My Husband Wants to Move. I Don’t. What Do I Do?

Updated on April 19, 2018
K.M. asks from Clyde, TX
18 answers

When we first got married I made it very clear I did not want to move out of my home town. At least not any time soon, or until we don’t have younger kids in the house. I love it here. We have a population of about 3,000. And I know most of the people here and it’s great! We have two girls ages 7 and 4 and my family is here, his family is only about 30 miles away. I’m extremely close to my family. And in fact my mom and I own a business together for the past 5 years.
But my husband and my lease is coming up next month on our home and all he can talk about is moving away from here. He told me he hates it here. And just wants to move somewhere. He wants the kids to grow up with cool experiences (as in he wants to move somewhere where there is more things to do). I have tried to be a supporting wife in nearly everything. But it just makes no sense to me why he would want to move. For every reason why I love it here (being close to my family, knowing a ton of people here, etc) that’s the reason why he doesn’t want to be here.
But it makes no sense for me to move because a) that would be horrible of me just to leave my mother running the business by herself.
B) It May be a little selfish but I love what I do
C) if I ever need any of my family or his to watch the kids they will in a heart beat.

He also has an amazing job here with the oil and gas jobs but he thinks that he can transfer anywhere and has looked into different places he can transfer.
When I bring all this up with him he accuses me of not being supportive of him.
What do I do?? Or what can I say to make him see from my perspective?
I’m not ready to throw in the towel but I also don’t wan him to cave in to me and be depressed with where we are right now.

What can I do next?

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answers from Minneapolis on

He is clearly unhappy and wants to move but has no plan. I’m wondering if something else is going on. A move won’t fix most problems. I recommend a counselor to hopefully find out what the problems are and work toward a solution. In the meantime stay where you have support.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

So he has been living where you want to live for the last several years, but you're not willing to do the same for him?
You should at least offer a compromise, like agree to move for three years and see how it goes. People move all the time, and most people don't have any help from family.
Sorry, I just don't think you're being fair or reasonable.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Boston on

Some good thoughts below and I don't want to be too repetitive, so I'll just add some new thoughts.

Family A: I have one friend whose husband thought moving away would solve everything. He decided that he would be happier moving to rural Maine, although he had few job prospects. He did nothing to treat his ongoing depression, quit his well-paying job with good benefits, and left the state. It was the last straw and she filed for divorce (which was coming anyway but she wasn't going to quit her job and leave her town, relatives, kids' friends and so on). Husband moved, the divorce went through, and he remarried. Soon thereafter, his semi-rural life wasn't good enough so he moved even farther away and now rarely sees his children. And he's miserable. He didn't treat his underlying depression.

Family B: Another friend's husband was miserable in his corporate lawyer job, and his wife said she'd support a change. He needed time to figure out his wishes, but he had a strong leaning toward wine importing. They took over a year to plan it. They rented out their house, rented a small house in a French village, and spent a year on sabbatical. They home-schooled the kids (she did some subjects, he did others), and they traveled all over Europe via train and car, giving lessons to the kids and scouting out vineyards. He studied wine and wine-making, she brushed up on her German and he on his French,and they made it an adventure. It was life-changing for them. They came home with a renewed verve, and he had a foundation to start his wine importing business, which has been successful. But the year away wasn't all about him - it was a team effort with a set time frame.

The difference is not that Family A stayed in the small town and Family B chucked it all for new experiences. The difference is that Husband A didn't have a plan and Wife A wouldn't just bail out for that. Family B took over a year to make a plan, study up on the options, and find a place both could embrace. Husband B knew he had a year, more or less, to find some answers. If it didn't work out professionally, they would still celebrate the year of exploration and enjoy everything it had to offer, and they would then come home to the city they all knew.

See the difference? Family A was all about the husband and not the wife/kids. Family B was a team effort with good financial planning.

What I see with you two is that you aren't on the same page and you aren't seeing the advantages of the other one's point of view. You hate everything about his idea (you don't say what the "experiences" would be or seem to find value in them - perhaps he hasn't articulated what they would be). He hates your town and your relationship (business) with your mother, and the confining nature of a tiny town.

So, marriage counseling and goal planning (perhaps with a life coach and financial planner) would be logical next steps. Otherwise, at least one of you will remain miserable, and that's not good for a marriage.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Wow...there are a lot of self-centered posts this week.

YOU made it VERY CLEAR you are unwilling to relocate. Okay. Great. You've made it clear it's all about you. There is no compromise here?

WHY does he want to move?
What is his plan? For me? We moved when the military told us to. We MIGHT have been given 3 options, but overall? We were told to move and we did. It was an adventure. Instead of being selfish and only what YOU want? Get a plan in place. Scope out the areas he is interested in. VISIT them.

I'd find out why he hates it there. Is there more going on than just not liking it? Is he depressed? instead of making it all about you and shutting him down with your excuses?Why not listen to him? Why not give him a chance? Why is it your way or the highway?

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


Welcome to mamapedia.

So far I read what YOU want. YOU need. YOUR desires.

You're not listening to your husband. HE HATES IT WHERE YOU LIVE. He feels there is NOTHING for your kids to do other than visit family.
WHY can't YOU be open to HIM?
Why is it about YOU and what YOU want?

WHERE does he want to move to?
What are the advantages to living there vs where YOU live now?
If you're really in Clyde - you're what - 2 hours from Dallas, less than an hour to Abilene, and 4 hours from San Antonio.
Can he find a job BEFORE the lease is up?
Is the cost of living different - better or worse?
Can he stay with his company?

Yes, I understand you and your mom own a business together - what kind of business is it? Can she buy you out?

Stop thinking about YOU and what YOU want. LISTEN to your husband. Find a compromise - there has to be one.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I grew up in a very small town and I despised it. Very little to do, little room to grow. My life goal was to get out as fast as I could. I have classmates and family who are still there and love it. When I do visit, it's brief because it drives me nuts.

A small town can wear on some people. When did he start not liking it? To me it's claustrophobic and too many busy bodies.

You and your husband have to communicate and compromise. I see both sides. It sounds to me like your priority is your family, not your marriage. He sees opportunity for his children and family. Neither of you need to "cave" because that will create resentments that will damage your relationship.

Think about your marriage and commitment to each other and your children. If you don't get out, do date nights and nurture your relationship it won't grow.

Find out if he wants to move away long term or just a few years or so. Don't be surprised.. you might even like it if you allow yourself to pull away from small town mentality and explore other options.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Being supportive should go both ways. Is there any way you can spice up and make your lives more interesting but stay where you are, for now? Why don't you do some extra travelling as a couple and family. Do some weekend road trips. Do some inexpensive getaways. Visit cities and their landmarks. Go hiking and biking and skiing. Visit different parts of the country. Maybe you can get to know the country better and see if there is a place you may want to live down the line when your kids are grown and your Mom wants to retire.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

This is not a situation that can be resolved in a month. Renew your lease. For a successful move, one has to plan ahead. No one, including your husband, will be happy if one ups and moves in a month.

I suggest that both of you will benefit from counseling. My goal would be to improve my relationship and to learn how to communicate with each other. Neither of you are listening to the other one.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Well, it's your home and having family nearby - and it's your career/business too.
All of which have a big impact on your identity.
Leaving all that could be very unsettling.

He wants the kids to have experiences - what experiences?
Since he works oil and gas - how much is he home?
Is he going to move you somewhere and then leave a lot of the time for work?

On the one hand - new places can be wonderful - but they can be crowded with lots of traffic too.
On the other hand - you are comfortable where you are doing what you love with family for support when needed - plus if your mom is getting older I'm sure you want to help her.

More is not always better.
I'm sure this has been coming for awhile but now you only have a month left to hash this all out.
While it's all fine for the lease to end - it takes some planning to up and move anywhere.

I think you guys need some marriage counseling to talk this out.

Maybe a compromise can be reached - where you move out of the area for a few years and then move back - and I'd have that time firmly worked out so there's no waffling on it when the time comes.
A rental is easier than owning a house - but even then you could rent that out if you had to.
At some point - it would be good to have the kids settled into a school somewhere for their high school years and graduation - so figure out where you'd like that to be.

You never know - you might like where you go and not want to come back.

I get a feeling that this is a certain restlessness on your husbands part.
I wouldn't want to do it on a whim or as a result of some mid life crisis.
He needs to have some clear goals about moving away and a plan for achieving them.
I wouldn't want to move every few years because he gets tired of the wallpaper - because that kind of wanderlust just never gets satisfied.

Find a neutral third party and talk all this out.
It's the only way you are going to resolve this.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Why does your husband hate where you live? I know others that have felt like your husband but they end up hating wherever they are. The problem most likely isn’t the town but within your husband.

There is no way I would want to give up friends, extended family, my home and job when there is no real plan, job or other reason to move. It makes no sense since you don’t want to.

Perhaps plan more date nights with your husband and go on couple dates with his friends too. Get a hot tub for your back yard. Life is too short to be unhappy.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I would look at it this way...
Since you have two kids 7 and 4 I would assume you have been married/together and living where you want to live for at least the past eight years or so. I can understand your husband's unhappiness and also your comfort level.
If you have a solid marriage I see nothing wrong with considering a move to a more interesting and possibly prosperous community. Your kids aren't babies anymore so things should be easier in terms of needing "help" (something many people never have in the first place.) I DO feel for you in terms of liking your work as I know that's not always easy. Even so his feelings should at least be considered. And since you don't own a home now is the perfect time to explore new options.
Couldn't you consider a move just to see what's out there? You may feel afraid of leaving everyone you know but you would be surprised at how refreshing it is to see new cities and meet new people.
I just don't think it's fair for one spouse to dictate where home "should" be, this will likely lead to resentment and problems going forward, and if it doesn't work out you can always come back.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

Your reasons for not wanting to move are perfectly valid, but his reasons for wanting to move are just as valid. You say that it makes no sense to move, but try to keep in mind that in his opinion, it makes no sense to stay.

"What do I do?? Or what can I say to make him see from my perspective?" Have you tried to see things from his perspective?

We live near my family, which I love, but we also live in a town of over 100,000 people. I would be miserable in a small town. To me small towns are very isolating, and there's not much to do. I love it that there are many places to shop, lots of restaurants, local theater (2, actually) every weekend, 3 movie theaters, Barns and Noble. My husband grew up near a town of 20,000. Seriously, all they have is a Walmart and a 2 screen. They have local theater maybe 2 or 3 times a year. I'd go nuts!!!

Rather than trying to get him to see your perspective, really listen to his. See if there are some ways you can compromise. How big of a city does he want to live in? Is there anything close to where you live now? Does he have to actually live there, or is just living closer to it going to be good enough for him?

Try to look for ways to make both of you happy. It doesn't have to be either/or. There are ways for both of you to be happy!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Abilene on

I’m glad your living arrangements make you happy. Instead of saying you don’t understand why he’s so unhappy, just know that he is whether you understand or agree. Now what are you willing to do about it? If you were miserable where you were living and it was in his power to make that better for you, what would you want from him??

This is YOUR hometown. Your family, your friends, your familiarity. Makes me feel stifled just reading it. I’m sure you’d be happy to live out old age there. Good for you!! Maybe you’ll get that opportunity.

I live in a town of 4,000. We’ve lived here 16 years and I’m still an “outsider”. At first I tried really hard to make friends and do other things in the community. It was apparent, because I wasn’t born and raised here, it was going to be very hard. My husband is not from this town so we’re outcasts together.

Maybe he feels like he’s given it a lot of time and he still doesn’t like it. Maybe where you’re living isn’t a good fit for him. When someone marries, in my opinion, they start their own family. That family is the higher priority. It’s nice you and your mom have a business together, but it’s not your first priority. Maybe he thinks you’ll never leave and your family and friends are more important. Is he right?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Just because it doesn't make sense to you doesn't mean his feelings aren't valid. They are. Those are HIS feelings. Your feelings are as important as his. In your post, you make it sound like because it make no sense to you, its not valid. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. You are poopooing his feelings and I don't think you are really listening to him. He is NOT happy. He wants to have an adventure.

What can you say to make him see your perspective? Nothing. You have already and he DOESN'T

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

You aren't being supportive. To be supportive, you would explore moving.

I didn't want to move when we first got married. This was 17 years ago. Well, we finally moved. Not too far away, but far enough that the kids and I will have to start over.

16 years ago, I never would have even considered it. But then I really looked at my husband, listened to him, and decided it was time to put him first. It was very selfish of me to not explore moving. So we explored it. It took me a good year to agree, but then I felt and knew it was the right thing to do. Now? I 'm excited about exploring new streets and making new friends. Maybe I will hate it in a year, but as of right now, I know this is the sort of adventure we all need. The kids are sad to be further away from their friends (their best friends moved 20 minutes the other direction) but I know we need to do this to be supportive of my husband.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

My husband really enjoys working a certain job for x number of years and then taking a new job elsewhere and moving. He is very successful and he LOVES the adventure of moving and trying out a new place. It's very hard on me and now on that we have kids it is very hard on the kids. I hate having to start over in a community and to try to get involved and make friends from scratch. I just want some roots. After moving 5 times I finally said, no more. The kids and I are staying where we are now till they are both done with high school. If you want to take a job elsewhere we will stay here and you can come visit us till that job is over. I have completely had to give up my science research career with all the moves and trying to take care of the kids and their mental health (doing therapy, etc). So, I'm a little resentful of that. I do now have a good job doing science support which I enjoy. Mostly, it's the giving up of community and friends that has been so hard on me. My husband doesn't seem to care as much about that...he is not as close to his friends and is perfectly happy focusing on his job. After our last move he sees I mean it about staying and he has made up his mind to be happy here and to stay and not talk to me about "where shall we go next?!!". He has an amazing job here and he enjoys it. The schools here are top notch. There's really no reason to move. So..... I don't really have advice for you because you have never moved once! I have a feeling if you move you will hate it, but you don't know till you give it a try. Is there a big city close by where you can still drive to visit your small town? That seems like a good compromise. The problem is your husband will probably want to stay in the city and you will probably want to move back to your small town. That is what I envision happening. If you try out moving to a different place for a certain amount of time your mom will have to find a new business partner. That's just life. This is tough. I'm sorry you are going through this. I do have advice on moving though...if you move make sure you only show excitement about the "new adventure" and focus on the positives with the kids. This helps them to settle in to a new place and not be negative about moving.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Well, what does he say when you tell him that he isn't being supportive of you? It's not like it's going to help his career for him to move, from what I'm understanding in your post...

If "you're not being supportive of me" is his go-to in order to make you feel defensive, then call his bluff. Tell him that NO, you don't support him as far as this is concerned, and that you aren't moving.

Look, there are two choices. Moving and not moving. Make a choice. If you choose not to move, try to take more vacations, long weekends out of the town you live in, so that your husband has something more to do than he has in a town with 3000 people.

I've moved several times for my husband's career. However, he was always moving UP in his career and that's why we moved. I left my family and it was hard. But I have liked everywhere that we moved except for one. So my decision was different than yours. However, as I said, it doesn't appear that your husband will be furthering his career. It sounds like he's just bored. And just because he is bored doesn't mean that the rest of the happy family just MUST uproot for him. You will have to decide...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Regardless of who wants to move and who doesn't, a month is not enough time to research schools, housing, transportation, jobs, etc.

Could you suggest renewing your lease for a year? And in that year, could you take your kids on a vacation, to see those "cool" things? Could you go to the Grand Canyon, or to a cabin on a lake where you could all go fishing and swimming, or even to the Caribbean or Europe? Or if those are all too expensive, could you plan monthly adventures, to museums and parks, scavenger hunts, picnics, and trips to places that are closer to you?

There's very little harm in being grounded in a home town where things are familiar, and going on adventures a couple times a year, or a big adventure once a year. You could ask your husband about what he'd like your daughters to be able to experience: is it an opera in the big city, or live theater, or hunting and fishing, or knowing how to pitch a tent and knowing how it feels to grill dinner on an open campfire, or knowing about different languages and cultures, or experiencing a 5 star hotel and a limo ride? Maybe that might help him balance home life with amazing experiences.

1 mom found this helpful
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