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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello there, my first post here.

The situation: married for two years, full-time job (salaried engineer), part-time grad school (online). My wife and I lived upstate NY until this past January when I left for a very enticing job offer in Phoeniz, AZ. My wife was against it but did not protest too much. I thought she would move here in a few months (after she sells our house).

I have been attentive (I think), flew home at least 5 times in the past four months, she came here for a week (last week). She told me that she is thinking about a divorce because I left her there.

I have always thought that I will take this very well paid job to secure our future but she thinks I took it because having a good job is my priority... Recently she went to a counselor (we had one session together just before I left) who told her that her priorities are "husband, family, job, education" and my priorities are "job, education, wife, family".

Is that wrong? I need a good job to secure my future family, I need good education to get the first and stay secured even as I get older.

It took me some time to realize my priorities... I'd like to go back to where she is and even take some not as well paid job, just to make her happy. A large company has an opening- but my wife asked me if I am serious! How come I think I can just show up at the door and say I'm home, honey...

What did I do wrong?

My wife is a very smart person and is not fickle at all (she has a PhD and works at a college).

Thank you,

Tom
 

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You did not plan this out with your wife from what you have said. You did not come to joint agreement.

I am an Engineer. My job is critical to my marriage. I put up with loads of crap I would not if I were single. I do this for my wife. So assuming a guy who puts high priority on his job is somehow putting the job ahead of his wife.

Not everyone is a critical thinker though. Some cannot connect the dots.

BUT, if you did just leave and not plan this out with her, it surely does seem like you put the job over her. Nothing happens until someone sells something. many engineers do not get this.

But maybe she enjoys life without you. maybe she has met someone else.

Did she actually agree to stay and sell the house and then come with you?

What does she bring to the marriage. Does she work?

What about her friends and relatives.

Anyway, pending any additional trickle truth here ... it seems to F'd up. You are running the hose daemon.
 

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Couple of follow up questions...

Did your wife take any steps to moving out there? Like, for instance, listing your house? Looking for jobs?

Any kids?

Have you done any checking to see that she hasn't found someone to replace you back home already? Like have you checked her cell phone bill or anything?

Can you clarify the "didn't protest too much" and "thought she would move here in a few months"? Did you get agreement or not?

6 months after I graduated college, I had an opportunity to take a job at 3x my current salary in an exotic (to us) location. Before I even threw my name in the hat for the job, I got a firm agreement from my wife that this was something that we were both ok with. We had a plan for when she was going to follow me down. If she would have hesitated or put up a fight for staying, I would have pulled out of that in a hurry. To me, it was wife and family first, then job. With a partner by your side, a lose of income is sustainable. Without the partner that you love, a larger salary is pretty meaningless.

How do you get her back, assuming that's what you want... You might want to start with some grovelling, but not too much. You screwed up, made a bad decision without taking her thoughts and needs into account, and now you want to try to fix things. That may mean moving back to NJ into your own place while you reconcile. It may mean marriage counselling. Talk to her, see what SHE needs from you. As far as that goes, suggest you both read "His Needs, Her Needs" and work through that.

Oh, and if she's found a "Tom 2.0", all bets are off... Nothing can be fixed till that's kiboshed. That's why you need to rule that out first. Just thinking that "She'd never do that to me" isn't good enough.

C
 

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scienist2 said:
I have always thought that I will take this very well paid job to secure our future but she thinks I took it because having a good job is my priority... Recently she went to a counselor (we had one session together just before I left) who told her that her priorities are "husband, family, job, education" and my priorities are "job, education, wife, family".

Is that wrong?
I disagree with at least one person on this thread. Neither of you are necessarily in the wrong here. Family is most important, yes, but having a good job helps protect your family as well, so it's a circle that goes around.

I'm in the military and have spent half of my marriage physically separate from my spouse. In some ways, it has actually made us stronger. Still, I look forward to when I'm retired and can spend more time at home.

Anyway, you say she has a PhD. Is there a reason why she can't get a job out in Arizona where you are? If she refuses to move out there without a very good reason, then you can turn this argument around on her. You can accuse HER of putting her career ahead of your marriage because she won't move to live near you.

Finally, if you quit your job and moved back with her, how would your future job prospects look? How would your finances look? Do either of you have a large mortgage or student loans you are paying off? There are a lot of variables here. I recommend saving your marriage but it won't be saved if it puts you both in financial jeopardy.
 

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I think men and women are wired differently, and while women almost always put marriage and family as first priority, men often will count their job as right up there as well. And I can see why, especially if the husband is the financial provider for the family.

I'm always thinking of my husband, I think about him often through the day and smile, lol...I know he thinks of me too, but not as often as I think of him. Men are much better than us at compartmentalising and focussing on one thing at a time.

Not saying a husband should just up and go anywhere for a new job, of course it needs to be discussed - but if he's the main or particularly the sole financial provider for his family, it's natural that he'll be attracted to a higher paying job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Couple of follow up questions...

Did your wife take any steps to moving out there? Like, for instance, listing your house? Looking for jobs?

Any kids?

Have you done any checking to see that she hasn't found someone to replace you back home already? Like have you checked her cell phone bill or anything?

C
We have prepped the house to be put on the market - but have not listed it yet. She has looked for a job but there are not that many opening in her field here at the moment... We've stopped moving on with the house after I found out about the local opening.

No kids yet (she wants them).

And no, we are on Skype pretty much daily + we call each other. I do not think she's started looking for Tom v2.0.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You did not plan this out with your wife from what you have said. You did not come to joint agreement.

Did she actually agree to stay and sell the house and then come with you?

What does she bring to the marriage. Does she work?

What about her friends and relatives.
I thought we had an agreement (but I guess we did not). I did not read the signals right.

She works and makes decent salary (enough to support herself).

Her relatives are within 3 hours from our house but we have all planned on moving south at some point. I thought I would lead the charge but unfortunately people think that Phoenix is too hot.
 

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How old are you?

Your wife has a PhD. Is she in her late 20s, early 30s? Do you feel that your marriage was sought because the reproductive door is closing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
How old are you?

Your wife has a PhD. Is she in her late 20s, early 30s? Do you feel that your marriage was sought because the reproductive door is closing?
She's in her early 30s, I'm a few years younger.

I think she's always wanted kids but that did not seem like an option (first she had to settle down at a job, then her sister moved away because her husband could not find a local job and the family started thinking about moving off, then I started grad school).

It almost looks like our career/bio paths are off by a few years. But that does not change the fact the she's the best thing that ever happened to me.
 

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if she's the best thing that ever happened to you, why'd you put the job ahead of her? it sounds like you didn't even hear her side. maybe she didn't communicate it well, because she knows how much it means to you, or maybe you were too excited about this opportunity to see what she really thought?

anyway, you want the job to provide for your family, well, what if it ends up that you are sacrificing your family for the job? where's that going to get you? you'll have the dream job, but not "the best thing that ever happened to you".

My husband and I recently had a similar decision to make, and another one coming up in the future, so I can definitely understand how both of you feel, but IMO, what is your true top priority will come apparent in whatever decision you make.

in the end, we have to decide what is better for us -- financial security, or being together as a family -- and plan according to those decisions. long distance relationships are hard, and i did it before I got married, but I don't want to do it again. sacrifices will be made, regardless of what you chose, just make sure you can live with whatever sacrifices you do make.

sometimes it's just a case of "better of two goods" and you have to chose what's best for you and your top priority, whatever that may be.
 

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Did she have LTR before you? If so, what brought them to an end?

Was there much passion in your courtship?

She seems to have gotten over you very quickly. Do you want to commit your life to someone who is lukewarm towards you?
 

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scienist2 said:
I have always thought that I will take this very well paid job to secure our future but she thinks I took it because having a good job is my priority... Recently she went to a counselor (we had one session together just before I left) who told her that her priorities are "husband, family, job, education" and my priorities are "job, education, wife, family".

Is that wrong? I need a good job to secure my future family, I need good education to get the first and stay secured even as I get older.
Tom
Would you be happy in your a relationship when you partner is your first priority but you are their third priority?
 

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Marriages require daily togetherness. Your wife does not think about things like you do. You are a male and an engineer. Your are going by pure logic. However, your wife is waking up lonely every day. Your marraige lacks the daily connection. Spending time together having fun, having sex, communicating is a crucial component of marriage. Bottom line is if you want your marriage, you must find a way to live together full time.
 

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Hey Tom,

You have had one and half years married life, before you moved and you are away for last 4 months.

That's all.

Isn't it too early to think of counselling and all that stuff?

In my view, you both are young,impatient and afraid of losing each other. That's all. Nothing more than that.

Don't make mountain out of molehills.

Just talk to each other, encourage each other and have patience.

I am sure,once the kids appear, you would be complaining here on TAM about her neglect and her devotion to kids.

Just have patience and regular communication- man !

Meanwhile, see if you can manage to stay together.
 

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Give me million dollars a year job and I will not move away from my loved one or without their approval.

Your wife simply has a problem with the fact that you even thought about moving away from her.

Personally, when I love someone, I want to be with them on daily/regular basis. When I'm not, it hurts a lot.

She is questioning your love for her based on your actions.

Also, it seems like you guys didn't agree to the move TOGETHER (just you).

I would apologize, move back and find a job in the area you lived at.

Jobs are like friends, they come and go......loved ones/family is forever.

Marriages require daily togetherness. Your wife does not think about things like you do. You are a male and an engineer. Your are going by pure logic. However, your wife is waking up lonely every day. Your marraige lacks the daily connection. Spending time together having fun, having sex, communicating is a crucial component of marriage. Bottom line is if you want your marriage, you must find a way to live together full time.
couldn't agree more

She is missing Companionship, which is a vital component of successful marriage.
 

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scienist2 said:
I thought we had an agreement (but I guess we did not). I did not read the signals right.
It seems you thought your wife agreed. Did she or did she not actually agree? Has she since changed her mind, or did you just get so excited about the job prospect that you took what she said as agreement when it wasn't? Or did she say she didn't want to do this and you ignored it in favor of getting your own way - maybe hoping she'd come around after a while?

This was a life-altering decision for you and your wife, and you guess you did not read the signals right?!?! :slap:

There should have been no signals. No hints, no guesses, no assumptions. There should have been clear communication. And after that clear communication, should have come the part where the two of you made a jointly agreed-upon decision that worked for both of you. I think your next step probably needs to be MC to learn how to communicate together.

And, no, I don't think it's unreasonable for your wife to be miffed that you bailed across the country and now want to just show back up like it was no biggie. It was a biggie to her. That you don't seem to think she should feel that way because it wasn't to you, says a lot about your marital dynamic. MC for sure. And if you want to remain married to this woman, you will need to find a way to live together - a way that works for both of you.

Lovebusters and His Needs, Her Needs, both by Willard Harley, would be good books for you to read.
 

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So you're sticking with the "my wife wouldn't cheat on me" approach... Also known as "head in sand".

Carry on!

C
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