(Closed) SO wants to move to take care of his family… What to do?!

posted 4 years ago in Relationships
Post # 2
1655 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Wow, that is upsetting. 

I don’t think you’re being selfish at all. You’ve established your home there and your parents have also changed their home to be closer to you. Is a LDR out of the question? His family seems like a train wreck, but it is his family. If he doesn’t feel right leaving them alone then he will go. 

What do you think your parents will say to all of this?

Hugs and good luck!

Post # 3
9139 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

AnutaBee:  If he wants to move and you don’t then it sounds like you are at a crossroads.  Moving across the country when you don’t want to is a bad idea.  I admire him for wanting to do this for his dad but there is also nothing wrong with not wanting to be stuck dealing with caring for his family when you don’t want to.  It may sounds harsh but it sounds to me like the best course of action is to break things off and move on so you can meet someone who is happy living near your family out West.

I believe that if you do move you will be miserable and the relationship will suffer but I also think if you don’t move the relationship won’t last either because Alzheimer’s is a disease that can cause his dad to linger for years (meaning your life together as a couple will be put on hold for quite some time.)  It’s also usually not a good idea to move Alzheimer patients because the confusion caused by the move can cause their condition to degrade drastically.

Post # 5
437 posts
Helper bee

AnutaBee:  Aw man. I am so sorry! This sounds like the most heartbreaking situation. I think he is making an impulse decision. Given his Dad’s diagnosis, it sounds like he may have a longterm prognosis… Albeit not the best quality of life.

So what about suggesting staying and riding out his new job for a little longer, to see how things progress with his family back home first? I am sure he is hurting now, so I would not directly tell him “NO”, because he will likely be combative and angry. I would let him know that while you are open minded to the idea, this should be a SLOW and very well thought out plan. That you guys need to make the best decisions for your future given the circumstances, wherever that may be. And, that you have no plans to up and move anywhere without both lining up jobs, etc. If he still presses the issue and wants to move sooner than later, you may need to let him go home without you. He moved for your education, which was an investment for both of your futures. Moving for his sick Dad, who has several other kids living with him, is not. In fact, it may be taking steps backwards. So, the sacrifice is not one in the same.

I know that’s such a sad thought. However, if you are very understanding through this and try to make the best decisions for both of your futures, and that’s how it ends up… Well, it probably wasn’t meant to be. He should not have to take the weight of his entire family, and I feel so bad for him that he feels the need to do so. 

You should both be prioritizing standing on your feet first (financially) and how you can best support eachother during this time. That’s how a marriage works, and if he doesn’t have those priorities, that should be eye opening for you. I would also determine a serious timeline on marriage, and follow through with it. Once you two accomplish that, THAN you both can factor in your families and how to resolve those issues (of your parents moving closer and his Dad being ill). If you can research the potential for an equally as good (or better) career in his home city and housing (NOT with his family!), than I would let him know you will have a serious discussion about it at that point.

Explain that you don’t want either one to feel resentful, and this is why you are communicating these things with him. And, yes, you should at least consider moving if you both can meet these criteria first… Especially if you love him and want to spend the rest of your life with him. I would also discuss with you parents the situation you are in and see where they stand. Maybe that can help guide you along, as well.

Post # 6
266 posts
Helper bee

Would it be possible to have long distance for let’s say 6 months, therefore you have a time line so he can be with his family and you can be with yours and you guys and re-assess the situation in 6 months? It’s hard to tell what will happen let’s say 3 years down the road so it’s probably a good idea to take it small steps at a time.

Or alternatively would you be willing to move with the undrestanding that there will be a time line of let’s say 1 year and at that time if you are not happy you would re-visit the situation? If it was me I would be willing to move as long as we had our own place and jobs lined up.  I would not accept moving in with his family but that’s just me…

Post # 7
2419 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

While I understand why your SO feels like he needs to go take care of his dad, I don’t think he really needs to. There are a million other people living there that can be of assistance in his care and I would not want to uproot myself to go live in a house that sounds so full of drama.

This sounds like something the two of you really need to discuss further.

Post # 8
5955 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

Wow….your situation makes my current situation look really simple (which it is not).  I’m also dealing with an unexpected family illness that is messing up moving plans with many moving parts, but the supporting the whole family situation is crazy.

My thoughts on your case: in a way, you are sort of lucky that you aren’t married yet.  These are the situations that usually come up when people are much further down the road in their marriage/kids journey.  You have the opportunity to make the decision about how you’ll deal with family in advance of deciding to get married.  You two need to discuss and decide if you want to find some sort of compromise that you can both live with (maybe you move to Chicago temporarily, maybe you try to get his family to move to Seattle, maybe something else) or if there is no middle ground and you need to go your seperate ways and find someone with more compatible goals related to family and geography.

Crap.  This sucks.  As someone who also had her best laid plans blow up on her recently, I realy feel for you.

Post # 9
1332 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

AnutaBee:  I think I am seeing things on a different wave length than what other bees have posted, but I wanted to share nonetheless.  This is a TOUGH situation, and I empathize with your concerns about packing up and moving.  However, I do not think this issue is a ‘yes or no’/’open or closed’ issue.  First, as you mentioned, he re-located for you, and your schooling.  This does not mean you guys need to automatically pack up and go, but for that huge reason alone, I think the issue needs to be looked at from all sides!!

I try to put myself in the other’s shoes.  If I were away from my family, whether they are crazy or not, and one of my parents became ill, I would absolutely feel the need to be closer by.  I think a lot would.  Although your fears in doing so are prominent, and important, and need to be discussed – he is only seeing (at this time) the fact that his dad is ill, and he wants to be there for everyone.  This does not mean that you need to just throw caution to the wind, and pack up and go right now, however.  But, with a little bit of communication, and I think compromise, it is something that you might want to consider?!

Since your parents are moving to Seattle soon, to be closer to you guys, and Alzheimer’s can progress over a long period of time, sometimes slowly and sometimes quickly, could you guys stay put for NOW, and make the promise that when things get worse, you re-locate??  And then, when you do re-locate, establishing the physical and financial boundaries thereafter?  (In that, you are there to help with his father, but not help with everyone in his families financial situations, AND you will rent a suitable apartment rather than live under the same roof?!)

Or, you leave now, before life gets hectic for you both (say marriage and children), but you agree to only re-locate for a year, or two, or five because you both see yourself in Seattle long-term?!

Or, he goes, you stay, and you do long distance for a bit, promising one another that when it gets too hard, or too much, you look at each other’s circumstances, and move wherever it fits best?

These are just some of my suggestions, anyways.  I think if he is worth it, then this is a detour in your relationship path, but certainly something many people will face in a relationship ‘down the road’, in regards to sick parents, etc, etc.  Talk to him, explore your options!!  Good luck!!

Post # 10
271 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Seeing as you don’t have plans to get married anytime soon, I would stay in Seattle for the time being, but stay open to moving out there with him in 1-2 years.  I wouldn’t mention anything about the fact of his crazy family, but instead, explain to him that you want to be there for your parents while they make the transition to Seattle.  He should be understanding of your obligation to take care of your parents’ needs just as he wants to take care of his, especially if you make it out to be a temporary situation (which–who knows, it could be, whether you move to Chicago, or he moves back to Seattle because things didn’t work out?)

A lot of times, an LDR can also lead to greater commitment on both people’s parts–it happened with myself and with several friends of mine.  It’s a test, but there are lots of wonderful benefits to it, too (looking forward to visits, more focus on the internal part of the relationship, greater appreciation for each other).  Maybe he would be open to an LDR if you put it in that light.  I personally think that if a man really loves you, he won’t let a temporary geographical distance ruin a good relationship.

Post # 11
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

AnutaBee:  That’s a HARD one, I gotta say and it hits way close to home. My dad has Alzheimers and not only have I missed the last few good, lucid years he had, I’m also now missing the last few lucid moments he has. If your BF’s family is such a mess, he may be the only responsible one that can step up and take him to doctor’s appointments, make decisions, etc etc. I’d move back in a heartbeat if I could. I’m in MN and he’s in CA. This is all part of life. It’s the sucky part, though.

Post # 12
2600 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

AnutaBee:  Your SO’s father is living in a house with several other able bodied adults.  Why can’t they take care of him?  Don’t get me wrong, I understand your Fiance wants to help and spend time with his Dad and that’s understandable and admirable, but it would seem his day-to-day needs are more than covered.  Is all this his idea or is the family pressuring him to save the day? 

It seems your real concern is not about the father but in getting sucked into a lot if family politics and dysfunction and ending up supporting the other adults in the household.  That would be a big no for me. I will help a family member who has fallen on hard times or gets sick – I am not going to pay the bills for someone who wants to watch Oprah and pop out kids. 

Your Fiance has just received some very upsetting news.  Let him process it for a bit and then talk.  Ask how he sees things working.  Talk about the family dynamics.  How he can separate caring for his father from taking on the burden of supporting the entire household? What is reasonable to give? How will the other family members contribute?  What will he expect of you? How will this effect the plans for you and your future? What is reasonable, what isn’t? Is it possible to accomplish his goals,without moving through frequent visits and some financial,assistance? Who will handle the decisions and finances on behalf of his father? Him? Someone else? Eitherbscenario will have it’s own set of problems and pitfalls.  

Alzheimers patients can linger for years so if you take this on, it could be for the long haul.  You need to flesh out if his intention is to ensure his father is taken care if or if he feels responsible for assuming the role,of provider for his mother and siblings. 

Have compassion and tread carefully but it’s also okay to not want to uproot your lives and volunteer to become part of a dysfunctional dynamic.  Get a counselor involved if you need help fleshing this out. 

Good luck.

Post # 13
2120 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

AnutaBee:  that is a tough situation. first off he has to go take care of his dad. his family is a whole other can of worms but they need him and he is the oldest. remember when you marry someone you marry his family. i dont suggest you move in with them though. just live seperate but close. is he planning on taking care of him financially because the state and disapility should help with that. his siblings are on their own though. you cant afford to take care of everyone and you should talk to him about it. it will be a learning process as growing up with large families usually are. you are an only child and that is a very different family dynamic. my Darling Husband has a very large crazy family and it took me years to adjust to it but i did. 

your parents moving to seattle? yesh doesnt that just make it even harder. you need to talk to him and your parents about it.  you do need to figure soemthing out with them and your SO because you cant stop him from taking care of his family. its actually a very good quality, so fmaily oriented.  he wont forgive you if you dont go with him… or ask him not to go… it sucks your parents are moving but you cant predict these kind of situations (emergant) . you either decide to stand by your man and help his family out (weather you think they deserve it or not) or you stay behind. Your parents will understand. hopfully… But you wont know you cant last with his family until you try. relationships are work. im sorry you are in this situation. But remembe moving to chicago isnt forever. even if you havent decided you should talk to your parents about it. 

Post # 14
2946 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

This is going to sound really bad, but one of the best things about not being married is that you don’t need to think as a “We” yet. Yes, he moved for you, and that was good of him, and awesome for you. That doesn’t mean you “owe” him to move. It also doesn’t mean that you have to stop him from moving either. Sometimes at this point in the relationship pre-marriage, you have to do what is best for you personally, and not what is best for you as a couple.

Right now, I think both of you need to take a step back and look at what is best for you as individual people. I think for at least you, it’s obvious that what is best for you is not moving, and that might mean the relationship does not continue. Thats a very hard conclusion to come to, but it’s much better to happen now.

Post # 15
843 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

As others have said, this is a hard one.  My grandma had the disease and once it started taking affect on her, my dad and his siblings made the decision to rotate her between each home for 4 months of the year as my grandmother did not want to go to an assisted living at that time.  Life was good for her in the switches, but eventually as the 5 or so years past, her quality of life really took a turn for the worse and it was difficult for us to care for her, so she was put in a home.  While I feel for your decision, I think it is important for your SO to have quality time with his dad while he still remembers him, whether that is for him to move or to take plenty of trips out to Chicago.

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