Post # 1
Hi bees! I have a bit of a LDR situation and am in desperate need of some advice from impartial parties (my family and friends are all quite biased when it comes to this topic). I’ll try to condense the story as much as I can:
FI lives in Australia, I’m in the States. We had six months of living in the same country last year (albeit two hours apart) and then had ten glorious weeks of living together this summer. We’ve been together for two years now. He has an awesome job in Australia that is a two year graduate recruitment program designed to fast track him into a leadership position. I just started my second year with a not for profit teaching organization that places teachers in the highest need schools in America.
I came back to start my second year teaching because I did not have my visa to live in Australia yet; I had the mindset that I could leave my job mid-year and move back down under to be with him then. That was before I actually started teaching and realized that I am the fifth teacher these kids have had this year (the other four left after a day or two with the kids – it’s a very large 7th grade inner city school with a LOT of problems!) Whilst it breaks my heart to think of being apart from FI for the entire school year, I also have a horrible guilt complex thinking about walking out on these kids.
FI is devastated to hear that I’m considering staying for the entire school year as he feels it pushes him down on my priority list. He also is concerned about starting our marriage ‘getting to know each other again’. We both know that being apart for a while means that there is a re-adjustment period, no matter how frequently we talk on the phone. FI hears the stories about the violence and craziness of my school and does not feel it is important enough to keep us apart for an additional six months.
I don’t know what to do – I hate the thought of being apart from him for so much longer, but I also wonder if walking out on these kids is going to be a horrible thing to do. I understand FI’s points completely – I struggle to prioritize my job above my future husband, but then I also struggle to say that I can’t last six additional months of being apart from my soon-to-be husband. I am 31 and FI is 28 – we know we want to start a family soon and we both really want time together as a couple before we embark on that road….but given my age, it’s not something we really want to put off for five years or so!
Help! What to do…..
Post # 3
I hope that he’ll be able to support your decision (whatever it ends up being). I’m an educator myself and I understand your unwillingness to leave. I can’t tell you what you should do, but I think your SO should understand your reasons for considering staying for a few more months.
Post # 4
I think there are other questions you need to ask yourself.
Do you need this experience to promote your career? If you ever need to, do you have the skills needed to support yourself? This job could be necessary for that. If it is, then I think you should stay and you need to let him know that he needs to support your career decision at the moment. That you are not choosing kids over him.
Have you figured out the logistical pieces already? Can you move there mid year and be able to get a job or get the visa you need? If not than maybe you should work on that while you keep the job.
If all of that is taken care of, then you need to decide what you want. At some point we all need to compromise for the other one, but ask yourself if you are willing to move to Australia, why is he not willing to support you to stay another 6 months. His feelings are real so address that you are not choosing the kids over him, but are choosing to do something for yourself. To test your own skills and abilities. To do something good for kids that dont see or get a lot of good.
Post # 5
Thanks – great points from you both!
@lefeymw: You bring up some great questions and perspective that I hadn’t quite thought of. This job is not necessary for my career – I was a social worker for a number of years (including in Australia) and am now a fully qualified teacher. My Australian visa was just granted yesterday as well so I am cleared to move to Australia as soon as I would like. The hurdles are out of the way, it’s just the emotional stuff now…. I like what you brought up though about doing this for myself, definitely something to think about. Thanks for the advice! 🙂
Post # 6
That’s so hard. I completely understand where your fiance is coming from, and I know that if my husband told me he wanted to live apart because of his job, I’d be totally bummed. However–you’re working with a group of kids that really need you and you’re doing important work. I think you need to really evaluate what will happen if you leave mid-year. Talk to your fiance about it and see if you can get his help working through this dilemma. Guys are problem solvers. If you say, “Honey, I want us to be together in the same country as soon as possible, but here’s what I’m worried about happening when I leave these kids in the middle of the year…” he may feel more like this is a problem the two of you are solving together, rather than feeling like you’re deciding (on your own) to prioritize your job over him. Good luck, and KUDOS on taking a difficult job that improves children’s lives!