How can my husband and I balance my dream job (in Asia) with his not-quite-wanting to go?
posted by blazingunicorn to Work & Money (44 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Last week, I was offered and accepted my dream job: I’ll be researching and writing about Asia for two years. The pay is amazing. I’m still pinching myself. (I met my Argentine husband in Buenos Aires four years ago. Last year, he moved up here to Portland, OR and we got married. Travel is in my lifeblood, and I’ve been thinking about how to get back on the road for a while.) My boss is lenient with where I live, and would be okay if I were on the road all the time—that’d be fine by me, since it’d be mostly work expenses and I could save a ton of money.
However, my husband is… well, let’s just say that I don’t understand how I married someone who’d turn down my offer of ‘you don’t have to work for a year! let’s travel!’, but there you go. I’d be fine in hostels, but he doesn’t want to be traveling for a year. He wants a spiffy, modern apartment, especially if he’s “going halfway around the world to live in god-knows-where.” He hasn’t traveled very much and could use a bit of dirt underneath his fingernails; while I’d love to see that, I can’t force it, and have got to respect his decision. In the past, I’ve said that I’d follow him wherever if he got a job elsewhere, and we've talked about exploring other places, but the reality and details are another thing entirely.
Relevant: he’s in IT and his boss would be okay with him working from home.
One final complication: we got a dog two weeks ago. I work at home and am quite bonded to her. My husband said he won’t go if the dog can’t go, to which I replied, “fine, then I’ll see you two later.” He scoffed. I mean, I love the dog, but if I have to choose between a dog I’ve had for two weeks and a dream job I’ve been working towards forever, I choose myself. If I have to choose between making things easier for my husband and the dog, I’d choose my husband. I understand that if my husband moves and works from home, the dog would be his best friend, but I’m a little taken aback why it seems so easy for him to choose the beta bitch over the alpha bitch.
Can anyone help me and the spouse brainstorm a win-win situation? Ideas thus far:
Option #1: We make Singapore our home base. Pros: Boss is based here, very plugged into the tech scene. Mr. can work from here easily, would have a work permit, and could likely get a decent job with boss’s help. Very clean and modern. Cons: really expensive. From the photos, Mr. is not impressed with any of the apartments. Dog would have to be quarantined for a month.
#2: We go nomad for a year. I’ve offered to pay, but it looks like he’s not having any of this.
#3: We make Kuala Lumpur our home base. Pro: It’s a lot cheaper than Singapore. Mr. has already found several ‘suitable,’ expensive apartments downtown; he’d prefer to live within short walking distance of everything. Con: We just found out how dog unfriendly KL is, and that we’d probably only be able to keep it if we got a place in Bangsar, a more family-oriented/suburban-looking neighborhood that doesn’t seem as convenient, and that the Mr. isn't fond of (he has his hopes set on a super-expensive apartment near the Petronas Towers.) Dog would have to be quarantined for a week.
#4: They stay in Portland, I work on the road with occasional trips home. I just thought of this and haven’t brought it up yet.
While Mr. Blazingunicorn knows that this is my dream job, he doesn’t seem to like any of the options thus far. I understand that this is a huge, sudden change, but I feel like he’s only offered objections and complaints, and his list of demands seems to grow. The first thing that came to my mind re: what I'd do with the money we'd be able to save over two years is buy him an apartment in Buenos Aires.
We’re going to visit Singapore and KL and explore neighborhoods next week, and I’m reaching out to the hive mind to see if anyone can help plant an idea seed to inform our exploratory trip? Because of paperwork, the job wouldn’t start until November, so there’s time.