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“My Husband and I Can’t Agree on Where to Move”

New readers, welcome to Dear Wendy, a relationship advice blog. If you don’t find the info you need in this column, please visit the Dear Wendy archives or the forums (you can even start your own thread), or submit a question for advice.

I have been with my husband for four years, and married for seven months. We live almost two hours away from my family. Over the last year my sisters have started having children, and both have moved back to my hometown where my parents live. I am pretty close with my family and now that my husband and I are discussing children, it really makes me want to move back to my hometown to be near them. My husband says he has no interest in moving there and actually wants to move farther away so he can live somewhere that is warm all year long.

I don’t know how to handle this situation because I know marriage is about compromise but it feels like a losing situation. Either we move where I want to and he’s not happy, or I give in and go where he wants to and then I’m not happy. I love him and other than this issue I feel we have a good relationship. I hate to say that I can’t be happy living anywhere else, but I worry I will resent him for not wanting to live where I think I would be most happy living. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. — New Wife Wants to Move

Well, you’re right; marriage is about compromise. But what’s the compromise you’re willing to make? You’re basically saying that you want to move to your hometown and if your husband doesn’t go along with that, you’ll resent him for it. You seem to think the only options you have are to move where you want to move or move where your husband wants to move. I say, why do you have to move at all? Wouldn’t a compromise mean staying in a neutral spot where neither of you feels like you’re sacrificing what you want solely for the other person? Stay where you are and you’re still just two hours from your family. Two hours is nothing. You and your family could meet halfway every weekend if you wanted. Or you could take your future children to your hometown for a weekend trip once a month, easily, and your sisters could bring their kids to visit you once a month.

Tell your husband that if he agrees to stay where you currently live so you’re an easy commute to your family, you’ll be happy vacationing somewhere warm every winter — wherever he wants to go. Explain to him how important it is to be close to your family, especially since you two hope to have children, and you’d love for them to be near their grandparents and cousins. For a compromise, discuss the possibility of retiring some place warm once your kids are grown. Marriage — at least when it’s done successfully — isn’t some short-term thing. It’s (hopefully) for many decades. What you decide for your life right now or even for the next 20 years doesn’t have to be forever. You can raise a family in one location and then move to an entirely different location years from now. Newsflash: you can move whenever you want to move. You don’t have to decide where you’ll spend the rest of your married life right now.

So unless there’s some inciting incident that requires immediate decision-making — like a job offer in another part of the country — stay put. You’ve been married only seven months. Focus on smoothing the transition into married life before you worry about where you’re going to raise the children you haven’t even started trying to conceive yet. Enjoy being an aunt; enjoy being a wife. Increase your visits to your family if you miss the close connection with them. But put talks of moving on hold for now. And practice the art of comprise on smaller issues, like what to eat for dinner and whether to see “Moonrise Kingdom” or “The Dark Knight Rises” at the theater this weekend.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter and ‘like’ me on Facebook.

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{ 118 comments… add one }

Fabelle Fabelle August 9, 2012, 9:05 am

You lovee that stock photo, Wendy ;)

Dear Wendy Wendy August 9, 2012, 9:14 am

To cheap to purchase a new one!

katie katie August 9, 2012, 9:18 am

you should start dressing jackson up to suit the themes of the letters. that would be amazing.

avatar EttaKit August 9, 2012, 9:32 am

I think Wendy, Drew, and Jackson should recreate stock photos so she doesn’t have to buy them. Some of those photos are ridiculous.

MaterialsGirl MaterialsGirl August 9, 2012, 9:51 am

That would be awesome. Get little hats and make bubble thoughts? Adorable!

avatar iseeshiny August 9, 2012, 10:18 am

omg Jackson’s gummy smile for the questions about teeth!

avatar 6napkinburger August 9, 2012, 2:32 pm

It really is sort of ridiculous that teeth questions come up so frequently, there is a need for such a picture. :-)

Fabelle Fabelle August 9, 2012, 9:06 am

Also, obviously– great advice. The LW says marriage is all about compromise, then sounds as if she thinks there are ONLY two options. Compromise is about meeting in the middle as best you can, not agreeing to something you don’t want & resenting your partner for it.

avatar kerrycontrary August 9, 2012, 9:13 am

I get what Wendy’s saying that they don’t need to decide where to live for forever right now, and I agree that 2 hours is a good distance to be from family. But when it comes to having children it is a LOT more convenient to have family in the same town as you. Growing up I never had babysitters, I only had family watch me. And we always had family members around to pick up someone from soccer or drop 3 cousins off at hockey. I think what the LW is talking about is the potential that her kids will see their cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents once a month versus on a daily or weekly basis. And if she is the primary caregiver this can make a big difference.

avatar Temperance August 9, 2012, 11:26 pm

I had the same experience, and I think that I missed out on a lot by only having family caregivers, honestly. I could have used the socialized boost from day care.

avatar Temperance August 10, 2012, 12:26 am

SOCIALIZATION BOOST. I fail.

avatar oldie August 9, 2012, 9:14 am

Also, besides going to a place where he doesn’t want to live, LW is really demanding that her husband live a life which will be smothered by her family. That needs to be part of the discussion. How much of the life she sees for them is her back with her parents and sisters and him as the fifth wheel? How does husband get along with LW family? How well do they treat him? Do husband and LW’s sisters and their husbands have anything in common?

Fabelle Fabelle August 9, 2012, 9:41 am

This. It sort of reminds me of that other letter a while back, with the LW essentially in the spot this LW’s husband would be if they wound up moving to her hometown (hope somebody remembers what I’m talking about, because I can’t figure out a way to phrase this more clearly…)

avatar jlyfsh August 9, 2012, 9:52 am

yes, they were engaged i believe and he wanted to stay put near his family and didn’t want to move. while she wanted to move (not to be close to her family but for better job prospects) and he said he was never moving.

personally i can see wanting to be close to family but i wouldn’t want to do it at the expense of my husband’s happiness. we live about 7 hours from our families now and i would take a 2 hour commute to see them any day! :)

avatar Anna August 9, 2012, 11:20 am

As a self-described “one woman island,” I couldn’t agree with you more, oldie. When I was with my ex, our biggest difference was that he was very close to his family and I don’t really like mine all that much. He pretty much required a weekly visit with them. His family was great and I really liked them but sometimes I just really wanted it to be about OUR little family rather than some larger family that I’m not really a part of.

avatar ele4phant August 10, 2012, 1:16 am

My BF’s parents are two of the most lovely people in the world. I couldn’t imagine two more loving, kind, and welcoming people.

But the fact of the matter is, they are not the same as my family. Even if we become “family” some day, they will always approach life a little differently than I was taught, that bond will never quite be the same for me as it is for my boyfriend. I just don’t want to spend as much time with them as he does, and I know he feels the same about my family. We are both close with our families, we both like each others’ family, but we both want a little bit of space.

Thus far, we’ve been able to compromise. I don’t go with him every time to visit with his family, and he doesn’t come to every single one of my family functions. Neither of us gets pissy or demands more regular attendance from the other.

avatar MarkD August 9, 2012, 9:17 am

They have jobs where they can just move? Amazing.

avatar ele4phant August 9, 2012, 11:40 am

I know seriously! Talk about lucky ducks!

avatar Rachel August 9, 2012, 12:11 pm

And move where they want, no less!

katie katie August 9, 2012, 9:18 am

i was wondering as i read the letter- why do you need to move anyway?

moving where your family is (vs. where your partners family is) will always be a point of contention. when my boyfriend and i graduated college, we both got a job, at the same place actually, in my home state. we didnt plan it- we were applying all over the country and actually came very close to moving to murtle beach! so we were about an hour away from my mom, but in my home state- and his mother was LIVID. absolutely livid. and i felt so bad for my mom, she really tried not to “act” excited at graduation when they were all there together and told his parents that she would be there for us when we needed anything, ect… and his mom was just terrible to my mom. it was sad.

so, i wonder- what about his family? you are so worried about being by your family when you start having kids- what about his? how are you going to formulate a plan to include both families in the kids life? that seems to be a much more pertinent issue then living in a warm place… i wonder if that is just an excuse not to go closer to your family.. and also, two hours really is nothing. it would be very easy for your kids to have great relationships with your family 2 hours away. my grandma lived states away from us when we were kids and we had a great relationship with her, and also you could live in the same town as your family and still only see them once a month if you dont put in effort… so dont worry so much about the distance between the families. worry more about how you will bring all the family (both sides) together and into your kids life.

avatar 6napkinburger August 9, 2012, 1:15 pm

this. My Mom was SO jealous of my now -ex’s family, because we saw them all the time as they only lived a (longish) subway ride away, whereas my parents were several states away.

When we had a “meet the family” meal at my bf’s and my apartment (we lived together), my mom basically told me that she had to be the one helping to set up, that she was not ok with his mom “welcoming” my mom and my dad into our apartment; she’d be damned if she felt like a guest. Turns out his mom had the same idea and there was a giant shitstorm over who was going to arrive at my apartment first, because the second to arrive was the “guest.” And his mom brought something homemade even though we asked her not to because it would make my mom feel bad because she couldn’t (she was in town for an event) and my mom wouldn’t stop cleaning up/setting things up in the kitchen. It was bad.

I’m sure a lot of people will call my mom immature, and true, that was not her shining moment. But I really did understand — we saw them all the time and she felt she had to stake a claim. His mom’s refusal NOT to bring homemade food really rubbed me the wrong way too.

katie katie August 9, 2012, 2:32 pm

that sounds like two of my boyfriends mom- i could not handle that… wow. luckily, my mom is cool and just rolls with it, and i highly doubt will hold any resentment over that first meeting if/when we get married. i seriously couldnt handle it if that was being thrown at me from both sides. i commend you. lol

avatar BreezyAM February 21, 2013, 5:54 pm

both the moms sound immature. it was YOUR damned apartment.

Skyblossom Skyblossom August 9, 2012, 9:20 am

Wendy definitely has good advice here.

As a couple you will have to work out how you solve issues when you don’t agree. Some couples go with the spouse who feels most strongly, some couples go with the spouse that is most dominant, some couple work things out other ways. My husband and I eliminate any option either of us doesn’t like. In this case that means we would eliminate moving to your hometown and also moving a long distance south. So what’s left? Everything in between. You can stay where you are as Wendy mentioned. You could move a little closer to your parents. You could move closer to his parents if you get along with them. You could look for your favorite town in the area where you live and choose it. You could look at all of the area school districts and choose a home in one that has great schools. You could look at commuting time and decide what is a reasonable drive for each of you and choose a home in the area that meets your driving needs. You have lots of options left so try to not get into a fight over the options that either one of you dislikes.

I think it is important to remember that when you married your husband he became your primary family and your parents and sisters became your extended family. Finding a workable solution with your husband should be your priority. If you have children and you find you need more help then, at that time, you could discuss moving closer to the family of one of you, realizing it could be his family you would live near.

katie katie August 9, 2012, 9:23 am

very good to point out that the husband is the primary family member now… i really wish that was much more clearly explained or known during the wedding/ceremony/general societal attitudes on weddings. some people use the “giving away of the bride” as that, but i dont really think that many people truly understand it. maybe, at only seven months into the marriage, she hasnt come to terms with that yet.

avatar bethany August 9, 2012, 9:55 am

I fully agree with you about the husband becoming your primary family. I think people don’t quite understand that all the time when they get married!

avatar DebMoore August 9, 2012, 4:52 pm

Would someone please explain that to my family! It’s hard because I work with several of them and they just don’t understand that my husband, and daughter and I are a family and do not want to do EVERYTHING with them. I have had to tell them no you are not invited to go on vacation with us, it was local so they didn’t understand why they couldn’t “stop by”.

Astronomer Astronomer August 9, 2012, 6:04 pm

Wow, I love the way you and your husband solve problems. I’m going to suggest the “eliminate the options you don’t like” method the next time we have a problem to solve with no clear answer. I suspect that my husband is often too agreeable because he wants to make me happy and doesn’t consider his own opinion as much as he should. So then I consider what I think is his opinion instead of just thinking about what I want. We end up going in circles!

We did use a similar method when we were apartment hunting recently. We each gave the other person veto power over any place for any reason, and we each ended up vetoing a place the other person liked. In the end, we found a condo to rent that is absolutely perfect for both of us, so it worked really well. However, I think I like your way better because “veto” is such a strong word.

avatar ktfran August 9, 2012, 9:33 am

I think Wendy’s advice is spot on.

And LW, let me reassure you. Two hours really is nothing. Two of my mom’s sisters lived two hours away from us. We spent A LOT of time with them growing up. Holidays, weeks at a time in the summer, a weekend here or there. We would also do as Wendy suggested, and meet in a town halfway between us for an afternoon. You know what? I still have an amazing relationship with all my cousins. We’re all 26+ in age and four out of the seven of us live within 2 miles of one another. Three of them went to the same college. We all visit. E-mail. Chat. Text.

I guess what I’m saying is, you can make it work. You just have to want to make it work.

Budj Budj August 9, 2012, 9:36 am

So this is only because the LW’s husband wants “to move someplace warm”, but I think it’s a little ridiculous if he isn’t concerned about being close to his family that he won’t live close to her family? That still leaves room for future places of living and also leaves room for warm vacation compromises…with added benefit of easier child rearing…

If this was a battle between two families I could see splitting the difference to make everyone happy, but it is about “living some place warm”……I don’t know. Maybe I’m crazy.

Budj Budj August 9, 2012, 9:46 am

for comparison – “someplace warm” also falls below “job prospects” and even “social life issues” in the hierarchy of most important things to decide on where to live.

avatar MJ August 9, 2012, 10:18 am

Yeah, people seem to have this weird idea that if they move somewhere warm, things will be great. Um, no. As someone who grew up in Florida, it’s just like everywhere else. You’ve got the same problems and issues that you had before you moved, just without a lot of family to support you.

I get wanting to live in the climate you like best; I don’t get sacrificing family and friends and support to be able to do it.

avatar Desiree August 9, 2012, 10:57 am

I think it can be a legitimate concern. My fiance grew up in LA, and I think he would be significantly less happy in a cold climate. He is the sort of person who would push passed it and focus on other factors, but I know he would prefer a warm climate.

avatar zombeyonce August 9, 2012, 11:53 am

I’m the opposite, so I get it. I hate the heat and I was miserable living in central California for years. Being hot year round (my perfect outside temperature tops out at 70) made everything else harder to deal with. I’m living happily in cool, wonderfully rainy Portland now and being able to enjoy the outdoors without being slathered in sunscreen and still getting sunburnt is heavenly. And being able to see green outside my office window (instead of a lot of brown, dead grass) makes the day more pleasant, too.

avatar brendapie August 9, 2012, 1:51 pm

For me it would be a dealbreaker. I can’t stand warm weather and I get very uncomfortable once the temperature reaches the high 60s. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and the weather here is just right for me. Although the warmest months of the year are coming up and I’m actually getting a bit grumpy thinking about it.

I would only seriously contemplate moving to Washington (state) or England. The climates there are perfect for me although I do know it can get unseasonably warm just about anywhere. I can compromise on just about everything but a mild climate is something that I would have a very difficult time negotiating about.

avatar Flanagan.er August 9, 2012, 4:34 pm

Our absolutely right. I was being super dismissive of this guy’s desire in my head, but that’s because the idea of moving somewhere warm is ludicrous to me. I have inverse s.a.d. or something.

But if you reverse it, and the argument were be to move away from somewhere cold (since I wouldnt be living somewhere warm to begin with), I just couldn’t do it. My quality of life would plummet. Even this summer in Boston, with an air conditioner in my room, and the office, has been totally miserable, and I’ve been counting down the days until fall

avatar ele4phant August 9, 2012, 6:23 pm

I agree. There are certain health conditions that are more manageable in warmer weather. From physical ailments like rheumatoid arthritis to seasonal disorder, there numerous situations were living somewhere warm and sunny can make life tolerable. The LW doesn’t specify any ailments in this letter, so its entirely possible there is no health reason that makes her husband want to live somewhere warm.

Even so, some people are very affected by their environmental surroundings. I grew up by the ocean, and I know in the few stints where I’ve lived away from a major body of water that such a setting is a no-go for me. It literally feels like something is missing inside me to not see water everyday. I grew up in a small town, and while I now love the city, many of my friends from growing up literally become claustrophobic in cities.

I think its a bit dismissive that just because some commenters find their physical surroundings to be less important to their happiness than things like family, social life, and job prospects that everybody else should have the same priorities.

Obviously, to assume moving to Hawaii or wherever guarantees a perfect life is ridiculous, but if people want to be living in a specific setting, so be it.

Besides, living somewhere that is warm all year round is not that limiting. There is a wide swath to choose from in this country.

avatar Temperance August 9, 2012, 11:36 pm

I have serious fall allergies – I’m allergic to the mold that grows on the rotting leaves. So when people talk about OMGSEASONS! and FALLFOLIAGE! I want to shank them, because it’s my own personal hell. I actually freaked at Mr. Temperance for suggesting a September wedding (“don’t you know how puffy my eyes will be in the photos? I don’t want to wheeze at my own wedding! You find my asthma cough disgusting … picture that during vows”) for this reason.

It always boggles my mind when people want to be cold. I guess because there are so many problems I see with cold weather in PA beyond my serious allergies, but like … I dream of living near the ocean, and definitely NOT in New Jersey.

avatar Anna August 9, 2012, 11:27 am

As someone who grew up right here in Ohio, I can assure you that life’s problems and issues seem 100x worse when it’s 12 degrees with -10 wind chill, you have to drive to work in a foot of snow, and you haven’t seen the sun in 3 months.

I guess I see it differently since I don’t have a supportive family. If I could afford to move to the beach, I would. I just can’t because warm beachy locations are super expensive to live in, whereas NE Ohio is just about as cheap as you can get.

avatar zombeyonce August 9, 2012, 11:50 am

AND you have to pay for air conditioning.

avatar Temperance August 10, 2012, 12:29 am

I always forget that other people have nice families who help them out. Mine would just steamroll me and never let me parent my own damn kid, and my ILs would just want us to support them. lol.

avatar Addie Pray August 9, 2012, 10:46 am

My first thought when I read this were: holy hell did you guys not talk about this before you got married? I was expecting to see a link to Wendy’s list of things you should discuss before tying the knot. But ok so either way they obviously made no decisions re: where to live, so my next thought was how old are they and does the husband not want to move to her town “right now” or “ever”? If they are young and pre-babies and whatnot, I could see wanting to move around, try out different towns, etc.

But, Budj, I tend to agree – I think family trumps “someplace warm,” mostly on account of I usually hate all “someplaces warm,” unless it’s for, like, a week and I’m with friends and it’s all inclusive. Then I like someplaces warm.

Budj Budj August 9, 2012, 10:50 am

What I took from the letter was “not ever” to moving towards family. I can understand doing their thing for a bit prior to though….but that also means uprooting / both of them finding jobs…getting established…and then if they are mid to late 20′s just about the time they get comfortable she would want to do that all over again to go back to home when it was baby popping time…I just say stay where you are or move closer to her home or move closer to her home later if they like where they are at now.

bagge72 bagge72 August 9, 2012, 11:31 am

Yeah I also think if you are staying where you are, you might as well just move closer to family, beacuse the climate is probably the same… unless he really does have a problem with her family that we don’t know about.

avatar Desiree August 9, 2012, 10:48 am

I suspect “living someplace warm” is the husband’s cover excuse for “I don’t want to be smothered by your family.” For every person that would love to live 5 min from family, there is another person who prefers at least a *little* more space than that. The husband for whatever reason (didn’t grow up with a close knit family himself; isn’t crazy about his mother-in-law; thinks his wife acts differently around her sisters; etc.) may not wish to be THAT close to his wife’s family. Those can be perfectly legitimate feelings. My dad would never have wanted to live in the same town with my mom’s family (although I think my mom completely understood why).

Budj Budj August 9, 2012, 10:52 am

Perfectly plausible…but I don’t think it’s a good sign he wouldn’t just say that.

avatar Desiree August 9, 2012, 10:55 am

Perhaps not. Yet, it’s hard to tell someone with a super close family, “I don’t want to be that near to your family.” Some people are so family-focused that the thought would be inconceivable. There is also the inevitable, “Why? What’s wrong with my family?” Etc. etc. Obviously, the conversation SHOULDN’T go like that, but it’s easy for me to imagine that it could, particularly since this couple is still in the first year of marriage.

Budj Budj August 9, 2012, 11:00 am

haha true… as other poster’s have mentioned this definitely should have gotten brought up before marriage. and she needs to be understanding of his side because this seems to be something she never considered until after her siblings started getting pregnant / after she got married.

avatar Temperance August 9, 2012, 11:40 pm

Yep. I have had this conversation with friends, and THEY can’t understand why I wouldn’t allow my MIL to live with us in the future, or why I am so happy that there is a 2.5 distance between us and our parents. They take it as a personal insult that I don’t want a super close family.

My last boyfriend, prior to Mr. Temperance, had an obnoxiously close family, and I HATED it. They vacationed together, had dinner together several times per week, went to church together weekly, etc. I like my vacation sex, my privacy, and not having family weighing in on every decision I make … he did not agree, lol. He thought that his father was the smartest man alive, and talked to him about EVERYTHING. It was a turnoff for me, and the reason we are not together.

avatar ele4phant August 9, 2012, 11:44 am

Not everybody prioritizes family the same way, and that’s okay. Just because for you family is more important than the surrounding environment as far as where you want to live doesn’t mean it has to be the standard for everyone else.

avatar Temperance August 9, 2012, 11:32 pm

Eh, I think it’s valid. I don’t want to live near my family, but I absolutely under NO CIRCUMSTANCES EVER do not want to live near my in laws. OMG NO. They’re the worst. I want to live with Mr. Temperance, and our kids if we have them, and not have to worry about his crazy family trying to roll me over on parenting choices … or worry about my own mom doing same (which she’s doing to my pregnant sister right now, so it’s not that bizarre that I’m concerned … so far, my mom has tried to get her to move back home, get her to change her wedding date, get her to change my niece’s name to a family name … she’s fucking nutballs).

MaterialsGirl MaterialsGirl August 9, 2012, 9:52 am

I liked Moonrise Kingdom a lot. It was a pretty joyful experience. I do need to see the Batman movie, though

avatar anonymous August 9, 2012, 11:50 am

Good to hear! Out of curiosity, though, what does this have to do with the letter?

Red_Lady Red_Lady August 9, 2012, 12:48 pm

Read the last line of Wendy’s advice

avatar Rachel August 9, 2012, 12:16 pm

Ooh, good, I’ve been wanting to see that. I really enjoyed the Batman movie btw. :)

MaterialsGirl MaterialsGirl August 9, 2012, 5:05 pm

We played Slate’s Wes Anderson Bingo while seeing it in the theater. I believe we made a few people mad with our shrieking!

BriarRose BriarRose August 9, 2012, 9:53 am

Two hours really is nothing. I live in NC and my family is in CA. I would love to be just two hours away from them. That’s plenty close to visit on the weekend and holidays. During the week, I assume you are busy with jobs and your own lives, so you wouldn’t be going to see your parents on a random Thursday night regardless of if you lived in the same town. And as a married couple, you need to focus on the family you and your husband are creating together. Yes, your parents and siblings will always be your family, but your husband and future kids should be your priority. Living that close to in-laws when one spouse doesn’t want to is just a recipe for disaster. He will probably resent you even more than you’ll resent him if you moved farther away.

Stay where you are. Save the money you would have spent on moving for when you have kids someday, because they’re really expensive!

avatar jlyfsh August 9, 2012, 9:58 am

i always wonder when Wendy gets these letters if people talked about any of these things before they got married.

i agree with Wendy that you both are missing the fact that the compromise would be to neither move somewhere completely different just for a different climate or to move back home. have you even researched these areas for job prospects, housing, schools? how feasible is it to move your careers. do you have a support system of friends where you are?

in the grand scheme of things 2 hours is nothing. sure your parents can’t come over to baby-sit at the drop of a hat. but, it’s close enough where as your children age they could easily go to grandma’s for the weekend. or make the compromise of getting a house with enough bedrooms that you always have a place for guests to stay so your parents can come and stay with you some (as well as his).

avatar kerrycontrary August 9, 2012, 10:12 am

Same. I just shake my head when Wendy gets these letters about issues that were clearly not discussed before marriage (and they are HUGE issues).

avatar spark_plug August 9, 2012, 10:48 am

Ugh, I”d be on of those people. I am SOOOO happy I found this website, my relationship IQ has went through the roof after reading for a while.

avatar Jiggs August 9, 2012, 11:49 pm

People’s priorities and feelings also change (especially in younger marriages). My husband and I did not have a firm 10 year plan or anything when we got married. We were 23 and 26 at the time. We still don’t have a 10 year plan! We agreed on things like “well we want to move around for a while” and “we want to do some long term travelling”. But it’s not impossible that we might find ourselves in a similar position in 5 or 6 years, looking for somewhere to settle down.

(This is also why young marriages tend to have higher divorce rates, but we went ahead and rolled those dice.)

fast eddie fast eddie August 9, 2012, 10:34 am

My family was nomadic thus we all lived 1,000 miles or more apart. When we did get together, once or twice a year, we made to most of it. That worked for us even with kids, all pre cell phones and internet, so I don’t get why this is an issue.

theattack theattack August 9, 2012, 12:45 pm

Many people want to live near their families when they’re thinking about having children. I know I’ll want that when the day comes. I wouldn’t trust a day care, and my mom would do anything she could for her future grandchildren. I think the extra help with babysitting is one major benefit, and for new parents, they might want their own parents around to teach them about new things they haven’t encountered yet.

fast eddie fast eddie August 9, 2012, 6:45 pm

I hear ya attack, it was totally different in the 40-50s. Mothers of small children didn’t work outside the home unless they were lucky enough to have someone they trusted to watch the kids. Life was simpler then with less expectations and a lot lower living expenses. Most households had only one car and public transportation was far better then it is now. I was 12 years old when we bought our first TV to watch the only channel (1) available in northern Florida, take it or leave it. We had am radio, a newspaper (1), magazines and movies for information and entertainment. Few homes had air conditioning or a private phone line. Families were tightly knit no matter how dysfunctional they were.

I’m not saying it was better, rather we survived it. There isn’t much I miss about those days, except the gas prices. I still feel it’s outrageous to pay more then 30 cents a gallon.

avatar Bossy Italian Wife August 9, 2012, 10:43 am

I can’t believe this wasn’t discussed pre-marriage, as others have expressed on here. This is a major issue… but Wendy is right, you haven’t got to move, have you? And two hours is pretty close… heck, my sister in law lives in Scotland for god’s sake! Count your lucky stars you can get in a car and see your family.

If you feel like moving back to your hometown is a deal breaker, count yourself lucky your don’t have any children yet, get a divorce and MOA! But if you really want to be married, then find a compromise that works for both of you–not just one of you. There is a big wide world out there, and lots of options. You have only shone light on two of them. Sheesh.

bittergaymark bittergaymark August 9, 2012, 10:55 am

Paraphrasing for clarity: “I thought marriage was all about compromise… So how come he won’t do what I demand we do?”

Huh? Again, that this was NOT discussed before your nuptials is rather amazing to me. But then, considering how vapid most people seem to be lately, I guess it’s not THAT surprising…

PS: As somebody who now does live where it’s warm all year — I can very much see the appeal. But again… Neither of you discussed this? Seriously?

avatar Desiree August 9, 2012, 11:01 am

I think the LW is seeing this issue as black and white (“my way or his way”), which is the antithesis of compromise. The obvious immediate compromise would be to not move at all, but I’m sure there are more creative options as well. She needs to revisit the definition of compromise and then have an open conversation with her spouse.

bagge72 bagge72 August 9, 2012, 1:18 pm

I think she is saying that marriage is suppose to be about compromise, but she doesn’t see away either of them could compromise on this situation, which is just terrible that neither of them are budging for the other. She’s says things are pretty great otherwise, and I have to assume that is because they are newly married, and no other big issues have come up. I hope they actually discussed the kid thing before they got married, because if they didn’t and he doesn’t want them, that will be an ever bigger problem, but nothing she can’t handle with a pin needle to the condom, and sometime off of BC.

avatar ktfran August 9, 2012, 1:47 pm

I’m on public transportation right now and I lol’s at your last line. Too funny.

avatar ktfran August 9, 2012, 1:48 pm

* lol’d

Alena Alena August 9, 2012, 11:02 am

Wow. This is so incredibly like my situation right now. As in, it literally blew up last night. Like them, everything between us other than where we want to live is basically perfect. I was seriously considering asking about it on the forum. I’m not sure I need answers though, maybe just support. This is harder than I ever imagined.

Differences are: we’ve been dating nearly four years, and we’re not married. Bf is currently in England working on his masters, which will be done in 2 months. The plan was to move in together once he got back and we got jobs somewhere else. I was game to move almost anywhere in the USA, or even parts of Canada, but suddenly he’s gotten it in his head that he wants to stay in the UK.

He may get some job benefits if he gets a job there, such as more worker protection, can’t be forced to work as many hours as he could in the USA, etc. We’d also get free healthcare. But… if I go, that means I’d have to pay for grad school, which could be 12,000-15,000 euros per year, for four years. Whereas if I stayed in the USA, I’d likely be paid a small stipend ($15,000-$25,000 per year, depending on if I go for masters or PhD, and where I go to school). Another major issue is that of the medications I’m on, one of them CANNOT be gotten outside of the USA and Canada. If I switch, it means it will likely be sick trying to find a new one that works, and I will likely have to go back to one that makes my resting heart rate end up around 140 beats per minute (which makes me a little sick, and is just exhausting).

This f***ing sucks. I am so confused and conflicted right now.

avatar Desiree August 9, 2012, 11:14 am

Your situation is really different. Your boyfriend is asking you to cross the ocean. You have mentioned some practical difficulties (school, medication), but I must imagine there will be personal difficulties as well (missing family and friends). My instinctive reaction is, “Don’t move!!!” but I’m not sitting where you are, with a four-year relationship on the line. So, two things: 1) review Wendy’s advice about moving for love; review it *very* carefully, since you’ll be switching countries, not just cities or states 2) before you commit to moving to the UK, you need to have a lot of deep discussions regarding the future with your boyfriend. Is marriage something you both want? Would he help with your extra educational costs? And (most importantly) what’s the longterm plan here? Moving to another country cannot always be transformed into a permanent situation for legal reasons, so there is a lot to consider. Good luck!!!

avatar jlyfsh August 9, 2012, 11:19 am

That sucks, I’m sorry :(

I’m not sure I would even have any advice other than to communicate your concerns to him.

Also I don’t know about your bf but my husband is very numbers/facts driven. So when I really want to make a point I make a pros and cons list and share it with him. It helps us have actual conversations about whatever is going on. I used to get really upset because I couldn’t articulate myself well enough when talking to him and this really helped.

avatar oldie August 9, 2012, 11:24 am

If he is a US citizen, he will likely not be eligible for most jobs in U.K. Likely neither will you. Same about moving to Canada.

Alena Alena August 9, 2012, 11:49 am

Funny thing is, I’ve visited there 3 times while he’s been there (I don’t have a job, don’t currently have many expenses, and had some savings. Plus I lucked out on cheap tickets.) I’ve met a few American and Canadian citizens who just up and moved to the UK just because they could, and got jobs. Some of them didn’t go to college, they just moved overseas. But in the past 20 minutes, the matter has been decided that he’ll move back here. Perhaps someday we’ll look into moving, once I’m done with school.

katie katie August 9, 2012, 1:18 pm

i dunno, im pretty sure oldie is right. i looked into moving to ireland and austrailia, and it isn’t just an up-and-move situation.. you have to have the correct job, your job has to sponser you, you need a visa, ect.. people moving to austrailia (which i realize isn’t the UK) usually hire a lawyer to handle all the paperwork. its really quite complicated.

avatar Lucy August 9, 2012, 4:24 pm

It is extremely difficult to get a legit UK work visa unless you are in certain very specific situation (e.g. your parent was a UK citizen, or you have a corporate sponsor, etc.) People who just up and move there without meeting the criteria may be paid under the table, or they may have fake docs (surprisingly common). I had a Kiwi employee over there who turned out to be illegal after he’d been working for me for four years, and it was pure chance we found out.

If it weren’t for the medical issue, I would encourage you to try the UK. I lived there for several years and it was fun. I had a similar medication issue that I addressed by having my family fill and ship prescriptions, but that might not work for you.

katie katie August 9, 2012, 4:41 pm

i had two friends who just up and went to france for a summer… and they found jobs that paid under the table. its probably just as common in other countries as it is here in the USA… anyway, once she told me that the work-visa authorities came to her restaurant and did a raid, and she had to like run away through the back door and stuff… lol.

yea. its hard to move to another country, at least doing it the legit way.

avatar Temperance August 9, 2012, 11:47 pm

I have some experience in immigration. With the issues that the UK is having, those people probably didn’t have proper, legal jobs.

I”m glad that it’s been decided, and that you can maintain your health!!!

avatar Temperance August 9, 2012, 11:45 pm

This is different because he changed his mind. Your BF is like the LW – it sounds like she decided that she needed to live near her family after her sisters got pregnant, just like he decided to stay in the UK.

YOu should not get saddled with $100k in debt because he “might” get some “worker protections”. That’s fucking horseshit. Tell him that he’s being a selfish git, and that if he loves the UK so much, you can think about it AFTER you graduate. PERIOD.

avatar Lindsay August 9, 2012, 11:11 am

Wendy’s advice is exactly what I was thinking throughout the entire letter. It makes me wonder if the LW has ever compromised on anything because she seems to have no clue what it means. Looking at every decision as a lose-lose situation is going to make for a very unhappy marriage. The thing about marriage is that you can’t make every decision on your own anymore. You may see your sisters moving home and want to do the same, but you have another person to think about. Wendy is right; two hours is not that far. Be grateful for that and the fact that you’re not farther away.

avatar stilgar666 August 9, 2012, 11:21 am

It’s probably just me, but some women these days are really hung up on their family. Like, have to still live really close to parents and siblings.

Read between the lines…he doesn’t want to be smothered by LW’s family. Would the LW want to hang out with his family all the time?

And the LW got married without understanding compromise.

avatar jlyfsh August 9, 2012, 11:27 am

i think it’s unfair to say it’s just women i know plenty of men who want to be close to their family. my husband didn’t care one way or the other until he became an Uncle. now he wishes we did live closer.

i think for a lot of people (or maybe it’s just me and the people i know) as the age and see their parents/extended family aging they realize they don’t have forever to spend with them. but, i think a lot of that has to do with how you grew up as well. how much your family respects your marriage also plays in to that. you can live in the same place as them and have them not smother you.

avatar 6napkinburger August 9, 2012, 2:00 pm

Sorry, a pet peeve of mine, but she didn’t say it’s just women who do this. She just said that(it seems to her that) some women are doing X. That doesn’t imply that men don’t do it or all women do. She’s just talking about a specific group of women.

But I like you!

avatar kerrycontrary August 9, 2012, 11:27 am

I don’t understand what is wrong with wanting to live close to your family though? For most of human history people have lived close to their families. They can provide support that friends either can’t or aren’t willing to (if you have a good family).

avatar bethany August 9, 2012, 11:42 am

I never really got the whole “live where your family lives” thing, because I grew up 5 hours away from my closest family member. It has it’s pros and cons, just like anything else.
Sure, I miss them, but I also appreciate the time I spend with them a lot more than if I saw them every weekend. We also get left out of a lot of family drama, which is nice!!

Red_Lady Red_Lady August 9, 2012, 1:00 pm

It is nice to live near your family, but some families are just smothering! I have a friend whose in-laws insist on seeing them EVERY weekend. Their Saturdays are pretty much always reserved for the in-laws, which doesn’t really give them time to see other people. I love my family, and usually see them once or twice a month (same w/ my in-laws) but I really can’t imagine seeing them every single week. There are other people in my life that I like to spend time with. I’m sure it will probably change once we have kids, but for now, I’m good w/ just talking w/ my mom on the phone regularly, and seeing them occasionally.

avatar Temperance August 10, 2012, 12:32 am

That is my own personal hell. OMG.

avatar oldie August 9, 2012, 1:08 pm

When you live close to one set of parents, that family and it’s culture can dominate your new family. The spouse who is far from own parents and close to in-laws can get constantly double-teamed about what is the right way to do everything.

LW’s husband fell in love with LW, as she existed as an adult. That doesn’t mean he loves the life of his in-laws or thinks he can stand huge doses of them for the duration of his children’s growing-up years, aka the next quarter century. Some in-laws work okay for several times a year visits, but not for spending multiple days a week together, with constant drop-ins back and forth.

My wife and I grew up in the same small city, so both parents were here. Her parents both considered themselves the most perfect people in the world and would credit the possible correctness or value of anything we did that differed from exactly what they would do. It would have been rough, possibly a deal breaker for me, if I were moving to a city to be with those in-laws and away from my friends, family, and current house. Happily, my wife found their antics more dismaying than I did and distanced herself to the point I’d have to remind her that it really was past time to phone home. They belittled her more than they did me, although I got enough to find them really off-putting.

avatar Temperance August 9, 2012, 11:51 pm

Your comment is strange to me, but only because I have received way better, no strings support from good friends than family. Maybe family in Scranton just sucks ass, but that’s how it is for everyone I know and grew up with. There is also the whole obligation thing to family that doesn’t exist for friends .. getting to love people that you choose to love is a powerful thing, rather than being forced to merely tolerate and take care of people who suck ass.

avatar Bossy Italian Wife August 9, 2012, 12:14 pm

There isn’t anything wrong with wanting to be close to your family; nor is this a trait of women. I do believe, however, that if your intention is to ultimately settle where your family is because that is your value, it’s important to be up front about that in the relationship.

My husband and I live a mile from his parents (we have for nearly 9 years now) and my mom and dad live 30 minutes away (in different directions). My mother has now expressed interest in living closer to us if we have kids so that she can help provide care for our child at the drop of a hat. My husband and I think it’s great! We are very into our families and while we have a large circle of friends we socialize with, our families are always included in our social events.

That is how some people roll… if you are on board for that, then your spouse should know that up front. They sound like they not only didn’t have a conversation about where to live but also the importance of family in their immediate lives!

avatar Temperance August 9, 2012, 11:48 pm

I think it is just you, because I’ve met a lot of men who are this way. My ex, in fact, was this way, and it’s why we broke up. I could not handle the fact that a grown ass man would run to his daddy for advice about things that he should have handled himself.

FireStar FireStar August 9, 2012, 11:39 am

It really does seem to be your way or highway of resentment. Maybe you guys want to buy a book on navigating issues in a marriage or something?
My husband loves him some Texas – loves Austin – loves the people – loves the weather. I have my own business and am not oh so mobile and I love living in Canada and would want to raise my kids here. I don’t know a soul in Austin – but I’m going to visit next month on a fact finding mission and maybe we can get another property there and be a little back and forth …and I’ve already agreed that we can retire there to escape winters since he loves it so much whereas my ideal retirement involves an island somewhere in the tropics where I can have a mango tree in my front yard. It isn’t all or nothing. It’s a little bit of what everyone wants spread out over the course of our lives together. Ultimately, my home is where he is – his home is where I am and no one resents anything about that.

avatar Sheryl August 9, 2012, 11:40 am

The way I read it, staying where they are isn’t a compromise either, it’s a “if I can’t have what I want, then neither can you” situation. They aren’t somewhere warm now, and they aren’t going to reap the benefits of living in the same town with a huge support system (I know to someone with parents living across the ocean, 2 hours isn’t THAT far, but you can’t call you mom or sister to come help you with a crisis with the kids any ol’ time. And frankly, once kids are involved, its difficult to coordinate schedules, and meeting every weekend is just not realistic).

I do think they need to look at the pros/cons of each location, and come up with a compromise. Some of my thoughts to help the process along — in the warm place, is there a support structure at all (husband’s family, friends, etc)? does the husband get along with your family? is money an issue — like could you have a summer home (or time share) in a warm location to go to several times a year? Are you really ready to have kids RIGHT NOW? Could you move to a warm place for 1-2 years till you are ready, then move to hometown when you are ready to have kids? Does husband grasp that once a baby is born, he might not actually have that much free time to enjoy said warm weather (especially if there is NO support system)? Maybe after 2 years, the reader might fall in love with a warm place (or build a suitable support system), too, and not want to leave? Also, I like Wendy’s suggestion to live in hometown till kids are grown (or teenagers, when less family support is needed) and then move somewhere warm.

avatar BreezyAM February 21, 2013, 6:13 pm

People also need to keep in mind parents often say “omg I will so be there for you for babysitting blah blah blah” and then the reality of 60 year old knees and screaming babies set in. I know more than a few people who moved to be close to family… and found family was out busy enjoying empty nest retirement life and had no desire to spend more than a couple hours here and there with grandkids. As in maybe 5 hours max per month. Eff that noise. Bring the beach!

avatar Jillie z August 9, 2012, 12:13 pm

In the LW’s defense, I think that new baby family members and possibly her ticking clock is why this didn’t come up before. You dont know how that will affect you when’ you’re young and possibly hang out more with friends than family. My husband and I were married for 9 yrs, and lived together for 4 years beforehand, and we had always been on the same page about being open to moving all over the country. But the second my niece was born, I was done with the moving chats and announced I wanted to stay put and close to her, and thank goodness my husband gets it.

Red_Lady Red_Lady August 9, 2012, 1:07 pm

But it sounds like the nieces and nephews came before they got married. And I’m sure they talked about having kids before getting married (hopefully) and along with that talk, they should have really analyzed how they would feel about the level of involvement from each of their families. Jillie Z, when you were open for moving all over the country, did you think about how kids might affect that stance, or were kids so far off your radar you were only thinking about moving around w/ just your husband?

avatar AmyRenee August 15, 2012, 3:10 pm

This was my guess as well. My husband and I moved back to our hometown before we had kids, and my sister moved across the country when she graduated from college, but once my son was born that was the final straw for her and she moved back to the area (not our hometown, but about 20 minute drive away). I know after my son was born I told her “I can’t imagine doing this without mom and dad being so close and able to provide support whenever I need it”, so its possible she’s hearing a similar message from her sisters now.

However, their marriage is still young and in its formative years. Unless they are planning to have kids in the next year or two, I would suggest they go wherever they have the best job opportunities for the next few years, with the intention of moving back closer once they are ready to start having kids (and “closer” needs to be interpreted by them, whether that be the same town or a short drive, or 2 hours away like now). Its good to establish a young marriage on your own for a few years, but it is also INCREDIBLY helpful to have nearby family when you start having kids.

Red_Lady Red_Lady August 9, 2012, 1:16 pm

I don’t understand how people get married with out talking about these issues. Especially w/ the divorce rate as high as it is. Don’t you want the best chances of success in your marriage?
My husband & I attended an “Engaged Encounter” weekend before we got hitched, and we went through so many different topics that were typical issues in marriage, like money, family involvement, sex, conflict resolution, religion, the 5 love languages, etc. It was all focused on us, so we didn’t even have to talk to anyone other than each other. A topic would be presented, then we’d be given a set of questions to journal about individually, then we shared with our betrothed. I’d highly recommend it, or some sort of pre-marital counseling, or even just going through a “before you get married” book w/ your fiance – something to make sure you address things before you get married. There could very well be some big issues that you haven’t even thought about.

avatar 6napkinburger August 9, 2012, 1:29 pm

Come on guys, she’s being honest. Of course she knows what compromise is. I think we’re being unfair.

She could have written a more “PC” letter, but she wrote an honest one. She says that she knows marriage is about compromise, but she still really wants this particular thing and doesn’t like her husband’s preference on the issue. She’s asking for help understanding what a compromise should look like in this case, because she’s having a hard time seeing it, as her preference is so strong. And she’s being honest that on this issue, she’s scared she’ll resent her husband if she’s not near her family. Which she doesn’t want to be, especially because that’s not part of “compromising.” So she’s asking for help finding a solution with no resentment.

I dont’ think that she’s doesn’t know what compromise is or thinks that it has to be her way or the highway. She just really doesn’t want to do what he wants to do and is trying to manage that fact. She can’t help that she feels this way;she’s asking for help dealing with feeling this way. I think everyone has been in this position before — you want to compromise but you just plain don’t like the other person’s suggestion and you feel really strongly about your own preference.

Of course this should have been discussed earlier, but there’s a good chance it was, but theoretically. And now that it’s real, different preferences are coming out. Maybe he said he was fine living near her family, but it turns out they had different definitions of “near.” Or maybe her family has gotten more involved since the wedding and he’s changed his mind. Maybe he just visited a friend in Palm Springs and suddenly has a newfound desire to live where it’s warm. Either way, she’s trying to find the middle ground but she doesn’t see it and she wrote in for help doing so. None of this makes her selfish or uncompromising or petulant.

avatar Lucy August 9, 2012, 4:28 pm

This is a great comment.

avatar oldie August 9, 2012, 5:20 pm

Well, let’s be more neutral then and say that her letter doesn’t demonstrate either a sense of compromise or an indication that she is aware that her husband might have difficulties if the move to live next to her family.

If she can’t see herself possibly doing anything but moving back home to be close to her parents, then there are a number of things she needs to consider. She seems to be laying down a new marital deal-breaker card, so… husband has to get something out of this too and it can’t just be sparing him from the living hell his life will become if he doesn’t give her what she wants on this. So, consider
1. You’ll be spending almost all of your time in a place where he prefers not to be and in closer proximity to your family than he desires. This can easily become let’s do everything as a family on the part of your LWs parents and sibs. In fairness, vacations and holidays should largely be spent with husbands family and in places of his choosing. You are deciding where he will be 48 weeks out of the year.

2. Actively think about what life will be like for husband in your home town. How will he see his friends and family? Can he get as good a job there. If he hates cold, can you hire help to avoid the snow shoveling, etc. If he has hobbies that he greatly enjoys, can he pursue them in your hometown. How can you reassure him that you will be a family unit of your own, rather than an extension of your parents and sibs. What can you do to make sure that he is accepted by your family for the person that he is, rather than a change project. Will his way of doing things still count equally in your family unit, or will your birth family’s way become the right way to do things?

There really is nothing in letter that suggests that LW has tried to cast her desire to move home in any terms other than how it is a great thing for her. Can she convince her husband that it can also be a good thing for him? She really needs to do this.

Also, if he agrees to this, next big family decision should go to him.

avatar Temperance August 10, 2012, 12:14 am

While what the LW is suggesting has me wanting to run screaming for the hills, I really like your comment. If and only if he is willing to agree (and in his shoes, I wouldn’t be), I think LW needs to make a rule that none of her family can do a drop-in, so that their home is THEIR home, and not an extension of their family’s space.

avatar LexE July 23, 2014, 10:29 am

THIS!! Man….as I read all the previous comments this is exactly what I was thinking. I am in a VERY similar situation, except we are 40 minutes from his family right now (who he is not SUPER close to and we don’t do much with at this point), and 12 hours drive (aka, a flight) away from my family – with whom i am EXTREMELY close. My hubs also LOVES my family, and knows that my retired mother would make a world of difference with children. His parents are much younger and still working full-time, with a teenager of their own. We had the THEORETICAL conversation immediately after getting engaged, but unfortunately there was no urgency to reach a conclusion for us since we were wedding planning and busy with careers (not saying this was smart, just is what it is). I feel awful for wanting to move my husband away from his friends and small family, but I can’t shake the insane desire to be near my mom, sister, and family once we have kids. My family trumps all aspects of environment for me, whereas he doesn’t particularly care. Sometimes I just want to know how it feels as an adult to have what he has….family AND friends near me (I have neither where we are now). I don’t mope around here, I hang with his friends and family and try very hard to make the most of where we are, but it brings me to tears to think about having children away from MY family, and the thought of never having my closest friends to me as an adult. Such a tough and confusing situation!

avatar CattyGoLightly August 9, 2012, 2:19 pm

I think that when you do plan on having kids, it would be really beneficial to be near family. If it is the LW who is going to be staying home more, or maybe working part time (I don’t know if this is going to happen, but just speculating) then she will need all the help that she can get. Stay at home moms have so much to do, and without family nearby, it would probably be very difficult/expensive to get some extra help. It would also be really nice for her kids to have little playmates and bunch of family to be around. 2 hours isn’t SO far.

So, you can always move later, or move somewhere now and move back when you do decide to have babies, or what have you. You don’t have to move this very minute, but keep your options open.

avatar Temperance August 10, 2012, 12:23 am

When Mr. Temperance and I have kids, we are going to be sure to be away from family, and making it known that they are absolutely not welcome to relocate near us, although we know that we couldn’t actually stop them, we could put a serious limit on visits and a ban on drop ins. They couldn’t be trusted to respect our parenting wishes, to put it mildly (as in, I wouldn’t trust his family to babysit my freaking cactus plant … it’s a miracle that he’s alive and a productive citizen, quite frankly) and there is nothing about me that screams “stay at home mom”, either. I wouldn’t trust them to respect our choices about education, food, religion, or healthcare.

We also chose to live in a place that has excellent preschools and day care centers so kids could gain much more enrichment than they would just staying at home with me or with my family. The place where we grew up doesn’t have good opportunities for activities or education, which is something we feel is non-negotiable. I feel that I really lost out on a lot of opportunities for socialization because I wasn’t in preschool or daycare and was only around family until kindergarten. I was so jealous of my younger sister, who got to go to daycare while I was in school.

avatar kf August 9, 2012, 2:32 pm

If it is the LW who is going to be staying home more

This is the part of the letter that needs fleshing out. Personally I found it beneficial to have some distance from family (so we could figure things out for ourseleves, forge our own path etc.) but we both had enough flexibility in our jobs to share the burden. If LW’s husband is working 80 hours a week, it’s much more understandable for her to want to be near her extended family.

fast eddie fast eddie August 9, 2012, 6:52 pm

At lest the LW has a family, my wife and have none, zip, nadda. Hers are only a 2 hour away. She sounds very selfish and immature. That sounds harsh even to me but that’s how I feel about it.

avatar E August 10, 2012, 12:54 am

Ditto. I feel the exact same way, no matter how harsh it may be. Her husband clearly does not want to live in that town with her entire family. It may suck for her, but it’s understandable. There are a ton of explanations of why he may feel that way, but in the end she’s only two hours away from her family. It’s not like she’s on the opposite coast. She should be thankful to have family that close, and it sounds immature and selfish to want to be even closer at the expense of causing unhappiness in her marriage.

avatar GTR August 9, 2012, 10:07 pm

My translation of LW’s argument: “I need to be near my mommy so I can have babies.”

Ugh, grow the hell up, woman, and get a life! You make June Cleaver look like Gloria Steinem!

Sure, it’d be nice to be near your extended family when the time comes for children. But it doesn’t necessarily follow that you WILL be miserable if you aren’t. Instead of being a bit player in the wider story of your parent’s marriage, you have an opportunity to be the lead player in your own. Put on your Big Girl pants and recognise the choice for what it REALLY is.

avatar oldie August 10, 2012, 9:37 am

Yeah! I think you state two things from the letter that stood out to me, but didn’t surface specifically enough to voice. Both of her sisters were living away from home and move back home to have kids? Seems a strange dynamic, especially since it’s now happening to the third daughter. Extreme, unrelenting pressure from Mom to come home or the daughters were raised to be very dependent upon Mom? There are advantages to being close (and disadvantages), but to rise to the level that she knows she will resent her husband if he doesn’t move back home with her? This is one very smothering family. The husbands are likely to end up feeling like little more than $-earning, sperm-donating, appendages of this Mom’s clan.

avatar Temperance August 10, 2012, 12:09 am

My comment is going to be in stark contrast with everyone else’s, but whatevs. I cannot be the only person on DW who plans on living hours away from family when kids happen. We could not deal with the outdated parenting advice from my ILs, any unsupervised contact with FFIL (he’s sexist and crazy, so he can’t be alone with any of our kids, really), and them doing whatever they wanted and harassing us constantly. No thanks. For instance, I think Scranton has the only groups of people that are anti-breastfeeding. NOT supporting women who choose not to or who can’t, but who actively oppose it, like my family … which is why my sister is HIDING how she wants to feed my niece. lol (My sister is also trying to find a creative way to keep Grandmazilla from showing up at the hospital the second her water breaks and sitting outside of the room. lol.)

LW, your husband probably thinks that your family is smothering. I feel smothered by your family just by reading your letter. An ultra-close family with tons of kids and siblings and parents, living in the same town … no thanks. It’s a good way to lose focus on your own marriage and become part of a larger family rather than your own family unit. It sounds like that’s what YOU want, but it’s not what your husband was expecting. Your husband probably doesn’t give a shit about living someplace warm (or maybe he does, who knows), he just doesn’t want to live near your family but doesn’t want to upset you by suggesting that they’re smothering. You and your husband are a family unit now, so be one. Work this problem out, and NOT by digging your heels in about moving in next door to your mom.

avatar E August 10, 2012, 1:04 am

I don’t get why she’s so upset either. She’s still very close to her family as two hours is not very far. I agree that the husband probably finds them smothering and just came up with a BS answer. I love and adore my family, but I feel if my entire extended family lived in the same exact town it could be very smothering. One can have a fantastic, close relationship with their family and not live in the exact same town.

avatar BreezyAM February 21, 2013, 6:25 pm

Seriously if a grownass adult woman wants to move CLOSER than 2 hours from family they are likely waaaaay too emeshed.

avatar DMR August 10, 2012, 6:07 am

Wow. What Wendy Said. Stay put. It’s do obvious in hindsight, yet I read the letter thinking “How the hell is she going to solve this?”

Of course: do nothing!!!! It’s brilliant. And the husband, well, he just has to suck it up and wear the consequences of moving his wife to the current location in the first place. (her: “I moved here for you, and I like it here now. So honey, let’s stay here!”)

avatar oldie August 10, 2012, 9:55 am

Actually, I think this is a situation which allows some time for experimentation and observation. It doesn’t sound like LW is planning to have babies right away. Her sisters are. LW and husband can take a few vacations in her hometown, visiting with her extended family and allowing husband to see what there is and isn’t to do, apart from extended family, in that area. I say vacation, rather than visit, to give time away from family, doing fun things on their own.

This also allows the observation. Take a couple years to observe how the move back home is working/not working for LW’s sisters and their husbands. Can they live a fairly independent life, in charge of their own nuclear family, set their own family rituals, give the husband an equal role in deciding what they do? Or does honest observation say that the move back home turned out not-so-good for sisters’ families. After seeing how this works in practice for the sibs, LW and her husband may well find themselves on the same page.

avatar Danielle February 18, 2013, 10:30 am

What about a case where one partner said they would move in the future and then digs his heels into the sand?

I moved 1,000 miles away to be with my boyfriend due to a serious illness in his immediate family. The compromise was that we could live “wherever I wanted” in a few years when the situation changed, because it was apparent that it would. I never would have agreed to move here under any other circumstances. Now, four years later, he’s decided that he doesn’t want to move anymore because he doesn’t want to be anywhere near my family. There is tension there but nothing that I think would be permanent. There’s also tension with me and his family that he refuses to acknowledge. I’ve been flexible, telling him I just want to be within driving distance (maybe 6 hours) but he still won’t budge, he only wants to stay here.

It’s infuriating because he’s making it about me “choosing my family” over him if I do move, but he’s not doing what he always promised he would do. He’s choosing HIS family by NOT moving. He doesn’t think it would “make sense” for us to move to neutral ground because neither of us would know anyone besides each other.

I love him and I have zero desire to live close enough to my family to see them on a daily basis, but I really hate it here. The job opportunities are bad and I don’t fit in here at all (the cultural differences are weird- I am mostly in a different life stage than most of my peers here, but not back where I’m from. Everyone here has been married for years with kids and all of my friends at home are just settling down. I’m in my late 20s if that gives some reference). It just feels so unfair that he’s making me choose now when I thought the decision was already made years ago when I came here. I know people change and their goals change but this feels terrible. It feels like he took my support when he needed it and now is unwilling to see my side.

avatar J April 30, 2014, 5:01 pm

I am in a similar situation but mine has alot more road blocks that my wife and her brother keep trying to get around. We currently live and both have grown up in NJ. We have a house, 2 1/2 kids (dog), and both have decent jobs. My wifes brother (who just had a baby) lives in warm Charleston SC and my wife is all about moving there to have our kids be close to his and also for the warmer weather and cheaper cost of living. All sounds great but there are no jobs in that location for my degree and work experience ( very speciallized field) I have found job posting about 4 hours from Charleston and that is not good enough… I have tried to put the idea of moving to a cheaper location around NJ/PA area and maybe buy something down in SC that we can vacation at during the summer ( wife has off for 2 months in the summer) no no doesn’t want to move to the locations in NJ / PA that are cheaper… this is a constant problem….. I don’t know what to do anymore HELP…

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