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How can I make him leave his comfort-zone?

So I have been married for a little over a month and with my husband for just over two years. We've spent the past two years living together in Boston, even though I am from New York City, and he is from New Brunswick, Canada. From day one, we've always discussed how we would move to New York before starting a family and buying a home.

Whenever I take him to New York for visits he says he loves it- but last night I realized he keeps putting off the move- the job search- the house search. Our initial goal was to move there by September 2010, but since we got married we postponed. He says he's "fine" in Boston and can't we wait another year? He said the same thing last year though!

We talked it out for hours last night and realized that part of it is that he is very content with his routine, he doesn't love change, and even though Boston isn't where he wants to settle/raise a family, it's been his home for the past 12 years.

I was hoping to make the move at the end of our lease in July-and give our 60 days notice in May, which is still a little while away but when it comes to finding jobs and finalizing our housing plans- it's going to sneak up!

I am very much the risk-taker in the relationship and believe that things will be amazing and will work out when we initiate the move, but that if we keep putting it off it's never going to happen.

How would you guys handle something like this?

Re: How can I make him leave his comfort-zone?

  • I have a friend who is married to a man who hates change, is terribly indecisive, etc. Basically, she has to take the bull by the horns on everything!  If she didnt', then they would never do anything/ change anything about their lives.

    My advice - talk to him, prepare him as best you can, but set up a timeline and even if he doesn't get entirely active, YOU start working on it. 

    Make plans to look for housing, you start looking for a new job, perhaps find job ads for him that you think would be a good fit and at least show them to him. 

    Start now and start taking baby steps to making the move happen.  But tell him this. "Our lease is up in July and we will be moving to NYC after that.", and then start taking baby steps to help him start to adjust to the idea that this is going to happen.

    I think if you sit back and just wait for him to take action, then you will foreer be in Boston.

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  • Who is the one unable to leave their comfort zone?  You seem to think that NYC is "home" because you grew up there, even though you are living in Boston.  I'm not sure if "because mommy and daddy raised me there" is a compelling reason to move.  Of course, moving to be near family is a valid choice, but your H needs to be on board.

    You claim to be a risk-taker, but your H would be the one taking all of the risk.  You have family, probably friends, a social network that is ready when you relocate.  Your H doesn't have those things!  So he'll only have you - and your friends and family. 

    I would have a talk with him.  Ask him what the concerns are, but PLEASE do yourself a favor and don't talk about him NOT being a risk taker.  YOU are not taking a risk by moving! 

    What is in NYC for him?  Cheaper housing (I doubt it!), better job opportunities?  Talk about where you want to be.

    He also might not be ready to leave his job or buy a house in this economy.  That's not exactly a bad choice!  Right now you have two jobs in the same city.  Do you really want to have one person with a job, and one without?  Or one with a job in Boston and one in NYC?  Are you willing to move to your parents home if you get a job in NYC first, while your H tries to find something?

  • I have this feeling that it might be more then just not interested in change. New York and Boston are two entirely different cities.

    If he really does want to move to New York before starting a family the two of you need to set up goals to do so. As far as, how long are you willing to give him until he can find decent work, how long are you willing to look for a house/apartment, when do you want to sign and be able to move in. All of these things take time, and can change, but how long are the both of you willing to wait? It seems that you have your mind already made up on when you want things to happen, but does he see it happening the same way? Or is he interested in things going a different route. 

     Is he possibly concerned about the financial aspect of the move? Moving that distance won't be cheap or easy.

    I wouldn't just force him into it, it needs to be a mutual move. If he's not ready and you force him, he will only be upset and frustrated with the situation. Your best bet is to just get everything planned out and on paper. If he's not meeting goals, you can then re-evaluate the situation and talk to him about why he's not meeting them. 

  • As someone that's already moved to another country and culture (and yes, Atlantic Canada is a far cry from Boston) he's finally made Boston feel like home only to be uprooted again. How was moving to Boston not taking a risk in the first place? I think it's unfair to paint him with that brush, he's already proven that he will take risks.

    Where does he want to raise a family? New York is a great city, but it's definitely not always the first city people jump to when they are talking about raising a family.

    Moving cities is expensive, frustrating, requires job hunting, house/apartment seeking and not to mention he will have to build up a whole new network of friends. learn a new city and routines that you won't have the same stresses of since it's still partly home to you.

    I say you keep revisiting this until you're both comfortable but keep an open mind here when he tells you his concerns and allow him the space to express these.

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  • So you're right a little bit of information about why we both want to move to New York-

    1. We do want to be near one of our families before we have kids- we both grew up around grandparents/aunts/uncles and really value that- but we would still be 45 minutes from my mom and 25-35 minutes from my Dad so it wouldn't be as though they are on top of us

    2. He works in finance and there are in fact some very good job opportunities open to him especially in his specialty

    Bottom line is neither of us have much left in Boston (all his friends except two he isn't very close with have moved back to Canada he originally moved down with a large group- he is not at all interested in moving back there though becuase it is a fairly rural town)

  • Maybe this is just too much change for him to process in such a short amount of time. You just got married and even though you discussed a move - it seems really soon after your marriage (IMO). I can see how starting a marriage, moving to a new city and trying to find a house and a new job could all be huge stressors that seem daunting to me, maybe to him as well.
  • I agree with this:

    image SueBear:

    Who is the one unable to leave their comfort zone?  You seem to think that NYC is "home" because you grew up there, even though you are living in Boston.  I'm not sure if "because mommy and daddy raised me there" is a compelling reason to move.  Of course, moving to be near family is a valid choice, but your H needs to be on board.

    You claim to be a risk-taker, but your H would be the one taking all of the risk.  You have family, probably friends, a social network that is ready when you relocate.  Your H doesn't have those things!  So he'll only have you - and your friends and family. 

    I would have a talk with him.  Ask him what the concerns are, but PLEASE do yourself a favor and don't talk about him NOT being a risk taker.  YOU are not taking a risk by moving! 

    What is in NYC for him?  Cheaper housing (I doubt it!), better job opportunities?  Talk about where you want to be.

    He also might not be ready to leave his job or buy a house in this economy.  That's not exactly a bad choice!  Right now you have two jobs in the same city.  Do you really want to have one person with a job, and one without?  Or one with a job in Boston and one in NYC?  Are you willing to move to your parents home if you get a job in NYC first, while your H tries to find something?

    you are being too hard on your husband.

    I also agree with whoever said he's already proven he can take risks by moving from New Brunswick to Boston. Clearly, moving to New York is just something he doesn't want to do right now.

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  • image SueBear:

    Who is the one unable to leave their comfort zone?  You seem to think that NYC is "home" because you grew up there, even though you are living in Boston.  I'm not sure if "because mommy and daddy raised me there" is a compelling reason to move.  Of course, moving to be near family is a valid choice, but your H needs to be on board.

    You claim to be a risk-taker, but your H would be the one taking all of the risk.  You have family, probably friends, a social network that is ready when you relocate.  Your H doesn't have those things!  So he'll only have you - and your friends and family. 

    I would have a talk with him.  Ask him what the concerns are, but PLEASE do yourself a favor and don't talk about him NOT being a risk taker.  YOU are not taking a risk by moving! 

    What is in NYC for him?  Cheaper housing (I doubt it!), better job opportunities?  Talk about where you want to be.

    He also might not be ready to leave his job or buy a house in this economy.  That's not exactly a bad choice!  Right now you have two jobs in the same city.  Do you really want to have one person with a job, and one without?  Or one with a job in Boston and one in NYC?  Are you willing to move to your parents home if you get a job in NYC first, while your H tries to find something?

    My thoughts exactly, written better than I could have.

  • My first question is: How are you going to buy a home if you don't have jobs lined up in NYC?

    And how is moving to NYC going to provide you with **family** if your mom lives 45 minutes away and your dad lives 35 minutes away?  That argument sounds weak.  

    Plus, housing in NYC (and surrounding areas) is stupid expensive, even if you are not buying.  Are you really capable of buying a house now?  And what about children?  Where is that on your timetable? 

    Sounds not so much of a comfort zone issue as a "I want this NOW and he isn't cooperating!" issue.

  • I noticed you were from Westchester- that is actually the area we are looking to move. It IS super expensive-the property tax kills! but I feel like the cost of living seems worth given the proximity to the city, SOME school district, community....I just really like the area and loved growing up there. Financially though- buying the house and paying the mortgage will mean less vacations and dinners out -but should be affordable even if only one of us works.

    As for children- it is definitely on the time table-but I don't want to bring kids in the family until we have a solid house/schedule/life style

    but 35-45 minutes away doesn't seem far at all to me, in Boston we don't have a single friend closer than a 40 minute drive :( + my Dad's company is roughly 10 minutes from the house so it would be easy to see him after work/for lunch etc. 

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