peace…tranquility with lots of giggles. Thinking about that now, I can’t spend my energy worrying about what might happen. And that’s where all this resentment really comes from. Yes, its about hubby’s job but its also about worrying what I can’t control. So I need to practice being present. Live each day to its fullest. We’ll have our little conversations and I know the kids and I are here until the end of 2016/2017 school year. We’ll see what those conversations open to us.

    #111301
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Choccoffeewine:

    Reads like you are doing well, right attitude and I like your understanding that it will take more than one conversation with your husband. I believe it will take multiple conversations. It is a good idea to regularly talk, really talk.

    Your observations of your husband working from home, his health improving (relaxation, nutrition…well being) and your other descriptions make me think it is indeed best for all of you to not move after the end of the school year. If I was you, I wouldn’t move unless by not moving your family will experience hunger and homelessness. In other words, I wouldn’t move.

    It will be better for your husband to not move even if he is driven to move, when the time comes. He may feel it is necessary while it is not. He may be driven by fears that are not reasonable (future discussions).

    anita

    #111907
    Choccoffeewine
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thanks again for your reply. 🙂

    We had a wonderful week and weekend. I highly recommend the camping trip we took over the weekend; no electronics, internet or cell service. It was GREAT!!! Wildlife around, plenty of nature and lots of physical activity for the entire family.

    Afterwards, we had a long drive home. Kids were worn out so hubs and I had plenty of conversation time. I appreciate greatly his honesty and his ability to hear my concerns without taking offense or becoming defensive. I shared my recent observations with him, as well as my carefully thought comments/opinions.

    The weekend was very relaxing for him. His thoughts that he shared have me convinced that he has no desire to move. We are not a couple that tries to manipulate each other nor play mind-games. We talked about the pros and cons while also bringing up what matters most to us both in this stage of our lives. It was a good conversation, more to come I’m sure. It was also nice to hear from him, how appreciative and grateful he is for unconditional love, support, loyalty through all of this and previous relocations. I shared what I appreciate in him and what I’m grateful for.

    When he left to go to work yesterday (out of state); I noticed his eyes tearing up and his voice beginning to break when he said, “See you on Friday.”

    Thanks again for your perspective,
    Liz

    #111947
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Liz:

    You are welcome. Interesting you had an enjoyable camping trip. I just shared on another thread that I camped last night in my (few acres) backyard! A wooded area frequented by elk, deer and … the eerie sounding coyotes.

    Glad to read about your camping trip and honest, open conversations with your husband. Keep the talking going.

    anita

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