When I first moved, I expressed to my partner that I didn’t envision staying in the UK permanently, and he agreed to move to Canada after we got married. I insisted on sponsorship only after marriage, and that became our agreement. However, the soaring cost of living in Canada has made him hesitant about the move. He’d have to retrain for his career or embark on something new, facing the need to purchase everything anew at higher rates-—a prospect he finds daunting due to his frugal nature, a trait that I find challenging.
We got married in September, and since then, we’ve been at odds about the relocation. I share his concerns about potential financial struggles, needing to find a new job, and saving for a house. Yet, I miss my family and friends, and the UK doesn’t feel like home. My parents are aging, adding stress to my siblings, and I miss witnessing my niece and nephews’ growth and experiencing my friends’ significant life moments.
While my partner isn’t close to his family and lacks close friends, he loves his well-paying job and thrives in it. My boss is exploring the possibility of transferring me to the local office in Canada, which would alleviate some employment-related concerns.
We both love to travel, and the affordability of travel from the UK compared to North America has made him even more dissatisfied with the idea of leaving. In a recent argument, I told him we’re at an impasse — one of us will be unhappy, potentially leading to resentment. He claims to love me and he wants us to stay together, even agreeing to move, but he acknowledges misleading me initially and expressing reluctance now to start over. He prefers the easiest route to a well-paying, easy job.
After this revelation, I find myself questioning his lack of ambition to advance in his career, and his tendency to sulk and worry amplifies my concerns. He constantly complains about moving to my best friend, who urges him to stop worrying. However, she also hints at missing me and wanting me to return home soon.
We plan to discuss our plans with my family during Christmas, but I’m torn between wanting to ask for their advice and not disclosing our decision, as we need to prioritize what’s best for us. He dismisses the idea, believing my family will say anything to bring me home, suggesting we might as well move. I feel overwhelmed by stress and frustration with his comments and our arguments. Staying seems easier, but I desire to return home. However, the thought of putting him through the challenges of establishing himself in Canada makes me feel selfish.
The upcoming Christmas visit fills me with dread, knowing that whatever decision I make will impact our lives, and I resent the burden of having to decide. I despise his comments, the constant arguing, and the fact that, regardless of my decision, someone will be upset. Sometimes, I’m tempted to give in and abandon the idea of moving, but then I fear reinforcing his behavior and allowing him to guilt me into submission. — With Glowing Hearts
I’m confused about why you married when you two were at such an impasse over a huge decision that will affect the rest of your lives together. But, regardless, you already know what living in the UK is like, and you’re not thrilled with it. Until you live in Canada together, you will always wonder what that could be like. You don’t need your family’s advice here – and your husband is right that they will have a hard time not letting their desire to have you home influence what they say to you; this really is a decision for you and your husband to make.
I think you should move to Canada and move out of this purgatory you find yourself in. In Canada, one of two things will happen: your husband will like it or he won’t, and it will be clear within about six months to a year what his feelings are. If he likes it, then great – problem solved! You can settle down and build a life together in Canada. And if he doesn’t like it, you’ll have to decide whether you are willing to sacrifice your life in Canada and move back to the UK in order to save your marriage. If your husband refuses to move to Canada, I’d advise seriously considering divorce or annulment on the grounds of his misleading you to believe he’d ever give Canada a try.
What you will learn whatever you decide is that major decisions, like getting married and moving, don’t have to be permanent. While changing course isn’t without heartache and hassle, there are lessons in the journey that can make you wiser and better at making future decisions that may bring more joy than pain.