@brooke25: My fiance doesn’t work offshore or in the oil industry at all, but he’s military, combat arms, and has deployed during the time we’ve been together, so I definitely relate to some of your concerns and frustrations. My dad was also a cop/federal special agent who was badly injured in the line of duty twice, and went back to work later both times. And I have GAD, so I definitely know what it is to be anxious, especially about something that is legitimately dangerous to someone you love.
It’s natural to be concerned for his safety- you love him! And it’s natural to wish he weren’t gone for long stretches.
That said, this is his job. His job that he’s apparently satisfied with, and that leaving would mean major financial sacrifics. It’s no good for you to be anxious and lonely all the time, but is the elimination of this source of anxiety worth 2/3 of his paycheck? Because that is what asking him to change this would mean. Him sacrificing 2/3 of his ability to provide for both of you in order to make you feel better. Would it seem reasonable to you to ask him to write a check for 2/3 of his paycheck to pay for a pill or a therapist that fixed your anxiety? If not, then asking him to quit isn’t fair, either.
My job is not as dangerous as either being a soldier or an oil rig worker, but it isn’t always safe and it is very physically and emotionally demanding, and sometimes I know it upsets my fiance when I tell him stories about things that were risky, or when I’m upset. But I would be very resentful if he pressured me to take a different job that paid 1/3 of what I currently make just to eliminate those risks. I want to do something useful and I want to be compensated as well as possible for it- that money is making our lives and our future together better! And I’m a woman, and so have not even been subjected to the same socialization to believe I should be providing financially for a family.
Your fears and concerns are legitimate, but if you’ve already discussed it a million times and he’s not budging, you have the information you need- this is his choice, this is who he wants to be and what he wants to do. You have to decide whether you can bear this anxiety and being alone often, now and in the future. If you think it’s worth it, it’s time to really buckle down with that therapist and figure out the coping mechanisms that work best for you.
You probably won’t ever eliminate the fear- I was anxious pretty much continuously the entire year my fiance was deployed- and with good reason, he got hurt and people close to him (physically close to him, like next to him) were killed. But you can learn to function while anxious, and that’s pretty much just what you have to do.
As far as kids and not wanting to raise them while he’s away for long stretches, that’s a seperate conversation you should have in detail before you get married. Do you both want kids, and how do you want to raise them if you do have them? Maybe he’ll be willing to agree to not work offshore while the kids are certain ages, or after saving X amount of money. But if he won’t, again, take that information seriously. Don’t go in to it hoping he’ll come around and then wind up either raising them alone for weeks at a time or with him home but resentful. Get that hashed out before you make any irrevocable decisions.
Good luck. It’s tough when the people you love make decisions that put their safety and with it, your peace of mind, at risk. But someone does have to do even dangerous jobs. So along with the fear, hopefully you’ll be able to take pride in the fact that the man you love is both brave and hardworking.