Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy
I read the column, “My Husband and I Can’t Agree on Where to Move”, as it’s applicable to my situation. My wife and I live in the San Francisco Bay area. My daughter and family live less than 45 minutes away (driving time), with the rest of wife’s family about an hour’s drive away. My only remaining family (siblings) live on the other side of the country. I am recently retired while my wife works but can get a job anywhere. The issue is simply this: I very much want out of CA. The reasons are many and important to me. My wife wants to stay where we are, and she has drawn a line in the sand, stating she must be within three-hours driving time of my daughter and family. To do that, one must live in CA. We are equally strong on our respective wants.

I have offered for us to periodically fly back to see family, or take 700-mile drives (one way) from neighboring states. I said that if we moved, she could take an easier job, retire sooner, and have more of what she wants, all while not compromising our standard of living and perhaps even improving it (with lower cost of living). She said “no”. She suggested we sell our house and buy two places, one for her near family and one where I want to be (not in CA). This is tantamount to ending the marriage since each of us would very likely spend 98% of our time where we live.

This appears irreconcilable, the gap between us Grand Canyon-wide in its breadth, too wide to meet in the middle and also because there is no viable “middle.” The marriage is suffering from other problems, but I never expected such a thing like “where to live” to be the wedge that could destroy decades of marriage. No matter if we live in or out of CA, resentment will live within the person who is not living where he or she wants. I feel very trapped, with no possible good “out”. — Looking for a Way Out

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Friday Links

Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

The Glorious Anger of Female Voters, One Year Later: 2017 was a year when women across America transformed into the fiercest possible version of their former selves.


“Thurman is seething, like we have all been seething, in our various states of breaking open or, as Thurman chooses, waiting. We are seething at how long we have been ignored, seething for the ones who were long ago punished for telling the truth, seething for being told all of our lives that we have no right to seethe. Thurman’s rage is palpable yet contained, conveying not just the tempestuous depths of #MeToo but a profound understanding of the ways that female anger is received and weaponized against women.”

— Brave Enough to Be Angry

Dating as a Single Mom

13 people share the tell-tale signs their relationships were doomed

Why Is Ghosting So Common?

HA Ha: “The 13 Questions That Lead to Divorce”

“Dear All the Wives, I don’t know if your husband has Asperger’s. I don’t have any idea how you get another person to change. As far as being happy, what worked for me was focusing on myself, which freed me up to love my husband for who he is — and that freed me up to love our marriage for what it is. And a glass of wine never hurts, either. xo, Kristen”

— “Dear David’s Wife, Can You Diagnose My Husband, Too?”

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to [email protected] and, if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

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From the forums:

My boyfriend, “Fred,” and I have been together for over four years. During our first three years together, Fred and his sister were not speaking due to a fight they’d had a year before we got together. I only met her a year ago and she was very cold to me. He’s not close with her, but they text every now and then. She’s very close with his ex, whom she knew during the eleven years the ex and Fred were married. His ex hates me and has threatened to physically attack me if she ever sees me in person, which makes coordinating holidays very difficult as they have three children together.

I grew up in a house where Thanksgiving and Christmas were very important and we had a lot of traditions. In order to be with Fred, I had to move across the country from my family, so I can’t celebrate with them. Travel isn’t possible right now.

I always try to coordinate holidays so that Fred gets time with his kids (which usually means going to his ex’s house where his sister usually spends holidays) but so that he also spends time with me. Sometimes we have the kids over and have our own day, like our own Thanksgiving on a different day, and then the kids celebrate with their mom and extended family on actual Thanksgiving and my boyfriend and I spend the day together. I think this is a good compromise. I don’t want to rob him of a holiday with his children, but I don’t want to miss out on the holidays with Fred, either.

This year his sister bought a house with her new husband and they have a baby. She lives two hours away and texted Fred a few days ago to invite him to Thanksgiving at her house, saying she’d already invited his ex and the kids. I was furious.

Fred’s mother (who absolutely loves me and has always tried to include me whenever she can) was also furious, and talked about skipping Thanksgiving because of this. The sister’s husband even agreed and thought I should be invited over the ex, but the sister refused to listen. Fred told his sister he wasn’t going to leave me alone on Thanksgiving and he couldn’t make it, and she said, “Understandable. See you next time.”

Now I’m terrified she’s going to ruin Christmas and every holiday for the foreseeable future. What should I do? The only way I can talk to the sister is through Facebook, but I feel like maybe I should try that. I don’t particularly want to be friends with her, but I don’t see why she should control all the holidays and get the chance to exclude me so she can invite the ex.

Fred doesn’t want to fight with either his ex or his sister – the former because of their children and his feeling guilty about leaving them, the latter because they just reconciled last year and fighting again would upset their mother. I just don’t know what to do. I want everyone to have holiday time, but no one is fighting for me. — Left Out of Thanksgiving

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My sister, who is six years older, had a child immediately after high school and was left as a single mom (I was 13-ish). She had plenty of help from my parents, grandparents, middle sister, and the dad’s parents. She was helped financially with life and school. My father bought a duplex for her to live in, which she has been trying to buy from him ever since (nineteen years now). Six years ago she had another daughter, yet again with a dead beat dad; however, the landscape has changed and I’m sorry to say the first child (now 18) had a lot of responsibility in helping take care of the new one. My sister constantly calls me with “it’s an emergency–could you please watch…(niece)?”

She lives two blocks away and it’s starting to feel impossible to not be at her beck and call. She has convinced her first daughter to continue living with her to help with daughter #2 and has now enrolled her daughter #2 at my children’s charter school (with questions of carpooling with us, etc). Her daughters have very much had behavior problems pretty typical to the situation. They are good girls and we do love them, but they are difficult to watch. They do not have much discipline or adherence to schedule. When she asks us to babysit, it is almost always an all-day/night affair. My husband and I feel we need to “deprogram” our two children, after we have watched hers, from the bad behavior they have seen displayed. We do love our nieces and this is hard to type.

My sister constantly forces herself upon us with “paying us back” when it’s not wanted or needed (i.e. she will show up and ask to take my daughter for the day and call to keep her overnight). It is great that she wants to try to reciprocate; however, it tends to be in times that we don’t prefer our daughter to be away.

My heart does go out to her being a single parent, but I don’t understand how she does not have childcare figured out at this point. She has a decent paying job and has the ability to pick up very good paying extra jobs during her slow months. She works in theater, which also adds to the chaos of her schedule.

She has exhausted me, my husband, our other sister, and our parents with this. My parents are always watching her daughters as well which leaves very little to give to their other two daughters with children. I have kept mostly quiet and let my mother vent, but it has been a point of contention with my middle sister. I want the children to see each other and I would like to help my sister out, but it turns into her constantly asking us. We’ve asked if we can help find childcare and have tried to explain it’s hard with our two and their different schedules. When we set those boundaries, she goes radio silent for months, but I know it turns out as an overwhelming amount of work for my other sister and mother. She doesn’t have a constant schedule, so there’s no trying to delegate it out.

Help! What do I do to get her to understand we want to help but that these weekly “emergencies” aren’t emergencies at all — it’s her just not planning properly? I don’t want to ruin or lose relationships, but I’m burnt out. Thanks for taking the time with this; I hope I have explained it properly. — Tired of Being Free Childcare

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This week in the forums, we’re discussing:

Dealing with extended family (photo edition)

Will he contact the woman he cheated on me with?

Terrible first date

Work bullying and harassment

Should I try to contact my ex-best friend?

Boyfriend still hasn’t proposed

Husband listens to in-laws

He blocks me on social media

Should I break up with my boyfriend?

Why did he cheat on his new girlfriend with me?

Keeping Friend’s Cheating Secret From My Girlfriend

Why would my ex be so mean to me?

This whole Trump situation just gets worse and worse everyday

Anyone going on awesome dates?

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].