Marcus asks :

Hi Lucy,

My partner has been living in Europe for almost two years now due to work reasons, and I am looking after the home and our two teenage daughters back in Boston. 

He has always spent his time off with his family in California without me. This arrangement is particularly difficult now that he has been living permanently away and we do not spend quality time together. 

He is very close to his sister, and last summer he spent a week with her and her husband to travel to France even though we had not spent quality time together for a while. 

He’s still very interested in girls' lives and does everything he can to support them. He still visits Boston to see us for a few days up to a week every other month but he always travels on business and spends most of his time at work. Even when he is with us at home he is constantly busy responding to work emails. Then on his time off he goes to California. 

He is due to return back home permanently from Europe before Christmas, and I do not know how to handle the situation. I do not know if he is coming back for me or simply because things did not work out with his current employer, and he had to find another job here. Does all this mean my marriage is in trouble or my partner is simply a hardworking man who also deeply loves his family? Could all this be a sign that he might be attracted to somebody else given that he has been away for such a long time?


Hi Marcus,

Agony Aunts on Female First

Agony Aunts on Female First

Thank you for getting in touch.

It sounds like you have grown apart to such an extent that you feel you can't ask him the questions you are asking me. Perhaps your first priority when he does come home is to sit down and talk about your relationship after he has settled in and you have adjusted to being around one another more.

It seems that you are both doing your best for the children but are neglecting time for yourselves. Perhaps you could tell him how you feel so he can clarify things from his side. He may feel like he is doing his best, if he is busy, he may not even realise how this has affected you. Also, if he's had pressure to perform at the job- he may not have wanted to be distant when he was at home but felt compelled to get things done to provide for you all.

At least if he is back for good before Christmas you will have more time under the same roof to get all of this out in the open and really put some time into being a couple as well as parents.

It sounds like these gaps in your relationship has given you time to think about all the eventualities, especially the worst-case scenarios if he could not be there to put your mind at ease. The cause might not be negative- but you will only find out if you can establish a dialogue about this with your husband.

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