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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.