- 5 years ago
- Wedding: May 2014
Hi bees! Would really love some sage advice on a little dilemma my Fiance and I are currently mired in. Apologies in advance for the lengthiness of this post.
A little bit of background: we met in April last year, and he proposed on Christmas Eve. We currently live in China, but have made a kind of 5 year plan. This includes moving to either Hong Kong or Singapore this year, get married early next eyar, work in the new city for two years, moving back to Australia (where my family is), and starting a family. I just turned 30, and he just turned 28, so time is of the essence for me in terms of the biological clock thing.
The problem is that, so far, we are having trouble finding career opportunities in the same city. I’ve already got a (good) job offer in Singapore, while he is likely to receive one or more offers from companies in Hong Kong. So it looks like one of us will have to be a trailing spouse, at least for the first few months after relocating. Long distance is not an option at this stage – not just for the emotional distress, but paying double rent in two expensive cities would totally negate the point.
The situation is this: the offer I’ve received is likely to be considerably more (like 25K more) than any offer he’s likely to get. I don’t have an issue with earning more than him, it’s just the nature of our respective professions and also our age gap. My salary, in addition to his when he finds a job in Singapore, would allow us to live comfortably and put aside some money for the wedding and other future expenses.
On the other hand, he’s likely to be earning just enough to cover our living expenses in Hong Kong – not exactly the cheapest city in the world! We would certainly not be saving any money for our wedding, or our future. BUT he would be getting extremely advantageous experience (he works in F&B, and these jobs would be with Michelin-starred restaurants and 5-star hotels) that would put him in good stead for a future career in Australia.
What I’ve been offered isn’t exactly my ‘dream’ job, but it’s a good enough position with room to grow. I work in media (TV) and to be honest, this will probably be my last full-time job before starting a family. It’s also important for me to still be working for the next two years, the experience will be invaluable if and when I want to return to the industry after having kids.
We would both probably be able to find work if we followed the other person, but there’s less certainty. If we didn’t have any financial commitments like the wedding, I would have no qualms about cutting back on our lifestyle so that he could accept his dream job. But even though my parents have generously offered to cover the cost of our wedding, I would really prefer us to foot most, of not all of the bill. If I was just a few years younger, I would also be more than happy to throw caution to the wind and opt for experience, not remuneration. Hell, that’s what I did when I quit my well-paying corporate job and moved to China! But somehow, when you turn 30 and are staring into the mouth of marriage, mortgage and the pitter-patter of tiny, expensive feet, your perspective starts to change.
I know that eventually, when we have a family, he’ll be the breadwinner in our household. His argument is, taking on a position that’s poorly-paid but highly-regarded would give him the necessary experience and skills to earn more in the future.
Should I sacrifice my career a little now, as well as economic status (for want of a better phrase), so that he can lay the foundations for being able to provide for us in the future? I have to admit, this is very new to me. I’ve never had to compromise on my career for another person, and I am very comfortable with having my own income.
I know this this a career most women have to make at some stage. We can’t really have it all, can we? I would love to hear some advice from wiser bees.