My future husband (May 2013) decided to get out of the military because he had a son before we met and has missed being a part of his life as he grows up (he is 8). He wants to have a job that will not make him relocate every 4 years, but he is not really sure where he is going to work or where we are going to live, but he wants to be closer to home. We are both from the same small town in WV but live together in NC. I moved to NC in 2002 to go to college and I love it here! The weather is warm, the people are friendly and there is a lot to do! I understand his dilemna, but I hate my hometown because it is very small, lots of people are on drugs and there is a gambling place on every block! Plus, I do not get along that well with my mother's side of the family who still lives there, my dad's side has moved to NC who I hang out with alot. My fiance is a momma's boy and he misses his son, but I have a decent job with full benefits were we live. He says it will be good when we start a family to have our parents watch our children and help out. Also, he has said we should move in with his mom, but there is always drama there because my fiance's brother still lives at home and he is the most negative person I have ever met! My mom lives literaly right accross the street from his mother's house, so I would be at my mom's and he would be at his mom's which I feel would drive a huge wedge through our marriage. Any thoughts? Suggestions?
@May2013Wedding: I don't know. I know this isn't what you want to hear, but I feel that if he wants to be a better more involed father and he feels that moving closer will help that: he should go for it.
It would be different if it was just for his mother or friends, but he wants to closer to his son. I think you should support that.
::hugs:: I know leaving your family is hard. I hope you make the right choices for the both of you
Moving in with my MIL would be a last resort for me. I think you should stay where your careers are, especially if you are happy with your job and the area. I wouldn't really entertain the idea of moving back to your hometown until your husband came up with a realistic life plan (like jobs, where you could live other than MILs house, what the schools are like for kids, etc.)
Definitely figure out a rough 5, 10, and 20 year plan before you get married.
yikes- I understand you wanting to stay put in your beautiful location, but I completely see that he needs to be with his son. That boy needs his dad in his life. My suggestion is to move back home, or at least move much closer. Do NOT move in with either set of your parents though, I agree that it would drive a wedge between you two.
I'm sorry you are going through that right now. I work for the govt and actually specialize in the transition process of members retiring/getting out of the military. I would advise your FI to really think about getting out right now. It is a tough economy. It is getting better, but verryyyy slowly. There are so many military members separating from service that are having the toughest time finding a job in the private sector. I would have a real long talk with him about making sure he is aware of all his benefits and entitlements and his employment future after getting out. Also, if you have a career that you are happy with and have great benefits, it's also a good idea to really think about what would happen with your career if you should move back at this point.
Having family around when you start a family can be very rewarding. However, if you have a support system where you are at now (friends/understanding coworkers/neighbors) chances are you wont be totally on your own. You just have to weigh the pros and cons at this point.
Also, I'm assuming the son lives with his mother full time? That is a hard call. I understand your FI wanting to be closer to his child. But he also has to think about the employment or education route he wants to take when he gets out, where you are going live, how long would you live with his mother for? (which I would never be able to do), and what are you going to do for work back home?
I'm sorry this is a tough situation for anyone to have to deal with. PM if you have any more questions/need support. Good luck!
@Max04092010 Thank you for your advice! Trust me we have gone back and forth of whether or not to get out, but he is very adamant about being somewhere close to his son and I do not want to move around either. He will have a bachelor degree by the time he will get out of the military, which is actually the end of May RIGHT after we get married! Ahhhh! HE is thinking about going into one of the unions up there because he has some connections so that would be a good paying job!
Why don't you wait to move until at least one of you has secured a good, full time job with benefits? I don't think you should quit your job until tht happens
@May2013Wedding: Well good! I'm very glad to hear that!! lol
@May2013Wedding: Doesn't he have to repay time for the college degree?
Also don't discount the importance of having family nearby for when you do have kids unless you despise your family and don't want them to have anything to do with your potential children.
@May2013Wedding: I don't think you should voluntarily move to a place where many people are on drugs and there is gambling on every block. As much as you hated living there growing up, any child you have in the future will hate it just as much, or worse be influenced by it and become a part of that lifestyle.
I agree with PPs that it is super important that the 8 year old feels loved by his father as he grows up, but moving in with your mothers to that town is not the solution. Is there a nearby city in WV or another state where you can see yourself living and being happy?
@Sunchick19 That is a good point! He will have all of his debt paid off by the time we get married, except his car payment so we will only have household bills which I could pay with my salary and he will be getting unemployment pay as well so I think we would be tight but still able to stay here while he is looking for another job.
@babymakes3 The military paid for his college.
I can sympathize with some of how you may be feeling, because many years ago, I moved from a small town in a rather economically depressed region of the country to an exciting, vibrant, fairly affluent region in another state. I absolutely LOVED the area in which I was living, and I only ever envisioned myself moving if I were to relocate to an even more exciting, more vibrant area.
However, when I met my DH and discovered that he not only is a pastor of a church in a small town in a rural, economically depressed area of another state, but also that he has 50-percent custody of his minor children, I understood that if I wanted to marry him, I was going to have to be willing to relocate to be with him and his children.
It definitely was not easy (not at all), and I still have not found any type of job in my field in this area. As frustrating as that has been, I know that my DH absolutely needs to be with his children. To have even considered asking him to relocate to be with me would have been completely out of the question.
In your case, I definitely can imagine how difficult it must be for you to think about leaving where you are to return to a place where you really have no desire to ever live again. Moving will be a major, life-altering decision. If I were you, I would not make this decision lightly, because you need to be able to make this move without resentment toward your FI or his son, and with the understanding that you will be willing to stay there -- at least as long as your FI's son is still a minor or some other circumstance would occur (i.e. his mother deciding that she wants to relocate to a different area, for example.)
There really is no question that your FI must be able to fulfill his desire to reside where he can play a significant role in his son's life. The only question is, are you willing and able to change your life to to marry him?
On the one hand, your FH wants to be closer to his son, which is admirable and a decent reason to consider moving. Emphasis on consider! Because, on the other hand, you have a job and some family where you are now. Picking up from all of that and moving someplace where you don't want to live is a lot to ask of you. Especially if his only plan after the move is to live with his mom. While I don't think living with parents will necessarily spell disaster for your marriage, it does change the dynamics of your relationships, both with each other and with the parents you're living with.
I can't really help you more than that, this really is an important matter that the 2 of you should talk about some more, however; if I were in your shoes, I'd strongly push to stay where you are until after the wedding, after he graduates, and then to wait until one of you can secure a job near where he wants to move. I'd also research rent and/or mortgage rates in the area, to get an idea of what your household would have to pull in to live comfortably.
It seems to me that 1) being close to his son and 2) living with your MIL are two different issues. It's nice that your fiance wants to be closer to his son--what does the child's mother think of this? Have your fiance and the child's mom consulted with any child psychologists about this, about whether it's healthy or necessary for him to be a physical, daily part of the child's life? I ask because if there's a stepfather in the picture, for example, the dynamics may be different. Also, if he hasn't been a daily presence in the child's life for the last 8 years, for him to move in nearby will be a dramatic change and adjustment for everyone and should be handled delicately.
Either way, it doesn't sound like you should live with your MIL, even while your fiance is job hunting. You are both adults and hopefully can find housing that you can afford on your own. Good luck with everything!
@hippomama: Well said, and I agree, all factors/parties involved need to be considered.
From a different stand point: I myself am technically considered a "single mom" by government standards. I say, by government standards because my FI has been in my son's life since he was two years old(he is now six), and contributing(financially, emotionally, etc) to raising him as his own child. His biological father has not been consistently involved in my son's life(it has been over two years since he has seen him, a year since he has spoken to him). I do not prevent my ex from seeing our son, but since he has not been there we have pretty much established a functioning family without him. My son started calling my FI his dad(on his own, without any coaching), and FI wants to adopt him once we are officially married. I know it's probably selfish of me, but at this point I feel that it would be a hassle for my ex to just pop back up in our lives. I have heard my son's response when someone asks him where his dad is, and it is very troubling. He even once told a cousin that his dad was in heaven...I have no idea where that came from and it baffled me that even at his young age he came to such a drastic conclusion. I am not the type of person that would ever prevent my son from seeing his biological dad, but I would definitely be very wary of him suddenly trying to come back into our lives. My first priority as a mother is to protect my son from being hurt.
Now the OP situation definitely sounds different, because her FI actually wants to be in his son's life, but definitely talk about EVERYTHING with him. Including, how the son and his mother are handling his idea of moving back home. Either way, it isn't an easy situation and I pray that everything works out for you.
Marrying a man with children or a child from a previous relationship always complicates things unless he doesn't invovle himself with his kids, in which case, he would not be marrige material anyway.
Being a stepmom is hard and mostly thankless. The younger the kids the easier the adjustment for them, but you never know what you're going to get for a baby mamma.
This is but the first of many milestones you will hit along the way. My advice would be to let him go be with his son. Don't force him to make a decision between you and his son.
You can stay put and work on finding a job where he is. Again, marrying a man with kids is totally different than marrying one without. And married to is entirely different than dating.
1. Definitely do not agree to move in with your MIL--that is a disaster waiting to happen!
2. I agree with PP who pointed out that your fiance needs to have some serious discussions with his ex before moving to be closer to the son. Does he have a good relationship with her? Will she let him be involved, or will she fight it?
3. Has his family expressed eagerness to help care for your future kids, or is he just assuming that they will? Cause it's not really fair for him to expect them to be ready and eager to help/babysit/etc if in fact their interest in doing so might be lower than he expects. Doesn't mean they wouldn't want to help; I just want to be sure he's not overestimating the amount of support your in-laws would be willing to give.
4. And also, there's the fact that having both of your families so close at hand could wind up causing more stress and strife than it does benefits. If your family or his tend towards bossy or domineering behavior, you're in for a ton of it once you have kids. For instance in my own family, I love my in-laws, but I've seen how they smother my sister-in-law over my niece, and I would never want to put up with that.
5. Another point someone mentioned that I think is smart--is there anywhere you could go that would represent a good compromise? I.e., close enough to your fiance's son that he can increase his presence in his life, but not so close that you're living in the same crummy town? Ideally a place that's bigger, with better job opportunities, more of what you like about NC.
@Brielle That was very heart-warming to hear your story and you gave me some great advice! Thanks!
@starbuck His son's mother is really nice and we all have a mutual respectful relationship with each other which is amazing, she understands that my FI is in the military and it is hard to get extended periods of time of leave to see his son. She often calls and asks when he is coming home to take care of him full-time! lol So she definitely would like the fact that he would be there to take care of him.
@hippomama My FI tries to make it home to see his son about 4-6 times a year (we live 9 hours away and he is in the military so it is difficult). His son does not have a step-dad, but his mom has been dating someone for about 6 months so it's a pretty stable relationship, but FI son does not get along with his mom's boyfriend, which is unfortunate. I do not plan on telling my FI that he needs to consult a psychologist before being around his son on a daily basis because that seems outlandish to tell someone to do that! And he was around him on a daily basis during his first 4 years of life until his son's mother decided to cheat on my FI while he was deployed overseas so I do not have any sympathy for her.
@May2013Wedding: Is he sure he wants to get out of the military? I saw
@Max04092010: said she works with veterans getting out of the military and sees how hard it is, but I also know first hand because my fiance just got out of the military. he thought it was a good decision, but soon realized with the economy and everything the way it is, he should have stayed in longer. He works a crappy job, that pays, but not well and doesn't have insurance... and i can tell he regrets his decision. he too decided he wants to move home, so we are moving to FL after the wedding, but it was a very big decision.
just think nothing is permanent. I decided I will move to florida with my fiance, and see if things work out better there, if not we could always move.. (if it is that bad!) but it is worth giving it a chance!
edit- also if you are really against moving home, maybe he can try to have his son come for extended visits and stuff for summer/holidays.. that may be easier than just jumping right back into his sons life
Can he be closer in proximity to his son without moving back to your home town? Is there a town in the area that would be more favorable yet close enough so that he can still be a part of his son's life on a regular/consistent basis?
I agree with pp that you do not want to live with his mother. Even if you all get along famously right now that it just a recipe for disaster.
For the sake of his son, I think you should move back. However, I don't think that needs to happen right now. You should both be trying to secure jobs there, and once you've secured employment that can support you, you can find your own housing and move back.
It would be a shame for him not to be involved in his son's life because it's inconvenient for you. Especially if he started to resent you because of it.
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