Jim made the transition here a few weeks ago to live with me and my family until we get an apartment. He has started a new job, but I feel that he is unhappy and wants to just return to his family. We have also had to deal with his father’s (and his) home, which was left to him and which he does not want to sell. We had agreed that we would eventually move back to that house after a year or two, but, again, I think he is already one foot out the door. I don’t want him to resent me for “taking him away” from his family and friends, especially during this difficult time. But I also don’t want to give up my only hope of us really getting onto our own two feet even if it is for only a year.
When I try to talk to him, he feels like I am putting too much pressure on him. His sisters put a lot of pressure on him, too, and he shuts down. How can we get on the same page where he doesn’t feel that I am taking him away from his family? I love his family and have agreed to move back there eventually. But I feel like I’m stuck. — Feeling Stuck
So, according to your timeline, Jim moved in with you and your parents “a few weeks ago,” which sounds roughly about the same time that his dad died unexpectedly, leaving him an orphan and with an estate to manage? I mean, of course, he’s unhappy about his current living situation. Not only did he leave his three sisters at exactly the moment he especially needs their emotional support (and vice versa!) as they grieve the sudden loss of their father, but he’s also a couple states away now from the home he has inherited and needs to manage as well as from any other final business of his father’s that he may now be responsible, or partly responsible, for. And for what? So you and he can “get on your feet” and “be on your own before moving back to his hometown and settling down in a house”? You’re living with your parents! You could move back to Jim’s hometown and have a whole house to yourself — the house he has inherited and needs to take care of.
I don’t buy that you have intentions of moving back to Jim’s hometown “in a year or two” or “eventually,” as you say. I think your hope was to get Jim to your hometown and start slowly settling in so much — in your own home, in jobs, maybe even with a baby eventually — that moving back to his hometown would be more trouble than it would be worth (or, at least, that would be your argument). Or, maybe you wanted to make sure you lived together well before committing to moving to where he lives.
At any rate, whatever plan you had that you weren’t totally honest about has to be altered now because the situation has changed. And that happens in life and marriage. You make one plan and you have to adapt to an alternate course because stuff happens to change your path — opportunities you can’t pass up, sickness, unexpected death (or births), unexpected job loss, going broke paying medical bills, the list goes on and on. You just happen to be facing one of these route-altering detours earlier than you might have expected. And now you’ve got to be honest — with yourself and with Jim — about how committed you are to him and to the future you’ve planned together. He needs to be home. He needs to be with his sisters and in the town where the house he’s now inherited is. You were planning on being there with him “eventually,” anyway, to “settle down in a house.” Well, there’s a house for you. You can settle down and “get on your feet” together now. Why wait? What’s the true hold up here? It’s truth time. It’s time for you to sacrifice your wants for Jim’s more pressing needs and concerns. That’s the “same page” you need to be on. And if you can’t join him on that page now when he especially needs you to, then perhaps he isn’t the man you should be marrying.
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