Post # 1
For those in the hive who have boyfriends/FIs/Husbands that frequently travel, how do you deal with it? How do you plan a wedding or start a life together when the other party will no longer be around as much?
My FI just started a new job. Before he accepted, he told me that the he wouldn’t be traveling that often but i just pulled up the job description and it says "Frequent travel is required so an ability and desire to travel is essential." He is already scheduled to be gone for 3 weeks straight after another week of training. He was in the military before so this wouldn’t be new to us but it definitely caused problems for us (he blamed distance for almost everything).
I thought I would be fine but I’m really not happy about this. Any advice?
Post # 3
Ah, yes, my FI travels all the time too. He may go a few weeks at home, then end up in Puerto Rico for 3 weeks straight (weekends too….). To add to that, I’m an anthropologist and every year we’ve been together I’ve had to spend 2-3 months at a time out of state or out of the country. We try to just make the best of it. I have my own good friends, love to read, like my own company, and am a graduate student, so can fill my time just fine. I try to deal with all work/errands/chores as much as I can while he’s gone so that when we’re together we can just relax and enjoy ourselves. (don’t get me wrong– he does his half of the cleaning 😉
We talk on the phone every night, even if it’s only for 10 minutes, just to feel like we’re part of each other’s everyday life. And while there are some things that have to be blamed on distance, we’re pretty careful to work through the ugly stuff rather than just blaming it on the distance. Email is your friend, and using things like im and Skype help too. It may not be ideal, but it’s not insurmountable. Just hang in there and appreciate the time you do have together that much more!
Post # 4
I’m so sorry! Do you have family and close friends that live close by to help out? I know it’s not the same, but surrounding yourself with family and close friends can really help fill the void when your fiance is gone and can’t’ help with wedding planning. Also, maybe you can start a blog or website that you update daily with posts of your wedding planning (and planning for living arrangements, etc) that your finace can check daily while he’s gone. That way he can be up to date and when you talk on the phone you won’t have to spend a lot of time just chatting about the latest vedor meeting…he’ll already know about it and can provide any input you need.
My finace also started a new job (right after we booked our venue) that requires travel (they estimate 35%) and he will be gone the week of our wedding at the most important annual conference for his department (and at another conference a month before our wedding). Fortunately I will have my Mom and closest girlfriends to help out during his absence (it really made me tear up how supportive they were).
Post # 5
FI is a reservist in the Navy, and is often gone for 2-3 days because of that and 3 weeks one or two times a year. The best thing I ever did was get a dog. I just feel less ALONE when I’m alone at home. It’s still hard when he’s gone, but it helps me a little.
Post # 6
I’m actually the one who travels the most, and it can range from a little to a lot, although I’m home every weekend. My sister also travels a lot for her job (often a trip every week, although for only 2 – 3 days at a time). You text, you email, you call, you write – which is actually really nice, because when else would you ever get a letter from your spouse? You accumulate millions of frequent flyer miles and Marriott points, which allows you to take vacations for practically free that the rest of your friends only dream of being able to afford, and to fly first class when you go. And, you remain the independent person you are absolutely capable of being, as opposed to turning into the wife who isn’t capable of dealing with the plumber or the electrician, or the husband who can’t manage to do his own laundry or keep the house clean. Also you have to really learn how to communicate, adn make the most of the time you’re together, so that you don’t end up living totally separate lives, or wasting your time together arguing about stupid things.
Post # 7
I agree with Suzanno on seeing the good points about the travel! I am the one who travels in our relationship – the first 3 years we were together I was gone 3 nights a week on average. Hopefully his work travel will be shorter trips than the military, and he will have more access to phones and email.
The pros from my POV: free round trip first class airfare to Hawaii for our honeymoon, and all but 4 nights of two weeks in hotels free; when I travel we talk every night and probably have more real conversations than when I am in town and we plop in front of the TV; we are more independent (I haven’t travelled the last few months and now when we are apart is it much harder!!).
In terms of wedding planning, I would think he can help from the road if he has access to a computer. Think about what he can do long distance and keep him involved!! Good luck!!
Post # 8
We’ll he’s not that much helpful now…
I would be fine with weekday travel but this is a pretty long period of time and again, with a requirement like this: "Frequent travel is required so an ability and desire to travel is essential" I can only imagine it getting worse.
The reason he left the military in the first place was because of all the time away from the people he cares about so it really feels like we’re taking 3 steps back. I have friends and family here so I will be spending time with them but that does not change the fact that my future husband will hardly be around. I guess I’m worried about a repeat of the military LD days. He was not good at keeping in touch and i did not feel like a priority in his life. I know that was in the past but I haven’t forgotten…
Thanks for all your feedback ladies. I really appreciate it
Post # 9
hhmmm – what caught my eye about your post is the descrepency between what your fiance told you about the job and what the job description says.
Fiance – "he told me that the he wouldn’t be traveling that often"
Job Description – "Frequent travel is required so an ability and desire to travel is essential."
I don’t mean to be a party pooper – but either he’s confused about the requirements of the job or maybe he was trying to sugar coat the actualy requirements sense he knew you wouldn’t approve. (And for good reason since you have experinence with the two of you in a long distance type situation and the problems it caused.)
I would talk to him about your concerns. Ask why he wants a job with travel? Maybe it’s his dream job and he’s really looking forward to the travel – in which case you can use the suggestions above to work through that. Maybe it’s a good stepping stone and he only plans to have the job a year? Maybe he can keep looking and find another job with little to no travel. Even if the pay is lower – if it means a healthier relationship for you two – it’d be worth it.
Best of luck!
Post # 10
Jilian – that is a great point! It is worth discussing that now that you will be married, these decisions should be made jointly and he should share all the details so you can make a choice together. Quite possibly the outcome would have been the same, but involving you would make you feel better about it.
My brother had two job options a few years after getting married !) to be a consultant and travel a lot and 2) to work for a big company and travel a lot less., but probably be less challenged His wife (newly pregnant) said she didn’t marry him and didn’t want to have kids and never see him – which I think is fair – and he took job #2! He is a super involved father and husband and I think his sacrifice for his career was very much worth it for them. But it was a joint decision and they came to it together.
Post # 11
I agree with Jilian – it’s worth having the conversation. Bottom line, you need to agree about how much travel is acceptable to both of you. I have a friend whose husband is gone for up to 3 months at a time, generally to places like Siberia and Mongolia. He’s a corporate attorney, he’s not military, he does it because he likes it. Clearly he likes it better than spending time with his wife and kids, and while I’m not in the habit of judging other people’s relationships, I would never marry someone like that, as it wouldn’t work for me. FI and I have agreed – no long term assignments or extended travel – unless we can both fine work at the same location (we do work together, so that would be pretty easy to arrange).
If you’re not willing to have your spouse on travel long term, the two of you need to agree that he will try hard to find a job that doesn’t require travel. If that’s not acceptable to him, then you need to either be okay with his travel, or find another relationship. Marriages do end over this kind of thing – due to lack of time together, lack of communication, and (often) due to one or the other partner just finding someone else to keep them company while home alone or in a hotel room alone.
Your profile doesn’t say what you do – but the flip side of this is that you may have to accept that if he takes a position with less travel, you may have to be responsible long-term for earning more of the money, or accept a lower standard of living, or move to a location where he can work without as much travel. If he is willing to travel less to make you happy, but has to take a 40% pay cut to make that happen, are you willing to say that you’ll work more hours or find a better job or wait longer to have kids or buy a house? The sad truth is, you can’t always have everything.
But I wish you the best of luck too. It can be hard. I turned down a marriage proposal five years ago from a good man that I really loved, because he insisted on living in a location where I simply couldn’t get a job in my field. It would have meant travelling full time, or completely changing careers, and I wasn’t willing to do either, especially since he was completely unwilling to compromise (where he lived was ultimately more important to him than being with me, or my happiness and fulfillment). It turned out to be the right decision, but it wasn’t an easy one.
Post # 12
Understanding the time committments of a relationship are huge. I had an ex who just could NOT get what I did and why it wasn’t a 9-5 job (I’m in PR and travel a lot) and the crazy thing was, he didn’t have a 9-5 job either (he was in the entertainment industry). But I think the main problem with him was that he wanted me to basically cater to him and be available at all times to him. There’s a reason he’s an ex.
Now, FI also has crazy hours (in a college athletic department) but I completely understand it because I’m basically the same way. Communication is huge. I can just say to him "baby, I’m going to be working until 3am on this project, don’t wait up" and while he won’t be all joyfully happy about it, he understands. Because he’s the same way at certain parts of the year. We’ve talked about what we’re going to do when we have kids, and something is going to have to give. I’ve told him that I’m willing to switch it up to have a more normal job and he completely shocked me when, during pre-marital counseling with our pastor, he said that if I got a really well-paying job, he’d be a stay-at-home dad!
So, bottom-line, talk about it. Tell him that while you appreciate it that he sugar-coated it, he really shouldn’t do that. He needs to be straight with you so both of you can use all of the data to make the best decision for you guys as a couple.
Post # 13
From what you’ve said, it sounds like your FI was not upfront with you about the job before he took it. It also sounds when you were LD before (when he was in the military), he was unwilling to keep up the relationship in the way that made you both happy. To me, both of these situations are huge red flags. It’s like he is expecting you to make all the compromises. It would stick in my craw to be lied to like that, and for him to blame all your relationship problems on distance, and then go take a job with just as much distance involved? I would seriously question the relationship.
You two need to have a no-holds-barred talk about your relationship, your wants and needs, and how to meet somewhere in the middle. I know that distance is rough (my fiance and I were long distance for eight months before I moved to be with him– we did see each other on the weekends though) but there are ways to make it easier for both parties. Unless he is willing to make an effort on this, I would wonder about the future for you two.
(Sorry to sound harsh, but I’ve been in relationships where it’s all give and no take, and your situation is reminding me of that.)
Post # 14
FI says ~20% travel
Company says ~60%
I am sick to my stomach right now.
Post # 15
My FI and I actually had a few problems at the start of our relationship where he would purposely not tell me something important because he knew it would upset me. It’s kind of an immature way to deal with conflict – because it really only delays the problem, and makes it worse. We had a couple of long talks and it hasn’t happened since. What I told him was that I thought we, as a couple, could find a way to deal with almost anything – but that a basic lack of honesty was not one of the things I could deal with at all. It’s kind of brutal, but true.
It sounds like your FI may have made the same mistake, and you really need to talk about it. And if you’re just not willing to have him travelling so much, you need to talk about that too. He should be willing to look for a different job, if your happiness is important to him. He might not find one right away, but the goal should be a career situation that’s compatible with what both of you want. Or maybe the two of you can figure out a better way to stay close even if he’s not in town all the time. Either way, he needs to be willing to respect your feelings and try to work with you.
I’m so sorry – it’s not a pleasant feeling by any means when you think someone you love is not being completely honest with you. But it is an opportunity to make your relationship better. I hope it works out that way.
Post # 16
Sometimes people use distance as an excuse and hide behind LD as a reason not to get more involved-pretty much as a crutch. I’m in the military and so is my FI, so we see this a lot-military personnel using their workups/deployment schedule as an excuse to hide problems in the relationship.
My FI and I are on almost opposite deployment cycles, and it can be challenging, even for me who is extremely independent and used to the lifestyle. Email is very important, and phone whenever available. Make sure the emails are meaningful and you "talk" through problems if they arise.
Also, what Jackie Kennedy Onassis did (and I also do!), whenever Aristotle Onassis left on an extended business trip, she implored him to bring back a trinket/souvenir from each place. That guaranteed that he would be thinking of her. My FI and I do it for all the crazy places we travel to, and it’s alot of fun. I hope this all helps!