(Closed) How do newlyweds live on opposite sides of the world? I'm so upset :(

posted 5 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
11356 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009


Wow. That would be a lot to handle.

I missed out on really ever being a newlywed, because my Darling Husband and I had to continue our always-LDR relationship for half of each week for almost the entire first year of our marriage, until I could sell my house in my state, quit my job, and relocate full time to join him and his children in their “world.” Unlike in your situation, I was able to be with my Darling Husband on long weekends (my job allowed me to telework two days each week to enable me to do this), but my Darling Husband works weekends, and has minor children, so the time that I was able to be with him, he usually had many other more pressing priorities. This situation was not at all how I dreamed of beginning a marriage, and I cannot even imagine being in your shoes and having to have my husband halfway around the globe for three years.

In my situation, because my Darling Husband has shared custody of his younger children, he could not relocate, so I knew going into the relationship that I would have to be the one who gave up my job, my city, my state, and my world as it had existed up to that point in my life. However, the transition was much harder than I ever envisioned. Knowing that you will either be separated from your Darling Husband or have to move to a different continent must be incredibly daunting.

Post # 4
1402 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

I work with a doctor that lives in NYC and her husband has worked/lived in London since they got married 6 years ago.   They have two kids that live with her in NYC.   They fly to see each other every other weekend.

Yea – I have no clue how they do it.  I think money is really important to them otherwise one of them would give up their high-paying jobs to be together.   It’s very strange but….looks like it works for them!

Post # 5
129 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 1993

@aussiebride26:  I am a doctoral candidate myself, although I am almost 50 years old (I work full-time and go to school part-time).  I had “the talk” with my husband about my desire to change career paths once I graduate.  We are both in agreement that should I find a satisfactory position within 300 miles of our extended families that we will move and he will find a new job in his very transferrable field.

How far along are you in your studies?   Are you both 100% committed to living in Australia for most of your married lives?  If not, a doctorate from a US university might give you more career leverage (but not knowing your field I definitely can’t be sure about that).  Does your FI really see your schooling as a sideline rather than something leading to a long career?

Sounds like you need to have “the talk” with your Fiance about your own career goals.  In the US it is almost guaranteed that an academic career means you have to be very flexible and be willing to move to where the job is.  Is he willing to move to for your career?  You might want to search the forums on the Chronicle of Higher Education website for insights into the relationship issues that women in academics face both as students and as they enter the workplace.

Good luck!!!

Post # 6
381 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I’m also a doctoral candidate. We got married on June 23, and on July 31, I went to China to do my dissertation fieldwork while my husband is now in Boston. We are right now on opposite sides of the world, getting ready for our nightly skype date, and we will be until April. I guess I’ll offer our gameplan, and then any advice I can offer. 

My husband is a doctor, but is going to school now to get his MPH, which he only wanted to get in Boston (that makes perfect sense). No matter what, I would have had to do my fieldwork in China this year, and I was offered a prestigious grant to leave in July, so I decided to get my fieldwork done quickly and get it out of the way (rather than chill for a few months in the states with him before leaving). 

After that, I think I am going to have to put my own career preferences on the back burner for awhile. Darling Husband will start his residency next year, and while it would be an advantage for me to stay at my home university, I can actually write my dissertation anywhere. I would be giving up opportunities, but not requirements to graduate. We decided this because he does not get much choice in where he is placed for a medical residency, especially as a foreign medical school graduate, and I decided that being with him was more important than getting to write my dissertation at my university rather than by satellite. I will be giving up workshops, teaching opportunities, etc., but I decided that it was worth it. 

Even more so, once he is done with his residency, he will most likely have to find a job wherever I do. Jobs for Ph.D.s in the humanities are few and far between, and I will have to go wherever I am offered a tenure track position (most in my program get offered a job, but usually not more than one in the US). He, on the other hand, can be a doctor just about anywhere. 

I went through all this to say that, when you have two high-powered people in a relationship, you either end up making major sacrifices or spending time apart, or a combination of both. We both decided that this last 8 months apart would be the end of our time apart; we had done long distance for YEARS and we were sick and tired of it. He decided not to stay in China while I did my fieldwork because he was tired of waiting for his career to start, sort of wasting time in Hong Kong until he could get to the US and begin his career path there, which I supported (even though it’s ironic we switched places). Yet I am ok with writing my dissertation away from my home university, and he is ok with perhaps not taking the best job in order to be wherever I can find a tenure-track position (or heaven forbid living in a small town, something a dude from HK has trouble with). 

I think you need to have a serious talk with your Darling Husband about how long you guys can handle being apart. How was the 6 months in Sudan? Could you handle that type of distance? That’s how Darling Husband and I really had a sense of how long we could handle our distance, and it’s how I planned my fieldwork (we decided 8-10 months was about our limit this time around). You also need to have a longer gameplan. How will you guys decide, once you finish your Ph.D., whose career would come first? That’s a REALLY hard decision to make, but it’s something I think is best to discuss. Darling Husband and I both have bottom lines in what sorts of jobs we will accept, and what sorts of sacrifices we are willing to make, and we BOTH realized we would need to lower our expectations in the kinds of career we would be ok accepting if we want to make sure we are never apart for a long period of time again. We’ve done it, and honestly, we’re over it. 

By The Way, preaching to the choir on not considering Ph.D. a real job. It’s taken a LOT to make Darling Husband realize what my job entails. The fact that he went back to school to do a masters is helping the case a little. Also, he was around when I was studying for quals and when I was teaching a college class, that helped too. 

Post # 7
12248 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

Darling Husband and I nearly wound up living 4 hours apart. In the end, it was more important to me to be with my (at the time BF) than it was to keep working at the job I had, or to live near my family/friends.

It all depends on your priorities!

Post # 8
224 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I couldn’t do it

Post # 9
868 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@aussiebride26:  Hey there, fellow military spouse! I am questioning why your Fiance is not discussing jobs with you? My husband throughly discussed all possible locations where we could live with me to get my feedback and even gave me power to veto certain locations….and this was before we were even married…. 

Post # 10
250 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I am in a long-distance marriage and think that it can be a reasonable option for couples with good opportunities that will last for defined periods of time.

Your FI’s attitude toward your career is concerning. Definitely discuss it before you make things legal.

Post # 11
1402 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

You’ve done long distance with him before – do you think you could do it again?  Do you want to?  I’m in a LDR right now and it it hard work; we have less than a year to go and I can’t wait until it’s over.  If I had to choose between three years of long, long distance versus not being together I’m not sure what I would choose.  Surely there’s some way you can compromise.  There’s no way in hell I would only follow my partner’s career around – I’ll be doing that in the beginning, but we’re going to make things as even as possible.  Compromise, my friend.  Compromise.  Why can’t he wait until you finish your PhD and get a little bit of experience first?

Post # 13
127 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@aussiebride26:  I hear you! Am currently in the very same situation you fear. Started my PhD two years ago, been apart from my-then fiancee (now husband) since then. I am an international student in Aus, he is still living back in our home country. We got married a year into my candidature.


Truth is, long-distance is (to me anyway), much easier once we were married. There is already a precedence set for him to behave as a husband should, even though we are thousands of miles apart. And this makes me feel more secure, as pitiful as this sounds. I don’t speak for all men obviously, but in my husband’s case, he automatically became more committed, and his mind-set changed to limit his interactions with other women as he is ‘someone’s husband’. With that said, I don’t see the point of you waiting until after 3 years for him to come back to get married. If you truly love each other, you can overcome the long-distance challenge.


And also, I think that the move to the US might actually enhance your future career as well. Many distingished professors with glowing academic careers/fantastic publications do not actually work or graduated from top ranking universities. I think that ranking means more to undergraduates rather than post-grad research students. A stint in the US in your resume sounds pretty impressive actually, rather than staying put in the same university…


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