Trouble in Paradise
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Relocation wreaking havoc on marriage

Richita51Richita51 newb
edited February 2015 in Trouble in Paradise
After struggling to make ends-meet for over 10 years, my husband & I relocated across the country for higher-paying jobs with the promise of career-advancement in the very near future. In relocating we amassed personal debt (largely to family), knowing that with our new jobs, we would be able to pay it down within 1-2 years of moving here, in addition to paying off a large chunk of the looming debt we had been ignoring.

After 3 months (6 months for him), I am excelling in my new job, and he is looking at a promotion in the next few months. We have established a good group of friends here; however, their lifestyle leans towards the type that my husband was trying to leave behind, and he is falling back into a slump by being around them. He has lost motivation to go to the gym & run, and hasn't made any effort to meet new people that share his goals/lifestyle. His heart remains in our old home - where we left behind friends, and family.

Since arriving here, my husband has built a resentment up towards me - accusing me of forcing the move on him, to satisfy my pre-occupation with money. We argue often, and he frequently threatens to move back home - with or without me. He has set a "date" to move back home - one that I see as being entirely unattainable, as we would not have the money to drive back across the country, transport our belongings, and find new jobs & housing, by that date.  I am willing to give up financial stability, and return to our lives - living pay cheque to pay cheque, if it means he returns to his normal self, and in turn, saves our marriage - but this would have to happen at least a year from now - once we've had time to save the money needed to make the move back. On the other hand, I wonder if I would grow to resent him for taking away our chance at a better, more stable future; one that would allow us to live our lives, splurge on vacations and traveling (like he's always wanted to do, but haven't had the financial means to follow through on). 

Any advice on how to move forward, and negotiate with him would be appreciated. 

Re: Relocation wreaking havoc on marriage

  • Well, it sounds like you are till living paycheck to paycheck since you dont even have the money to move. (im not saying you should) 

    Do  you want to move home? Whos idea was it to go out there? Are you happy where you are now?
    At your age id be tired of still trying to settle down. I am assuming you are close to 30


  • At your age id be tired of still trying to settle down. I am assuming you are close to 30
    At your age... lol. Us 30-year-olds are just ANCIENT! Just because you're "close to 30" doesn't mean you know where you want to be forever.

    Anyway, what I really wanted to say was that it sounds totally reasonable to ask him to move his timetable if that's what he really wants to do; however, it also sounds like your story is missing some information. Why is he so antsy to move back home? You guys have only been there for a few months. I would ask him to give it more time.
  • I suspect there is a lot more going on here than just the move.  You  moved for $$ but then you increased your debt significantly enough that it will take a couple years to pay off?   This makes no sense.

    I suspect there is more to your $$ issue than just how much you're bringing in.  And there is more to his resentment than you "forcing" him to move.

    I really don't know what to tell you.  We dont' know nearly enough to say..
  • joleri23 said:
    At your age id be tired of still trying to settle down. I am assuming you are close to 30
    At your age... lol. Us 30-year-olds are just ANCIENT! Just because you're "close to 30" doesn't mean you know where you want to be forever.

    Anyway, what I really wanted to say was that it sounds totally reasonable to ask him to move his timetable if that's what he really wants to do; however, it also sounds like your story is missing some information. Why is he so antsy to move back home? You guys have only been there for a few months. I would ask him to give it more time.
    Well, I would think 30 year olds would  be settled in a career. I'm older so my intention wasn't to make 30 seem old. It was to make the point that I would think that at that age people are starting to settle. 


  • My DH and I also relocated after 10 years of marriage, and it was a huge step for us, as well.  (In our case, we chose a location that was between our two families - and everybody ended up moving near us. LOL!)

    I'm sure you both thought this move was going to be a positive thing, and it must be tough now that one of you is happier than the other.  :( 

    The issues you mentioned - money, careers, family, friends - are important no matter where you live.  I wonder if it would help to have some heart-to-heart discussions about those things first, to determine your priorities as a couple.  For any of us, major decisions can be a lot easier when our priorities are on the same page. (In our case, when we later faced the possibility of another move, being near our families had become a priority for us and led us to decide against it.)

    Hope this helps a little.  Wish you the best in your decision!

    grammiann

  • Hey there - I think I may be able to come in from a different angle on this.

    My husband and I move all the time - we are moving to our fourth country later this month even. Sounds great, right? However, before meeting me my husband had lived on the same street of the same town his ENTIRE LIFE. He has strong family ties and friends back there, he even gets nostalgic over restaurants and highways, lol. 

    Anyway, his first move was from Canada to China (so, pretty far) and it was a big leap for him, like this cross-country move seems to be for your husband. After years of this, bouts of homesickness, loneliness and  missing out here are some things that might help:

    • Make it temporary. This move doesn't have to be forever. Even for us we are looking at our move to Ireland as temporary - we've committed to two years there and then we will re-evaluate, moving either somewhere else or back to where we are now if that is what is best for us. Moving to China was temporary as well, we figured we would 'try it for one year' and ended up staying for 6. This can be a really helpful mentality to enter into a move with. For you, why not agree (completely, fully agree) that this is for one year right now and on X date the two of you will sit down and re-evaluate where you are and then decide to either stay or move home.
    • During that year you both give it 100%. You are going to make friends (use meetup.com to find gym and running groups). Do some fun stuff you wouldn't normally do back home, like dancing classes together, cooking classes, hiking, go bike riding, snowboarding, whatever the hell it is you guys would have FUN doing. 
    • If it is AT ALL possible, plan two trips. One trip home (even if just for him) for an event that you would otherwise be missing (Christmas, Thanksgiving, a wedding, a major birthday, a summer party, etc.) and he will feel less like he has abandoned his family forever and has been exiled to the other side of the country. If you can plan another trip for just the two of you to travel - doing something he's always wanted to do, he may start to see the value in your sacrifice of moving cross-country.
    • Beware of Skype. It's great to connect with people from back home, but easy to live your life for those Skype sessions. Make sure you guys are getting out and interacting with people in real life. 
    • See if any friends or family can come to visit, and then you guys can tour them around your new town. Weirdly enough it kind of instills a sense of pride in where you are living, which could kickstart him into making more of a home there.
    • Set clear and attainable financial goals with him. ie: after month 3 of this plan we should have X in our savings account, 6 months, 9 months etc. Then after a year he may not want to use all of that hard earned money just to move home.
    I'd write more but I have to head out - I hope that this helps you to look at it in a different way. Or I could just be talking out of my ass. ; )

    Cheers.
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  • I haven't moved to a new country, but in the last 10 years, I have moved from MI, to Chicago, to Northern CA, and will soon be moving to Southern CA. Everything Tofumonkey says rings true (in fact, the 2 year idea is what we're doing with our upcoming move -- it is 2 years, and if we don't like it, we'll just move back to Northern CA). I wanted to add a few things though:

    1. 6 months isn't a lot of time. It took me 2 years to feel like Northern CA was home, because it was so different from what I grew up around. Some people adjust right away, others don't. But he should give it more time, and you should be patient with him during this transition period, because 6 months is just not enough time for everyone to feel settled in after a big move.

    2. That being said, some places can feel like home more quickly than others. We first moved to an area in San Francisco that I just did NOT like. Still don't. So, we moved to another neighborhood -- one that admittedly feels more like my hometown, and one that I love. So consider whether there are things you can do to help make it feel more like home -- did you move from a house to an apartment building? See if you can rent a house. Did you move from a rural to urban area? Maybe there is somewhere near your new area that feels more rural that you could move to?

    3. I think you both need to take ownership of what is going on here, though. You didn't kidnap him - presumably at some point, he had to say 'yes, let's move.' So, now saying you forced him is unfair (I was in his position when we moved to CA, so I know how he feels, but it isn't fair to say that). You meanwhile, need to be a picture of patience and understanding (and from my experience, it does no good for you to remind him that he agreed to the move, so don't bother with that). Figure out what it is about home he is missing (family? seasons? a smaller town feel?) and try to make that appear in your current life (have family come visit, drive until you hit different weather, etc.). And you shouldn't be throwing back resentment towards him for his feeling unsettled, or if you do move back or somewhere else -- if this move was supposed to be for the both of you, and it turns out to not be great for the both of you, then, if you're a team, you figure out where else you can move to make both of you happy. Resentment has no place in this for either of you. That has been how we've made these moves work for us - we certainly considered moving back to the midwest when we were first in San Francisco, because it just wasn't working for both of us. Instead, we found a neighborhood we love, felt more settled, and wound up loving it out here. It takes time, patience, and a willingness to throw out feelings about what you "should" do, or what "should" work for most people, but you guys can make it work. Best of luck!
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