A. asks from Ostrander, OH on December 23, 2006
Need Advice - Am I Asking Too Much from My Husband?
This is the situation right now. My family and I live in central Ohio. My parents recently retired and moved back to Oregon where they grew up. I am very close to my parents and they have a strong bond with our 2 children. I grew up here without ever getting to spend much time with my extended family because they were all out in Oregon; my dad and mom were the only ones that left that area. I was dreading the time when they would move back, and then it seemed like a gift from above, my husband was offered a job in Oregon, close to where my parents were relocating! I saw a chance to stay close to my parents, keep the grandkids close to them, and also reconnect with all of my extended family. My husband has no family in this area, his parents live in the Caribbean, where he grew up. I encouraged him to take the job, though he was hesitating. At the time he said he was mostly nervous about going to a new city, meeting new coworkers, and being on his own. We knew that he would have to go a few months ahead of the kids and I, since his job started immediately and I needed time to pack and find new tenants for our rental house. But he agreed that family is important, and he did not want to stand in the way, especially of the close relationship that our son has with his grandfather. I should also say that during the time we were trying to decide whether to go or not my husband was not speaking to his parents and had not communicated with them for a few months. They do this occasionally when they have an arguement about something.
So anyway, my husband went ahead and transferred to Oregon. He works in the airline industry, so the job is similar wherever he goes. He had been there less than a week and decided that he did not like it. He now says he is going to transfer back to his old station. The main reason that he gives is that the city of Portland is simply too big, too much traffic, too different. However, he is also saying that he is too far from his family now, and his mother told him she would not come to visit us out there because the plane trip is too long (yes, they are speaking again). She also hit him with the "what if something happens and you can't get back to see us fast enough" line.
I understand that he is homesick, missing me and the kids, doesn't want to spend the holidays away from us (though he has my family and they are including him in their plans - it is not the same) and trying to adjust to a new environment and new people. But this is something that is very important to me, and I think also to our kids. I want them to grow up with an extended family, something that I did not have. I feel like he should try it a little longer and look at the positive reasons that we decided to move there in the first place. He says that I am not understanding how hard it is for him, that I pushed him into doing something that he didn't want to do, and how can I ask him to stay there if I really love him? And what will I do if his parents die before he can fly back home (it would be 5 hours longer by plane than from our present location).
I don't know if I am too close to the issue, and too emotionally attached to the idea of staying close to my family. I really would welcome some opinions. Maybe I pushed too hard without considering what he wants (I thought this IS what he wanted). Or is he being kind of a whiner and giving up too early? Thanks for listening.
So What Happened?™
Well, it has been an emotional roller coaster for a few weeks but I think we finally have some resolution. My husband comes home this week and we have agreed to try again in a few years to relocate to the western part of Oregon. We are both going to finish up some continuing education that we have been working on and hope that will open more options for us, so that we can live in a more rural area and not have to be in the busy Portland area. I really appreciate all of the encouragement, feedback and support that you all offered at a time when I really needed some objective, unemotional opinions! Thank you all so much!!
C.C. answers from Dayton on December 27, 2006
It does sound like your husband is not giving the move a chance. It does take more than a week to find out if you like someplace better... he really needs to think about the chance it is for your family to be close to their extended family. Too often, our society feels that we don't need to be close to our families these days and that's really sad since there is so much that can be learned from our older relatives. It's so important for children to grow up around at least one set of grandparents to have another source of love and stability.
As for your husband's excuses, I really do think they are lame. I'm willing to bet that your in-laws don't visit often so for me, the threat of them not visiting would be a non-issue. And as far as your husband being able to get back to see them in case something should happen, well... I'm willing to bet that the plane trip is 3-5 hours (if not more) from Ohio so it would not really be any faster to stay in Ohio vs Oregon.
Your husband and you really need to think about positives of this situation for EVERYONE... not just your husband and his parents.
1 mom found this helpful
S.G. answers from Cincinnati on December 24, 2006
Hmmm...My husband and I recently had a similar situation. His job was ending and it was pretty unlikely that he would find another decent job in his field close to here. So, we were left with the decision of where to move. We could go to any of the bigger cities in Ohio with plenty of choices or we could move back to Arkansas near his family and have plenty of choices there. My children are extremely close to my family. He only speaks to his family once a month or so. So, for me, it was very important to stay here close to my family. Not so much for me, but for my children. I think family is very important for kids. And we used to live in Arkansas, until we had our first child and decided it was important to move closer to my family for support with my first child and such. I hated living so far away from my family and friends. I lived in the same house near the same people all my life and the I was very close to family. I need to have that for my kids. My parents don't have a lot of money, so them traveling to us wouldn't happen often and it wouldn't happen alot on our end either. So, given that fact alone, I couldnt separate my kids from my family knowing that visits would be few and far between.
My husband does miss his family and he thinks that the job opportunities would be a little better in Arkansas. But he realizes how imporatant this is to me. He recognizes that this kind of decision could effect our relationship drastically if not thought through by both of us.
Would this be something that you might resent him over if he does not let you move to Oregon? Is it the best decision for your entire family? Not just his parents. He can't make the decision based on just the reasons of his parents disapproval and him not being used to the size of the city.
I am glad to see that I am not the only one who thought teh "girlfriend" comment from another person was TOTALLY uncalled for. I think you should completely disregard that comment and not let it stress you at all. Good Luck!
1 mom found this helpful
L.A. answers from Cleveland on December 26, 2006
Honey, I must say that aleast he did try it..and I hope that things do work out for you..
S.Q. answers from Youngstown on December 26, 2006
you are not asking too much. your request to move closer to your family is reasonable and many marriages are faced with this dilemma.
if traffic and a scary new city are your husbands main reasons for wanting to give up, is it possible for him to work out of a smaller city, like eugene? i used to live there and it is the most wonderful place to raise a family and to enjoy family oriented activities. and portland is not far from there.
for your in laws to tell their son that they would not fly an extra 5 hours to see him and their grandkids is absolutely ridiculous. are they so spoiled and pampered that they would rather never see their son again to avoid a sore back or whatever is keeping them from taking a longer flight.
if anything, things are just moving too fast for your husband. let him know you appreciate his effort and encourage him to stick it out. then get there as fast as you can to help him feel more at home.
M. answers from Cincinnati on December 24, 2006
A., I have to say that I empathize completely with your situation (wanting to be near family, wanting to foster that wonderful bond between your kids and their grandparents). I also empathize with big life changes being difficult while the transition is taking place, so I feel for your husband, too.
Looking at the bigger picture, though, I have to say that if it were my husband, we'd definitely be having talks about sometimes having to do things for the greater good of the family. Why?
1) His relationship with his parents seems volatile (loving, but volatile!) from what you've said, and that he already lives quite far from them, I cannot see depriving your children of their maternal grandparents just because it's 5 hours closer to their their paternal grandparents (who are already at *least* a 5 hr plane ride away already)!
2) The excuse that the paternal grandparents are giving you (unless they are of limited mobility) about their being unwilling to visit you if you move seems very irrational to me. My parents would figure out *some* very creative way to see their grandkids even if it meant getting to Timbuktu on $100 or less! Where there's a will, there's a way. So why on earth would you stay in Ohio just in case his parents might visit? Again, unless they are not healthy enough to travel, distance and finances are not an excuse as they can be creatively dealt with.
3) Extended family is important, and you've got a lot of that in Oregon! I think that if you trust and get along with your parents, it is such a gift to have them living nearby for so many reasons, especially when you have kids! It also seems that you would be gaining access to even more extended family, thus possibly a stronger support network, by moving to Oregon.
4) Many, many people who move (those who do it frequently as well as those who do it only rarely) say to give a new city a minimum one year (12 whole months) before deciding if you want to stay or move away. Hopefully your husband would be willing to at least do a trial run in Oregon?
Anyway... best of luck to you in navigating the possibilities with your husband. Moving households *and* cities is one of the most stressful life events around, so it's likely this transition is making emotions and tensions run high for all of you, and it's good to have a lot of empathy for him, for yourself, and for your kids as you continue through this process. I hope you are all able to come together to find a win-win situation for your family regarding this move!
S.W. answers from Indianapolis on December 25, 2006
Wow honey, you have quite the delema on your hands. First of all, personally I don't believe your husband has given Portland long enough to TRULY decide if he really likes it. I think he's feeling a little uprooted not having you and the kids close-by and like you said is feeling homesick. You may need to find a way to make a trip there with the kiddos to see him to make him feel like it WILL be home once you get there. Make a trip soon to go look at houses or apartments that you'll be living in, find nice parks and fun things to do while you're there, and when you move there so he has things to look forward to there.
Being in the middle of such a huge transition isn't easy on anyone, but I think that he'll feel better about things once he gets more settled into his new job and starts to get to know and become friends with his co-workers as well.
I agree with some people that the excuse that his parents will never come to see them is extremely lame. It doesn't really sound (I know they're family and all but some people are just like that) like his parents are really worth losing the relationship your little ones have with your parents. At least, it wouldn't be to me. If they go back and foreth between talking and not because of arguments (and this happens often) I believe one person said it perfectly, it's volitile. Like I said, I wouldn't let their stubborn way of thinking affect how you decide to live your life. They obvioiusly aren't too concerned about coming to see you and your children to begin with since they use their "visits" or lack there of, as a means of "threatening" you into staying in Ohio.
I don't believe your husband has a "GIRLFRIEND"... that was about the most rediculous thing I've ever read on one of these things. So, don't even pay attention to that ludicrous theory!
Ultimately you may have to make a decision that is the best decision for you and your kids. Sometimes long distance relationship work out very well. It's just another option. Obviously that wouldn't be the preferrence, but it's a possibility.
I wish you the best of luck, and I hope he won't give up on Oregon until he give it a chance. :) Take care and Merry Christmas!
J.P. answers from Columbus on December 27, 2006
Maybe you are pushing alittle but don't you have a right isn't he pushing you into staying where you are. You should have sat down together and made a list of why you should move and why you should stay. And I'm sorry but his parents don't live where you are so I'm not sure exactly what they have to do with it. I think he is just using them as a reason to stay not sure why doesn't make since to me or my husband. Good Luck
T.N. answers from Cincinnati on December 24, 2006
Dont make ur marriage miserable for ur parents.Noone can take care of ur kids better than u and ur husband.if we ladies dont want to live under inlaws influence,same is with men.so let him be free,if he doesnt want to be there.u can go and meet ur parents every couple a months or less anyway.Think about the people who havent met their parents for 3 or 4 years because their parents live in other countries like mine do.