Miner's Girl Sarah Long: not guilty your honour!
Hi! I'm Sarah Long. I arrived in Australia from the UK in early 2010 and met my Mr Miner soon after. We're based in Sydney and he does drive-in, drive-out (or DIDO) to Orange in country NSW. I came out here as part of a six-month backpacking trip around the world, and never went home!
Last week I went out with my girlfriends for dinner. As we tucked in to our pasta, pizzas and the odd bottle of wine or two, the conversation gradually came around to what I like to refer to as 'Man Moaning'. This usually includes subjects such as 'He never does the washing up', 'He's playing golf/football with his mates instead of coming away with me', 'Just once I'd like him to do something romantic' or the infamous 'Wet towels all over the bedroom!'.
I'll be the first to admit that I am as much of a man moaner as any of my friends, but this evening I felt 'The Guilt'. Maybe it's my Catholic schooling, but ever since I began dating Mr Miner I've become a bit of a pro at feeling guilt over certain things in our relationship.
Relatively small issues can give me that same nagging feeling that I used to get when Mum asked if I’d done my homework (and I'd lie and say yes!) It can happen when I ask Mr Miner to help out around the house, even though he hasn’t been home for the last four days; or when I want him to spend his time off with me, instead of with his mates. I just can't help but feel like I'm in the wrong.
So at the dinner I talked to my girlfriends about this issue of feeling guilty - using the one thing that never fails to bring on stomach-twisting feelings of guilt and anxiety: the fact that Mr Miner has moved to the city for me, and now has to drive four hours either after or before a 12-hour shift.
The girls were outraged that I felt this way. Wasn't I living on the other side of the world for him? Didn't I still have a one-and-a-half hour commute each way every day because we had moved to the same suburb as his brother? Didn't I work five days a week, every week, without the four-day break that his job afforded him?
They had a point. So later I went home, and - encouraged by several glasses of wine and their insistence that I was right - I went into a rant, full of indignation about the fact he didn't appreciate me.
As it was the early hours of the morning and he had been asleep moments earlier, he was unsurprisingly bewildered and defensive in response to my sudden onslaught. Luckily, pretty quickly the wine won out over the adrenalin and I fell asleep.
There's obviously a balance here that I seem to be lacking. I veer between feeling guilty about asking him to do things, and annoyed when he doesn't do something that's expected of him. But hey - I'm sure that's commonplace in many relationships ... not just those in mining when one works away so often.
After spending the next afternoon full of guilt that I'd woken him up when he had to drive to work the next day, I arrived home from work to find a bunch of flowers waiting for me – the first in our whole relationship.
Maybe guilt's not such a bad thing after all!
More from Sarah:
- Down days and risotto
- How I met my miner
- Making your own life in a mining town
- So what's Orange really like?
If you've got a question for Sarah or would like to tell your own tale about mining life, we'd love to hear from you. Click here!