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    aqua@home's Avatar
    aqua@home Posts: 565, Reputation: 107
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    #1

    Aug 6, 2006, 08:00 PM
    Everything is falling apart...
    Okay... so I don't know exactly where this question belongs so I am putting it here. Please bear in mind that I need any and all points of view here.

    My husband told me today about an idea he had about earning money. He said that if he goes to work for a company in another province, he could work for 10 years and then retire at the age of 40. I know this would involve him going away for longer periods. However, I didn't know that it meant for 10 years. He said we could all go visit monthly and he might get some time off but for the most part he would be working and I would be here with the kids. As things sit now, he works 2 weeks and gets 1 off, so we wouldn't see him much less.

    I talked to him about all of us moving but that would cost more because the cost of living is so much more over there versus here. He hates his current job and doesn't want to do this job for another 20-25 years (I can't really blame him). We did have a plan for retirement (none of the truck driving jobs really offer a retirement or pension plan). We decided when the baby was in school I would go to work and we would bank any money I make but now I wouldn't have to. If we stuck to the plan we would still see each other less.

    We both want to be with each other, but there is no money for a family of seven when working a local job. Basically his plan gets us money but he is gone almost the entire time.

    I guess I just want to know how to feel. This situation feels like it is lose-lose. No matter what we decide there are down sides to it. What would you do? I realize it would be a huge sacrifice either way. One way my kids miss out on their dad and I miss out on my husband and the other way, we both have to work like dogs for the next 25 years (at a job he hates). My heart says the money isn't important but logic tells me that this might not be so bad.

    Does anyone have any opinions or ideas?

    I just don't know why this idea makes me so sad... but thinking about the first plan doesn't make me feel much better. I feel like everything is falling apart and I really don't know what to do. He said that he wants me to be here for him at the end of all of this but if I didn't think I could stick it out that he would understand. He has decided that this is what he wants for his family.
    Jnet29's Avatar
    Jnet29 Posts: 88, Reputation: 13
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    #2

    Aug 6, 2006, 08:30 PM
    Hi aqua, I just read your post and I feel really sad to hear all of this, to me that is a big sacafice it would be like you are not married if he leaves for that long and then he would miss out on so many important things in the children's lives.
    CaptainForest's Avatar
    CaptainForest Posts: 3,645, Reputation: 393
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    #3

    Aug 6, 2006, 08:54 PM
    Hey aqua,

    I am really sorry to hear of your dilemma.

    There is no right or wrong answer, but rather various opinions, etc.

    Here is my take on it.

    Right now, you say he works 2 weeks, then is off for one.

    So, he is off for about 17 weeks a year?

    Under the new plan, you see him one weekend a month? So 24 days or 3 and a bit weeks in the year?


    Money or Being Around.

    Money is important, yes…..

    But family is far more important.

    If he is gone for the next 10 years, who will be a male role model for your children? And raising 7 children on your own must be very hard. I know someone who raised 2 on her own, and that was a handful for her.


    You say that relocating is not possible because the cost of living is more expensive. However, will his new job pay enough to offset these extra costs?

    Obviously, one wants to work in a job they like, but being away from your family for 10 years, I just think that is a worse option.

    Money comes and goes. You can lose all your money tomorrow. The bonds and the experiences you have as a family stay with you forever.
    aqua@home's Avatar
    aqua@home Posts: 565, Reputation: 107
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    #4

    Aug 6, 2006, 10:41 PM
    The idea of being apart makes me sick, literally. I know... we are apart a lot now, but more? I love him very much and we have been together since I was 16 years old. Now, almost 13 years later, I am afraid that a move like this would really tear us apart. I know the kids would miss out. I know this. But what do you do when your husband hates what he's doing? He is so unhappy at his job that our home-life is being affected. There is no right answer here. I just wish things could be different.

    I can't even begin to describe how awful this seems. This whole thing has exausted me. I will be back in the morning. I hope you all have a good night, morning, day or whatever.
    Krs's Avatar
    Krs Posts: 2,906, Reputation: 320
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    #5

    Aug 7, 2006, 12:41 AM
    Hi Aqua..

    That is so sad!
    I wouldn't know where to start myself..

    The best advice I can give you, because I can't decide for you, is to sit down with your husband, and both do a pro and con list. This is serious because you have kids involved too, and it would be very hard on you being a working mom alone while your hubby is in another province.

    Good Luck Aqua, my thought are with you.
    Xxx
    orange's Avatar
    orange Posts: 1,364, Reputation: 197
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    #6

    Aug 7, 2006, 08:03 AM
    Aqua, this is a really hard situation... you don't want your husband to be unhappy, but you also want what's best for yourself and your kids, and finances are very important, especially when you have a large family. I really feel badly for you!

    I'm not sure what to add to what has already been suggested, except that are you absolutely sure you can't afford to relocate with him? I know there are some places to live in Canada that are a lot more expensive than others, and I don't know where he is going, but... in most areas of Canada it's expensive to live in the city, but cheaper in smaller towns. Could you possibly relocate to a small centre close to where he is working? Like say, an hour away? At least then you may be able to see him more often, or he could even commute. As CaptainForest says, he will be making more money if he takes the new job, so that should help with the costs, and if you are going back to work soon as well, that will help, too.

    I'm curious where he's planning to go, and what the job entails. You don't have to share that of course, if it makes you feel uncomfortable. But it might give some of us more of an idea what you are up against. In any event, take care of yourself!
    aqua@home's Avatar
    aqua@home Posts: 565, Reputation: 107
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    #7

    Aug 7, 2006, 08:58 AM
    No biggie Chava. He is looking at going to work in the oilfield. It would mean we would have to relocate to Edmonton. We were looking at that this spring but decided against it. At the time he was looking at a local job where he could be home every night, so we had to be in the city so he wouldn't have to drive to far. However, you have come up with not a bad thought at all. Maybe we could move to a smaller town within an hour or so of Edmonton. I know there are many, many places around there. If we could move and when he does get time off, that wouldn't be too far for either of us to travel. I definitely think we will have to discuss this option. He hates lawyers and we had a horrible experience with the lawyers regarding this house. Maybe we could try this for 6 months or a year and if he likes it, we could find a new home there. Maybe by then he would be willing to deal with a lawyer again.
    JoeCanada76's Avatar
    JoeCanada76 Posts: 6,669, Reputation: 1707
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    #8

    Aug 7, 2006, 09:05 AM
    My personal feelings is I could not live apart from my spouse or children. Even if it meant more money. I do not think I could do it. I do believe distance is not good in relationship and it would be very hard. I would not take that risk. His family should be more important. So, in ending. There should be a way for the whole family to be together. Please do not let this tug at you, just my personal feeling. Does not mean it won't work. For me it would not.
    That is not a bad idea eighter, to try it for a time to see what he feels about the work.
    Joe
    valinors_sorrow's Avatar
    valinors_sorrow Posts: 2,927, Reputation: 653
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    #9

    Aug 7, 2006, 09:05 AM
    The first thing I am thinking here is to investigate just how possible is it to try this new arrangement on and if it proves to be unacceptable can you reclaim the old arrangement easily? Risk assessment kind of thinking...

    I am married to a long haul trucker who works straight for three weeks and then is home 3-4 days, then three weeks again--in a cycle like that. He loves it because it pays well enough with considerably less crap in the mix -- believe it or not, he left a higher paying job to do this but it was literally killing him before (and I really understand that since so did I).

    While we don't have kids (just pets) it has been a big challenge to accommodate this lifestyle. I buddied up with other trucker wives for a while for support and tips. It was reasoning a lot like what I hear your husband making that led us to do this -- my husband makes three times more money than if he worked more locally. This way we have enough money, we are both happy in our work and the relationship is stronger for having met those challenges. With that said, a life apart is not doable for everyone and you are the best one to evaluate that.

    I am however really really looking forward to retirement where I get to keep him (and so is he)!

    Financial pressure can be a terrible thing. Financial security can go a long way to easing things in a family and it is possible to learn how to make quality rather than quantity. It may take some creative efforts to do so though. If you both opt to do this, I will help all I can with supporting you learning how to manage a time-constrained relationship, okay?
    orange's Avatar
    orange Posts: 1,364, Reputation: 197
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    #10

    Aug 7, 2006, 09:29 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by aqua@home
    No biggie Chava. He is looking at going to work in the oilfield. It would mean we would have to relocate to Edmonton.
    Ah, the oilfields... I can see why he would want that job... lots of money to be had there! Actually I thought maybe it was that, or else some specialized job in the far north.

    I have a friend living in Leduc, which is quite close to Edmonton. She has 3 small children and says that it's a wonderful family community with lots of parks and good schools. Her husband is an auto mechanic, and they are not well off by any means.

    Yes perhaps once he is out in Alberta by himself for a few months he will be wishing you were with him and more apt to deal with the lawyer. I do think Alberta is pretty "do-able" for relocation. At least he is not going to Vancouver, where the average house costs $1 million now! That's impossible for most people. Anyway good luck, and keep us posted!
    aqua@home's Avatar
    aqua@home Posts: 565, Reputation: 107
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    #11

    Aug 7, 2006, 09:31 AM
    I think we should try it. I don't want him to ever blame me for keeping him from trying something that might make him happier.

    Okay, so things don't have to be so bad.
    Other people do do this.
    We will figure it out.
    I can breathe.
    I am much more calm now, thank you.

    I think there are a lot of things to think about and when first approached by a new idea, everything started reeling around in my head and I actually thought I was going to be sick. I know part of it was his attitude. He had this I don't give a crap attitude and I take that very personally. I thought we were in it together and when he says stuff like "if you're here at the end of ten years then great, and if not, then I will understand" really threw me. That doesn't sound committed.

    Now I realize that I may have over reacted. We talked for many hours last night and I feel better. Now this morning after reading the great answers, I realize I am stronger than I give myself credit for. Thanks so much.

    Val, I just might take you up on your offer of support with time and figuring that out. You are great.
    Jnet29's Avatar
    Jnet29 Posts: 88, Reputation: 13
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    #12

    Aug 7, 2006, 09:55 AM
    Aqua, tell your husband yes we all might hate our jobs but he needs to stop thinking of hisself and think of those precious children you both have to raise together not apart. Net
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,318, Reputation: 10854
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    #13

    Aug 7, 2006, 02:15 PM
    Its very hard for any man to not want his family to enjoy a good life and even harder if he feels locked in to a job that he truly hates. Thank GOD I had a women I could talk to and discuss my feelings with and together we reached decisions we could both live with. I remember the pressure I found myself in when we first got married and moved into our house and the bills where... overwhelming... I was not happy, so made a choice to return to school and become skilled in something I loved and make more money and be happier at. To this day I don't regret a thing and spend a lot of time in retirement with grandkids and have a lot of fun with my wife. The key was I think was being able to talk honestly with her and listen, as her ideas helped me get where we are at. So glad you two sat and talked to each other and I think If you keep up with each others feelings through COMMUNICATION you can find a way to overcome anything. Good LUCK.
    aqua@home's Avatar
    aqua@home Posts: 565, Reputation: 107
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    #14

    Aug 7, 2006, 02:25 PM
    Thanks talaniman. I don't always realize the pressures that are put on my husband. I know they are there, but I don't actually experience the pressure to have to hold a job. I wish him going to school was an option, it just isn't.

    I have to remember that for our communication to continue, I too have to be open minded. I used to react terribly and I really think that made it hard for him to come to me with issues. I was younger and we have both changed. Last night I was able to tell him, that I will listen, if he has a problem or whatever, he can phone and I will just listen. I tend to be overly emotional, and there isn't always room for that. I am glad that I have received the answers I have, they have definitely helped me to see that maybe it will be all right. Thanks all for your advice.
    Jnet29's Avatar
    Jnet29 Posts: 88, Reputation: 13
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    #15

    Aug 7, 2006, 02:39 PM
    Aqua, I'm happy to hear you talked with your husband and you to don't mind expressing your feelings to each other, sometimes it can be hard because you don't want to say something that might hurt each other feelings. From what I have read so far it seems like you have a loving husband that just wants what's best for his family and hisself, and sometimes we as the head of the house have to make hard choices that just might effect our family. I hope everything go OK for you and your family and I'll keep you in my prayers.net
    s_cianci's Avatar
    s_cianci Posts: 5,472, Reputation: 760
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    #16

    Aug 9, 2006, 05:41 PM
    In my opinion, family always comes first. Families should be together on a regular basis ; none of this "part-time" husband and dad stuff. He needs to be there for you and the kids. If he really dislikes his current job that much then why doesn't he just get into a new line of work? Either way, if his current situation puts food on your table, clothes on your backs, a roof over your heads and provides an adequate level of medical care then there's really not much to complain about ; he should just suck it up and do his job until he can be eligible for retirement or afford to pursue an alternate opportunity.
    aqua@home's Avatar
    aqua@home Posts: 565, Reputation: 107
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    #17

    Aug 9, 2006, 06:10 PM
    S cianci... oh, if life were just that simple. A new line of work would require education. I wish we knew what an uneducated 30 year old man can do to support 7 people! I agree that family comes first. What part of the family comes first though? Yes we are fed, clothed and we do have free medical care in Canada. All we are missing is time, which is of course it is just as important as the rest. I don't think this is unlike the choice women have to make when deciding to put their child in childcare (family should come first). Nothing is an easy answer. There is no right or wrong only consequences to our choices.

    Thanks Jnet for your support and your prayers.

    Thank you all for your opinions.
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,318, Reputation: 10854
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    #18

    Aug 9, 2006, 06:24 PM
    Or blessings AQUA, don't forget that part. What we do now can have positive affects later. My wife told me while I was at work she was dragging the babies around her friends, whose husband were at work and tended to her hobbies and just stayed busy doing the little things that made her happy. As the nest emptied she had more time to move around and pursue her interest and ended up with a degree and a paying hobby (photography) and yes her work is All over the house and now my kids who are well adjusted and hard working still come around with the grands and yes we are having the time of our lives that we worked hard for. Remember those kids will grow up and leave the nest, be ready to get your life back.
    s_cianci's Avatar
    s_cianci Posts: 5,472, Reputation: 760
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    #19

    Aug 9, 2006, 06:34 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by aqua@home
    s cianci...oh, if life were just that simple. A new line of work would require education. I wish we knew what an uneducated 30 year old man can do to support 7 people! I agree that family comes first. What part of the family comes first though? Yes we are fed, clothed and we do have free medical care in Canada. All we are missing is time, which is of course it is just as important as the rest. I don't think this is unlike the choice women have to make when deciding to put their child in childcare (family should come first). Nothing is an easy answer. There is no right or wrong only consequences to our choices.
    Well, what does he do now to support 7 people? If his education and skills are limited then he may just have to go on working the same ole' job that he so hates, unfortunately. What about this new job in the other province? You mentioned that moving is not a viable option because the cost of living is considerably higher there. Are wages for compatible work proportionally higher as well? Often that's the case in that, where costs of living vary, wages vary by essentially a proportional amount. Maybe it'd be worthwhile for your family to relocate there after all. Check into it ; what he'd be making there as opposed to your present location (assuming the same line of work) and investigate the differences in housing costs, insurance costs, utility costs, grocery costs, etc. Even if such a move doesn't make you any better off financially than you are now, if it doesn't make you any worse off either and if your family would be happier living there then it might be worth it.
    aqua@home's Avatar
    aqua@home Posts: 565, Reputation: 107
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    #20

    Aug 9, 2006, 08:56 PM
    Thank you again TALANIMAN. Yes... blessings. I love being able to stay home with our children. There are those days where I feel like I could pull my hair out, but that comes with every job right? I know I will enjoy it when the kids are out of the house. The time is flying and I am trying not to take it for granted. I know I will be sad when they are all gone, but it will be time to move onto another phase of my life. My husband and I were only together for about a year before our first was born and I was 17 when I had her. I think I have so much to do when they are gone. I have so many things I want to experience and so many things I want to try. I am going to try to enjoy now, so I don't regret it in the future. Thanks again.

    S CIANCI... well now, he is a long-haul truck driver. It pays well and took minimal skill to start. He is looking at doing the same thing but with an oil company. The wages are much better, we could easily afford to move there. But that is not the point of going. The reason for going would be to make more money to sock away and retire in 10 years. I have looked into insurance, utilities, groceries, etc. and they are for the most part comparable with the wage. If he works there and lives here then we can have more money thus getting him out of a job he hates that much faster. He is already working there but is home more often than he would be with the new job. This is why I am going to look into what Chava suggested, and move to a place less centralized therefore less expensive.

    I give my husband credit for what he has done. He stayed with me when we were teenagers and pregnant. He wouldn't let us go on welfare and has busted his a** to support us. He is not perfect but he does love us very much. We are very aware of the situation we put ourselves in and are simply looking at different ways to make it better.

    Thank you again for your thoughts.

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