Need Advice – Family guilt, places to move, life choices

posted 2 years ago in Emotional
Post # 2
598 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I’m not sure what the right answer is for YOU, but I will give you my story.  When I was in college I moved a couple of states away to be with my boyfriend when he moved back to his hometown. All of his friends, all of his family.  It was very isolating and changed the dynamics of our relationship.  He ended up being physically abusive and I left.

Several years later, in the military, I got married. A year later I get out of the military and let him choose where we moved to, his hometown or mine.  He chose his.  Within 3 days I thought “OMG what did I do?”  Again, relationship dynamics changed. He wasn’t abusive but our relationship was no longer equal. We are now separated for several years and I can’t leave because of kids.

I’ve been dating someone from the West Coast for 5 years.  When my children are grown I know we will move.  I have told him I will NOT move any closer than 10 hours from his hometown, I’ll even leave the country with him, but not closer.  I don’t know if it’s my fault or my Ex’s, either way I am not going through that kind of change in my relationship again.

Post # 3
4687 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I don’t know what the right answer is.  You said “I have a lot of close family and strong friendships back in my hometown”.  What about your SO?  Doesn’t he have friends where you are now?

I would err on the side of picking somewhere neutral.  Fiance and I grew up about 30 minutes from each other and it’s about a 90 minute drive to get to either of our families.  Most of my friends have left but a lot of his have stayed.  He is really close with his mum (his dad died last year) and I am terrified that he’ll want to live in the same town as her when we already see her a couple of times a month and he never wants to leave.  He wants to move back, and to be honest so do I, but I’m trying to persuade him to move to a different town to either of our parents.

Post # 4
1884 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

I moved to a different continent and got married here. My parents came over for the wedding and my mum cried on the day they left. I feel guilty for making them sad by being so far away, even though I know they’re also happy for husband and I.

My husband and I recognise that in the future, there may be reasons for us to move to my home country – if my parents need help, for example. But in the meantime, we are far from them and missing out on time, but that’s the life I’ve chosen. And even if we do want to move there some days, there’s no guarantee it’ll be possible in terms of visas. If we do go, then I’ll be close to my family but he’ll be on a different continent from his. He accepts that I’m currently having my time being far from family and perhaps some day his turn will come.

The most important thing is for you and your fiancé to be on the same page. You need to decide together what region you want to live in, how close you want to be to each family, what size of a town you want to live in. You’ll have to compromise and there’s no right or wrong answers, it’s defferent for every family.

However, if you want to move somewhere else for a few years before settling down, I don’t see the harm in that, and I also don’t think you need to have planned already where you’ll go afterwards; you can keep the conversation open as long as you are both willing to keep listening to the other.

Post # 5
1846 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

I think it’s really important to be on the same page with your SO.  And I’ll also note that some relationships are meant to be temporary.  I’m not saying yours is,  but I’ll say that there’s nothing wrong with enjoying your current relationship and moving on if goals change. 

I’d find it really hard to be away from my mom if she was struggling with a serious illness,  but we like each other,  so being around my family doesn’t drive me crazy as you described. IDK,  I know my grandparents  have had some health scares and are in their eighties and have within the past year made more efforts to visit them regularly.  Family won’t be around forever and itlf it’s important to you,  I would take the time to really enjoy their company while they are here. 

I would think Chicago is a good compromise though,  yes you won’t be able to pop over all the time,  but it would make it a lot easier to stop by regularly,  and it’s a major airport so catching a flight back to NY wouldn’t be hard.  Plus your friends from back home will easily be able to visit you in the city. It’s crappy of SO to be trying to change the plans you already agreed on,  although I totally get the temptation of moving to Colorado.  Such a beautiful state with a lot of nature things to do. 

Good luck with whichever decision you reach!

Post # 6
1974 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - Pearson Convention Centre

I don’t know what will work for you, but neither of us would want to be that far from our families. For example we are a 10 minute walk from my in laws and a 10 minute drive to my parents. I walk to work and my husband has a 20 minute driving commute. 

Post # 7
4482 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

One of the greatest challenges in a relationship, in my experience, is findng the next place to move when the time comes because you have to find a fit for two different people. 

I understand missing family especially when hard times hit. I was 12 hours away from my hometown (by car) when my mother was fighting cancer. Luckily, she’s survived and I’ve gotten more time with her, but it never came up that I should move home. She knew I had my life to live and that her struggles shouldn’t dictate my choices.

If you and your SO are serious about building a life together (i.e., long-term/marriage/possibly children), then you need to start focusing on you AND him, not you and your parents. If you can’t give up yearning for the comfortable (and past – It will never be the same as high school again) life you left in your hometown, you’ll never really be open to the new adventures, friendships, and life you can build somewhere else.

Post # 8
130 posts
Blushing bee

My situation is different but I grew up with a sick mom and she became terminally ill when I was a teenager. I stayed close to home for college and my work because I wanted to spend as much time as possible knowing our time was shortened. My mom got a lung transplant and we had her for seven more years! She passed in November and I am eternally grateful for the time I got with her since I stayed close by (within 40 mins no matter where I was living). Time is short and family is important. Your bf is also family but differently if you aren’t married yet or committed with engagement. Weigh your options but don’t sacrifice if it’s not really what you need. I wouldn’t trade anything for the time I got with my sweet mama. I was dating and living with a guy when my mom got her transplant and that is old news now, I moved on and now am happily buying a house with my fiancé. This relationship may not be everything you need if it requires so much sacrifice you aren’t willing to make. Only you can decide that. 

Post # 9
6059 posts
Bee Keeper

I was born and raised in the same city as my husband, but we moved 45m away to the other side of the city from both our parents. So I will say, 1 hour is nothing. You can easily pop over for dinner. You could even choose a suberb outside chicago so that you’d have 30m commute to your parents and 30m commute for SO to the city. 

That aside, I have no experience with actually moving away, because we still see our families pretty often, BUT my company is starting up in Australia and I have been keeping my eye on any job openings down there. I would LOVE to move abroad (and warm!) and live there for a while. That would have to be a joint talk with me and H because his parents are much older than mine and while he has a brother here, he still ends up doing most of their care. So not sure how that would go. I know my mom would absolutely encourage me to go off and have that adventure, but his parents..not so much..

Post # 10
110 posts
Blushing bee

Long story short, Fiance and I moved 2.5 hours from my hometown to a huge city. I didn’t last a year. I was anxious, depressed, and irritable all the time. Fiance and I are from the same town, but he really feels at home in bigger cities. We moved back to our hometown, and I feel a lot better. He does better away from “home” than I did. I have a huge family, and parents who are aging. I also have a little sister, who I would take on as my own if I had the option. I had way too much guilt about moving away from her as she was entering formidable years (she’s 13). So while this isn’t his ideal, he’s doing much better out of his element than I did. The only decision we have made (or I have really) is that I won’t move again until my little sister has graduated high school. Fiance is okay with that. We’ve learned that as we have planned ahead we both get more anxious, so we are going to live in the here and now, and see where life takes us.

I went away, and came back and here’s what I learned: The ties that were strong are still strong, but they aren’t the same. I am forever tied to this place because of my family. However, I still have to live my life, and as my parents age, they tell me this too. I shouldn’t hold back for them. So Fiance and I are able to make decisions with their blessing. I also learned that those ties remain regardless of where I am.

However, if my parents were ill I would reconsider all of this. As much as I would love a life of grandeur and to make it a big adventure, my parents mean the world to me. I would absolutely prioritize being with them while they are healthy enough to interact and make memories with. If this is really causing you anxiety and stress, then I would determine with your Boyfriend or Best Friend what is most important right now for you two to remain in a healthy and committed relationship. I can tell you that when I was away my relationship with my Fiance suffered. He was patient and beautiful, and he gave me an out to go home, and I will forever be grateful for him making a pretty huge sacrifice for us.

Post # 11
1365 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Banquet Hall/Conference Center

I can completely understand and relate to your stress of moving decisions; I’m sorry to hear about your family’s health scare. It sounds like it’s leadinf to all sorts of stress.

Here is my story: Since I am in an LDR, the topic of where to move after marriage has been the number one contentious decision for us in the past year. Before we were engaged, I moved out from FI’s small/mid sized city to a major east coast city to pursue my career, be somewhere more fun and interesting, move near my brother/friends, and pursue my dream of living in a large metro. As an urban planner, my career opportunities are are better in large cities. Now, we finally came to the decision that I would end my little adventure and move back after our wedding. I am trying to come to terms with it, but sometimes I still feel bitter that my career and preferences were given a backseat to his just because he earns more. But we compromised – I am getting to have a big wedding even though he never want one. In exchange, I agreed to move back so that we could live in a place with an affordable house buying market. 

You just have to hang in there and be sure that what ever decision you make, it’s mutual and mutually beneficial. You may need to come to some sort of compromise. Overall though, don’t make hasty decisions because you may just grow to resent each other and and your new life once you move. And once you make a decision, stick to it 🙂

Hope that helps! 

Post # 12
261 posts
Helper bee

I’m PMing you because personal details on the internet! laughing

Post # 13
151 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2018

Wow that sounds like a really tough situation to be in! I haven’t experienced something like that, but FH and I definitely agree that family is #1 priority and if someone was sick we would try to be with them as much as we could.

Post # 14
1365 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Banquet Hall/Conference Center

Also wanted to chime in and say that 1 hour is not bad at all, even if the Chicagoland region is super spread out (I’m a native Midwesterner too). Also, aren’t Colorado and California like wayyyy expensive? From purely a cost of living perspective, I’d take Chicago any day over Colorado, Cali, or NYC.

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