How do you know when it's time to move?


#1

I’ve been married to my husband for almost 4 years and we have a 3-year-old son together. We currently live in a small townhouse and would like to relocate.

I love the state we live in. Family (both mine and his) are close by, I’ve lived here all my life (hardly ever been away from my family, not even for college), and the local Catholic schools are really good. My husband and I both have good jobs, but he is looking to advance in his career, which he says he can’t do in this area without commuting an hour each way in traffic. He hates the fact that traffic is so heavy and that the area is fairly populated.

He raised the issue of moving in a few years. We’d be able to have a bigger house, more room for the kid(s), etc. He’s expecting to advance in his career in a less-populated area; I would likely be able to telecommute. We’ve been looking at houses about 12 hours away by car.

My mother is very upset that she wouldn’t be able to see her grandchild several times a week, and says that since I and my brother didn’t grow up with our grandparents nearby, we’d be doing the same thing to our son by him not seeing his grandparents frequently. The difference, though, is that my parents/grandparents were very poor and couldn’t afford to travel; there would be opportunities for frequent travel.

My mom seems to think that moving so far away is more my husband’s idea than mine, and she thinks he’s controlling things. Of course, if it were just me and my son, I’d probably stay in the local area, but it’s not just my needs to consider. She says that the husband is supposed to do what the wife wants, and if the wife ain’t happy, no one’s happy.

My questions are: is there any truth to this? Should the husband always please his wife with her wants? If you’ve moved away from family, how did you know it was time to leave/what caused you to relocate?

Thanks for reading!


#2

It is unnatural to live far away from our extended families.

Some people make it work, if you are the kind who can easily make a “new family” support system through your parish and work, it will likely be okay.

You as a family have to decide, what is more important, advancement in a career or family?


#3

Thanks, Kage. You always have such great words of wisdom!


#4

It should be a mutual decision. I am surprised that your husband complains about an hour drive to work and would rather move you away from your family than take the 1 hour drive.

1 hour drive to work is pretty common where I live (I live in a big city, and if you live in the suburbs that’s about how long it takes if you are lucky). It would be one thing if your husband had no opportunities for advancement in the area, but he does. It seems rather selfish of him to prefer moving to driving an hour to work. But I might be biased because I spent my whole life taking a long time to get to where I needed to go, it just doesn’t seem like a big deal, and since extended family is so important to you he should be willing to drive 2 hours a day… Even if you did move, he’d probably be driving half an hour or something along those lines, so he’d only be saving about an hour per day, an hour he could be listening to audio books/radio shows or whatever.


#5

I agree, your son is two years younger than I was when we moved away from home, and I still get intensely sad whenever we leave them after holidays, because they’re my family and we should be together :frowning:

Your son needs his family! Let him know his grandparents, before their time is up. I hate to sound so down, but please, don’t repeat the mistakes that my parents have made moving us away. You cannot choose material goods such as a large house over the love and joy your family will bring you, and especially your son! What I regret the most is that I barely remember my grandparents, the clearest memory I have of my grandfather is when we flew up because he was dying. And we found out about my grandma only after the fact. We could have been with them more. Please don’t do it!

Praying for you to make the right decision :gopray:


#6

This is so true! I barely remember my grandparents, but that never really bothered me growing up. It was just the way it was. My son has a pretty close relationship with his grandparents and I’d hate to take that from him. But I also don’t want to fall victim to the guilt trip my mom throws on me every time we talk about it.


#7

That’s a good point; my husband doesn’t like the traffic we have here and he doesn’t want the hour-long commute (we currently both work within 5 minutes of home and my son’s preschool). He doesn’t like the high property taxes here, either. You’re right; I do feel it’s a bit selfish, but it seems that my mother is being selfish sometimes by wanting us to stay here. I constantly feel torn between my parents and my own family. :shrug:


#8

How blessed you are to have a mother who wants to be close to you and her grandchild!!! Don’t let her come between you and your husband though… don’t let your husband take the fall for wanting to move if you do too… even if you don’t necessarily, I think you should present a united front to your mother.

If it were me, I would try to persuade my husband to stay close to family. Jobs come and go… espeically in this economy… he could move, advance in his career only to end up laid off. Guess where you’d be hightailing it back to? Your family! The people who love you and hopefully would support you no matter what. You live in a nice townhouse? How lovely. The good people of Haiti would probably give anything to live where you live. I don’t say that to make you feel guilty… only to help you appreicate that even if you don’t have a big house/yard - you are blessed beyond measure. When your son looks back fondly on his childhood, he will not care about the things he had or the size of his house… it’s the people in his life who showered him with love that he’ll remember.

God Bless.


#9

A 5 minute drive to work is a very uncommon thing and an unreasonable expectation on the part of your husband.

It’s not a bit selfish, it is extremely selfish. Since you are someone to whom extended family is very important, it seems like there shouldn’t even be a question. On the one hand he will sacrifice at most 2 hours (likely less, since what are the chances of another 5 minute drive), on the other you will be sacrificing closeness to your family.

Why not compromise and buy a new house half way between your current place and the local place of work? Then he will have a half hour drive to work, which is pretty short by any city standard, and you will still be close to your family.


#10

Man’s input

Remember your wedding vows?
What part said, “And also to follow the guidance of my/our parents in deciding our lives”

First, I agree that an hour commute is like nothing. My wife has commuted for an 1 hour each way for 20 years. What made it livable was a heavy car that did not “beat her up” on the road, so when she got to work or home, she was not road weary. With today’s gas prices, that may not be an option. But it could be a trade for moving. The Avalon, is in my opinion, the best driver comfort car on the road. Especially for road noise, which can really wear you out on long trips.

Second, children adapt and are to “follow the parents lead” not to make the parents follow the childrens lead. Do not use the children to avoid supporting your husband.

Third, Grandma needs NOT to become so selfish that she drives a wedge between you and your husband. Yes, she will miss the grandchildren, but the Bible informs us that marriage is a “separation” from our families, and a forming of a new family.

And that leads to Four: You and your husband are a family distinct and separate from either of your roots. Yes, you have extended familial roots that you will never let die, but if you let those roots take hold within you and your husbands marriage and lives, keep a divorce attorney on speed dial.
Decide this with your husband, and then “politely tell” the grandparents the decision, and if grandma attempts to place blame, WHOAA , she is driving an personal selfish agenda, and not focused on the biblicl obligation between both you and your husband to each other.

DO NOT, do not put the wants of your extended family before the needs of your immediate family/husband. As a man, that will be like saying, “Well, yes honey, I love you, but I love grandma and grandpa more - Well, yes your opinion is important, provided it meets with their approval - of course I support you, for as long as you live in this neighborhood”. He didn’t court them, he didn’t marry them, and they are not the mother of his children. He is working for you and the children, support him 100%, and that includes in front of your mother. Do not allow her to voice negative suggestions about your husbands motivation or career.

It is time to choose. Your husband or your parents, and given the scenario you explained above, his 1 hour commute issue may be lanuage for, “I have got to get some distance between me and Grandma and Grandpa”.

Pray about it, but never put your husband in line behind your parents.


#11

:smiley: I know what you’re talking about!


#12

It is your husband’s responsibility to provide for his family. If he can better achieve that by moving 12 hours away from Grandma, then that is the way it will have to be. If you were a military family a mere overnight stay away from your family would be a reason to rejoice. Moving is hard, but with a positive attitude you can turn it into a family adventure, a source of opportunity for your husband to advance his career, and a chance for you to meet and make new friends.


#13

i grew up in a military family...so we moved every 2-4 years. i didnt see my grandparents often but we were EXTREMELY close.

i was raised no matter how far away you are you can still be close.

my husband and i are moving to alaska in 2011 and of course we are taking our 2 daughters. my parents will be in oregon and husbands parents will stay in georgia. my children will always have access to see either grandparents.

we are moving due to NO JOBS here where we live. and my husband wants to move to alaska...(i was raised there) we want better for our children and that is what counts


#14

[quote="Julian0404, post:10, topic:185994"]
Man's input

Remember your wedding vows?
What part said, "And also to follow the guidance of my/our parents in deciding our lives"

First, I agree that an hour commute is like nothing. My wife has commuted for an 1 hour each way for 20 years. What made it livable was a heavy car that did not "beat her up" on the road, so when she got to work or home, she was not road weary. With today's gas prices, that may not be an option. But it could be a trade for moving. The Avalon, is in my opinion, the best driver comfort car on the road. Especially for road noise, which can really wear you out on long trips.

Second, children adapt and are to "follow the parents lead" not to make the parents follow the childrens lead. Do not use the children to avoid supporting your husband.

Third, Grandma needs NOT to become so selfish that she drives a wedge between you and your husband. Yes, she will miss the grandchildren, but the Bible informs us that marriage is a "separation" from our families, and a forming of a new family.

And that leads to Four: You and your husband are a family distinct and separate from either of your roots. Yes, you have extended familial roots that you will never let die, but if you let those roots take hold within you and your husbands marriage and lives, keep a divorce attorney on speed dial.
Decide this with your husband, and then "politely tell" the grandparents the decision, and if grandma attempts to place blame, WHOAA , she is driving an personal selfish agenda, and not focused on the biblicl obligation between both you and your husband to each other.

DO NOT, do not put the wants of your extended family before the needs of your immediate family/husband. As a man, that will be like saying, "Well, yes honey, I love you, but I love grandma and grandpa more - Well, yes your opinion is important, provided it meets with their approval - of course I support you, for as long as you live in this neighborhood". He didn't court them, he didn't marry them, and they are not the mother of his children. He is working for you and the children, support him 100%, and that includes in front of your mother. Do not allow her to voice negative suggestions about your husbands motivation or career.

It is time to choose. Your husband or your parents, and given the scenario you explained above, his 1 hour commute issue may be lanuage for, "I have got to get some distance between me and Grandma and Grandpa".

Pray about it, but never put your husband in line behind your parents.

[/quote]

I agree with this. This decision should not include your mother's input at all. This is between you and your husband only.

And whatever you two choose, be adult enough to take credit for your decision. I know how it feels to be the one constantly blamed for choices the in-laws don't like, even if they are decisions made together.

And no, a man should not always do what the wife wants. What is this idea that if "the wife isn't happy, then nobody's happy". The ideal to strive for in a family unit is for everyone to be happy. How is my husbands unhappiness in any way less important than mine, or why is my happiness more important than his?


#15

[quote="Julian0404, post:10, topic:185994"]
Man's input

Remember your wedding vows?
What part said, "And also to follow the guidance of my/our parents in deciding our lives"

First, I agree that an hour commute is like nothing. My wife has commuted for an 1 hour each way for 20 years. What made it livable was a heavy car that did not "beat her up" on the road, so when she got to work or home, she was not road weary. With today's gas prices, that may not be an option. But it could be a trade for moving. The Avalon, is in my opinion, the best driver comfort car on the road. Especially for road noise, which can really wear you out on long trips.

Second, children adapt and are to "follow the parents lead" not to make the parents follow the childrens lead. Do not use the children to avoid supporting your husband.

Third, Grandma needs NOT to become so selfish that she drives a wedge between you and your husband. Yes, she will miss the grandchildren, but the Bible informs us that marriage is a "separation" from our families, and a forming of a new family.

And that leads to Four: You and your husband are a family distinct and separate from either of your roots. Yes, you have extended familial roots that you will never let die, but if you let those roots take hold within you and your husbands marriage and lives, keep a divorce attorney on speed dial.
Decide this with your husband, and then "politely tell" the grandparents the decision, and if grandma attempts to place blame, WHOAA , she is driving an personal selfish agenda, and not focused on the biblicl obligation between both you and your husband to each other.

DO NOT, do not put the wants of your extended family before the needs of your immediate family/husband. As a man, that will be like saying, "Well, yes honey, I love you, but I love grandma and grandpa more - Well, yes your opinion is important, provided it meets with their approval - of course I support you, for as long as you live in this neighborhood". He didn't court them, he didn't marry them, and they are not the mother of his children. He is working for you and the children, support him 100%, and that includes in front of your mother. Do not allow her to voice negative suggestions about your husbands motivation or career.

It is time to choose. Your husband or your parents, and given the scenario you explained above, his 1 hour commute issue may be lanuage for, "I have got to get some distance between me and Grandma and Grandpa".

Pray about it, but never put your husband in line behind your parents.

[/quote]

Thank you, Julian. This makes a lot of sense! And I hadn't considered the bolded part. My husband gets along great with my dad, but not so much with my mom. She is not very nice to my husband sometimes, but he is able to smile and be cordial.

I grew up in a stagnant Air Force family; I only lived on 2 bases (within 30 minutes of each other) during my father's entire career. The whole time we were separated from all extended family by a two-day drive. We didn't have much money, either, so we hardly traveled to see them, but I don't feel that I was deprived at all from my extended family.

It's great to see so many viewpoints! Keep 'em coming, please!


#16

We were in the EXACT same boat. My mother was freaking out that we moved five hours away-- but it was the BEST move for our family.

We've built a great resume for my husband, had space to be an independent family unit, gotten to see a part of the country we would otherwise not have experienced, and done the best thing for US as a family.

Frankly I think an hour long commute is a ridiculous waste of the day. We have that, here on Long Island, and we are moving away from here ASAP becuase 2 hours a day commuting is 2 hours a day my daughter misses out on Daddy Time!

Find a small town, negotiate a good salary, make sure the schools/church are good and MOVE!

Even five hours away, I still see my mom at LEAST once a month, usually more. She survived and adjusted just fine. How much distance are you talking about?

I dont feel as tho we are cheating my child out of anything by living here. I fundamentally disagree with the statement "it is unnatural to live far away from your extended family".

Frankly I kind of think that's baloney. Distance doesnt make a bit of difference if you're family is determined to stay close. My family has always been spread out all over the east coast-- because we go where the work is, or where the culture aligns with our values, etc. There is nothing unnatural about putting your own family unit first.


#17

I think you and your husband should talk about this, the pros (his career etc) and cons (being away from your family etc) of each location, the different options of where you could move (are there any homes near the job that is 1 hr away), but do not include your mother in the conversations. Your husband and you are one, you have started your own family and you need to seek what is best for your family. Once the decision is made you can inform your mother. I personally love living near family, and would want that for my kids for as long as it is possible. I live very far from my mother/siblings, but very near my inlaws and love having them so close to my kids (the only thing that would be better would be having my family near too :slight_smile: ). I grew up down the street from my grandparents, and I loved it. I wouldn’t make my husband move near my family, though, unless it was what is best for our family. The idea that a husband has to do what a wife wants always is incorrect. The husband and wife should seek what is best for their marriage and family, its not about one person or the other. I do think your points are valid, all the pros of the area you live in now and I do think it should carry weight, but the discussion should be between you and your dh, and not including your mom. Once you come to a decision together, even if it is not your ideal, share it with your family as the decision you have come to together, and defend your husband if he gets any “blame” if it is a decision they do not like.


#18

[quote="Julian0404, post:10, topic:185994"]
Man's input

Remember your wedding vows?
What part said, "And also to follow the guidance of my/our parents in deciding our lives"

[/quote]

Working woman's input :p

I agree with this. The decision you two should make should be based on what is good for YOUR family, not your mother's wants for your family. Unless your mother is ailing and relies on your family to help care for her, she shouldn't get any input. If YOU want to stay near your mother, that's a different matter

Can your husband actually get a much shorter commute? If he can cut 1 hour one-way down to 15 minutes one-way, that's 1.5 hours more at home with the family, 5 days a week, or 7.5 hours more at home each week! That's a HUGE difference! As a working mother, I can say that being home an extra 1.5 hours a day with my family when I can WFH instead of driving into the office makes a big difference to our family's life.

Would chopping that commute be worth more than staying near grandparents? Well, that would be a tough question to answer for most families, I think. It would depend on the grandparents, how much we visit when close, whether they have a good or bad influence on our family, and on our abilty to stay in touch with them after a move. It probably depends on the father as well - how will he be using that additional time? To further his career and work longer hours at work? To watch TV and hang out with his friends? To attend his kids' ball games, cook dinner with his family, and volunteer at church? I'd weigh that against losing your familiar hometown, grandparents being around less, etc.

In our family, those hours freed up would probably be invested back into the family, so it would be a question of the father having more time with the kids, or the grandparents. Personally, I'd rather have Dad home more - but there can be good reasons to choose the other way, depending on your specific situation. Good luck in your discussions.


#19

About this, since you asked…of course there’s no truth to the idea that a husband must always do what his wife wants to please her! Ideally, it should be a mutual choice you’re able to come to together with your husband. (Remembering also that your husband is the head of the family.)

But I also agree strongly with previous posters: it’s not ideal to live so far away from extended family. Maybe you could talk to your husband about that and reach a point where being near family (especially your kids’ sakes) is given just as much consideration as career advancement/convenience.


#20

As many people said - no other people should weigh in / influence the decision other than you two. Each of you need to think hard of the pros and cons and be able to express them to each other to help make the best mutual decision for you’re immediate family (no extended).

That being said, in our situation, my parents have both passed away and we are here with my wife’s family. We have all been here all of our lives. Times have come and gone where job opportunities presented options to move and we never took them - and that was before our daughter was born.

Fast forward the calendar some years, now with our daughter and my wife’s parents approaching 70 years old, it’s me who is saying with all heart and soul that we shouldn’t leave.

My reasoning is my in-laws within the next decade will all likely need help with some chores. Anyone who has actively participated in caring for elderly parents or grandparents know the various challenges and needs that come with that. Distance would make it impossible. And, in my case, my in-laws would not sell their house for anything for any reason.

I personally feel that my obligation after my wife and daughter come’s the assistance my in-laws may need within the next grouping of years. No one has ever brought this up to me, but having been through it already with my parents, I feel it’s our obligation to “be there”.

And, the thought of taking our daughter away from every family member is just sickening to me.

We discuss this and I make my thoughts known to my wife who actually can’t believe I feel this way towards her parents but I’m willing to work whatever job necessary to keep the family first.

The answer and situation is different for everyone - do some deep digging to find yours.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.