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Working abroad but leaving wife and child behind.

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by frapper78, Nov 28, 2018.

  1. frapper78

    frapper78 New commenter

    Hi I don't know if anybody can help me on this forum but I really want to work in Egypt as a primary teacher. I have already had the opportunity to work in a very well-established school and regretfully turned it down mainly because my wife does not want to go anywhere and I also have a 3 year old daughter. I currently work in Cyprus at a well-established school and have been at the same school for ten years. In that time I have also married into a Cypriot family and my career (and pay!) has not developed in the way that I would like. I feel as though my quality of life, professionally, socially and financially is not the one that I expected when I moved here from the UK ten years ago and now feel as though I would be taking a huge risk by leaving my wife and particularly my child.
    I am still in touch with people from the school and I have been in contact with somebody who was in Egypt for 19 years and loved it.
    I visited Cairo 2 years ago and fell in love with the idea of living and working there and due to it being so close to Cyprus it made perfect sense. I also had friends working there. However, something held me back (mainly my daughter) and I am at the point now at the age of 40 that I need a change of scene as Cyprus is restricting. However, I am concerned that I won't be able to cope with the change such as a tougher workload (although where I work is not easy) and I am afraid of getting out of my comfort zone. On the other hand, if I stay I will be forever faced with the worrying possibility of having no choice other than to send my daughter through a Greek education system, a huge mortgage, small career prospects and few chances to go abroad on holiday
    Is there anyone who can advise me?
    Apologies for the rant.
  2. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Dear frapper78, one or two misguided people sometimes send one of those TES Conversation things to a strange and muddy beast.
  3. Pectox

    Pectox New commenter

    Maybe it's a middle age crisis? Did you try other schools in Cyprus for work? Maybe you just need a good rest from work for a month or so to see if you really want to move to another country?
    I like Egypt because of the cheap property for rent in Egypt, local food and weather sometimes... I have been there 5 times and what I know for sure I wouldn't like to lice in Cairo... it's too overcrowded and most districts are so dirty... Maybe you should go there for a longer period and see if this is really what you want?
  4. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    This is a really hard thing you’re considering. Unless your wife is equally interested in the possibility of you going without them, it doesn’t seem tenable to me.
    dumbbells66 likes this.
  5. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    Much as I love teaching overseas, I do think that I would put my family first.

    I do know people that have done what you're proposing, but their relationship didn't survive. I guess that's the choice that you will have to make.
  6. englishtt06

    englishtt06 Occasional commenter

    I moved overseas and my partner stayed in the UK for two and a half years, then came to join me. However; there are two key differences with your situation: a) most importantly, you have a daughter (no kids in my equation) and b) you are proposing an indefinite period. Being long-distance can only work for a fixed period of time, if it's going to work at all...
  7. willow78

    willow78 Occasional commenter

    I think it depends on what is more important to you, your job or you family.

    There will be times when you won't see you wife and daughter for 6 weeks plus, could you do that, I certainly couldn't?

    I think somehow you need to convince you wife that the move is best thing for your family and you need to do ths together.

    You are in a tough position, but you will miss out on so much of your childs life and one you may live to regret in the future.
  8. james_1979

    james_1979 New commenter

    I think there's more to it than just wanting to work abroad. I tend to agree that this is more to do with mid-life crisis.... Having been in the circuit for a long while and having seen what "being away" lead to, not only for teachers but also to those geophysicists and pilots who work away from home; I think you need to be honest with yourself prior to making this decision. Marriage is about compromise. But I can predict which way this will go if you do decide to uproot yourself and leave your family behind.
  9. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    On the plus side, Larnaca is only about 1 1/4 hours flight from Cairo. On the negative side, the flight times are rubbish so you'd be going on a Saturday morning and returning on a Sunday morning.

    I think you need to look at the options on Cyprus initially - there are a couple of international schools there. Otherwise, if your wife is determined not to move, I'd agree with james_1979 that I can only see one thing happening.
  10. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Life is compromise. Compromise on where you live, or compromise your marriage.
    Personally, I've done the distance thing, and it was hard. Really hard. Harder than imagined.
    With kids, the consequences are going to be real. Long-term, and perhaps permanent.
  11. agbak

    agbak New commenter

    How is the retirement going,dear hippo?
  12. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    I have a new teaching job at an international school in Sofia, starting in January, agbak.
  13. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    Congratulations! Full-time? At your age?
  14. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    At my age? Thank you very much, binaryhex. We OAPs do not always appreciate it when young whippersnappers like you go on about how senile we are. Now where did I leave my Zimmer frame?
  15. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    Once again I have to agree with the gulfgolf, I too have done the distance relationship thing and it was a tough two years, even though my partner visited on a couple of ocassions. Not something i would consider doing again.
  16. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    makhnovite likes this.
  17. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    I’m sure you have all your marbles, hippo, even if you have decided to return to work. An international school in Bulgaria is a good choice. I’ve been a few times for skiing and like it a lot, and hope to spend a month or so there skiing again in January or a February, knees willing.

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