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Travelling spouses (before retirement) question
Old 05-21-2015, 05:56 AM   #1
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Travelling spouses (before retirement) question

Hi
Did anyone have a traveling spouse when working? My husband may have an oppty in Florida (where we eventually want to live/retire). I want to stay back in Boston for the 3-4 years while my youngest completes high school.

Any suggestions? Also, all of our friends and family are in Boston so I will have plenty of support.

I do imagine many trips to visit him and spending entire summers with him and of course he will travel home on weekends too. We know this is temporary, and will bring us to our "dream location " along with the financial stability needed to get down there.

Anyone ever do this?
Thank you!!


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Old 05-21-2015, 07:13 AM   #2
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DW and I both traveled extensively (80-100%) for work when we first met, and did so for about 15 years. I then took a job locally, while she has continued her travel and will do so until we both retire next year.

When we were both travelling, it was tough as we would get home on a Friday, spend all day Saturday doing chores and getting caught up, and then Sunday rolled around and it was time to pack and get back in to work mode. Once I stopped travelling, I was able to do some of the everyday stuff during the week (laundry, pay the bills, mow the lawn, etc.) which allowed us to spend time together actually focused on each other during the weekend.

I know it sounds strange to a lot of people, but it works for us. Will your DH be OK with missing a lot of your child's high school activities? We don't have kids. I would imagine having kids would be a complicating factor. Having family/friends support is great. I, by nature, am a pretty self-reliant person, but every now and then you need a hand. Having people to call will make things easier.

Good luck to you!
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Old 05-21-2015, 07:32 AM   #3
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The few times there are hs activities DH would need to be home for, I'm sure he will be here (schedule change).

It is refreshing to hear others making this situation work for them. I'm a teacher, so all vacation times will be spent together (including summers).

It will be much easier now that the kids are grown and one almost in college (oldest graduates next year).

Thank you!!


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Old 05-21-2015, 07:40 AM   #4
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I was a travelling spouse for 25 years. Two or three weeks at a time in Asia or Europe. About 200 days a year.

We never had kids so that made a big difference. DW somehow managed to keep her sanity, keep busy and keep a relationship going. She was able to travel with me from time to time, but....

For us it wasn't a strain, it was just how we lived.

If you have to only do it for a few years it might be worthwhile if there's a good payoff in the FL job.
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Old 05-21-2015, 09:11 AM   #5
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My wife and I lived in separate cities for the first 6 months of marriage, and I continued to travel extensively for much of the next 20 years.

It's just not the best way to live life--semi apart. And it's even more difficult when children are involved--even if they're of high school age. Kids need both parents as much as they can get'em.

3-4 years is just a long time to live this way. One year until your child gets out of high school is long enough.
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Old 05-21-2015, 09:40 AM   #6
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Yes, we both traveled over the years and we are currently living 5 hours apart as DH's job is in another state. We do not have children at home, and I just recently retired. He is trying to get a job locally but it is not so easy these days as a 50+.

Living apart and/or a traveling spouse takes work. The burden of the household affairs falls on the person at home. Good communication helps. I would say that it has worked for us since we are both independent people, but there are times when it's frustrating for one reason or another.
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Old 05-21-2015, 10:25 AM   #7
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I had to work far away from home from the time the kids were in Jr high. At the same time, we relocated to a lower cost city. We planned the move with our kids and explained our situation so they understood and did what we could to make it comfortable for them. They were good about it but even so, I was gone during an important time in their lives and there were problems. There would have been problems anyway, but I wasn't there. I worked many places as a contractor so it was not practical to bring the family with me.

In your case, I would recommend everybody moving at the same time or not taking the assignment. A family in two places is not a family.

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Old 05-21-2015, 10:29 AM   #8
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A family in two places is not a family.

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Thousands of deployed military members respectfully disagree with you.
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Old 05-21-2015, 10:40 AM   #9
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Good point, Racer. There is a difference, though. The military has a lot of support for families. The rest of us struggle.

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Old 05-21-2015, 10:52 AM   #10
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Is there some reason your child cannot simply switch high schools. If he was a senior, that would be one thing, but at the 9th-10th grade level, I'm not sure why everything should be about your son. Yes, you will have plenty of support, but your DH won't and will be adjusting to a new place and a new job all on his own.

You should also think about the fact that moving now might set you son up to stay in Florida after high school. He will know the area and might love it, after high school it will probably just be the place where Mom and Dad live. Think about college too, if he might go in Florida, best that his high school record is local so he is on resident student rates.

Also I'm wondering how this will help you financially running 2 households, Is your husband supposed to live in a studio apartment to save money?
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Old 05-21-2015, 12:45 PM   #11
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These are all great suggestions. The opportunity did not present itself yet.....there may be a business oppty in the next six months or so.

I really think we need to stay in Boston the next four years then make our moves/changes. That makes the most sense.

Thank you again for all of your input!!! It is so helpful


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Old 05-21-2015, 12:59 PM   #12
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Your situation Money reminded me of a recent HGTV show. A married couple with young children decided they wanted to move to Panama from South Florida to expose their children to a different culture. The man was an apparently successful dentist. He was keeping his practice 4 days a week in S. Florida and then commuting to Panama every week for 3 off days to be with family. Since they were not native to Panama I thought that strange while still working, but they did a 3 month checkup at end of show and they were adapting fine. I don't think I could hold up doing that.


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Old 05-21-2015, 01:19 PM   #13
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Thousands of deployed military members respectfully disagree with you.
Here is one that does not disagree with Ed. I turned down a commission in the reserves because I had two toddlers at home. The chance of getting called up to active duty and separated from my family for a long time was not a risk I was willing to take.
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Old 05-21-2015, 01:24 PM   #14
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Here is one that does not disagree with Ed. I turned down a commission in the reserves because I had two toddlers at home. The chance of getting called up to active duty and separated from my family for a long time was not a risk I was willing to take.
Firstly, thank you for your service.

I appreciate that travelling and separation are not for everyone. I do, however, take slight offense for someone to suggest that a family "isn't a family" because it does not meet their traditional or personal definition of a family.
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Old 05-21-2015, 04:12 PM   #15
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IMHO 3-4 years is too long. A young man needs regular time with his Dad during that period of his life. It could be that your son's father is in Boston and has regular contact or your son has special needs that are best met in Boston, but short of that I don't encourage you to do this.

Then there is the loss of intimacy between husband and wife....
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Old 05-21-2015, 09:23 PM   #16
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Maybe I should mention that I have experience on both sides. I was Regular Army (long ago).

I stand by my point. If Florida is a great opportunity, everybody pull up stakes, get in the car and go south together.

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Old 05-21-2015, 09:58 PM   #17
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Maybe I should mention that I have experience on both sides. I was Regular Army (long ago).

I stand by my point. If Florida is a great opportunity, everybody pull up stakes, get in the car and go south together.

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I think it might be wise to listen to someone like Ed who has done this and knows some of the downsides.

I 've known couples where the guy moved alone to advance the family, and the wife stayed behind with her child or children and friends. All I can say is that if she were my wife, I would be looking for an advantageous exit. And sooner or later I would find it.

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Old 05-22-2015, 12:42 AM   #18
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After marriage I took a contract in another city.
I rented a room in a house, wife lived in our house back home.
At first it was fine, flying home each weekend or her flying out to stay with me for the weekend.
But it quickly got exhausting and is not cheap.
So I exited that contract at a good opportunity and took one 10 minutes from home
I decided to not repeat the dual city experiment anymore.
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Old 05-22-2015, 01:49 PM   #19
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Been there, done that, have the divorce to prove it.
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Old 05-22-2015, 03:12 PM   #20
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I moved to a remote island while my wife stayed back and sold our home and tied up lose ends. Let me tell you after spending three months away it hardly felt like we were married. We both had brief moments of would-be infidelity. I am not the kind to be unfaithful and neither is she, but we both admitted that it was tough at times. When she did finally relocate and join me things were back to normal as a relationship, but we missed the rest of our friends and family greatly. Its tough to replace those long time friends. We moved back a year after the relocation to get on with our lives.

Exciting and touch are two words I would use to describe our experience.

I would much rather work 10minutes from home...way more convenient and there's something to be said about convenience. Just my .02
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