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Married/Engaged Travel Nurses! I need your advice

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TheSiriP TheSiriP (New) New Nurse

Specializes in ICU. Has 3 years experience.

I need some serious life advice from you all! I want to be as vague as possible regarding perosnal info, but I will try my best to help paint the picture. My fiance recently took up travel nursing as the next step in her career. I understand the unbelievable opportunity this presents to someone who's young and eager for adventure. Her first assignment has been going great but unfortunately, I could not come with her because my job here is too valuable especially in these uncertain times. I wish I could travel with but that just is not possible especially as I look forward to our near future (marriage, mortgage, ext.). I cannot afford the financial instability and she mostly agrees. She is 100% okay with doing it herself. I don't want to be the controlling partner who tells someone it's me or your dream but at the same time, I can't help but feel that this move is straining our relationship. Having the girl of your dreams go by herself somewhere for over 3 months (potentially/probably more after this) is devasting on my mental well being. Maybe part of it is insecurity but while most people strive to come together I can't help but feel that this has become a long-distance relationship for reasons that are in my opinion not worth it. The simple fact is that she is prepared to do this indefinitely (up to 1 year), and has even told me that she plans on taking assignments in the future (if a great paying opportunity comes up). I would love to hear from someone who has been in a similar situation. I love her to death and have communicated this with her but on her side, it only comes across as "controlling" and one-sided. Any advice? I cannot believe our relationship is breaking because I really imagined our life together forever.

44 minutes ago, TheSiriP said:

I cannot believe our relationship is breaking because I really imagined our life together forever. 

Your attitude is unnecessarily negative. You don't know this to be true. While I'm not an expert on successful relationships, I'm pretty sure that being positive and providing support gives you your best shot.

adventure_rn, BSN

Specializes in NICU, PICU.

I'm sorry, I know that sounds really hard. There are couples who make it work, but only if they're both 110% on board, and it sounds like you have a lot of reservations. It's much easier to do as a couple if both people can travel together, but your concerns about quitting your job make a ton of sense (especially given the state of the economy and covid considerations).

Have you talked to her about your concerns? I don't think what you're describing is being clingy, and not talking about it sounds like a recipe for disaster down the road. It's also quite possible that she will begin to feel lonely the longer she travels, and decide for herself that it's not worth the strain on your relationship.

On 6/21/2020 at 6:38 PM, TheSiriP said:

The simple fact is that she is prepared to do this indefinitely (up to 1 year), and has even told me that she plans on taking assignments in the future (if a great paying opportunity comes up).

To be fair, up to one year isn't indefinitely--it's one year. One year of long-distance is tough, but having a definite conclusion might make it easier. I have a friend who is in a long-distance marriage; he's in vet school on one coast, and she's in NP school on the other. It's rough, but they make a lot of time to visit with one another, and they have a definitive date to look forward to when the separation will be over.

There are some things that you could do to try to compromise. Maybe between contracts, she can take a full month off to spend some time together. Maybe every other contract, she can choose a city that's close enough so you can drive to see each other every week. Maybe when she makes her contracts, she can require that they block her shifts together so she can have some stretches off work where she can come see you.

Unfortunately, it's also possible that she'll decide that having the freedom to travel right now is a higher priority to her than staying in the relationship. It would really suck, but coming to that realization might be better than making you wait indefinitely or stringing you along.

Regardless, it would probably be very beneficial for you to sit down and talk about it. The fact that you're not on the same page about something that so deeply affects your lives/relationship seems like a bit of a red flag to me (just my humble opinion). It definitely seems like something to figure out before you get married.

Edited by adventure_rn

I'm a travel nurse, and I am married. My husband and I think it is an awesome way to explore the USA, as he meets up with me intermittently throughout my assignment and I also go back occasionally (though it's more interesting for him to come my way). We use travel rewards cards for my expenses and whatever else, allowing him to usually fly for almost free. I have met a ton of married, engaged, or dating travel nurses. Honestly, I would say at least half of the travel nurses I've worked with at my current assignment have been married. I've also met more travel nurses with kids than you would think. We have three large dogs, I travel with one (and sometimes they all come to visit). While we have traveled apart thus far, we're in the process of creating a plan where we can travel together in the future (and possibly have just one child). It's so interesting to learn about how everyone lives their lives and meets their (similar) needs in different ways.