My husband has been offered his dream job. It provides a higher salary, greater responsibility, and insistence that he’s based in the United States.
My first thought was, “What about us and our two children?”
Don’t misunderstand; I’m so proud of him. He deserves the recognition and promotion, but there’s been no suggestion from the head office that his family will be accommodated with a place to stay along with him.
I don’t know if I’m just hurt and annoyed, because his bosses seem to think his only loyalty should be to “Head Office.”
Meanwhile, we’ve started our much-needed discussion about all this.
Our children - a son, 14, in Grade 9, on both the debating and basketball teams, is our first concern. Our daughter, 13, in Grade 8, is devoted to her friends. She loves theatre arts, and usually gets a big part in the school’s fall production. She’s also on the girls’ volleyball team.
Both are good students who are attached to their current routines. We, their parents, are almost afraid to tell them the news about their dad living elsewhere for periods of time.
I know lots of people would face this situation happily... especially due to the higher income, and sense of achievement for my husband.
But how will it affect our marriage? We’ve spent the past 16 years together, having loved and laughed and slept closely because he told me early on, “I want no space between us.”
Will the children feel he doesn’t care about them? Will I resent being in charge of everything here?
Should we all spend a “trial” week in the new city (on our own funds and agenda), to then discuss how everyone feels... including whether we believe we can work it out?
I know we sound lucky. But I’m feeling negative vibes for us all.
Fearing A Move
Fear is never a healthy way to assess a future situation that’s yet to happen. Instead, discuss all the pros and cons as a couple and as parents, before talking about it to your kids.
Look for the positives beyond added income. For example, you and your children can join your husband on major holidays such as Christmas, when he’s not working. Or he can travel home for important events.
It’s a broadening experience for young people to see beyond their immediate base. They’ll learn more about their father’s work. Also, travelling as a family is often a highlight of children’s lives, sparking their own interest in other cities, countries, languages and remarkable histories.
Family travel during summer holidays often becomes a mind-broadening experience.
I understand that this change appears daunting. In another few years, however, your kids will likely be living away at university or college.
But now, if you and your husband conclude that it will be too hard on the marriage and the kids, you only need to agree about it, thank the boss for the offer, and explain that the timing will be better when you can prepare for a smooth transition.
FEEDBACK Regarding a wife’s lack of interest in sex (August 2023):
Reader – “I’ve read some suggestions that, if the husband help out with household chores, he might get some sex.
“I used to believe that. I did a lot of household and outdoor chores throughout 48 years of marriage, but having marital sex never happened.
“I’ve had frank talks with my wife over the years, but they never resulted in change. Her demands for more ‘help’ have increased, and I’ve become angry in return.
“I now resent her holding out. I feel I’ve been cheated all my married life.”
Ellie - Sad for you. Hard to know what kept her so isolated.
Reader’s Commentary “I’m a condo manager with some information re: thumping noise in the condo wall (August 4 2023):
“Find the property management company and manager. If self-managed, submit a complaint to the condo board.
“Send an email with dates and times of noise.
“Request confirmation of receipt of complaint and what the action is.
“The manager and/or condo board should investigate the noise. If it’s coming from a neighbour, they should send a bylaw infraction reminder letter (not identifying who complained) requesting the resident stop the noise.
“It could be a loud fan or air conditioner.
“Keep in mind the type of construction a building is, e.g., wood-frame buildings have noise issues that travel, and don’t originate where you’d think.”
Tip of the day:
A father’s promotion to work/live in the U.S. away from his wife and children needs a full family discussion.