Post # 1
I am new here, and was hoping someone who has been in a similar situation can offer some advice who have been through something similar. I am at a bit of a loss and slightly overwhelmed.
My partner and I are both Australian and live here, and he has been offered a two year contract in the USA starting in around September. It is a fantastic opportunity for him but I find myself faking my excitement mostly because I am absolutely terrified. He has asked me to go with him, but to me it seems so completely and utterly overwhelming. As it is, I don’t see him often because he travels for work both around Aus and internationally quite often (generally see him just on weekends when he is in the city) so I kind of feel like we are almost already in a long distance relationship.
To go or not go? If I don’t go, once a week is a huge difference to maybe once a year. I don’t know if I have the capacity to sustain this length of time, even though we talk every day.<br /><br />If I do go, we are not married (long story there) so I don’t think I can simply be added to his work visa (even if I was if I can still work?) and trying to ascertain if I am eligible for a work visa I don’t think I can without sponsorship from a company. Without working, the ability to support myself is difficult. My life here I own a house, have an amazing three year old dog (what would I do with him, love him to bits?) and a very lucrative career that would effectively go backwards with a two year break. The only way to fund my life with him would be to sell my house and shares, with the outcome being at the end of two years I would come back with nothing (assuming I can get a visa that allows me to stay for that long) – everything I have built up to support myself over the past twelve years. I would leave all of my family and friends to be somewhere where I know no one, no job, no career (he works long hours so I would be on my own a lot). I won’t ask him to support me financially as this was something he hated from his previous relationship and it works well for us now because we are both similar in work ethics/income/lifestyle expectations.
I can’t ask him not to go because it is a great opportunity and I think that if he didn’t go he would forever resent the decision but the reality is I don’t know if I can make the situation work for me? I am also concerned about talking to him about all of my concerns in full that he will not take the opportunity to go and simply to stay with me which I think is the wrong move for him. (I know him well enough that he would just say, too hard, not going) The only question I continue to ask him is how would I support myself, but he has no answer apart from maybe could get a job with his company. He is the one that provides the spontenaity, emotion driven part of our relationship where as I am more pragmatic/organised – we balance each other out but neither of us being able to find a solution is difficult.<br /><br />I am hurting because I feel like this will be the end of us. We have known each other for over 15 years and is the most amazing relationship I have ever been in. My best friend is his sister (I am maid of honor in her wedding later this year) who has said that she couldn’t imagine both her brother and her best friend leaving. My grandparents are very elderly (I have a very close family) where each birthday/Xmas we expect to be the last and I would be missing out on time with them too.
I just feel completely overwhelmed, to the point of I find myself thinking to start protecting myself emotionally from him leaving by creating distance now so it doesn’t hurt quite as much. It’s rediculous! <br /><br />So my two question are; How do you make a long distance relationship work for that sort of time period without feeling like you are missing out? Has anyone ever given up literally everything to be with someone they love, and how did it turn out? Any advice or how you have dealt with similar experiences would be appreciated.
Post # 2
Aussiegirl123: That’s such a hard situation to be in.. If my FI got an offer like that I would go with him but we’re in a very different situation (about to be married) and I wouldn’t be giving up as much as you!
How long is he expecting to be over there? My parents lived/worked overseas for quite a few years and my dads company paid for several trips home each year to visit family – could he negotiate some sort of deal like that so you can both fly back and forth?
And would it be impossible for you to continue in your industry and develop your skills in a similar area if you were over there?
I have been in a LDR but it was between states not countries and even that was difficult! But I know people who do it succesfully.. It can be done. I understand your hesitance in wanting to discuss it with him but I definitely think you need to. Its a big decision and I think you both need to lay it all out on the table so that when you do make that decision, you know its the right one.
Post # 3
If I were you I would feel the exact same way. And yes, I was also in a long distance relationship once. No, it did not work out.
Did he accept the offer? Let’s look at the situation if it were reversed. If you were offered a job overseas like that, would you take it, or stay because you had a relationship and a guy that you didn’t want to leave? I personally would NOT want to leave my house and pet dog and all the things I hold dear behind. He’s asking A LOT by asking you to come with him, especially without even being engaged.
You’re going to a new country on the other side of the world basically leaving behind everything you’ve ever known, without any guarantee that you will even work out.
I’d like to know a little more like your partners age and what not to help gage his maturity level a little more. I know it’s a tough spot, but if I were you, I just don’t think I’d go. There are no guarantees in life and there’s no guarantee you would be happy there with him. Meanwhile you would be giving up security and a home at the same time.
At the very least, he should propose to you (and set a wedding date) before dragging you off with him to the US considering how much you’ll be leaving behind.
Post # 4
It would be for two years. He is interstate at the moment and doesn’t get back for another week and its definatley not something I want to talk to him about over the phone, so I am kind of stuck with my own thoughts at least for that time frame… <br /><br />When he did a six month stint in Malaysia there was discussion of paying for flights, but they renegged so ended up funding himself to bring his sister over. Because of the nature of his work, there wouldn’t be a lot of time to take holidays or time off to come back.
It probably would not be quite a difficult decision for me if I was able to at least work in the US, but without being married (from what I kind find, the US doesn’t acknowledge defacto), I am kind of stuck in obtaining a visa independently. I am slightly horrified at the concept that we would have to go down that path for the sake of staying together (sooo unromantic, and completely not the right reason!)
Thanks for your reply, I think I just need to get out of my own head for awhile… so many questions, sooo many questions…
Post # 5
Normally, I’m all about following your man, but my gut feeling in this situation is to tell you to break things off and live your life.
Post # 6
Do you guys plan to be together forever (regardless of whether that means getting married or de factor)? If it were me I would consider taking a years unpaid leave from my job (so guaranteed to return to my position) and go with him for part of the time so as not to be long distance for 2 years. This is only if we were 100% committed to one another though, I wouldn’t do it in the hopes it would work out. Not at this stage of my life anyway, perhaps if I were younger.
Post # 7
- Wedding: November 2012 - Oak Tree Manor
Oh gosh, that is such an awful, awful predicament! I’m so sorry you’re in that situation sweetie. Can you explain why marriage isn’t an option for you two? I don’t know if I could sacrifice everything for someone who wouldn’t marry me and commit their life to me – but maybe there’s more to your relationship and circumstances than that?
Also, have you talked about the long-term impact of his job on your relationship? I just can’t imagine keeping that sort of schedule – where you hardly ever see him as it is – for a long indefinite period of time. My husband and I are in a long distance marriage and he wants to quit his job because he has such a hard time away from me – I know there are couples that are pretty independent, but at some point, are you a higher priority for him or his job?
Post # 8
Not a chance in hell that I’d go… there is no protection if you break up, he would have no obligation to support you, you would have no means of earning a living, and what if you got sick or had a medical emergency? Are you going to buy health insurance, or can you get on a plan with your partner?
It’s one thing if you are married, or have been together for many years and are considered married either through common-law or even if you were just supported and viewed by both of you families and community as a married couple…just “bf/gf”, and much of it not spending more than a weekend here and there together…fuggettaboutit! Waaaaay too risky. Financially, emotionally, career-wise. All of it.
Post # 9
Aussiegirl123: My opinion: Never make career sacrifices for a man unless you have a ring on your finger. I’ve heard too many stories of girls being left high and dry when the guy leaves her.
If he won’t marry (or give up the job for the sake of his relationship with you – why doesn’t HE make the career sacrifice and stay here?), then he’s not worth moving for.
Post # 10
He’s asking you to make a huge gamble without giving anything in return. I’d wish him well and move on with my life rather than follow him halfway around the world.
Post # 11
I can’t tell you what to do, but I can tell you how the US immigration process works. It’s kind of brutal. You can’t be added too his work visa, and without an employer to sponsor you, it’s very difficult to get a work visa unless you have a natural-born US citizen family member or spouse/fiancé to sponsor you; even with a family member spouse, you have to first get to the US and then apply for a work visa and resident status. That paperwork takes between 9-15 months depending on a bunch of factors. So realistically you’d have maybe a year to work here after sitting around for a year waiting.
You could enroll in a US brick-and-mortar university and apply for a student visa but you would be very wise to follow that to the letter, in other words, do not try to work if your visa does not allow. As a non-citizen student coming in with a working non-citizen you fit the profile of someone likely to try to work under the table so you might have more scrutiny than you’d like.
You can apply for tourist visa/visa waiver program which is valid for two years but only allows 90 days’ stay per entry. So you would have to leave the US every 90 days, spend a few days away, theN re-enter. Many leave to Canada or Mexico as they are close. But no matter where you go, it will be expensive in the long run and can also cause scrutiny to your immigration status.
your best bet would be to look for a multi-national company with strong presence in both Aus and US, and there are tons of these. Almost anyone with offices overlooking Barangaroo or Darling Harbour has offices here as well. Find a company who will sponsor your visa, and work for them here. Or become a student.
Post # 12
FWIW even if you are to marry, he cannot sponsor your work visa. You would need a natural-born citizen for that. Even if he were to become a citizen (that takes minimum 3 years) he can only sponsor your residency and not your right to work.
Post # 13
Vitana – He is in his 32, I am 29. He hasn’t accepted it yet and said that he would be more excited about it if he knew I was coming with him. He did tell me a few months ago that he wants to marry me (spoke to me about ring designs and his intentions), and I will be completely honest in that I have been the one holding this off. It wasn’t because of how our relationship is but external factors. I think my phrasing that there isn’t anything we can do married that we can’t not married is really coming back to bite me in the bum!!! He has offered on some of his extended travel periods to find a job with less travel closer to home to provide more stability and be able to start a family but I don’t want to be responsible for him giving up what he has been working towards for the past four years. He loves what he does and he is great at it. He does have the tendency to be impulsive which I tend to slow things down a bit more (Project manager in me, I need my ducks lined up in a row). I have told him he would be stupid not to take the offer up, and he does agree.
MsW-to-MrsM – I am almost inclined to agree with you. It is hard in that I have never felt this way about anyone before in my entire life and I don’t normally make decisions emotionally. I feel like I am almost asking myself, which is going to hurt me more? Letting go of the life I know or letting go of him?
Post # 14
No, no, no. Your own intuition is telling you not to go. Don’t hear anything in your post about being excited to spend this time in U.S. He is not married to you. A dog is very important. Not trivial. You love dog, and dog loves you and depends on you not to abandon.
You have a house, a career, and here you would have nothing but some time with a man you are not married to.
Tell him no, but you don’t want him to give up opportunity. You can’t help it if he chooses not to go. His choice.
Was once involved with man who travelled a lot for business. He used these trips to cheat. Not saying that your guy does this, but it creates the prime opportunity. I would never again be involved with someone who travelled extensively for work.
If he does go, do not have a long distance relationship with him. Go your separate ways. Sorry for the bluntness. No easy solution, but clearly you do not want to go.
Job in U.S. might be great career opportunity for him, but let’s face it, he can have a good life in Australia, too. It’s not as if he is a refugee living in a poor country where the move to U.S. would be huge opportunity for a better life.
Post # 15
You are not 21, no pets, and able to just pick up and move. You’re just not there any more. You made a decision at some point to buy a house and that means you opted for a certain amount of stability.
I had a chance to take a one-year job in China years ago. Was very excited. Always wanted to see other countries. Arranged to have a cousin take my elderly dog. Then the misgivings began. I had a medical condition and was not sure I would get the workplace accommodations I needed in China. Nighmares started. What relief I felt when I decided not to go. Looking back, I don’t know how I could have considered abandoning that dog. No regrets about it.
My advice: Stay put.