I made a decision purely based on emotion recently. We were about a month from our wedding day when my husband-to-be lost his job. That put me in quite an emotional wreck. Then he starts saying, “Well, without that job, there’s no reason to start out in PA (where neither of us has family), we could move near one of our families.” I just broke down completely over that idea … I guess I wanted some stability in our plans, and I had made all these plans for how we were going to make it in PA, we had looked at apartments, I had applied to jobs … and I was just mortally terrified of moving.
Well, my husband caved, we stayed here and now we each have jobs. As a teacher, I can’t move until the end of the year. At that point, he’ll finally be making some progress on his job – one he couldn’t keep if we moved back to the west coast, where I am from. So we really committed to staying here, and we’re pretty stuck if we want to change our minds.
Problem is, I want to change my mind. Without the paralyzing fear I had right before the wedding, it seems way more practical for us to be living near family. I’m expecting in April, and it sure would be nice to have some family support. I can’t stand the cold here, or the heat for that matter, and the long winters make me depressed. We’ve had a big falling-out with our only real friends in the area. So there is absolutely no good reason to live here, and lots to live elsewhere, but – we’re stuck.
My advice? Yes, emotions – especially the long-lasting kind, not the momentary panic kind – are okay to take into account. They tell us what we really want … something no amount of logical thinking can work out for us. I had a friend who was paralyzed about going out with a girl he liked because “wouldn’t that be just listening to my emotions?” But when it comes to what person to marry, what place to live, who to make friends with, we don’t have a whole lot to go on besides our gut.
So, when you weigh pros and cons, emotions go on the list. They can’t overrule other factors, but they are there all the same. My strong desire to be near family, I consider a valid emotion. Terror at abandoning plans isn’t quite so valid. So check them over. From your situation, I don’t see any reason not to move if the whole family wants to. However, if your husband doesn’t want to go back, hating the cold weather and all that, I have to say I sympathize!
Your emotions might be a little clouded because they have the tendency to imagine things were better back sometime in the past, and associate things that really aren’t related (PA and a happy time in your life). But they can help you see the desires of your heart.
I can’t tell you what the right thing to do is, anymore than the priest could, but I wish you luck. Remember to take the feelings of everyone else into account just as much as your own. Chances are, either choice would make you happy in the long run – so don’t be afraid.