Will my man ever come home?

Last updated 05:00 09/08/2012

They were together for three years, but job pressures meant he left her behind to "chase the money" in Australia. Is he ever coming back, or just stringing her along?

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I had an amazing three-year relationship with a man, but he lost his job and moved to Australia to "chase the money". I have a child with another man, so I couldn't follow him. I was literally left in a position where I had to choose between my child or this man and for obvious reasons I chose my child and set my man free.

We tried the long distance relationship for a while but he broke it off, saying it was too hard to make a go of things over there when he had such a big commitment back here making him want to come home.

He has an amazing job earning big money, so I understand why he won't want to come home yet. We talk very often, about every second day, and it's always him calling, not the other way around.

My main question is, should I live in hope of him one day returning, or should I move on? He's been gone for five months now. I know he has absolutely no interest in coming home any time soon and he's even said he wants to go to Thailand and Bali before he comes back to New Zealand for a holiday, so I really do not know when I'm going to see my beautiful man again.

Thanks, Hayley

What a tough situation to have been in.  On the one hand you want to give your relationship the best chance, and on the other hand you have your commitment to your child.  It is really heartwarming to hear you prioritise your child's need for the involvement of both  parents - research certainly shows that children do well when their parents maintain safe supportive relationships with their children post-separation.

In terms of the relationship you may want to really stop and think about what you are wanting from it and how many goals and values you share.  Maybe you both are ready to  acknowledge the separation hasn't worked and you are actually still in a relationship  - long distance relationships can work, but they take a lot of compromise and creativity to sustain them and you may need to factor in more regular visits and an agreed end time to living separately.

On the other hand, you haven't mentioned any longterm commitment from your man and it does seem a little surprising he would be prioritising a visit to Thailand and Bali before he comes back to visit you.  You don't mention the option of you travelling to meet him for a holiday so I assume this is not financially viable for you (maybe something to discuss with him if he is making 'really big money').

Is it possible the regular phone calls are enough for him to stay connected and be happy with the state of the relationship?  Do you think you are the only one holding out hope for a longterm future together?  Unless you are clear about these answers you may find it difficult to move on.

At the end of the day you need to be clear about your own bottom lines and what you are willing to wait for.  Picture yourself in another 12 months still having calls every second day but with no future plans to be together - notice your emotions, your thoughts and what wise advice you would have for yourself in that moment.

For more advice and information on counselling, visit Relationships Aotearoa online or join them on Facebook.

We'd love to hear your take on this week's issue. Before you comment below, though, remember that this is a real-life situation. This reader has bravely shared their personal life with you; please show them respect by refraining from hurtful or abusive comments.


- Stuff

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Pip   #1   05:33 am Aug 09 2012

Firstly, I am really sorry to hear that the relationship went this way. You are an awesome person for putting your child's needs first.

I agree totally with the counsellor and them asking you what you are prepared to put up with. Having just come out of a relationship too...I know that the emotional ties you have to someone don't disappear if phone calls keep coming in.

He would need to show you his commitment by spending some of the big money he is making to either shout you and your child over, or for him to come back regularly.

I wish you all the best with you future, it sounds a little uncertain now but you will get there and one final piece of advice: trust that nagging gut feeling. It seldom has done me wrong!!!

Newly Single   #2   07:04 am Aug 09 2012

I agree with #1 Also. Very good advice from the counsellor in my opinion, looking ahead 12months, giving yourself some advice. Setting down some clear bottom lines with him and getting some of that 'big' money so that you and your child could come for a visit. Good Luck, I really hope it will all work out in the end how you want it to. Stay Strong.

Mr Sensible   #3   07:07 am Aug 09 2012

Well, as they say, Blood is thicker than water so it really was a no brainer that you chose to stay. This situation has arisen due to you having a child to another man, then moving on from him for whatever reason. It really complicates things when you have multiple partners in succession, I see it a lot. This why we should only have ONE partner in life, so much simpler. But that's perfect world stuff isn't it? So just 'move on' again and pick another guy you think will stay with you. Good luck, I think you will need it!

Miss_Whanau   #4   07:08 am Aug 09 2012

I would move on. If he wanted to come back, you would know it by now. It just sounds like he really wants to make a good go of things over there, and he's right, he can't if has his commitment in NZ.

I too, moved to Melbourne to chase the money and left my man behind. After a month, I knew I'd made the wrong choice. While I didn't move back for about a year, I was constantly talking to him and letting him know how much I loved him. We worked hard at our long distance relationship and even got engaged.

Good luck. You sound like a great person and while the next while will be difficult, you'll find someone new who will be there for you all the time.

DanM   #5   07:21 am Aug 09 2012

He's not coming back. Sorry.

DanM   #6   07:25 am Aug 09 2012

Besides which, I'm not sure how serious YOU really are about this. Flights to Aussie are very cheap. If you really wanted to do it, it would be manageable somehow, I'm sure. But you seem happy to simply place all the expectation squarely on him, and then play the poor victim. You're asking commitment from him, but not showing any yourself. Relationships are a two-way street. You have to put some skin in the game too.

AJ   #7   07:48 am Aug 09 2012

As hard as it clearly is / has been to accept, you probably know deep down that this is not going to happen. If you were priority one in his life (which you deserve to be when you're in the right relationship), he wouldn't have left, or if he did, plans would've been made for you to join him asap or for him to return asap.

Undoubtedly you love him very much, and he probably loves you too, but you're not his highest priority, and the sooner you make the decision that you're worth more, the sooner you can find the person you're meant to be with.

Scott   #8   07:54 am Aug 09 2012

Sorry but five months is nothing like long enough to claim "we tried the long distance relationship for a while". In my wider family that's barely long enough to realise that someone has gone on holiday. And it also seems strange that he broke it off, but still continues to ring.

Regardless of that it does sound like there's no indication he will ever come back here. Although maybe if his job crashes and burns he just might.

Nakers   #9   08:03 am Aug 09 2012

I sympathise with you and totally agree with the counsellor's advice.

A few years back I was in a long distance relationship, except we only lived 4 hours drive apart (him in the country). At first I thought we had both agreed on a time that he would move to the city I was living in. He was earning great money but the project he was working on was coming to an end and there was no further work in the area. The end was nearing, we talked, set dates and so I waited, and waited and waited. When the date came and went, so did I. To some that might seem harsh on him, he is a great guy but choosing to stay in your parents home over moving in with your girlfriend of 4 years is a bit of a warning sign!

Anyway just want to let you know you are not alone. Personally, leaving him was the best for both of us, I met the love of my life and he got the kick he needed to get out of home. Perhaps you and your man could cool things off for a while and agree that if/when he comes back and you are both willing to, meet up again and see where things go from there?

Definitely talk to him though, try agree on a date, if that doesn't happen then I'm afraid you will know what to do.

meeeeee   #10   08:10 am Aug 09 2012

He knew that you couldn't leave NZ and he went anyway. He wants to go to Thailand and Bali before coming home? He puts everything ahead of you. But he still makes sure to phone you all the time to have a back up plan - sorry, thats harsh but its true. You're feeding his ego. He didn't have to go to australia and even knowing that you couldn't go didn't stop him. Its time to move on.

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