What to do when you want to move and your spouse doesn’t?

Whether you’ve been offered a lucrative position in another city, or believe a certain place to be the haven of your dreams, or just can’t stand the extreme weather conditions in your current area anymore, you may have a good reason to relocate and look for happiness someplace else. Your partner (or spouse), however, may not feel the same way about such a big step in your common life. Fear of the unknown, unwillingness to part with family and friends, and anxiety over change are all powerful factors that effectively work against the idea of moving house.

Such a reluctance to step out of one’s comfort zone and brave the risks, however, may result in many missed opportunities and bitter regrets. So, what is to be done when one spouse wants to move but the other doesn’t?

Weigh the pros and the cons of an eventual relocation

In order to convince your reluctant spouse of the benefits an eventual relocation will bring to your life, first you need to make sure that it will be really worth the effort and the stress involved. Consider the following crucial factors:

1) Financial advantages – find out if your life will actually improve after the relocation:

  • Will you receive a considerable financial boost as a result of a higher income?
  • Will you have a chance to advance in your career and improve your skills, knowledge, and competence in your area of expertise?
  • Are there appropriate career opportunities available in the region?
  • Is the cost of living in your new city affordable?
  • What are your housing options?

2) Available opportunities – find out what opportunities your new new city has to offer:

  • Will the new environment be beneficial for your children (if any) in terms of safety, education, hobby and recreational activities, new friendships, etc.?
  • Are there plenty of entertainment options, sports and music events, movie theaters, restaurants, green areas, etc. available in your new area that will allow you to relax and recharge with positive energy?

3) Moving issues – find out how hard the actual relocation process will be:

  • Can you find an affordable new home in a safe and prosperous neighborhood?
  • Will you be able to cover all the moving-related expenses without going broke?
  • Do you have the organizational skills and the required know-how to perform a smooth and trouble-free relocation?

4) Sentimental factors – find out if you and your family will be able to accept the change in a positive way and to enjoy your new life:

  • Is the weather in the area to your liking?
  • Is the lifestyle (prevailing points of view and established social norms) in your new surroundings compatible with yours?
  • Will you be able to easily adjust to the new environment and find new friends?
  • How much will you regret the things you are leaving behind?

All in all, if it seems that you will gain more than you will lose by moving house, you can bravely proceed with your plans. However, you need to find a way to do so without damaging your marriage.

Discuss the issue at length

Once you come to the conclusion that a house move is your best course of action under the present circumstances, you need to talk with your spouse about your feelings, needs, and expectations of the change. When discussing the proposed relocation, you will both get a fair idea about the issues involved and the possible solutions.

  • Explain the situation and ask for your partner’s opinion;
  • Show empathy and let your spouse know that you understand how much he/she will have to sacrifice (articulating the downsides will work very well to your advantage as it will keep your partner from going to an extremely negative point of view just to balance you out);
  • Lay out all the advantages that an eventual relocation will bring to both of you – use clear facts and numbers to prove your point;
  • Find something specific that your spouse will most probably like about the new place – a safer and friendlier community, better healthcare, great educational opportunities, abundant chances to pursuit the hobbies or activities he/she enjoys, etc.

Have in mind that it is usually not the change that people hate so much, but the inevitable losses it involves. If you can figure out how to minimize potential losses, you’ll have a better chance to convince your reluctant spouse to go along with the move.

Agree on a compromise

If your spouse doesn’t want to move despite the probable advantages, consider a compromise – suggest a temporary move. Rent out your current home and move to your chosen city for a certain period of time. Give it about a two-year tryout, for example, and reassess the situation. If your partner still doesn’t feel comfortable in the new surroundings, hates the area, and regrets the relocation, consider moving back – even if it is not financially justifiable, returning to your “sweet home” may still be the right thing to do.

Visit your potential new city before making a final decision

It is advisable to thoroughly research the place you intend to move to well in advance – use the Internet to find out any relevant information about the city, check with friends and acquaintances that live in the area, or follow local blogs, forums, and township sites to get an accurate idea of the positive and negative aspects of the place.

However, the best thing you can do under the circumstances is physically explore the city together with your spouse – look at houses for sale, check out local schools, visit a farmer’s market, have dinner in a nice family restaurant, etc. This will help you make better decisions about your new life and will put your partner’s fears at ease.

Organize a trouble-free move

Without a doubt, the great hassle involved in the relocation process is one of the main reasons why your spouse is reluctant to move. If you plan every stage of the moving endeavor well enough to ensure a smooth and stress-free relocation, your significant other will certainly accept the change in a much more positive way. So, start the moving preparations as early as possible and make sure you:

Moving house is a life-changing event which inevitably entails a great emotional upheaval in a relationship. Allow yourself and your partner enough time to deal with the change and cope with the challenges you are faced with. What matters is to respect the other person’s opinions and feelings, to share your expectations and fears, and to make every important decision together – this way you will be able to enjoy each and every moment of your life, wherever you may live at that moment.

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47 thoughts on “What to do when you want to move and your spouse doesn’t?

  1. I think health issues due to weather should be number one, even before financial. If the weather is debilitating one cannot continue to live in an area that makes them worse. If you don’t have your health one has nothing.

    • My problem is a very fair Irish complexion, systemic lupus and lifelong intolerance to heat. I moved from AZ to CO but now last summer and this I am nearly unable to leave my home due to searingly high temps. Global warming, I need Washington State! My husband doesn’t’ want to move away from the area we both grew up in here in Colorado, and I understand, but I’ve felt so lousy this year that I made him take our first vacation in6 years; all we did was fight anyway. So I’m leaving on my own.

      • i did the same..i also did go up the northwest before ending up at the east coast..sometimes you have to do what you have to do…sadly. some people are unable to change rt childhood trauma or whatever it is that makes them inflexible…if the shoe were reveresed and we were the ones with the better health and steady income..we probably would jump to move and help them out..some people..though they love you have a very hard time with change..ive noticed colorado people seem to be the worst at this..native coloradians think there is no better place on earth to live…to me its the worst place on earth to live..

    • exactly..im dealing with this…ive needed to move and have tried before…its now to the point i did recently move from the dry high altitude south west to ocean …as dr recommended. my spouse is bent on living in the west..and i believe he still thinks i can come out there 6 mo out of the year. ive done my best…i cant do it anymore..as you say if you dont have your health you have nothing. i am significantly better when out of the dry high altitude sw. i am not even that old yet..and as it is spent 7 years there. have had multiple maxillo facial surgeries..rt some jaw issues…have had repeated sinus infections and antibiotics..2 sinus surgeries…im not doing it anymore…as well as i get sleep apnea every time i have a sinus infection..rt upper airway resistance..its to the point i now have osteitis of the maxilla and i doubt it will ever totally heal. the humidity in sw co stays at 11 inside our house in winter…and humidifier doesnt help…in the summer its dry as can be…if i try to use a humidifier as md suggests..husband just opens windows at night anyway for the “fresh air” there is dust and its just been a bad experience. my husband has refused to problem solve or discuss the situation..and always blames it on me that i would be this way anywhere when in reality i am totally better as soon as im out. now he texts how lonely he is and how much he just misses me. im past the point of worrying..ive tried to get him to help me decide where he would move and make a compromise…he doesnt want to budge. finally i chose the ocean as it is the best possible place for me. i tried arizona for him as a last resort to see if an altitude change would help and it was a disaster. my father flew out and helped me drive back east..im here to stay. my husband believes he will probably be able to be here during the winter season. otherwise i cant worry about it. when you get married it doesnt mean you have to live in one town or state for the rest of your life just for one spouse…when your health is that affected. he is the one who works..and i havent worked in a while..so am trying to find work. still im so thankful to get out of colorado..im not looking back. i love my husband but there comes a point when you have to do what you have to do…im also not living my life around a humidifier. i will do best in a milder ocean climate with short winters..and less low humidity and heat on inside as all of that dries out the air. for me i have a severe problem with this…it is debilitating…;)

      • I understand what you are talking about. I had a stroke and my Dr said part of the problem was smoking so I quit the same day. He also said I needed to move because of the bad air we have here which could cause another stroke or worse. My Husband knows this but is fighting it every step of the way. He says he loves our home here and we will only be able to live in a piece of junk if we move away. He doesn’t want to leave his friends here especially one certain friend. We put down on a house where our kids live that we both like and now that they accepted our offer he says it’s a piece of junk and we won’t have any money to fix it up ever and Now we will never to be able to live in as nice of a house as this ever again. Everything he says now is negative and angry but we sign the final papers soon. He always wants to have his own way and now hasn’t talked to me for 3 days.

      • Wow! Your experience sounds so much like mine! I am fighting repeated sinus infections and skins disorders SO MUCH since moving to this very arid place. The winters are extremely long and very windy causing more problems and even drier air than in the summer. The summers are very nice here but only last 2.8 months long or so it seems. I have been going through perimenopause and the arid temps have dried me out completely. I have aged so quickly and used to look so much younger than my age. I feel dependant on my spouse as the bread winner because I also struggle with the symptoms of Fibromyalgia. The healthcare system here is great but is it worth than “perk” to live in complete misery most of the time? I have considered a legal separation but that is just as costly as divorce. I don’t have the collective energy to handle all of that, so I’m considering just simply leaving, go to a better climate and get my life and health back! We argue too, because my spouse has no affection for getting healthy (aside from supplements) and supporting my desires to do so. It’s always a battle just to go for walks…so I go by myself… I am a swimmer by nature, but everytime I have gotten in a pool or spa here, it results in some weird skin or sinus issue…never had this at my own pool in my home state. I desire to live near the ocean too as I love the salty air, particularly and the light weight clothing. Yes, summers on the coast can be very heavy feeling, but I have handled that most of my life and know what to do to stay cool indoors or outdoors. Shade is a very nice thing in sunny locales, but not if you live in a town that stay dark much of the year. Completely depressing! I am at the point, as I have stated to my spouse, that I am tired of living my life for everyone else’s needs and desires. All that has ever brought me was a twisted version of happiness or now, has completely drained me of life.

  2. We moved cross country several years ago to be near children and grand children. We found good jobs, and are making our way. Now my spouse wants to move back. Reasons are to see his sister….he never saw her before the move. To see his best friend. He had months he could have spent with him when he was laid off and didn’t. My mom, since she won’t move, she is elderly and will have to move at some point in the next few years and there is NO way I can live with both of them. Stress would kill me. My brother, whom I talk to frequently but when I lived there only saw maybe once a year. He misses the area. Went there for a whole week last summer and he did nothing, saw no one, made no plans. Has done very little since we moved here to make this a home….no different than when we lived on the other end of the country.
    This has me sick.

      • My husband looks at RE magazines,but I can ask if we can look for another place,due to our health.His arthuritis is getting bad in his knees and legs. and our yard is so steep,you have to walk sideways.He says he’s so used to this place.I’m thinking about our health.I mentioned this off and ouw for months.Even show him possibilities of beautiful homes(with flat yards)online.He still won’t budge.He won’t disscuss it!Any suggestions?

  3. We moved to be near bf’s mother…who I cannot stand to be around because she’s soooo nosy. In fact, his whole family lives in this city and I hate it. I don’t want to live here, stay here, grow old here, die here. I can’t stand it in this city. But he loves it. I just don’t even know what to do. I love him but seriously, I don’t think this place is right for me. I feel lost.

    • I currently live in a small country town in Illinois. My family moved here about 4 years ago from Florida and I regret moving here every day. I miss the beautiful weather of my home in The south. I moved here and met my now husband who has family here but who we never see anymore. My life has changed so much and I really have nothing good to say about this place. I can’t wait to move back south and be with my kids by the beach.

      • I would gladly trade places with you any day! I hate the South for it’s weather. And the mountains…..beautiful, yet stifling and make me claustrophobic. I spend an extraordinary amount of time wishing I could move back home to MI from NC. But I’m really stuck here. I’m so sorry you are dealing with this. I can’t believe I got myself stuck here. I don’t think my husband and I will ever agree on a place to live. He has no desire to move. That probably doesn’t bode well for us.

    • I am in a very similar situation. My wife wants to move for her job and to be closer to family, but I can’t stand her family. I know nobody in the area, and will be leaving a lucrative stable job (that I don’t want to leave) and live off my wife. We have a child and another one on its way. My wife pretty much gave me an ultimatum, stating separation or divorce will be the case if I don’t follow. I can’t stand the inlaws!!! If anything happens such a divorce, she will be set up great in her dream job, close to family and support, and the location she always dreamed off…while I will be unemployed, unable to move (because my kids can’t be moved away from their mother), with no support. i too feel lost!

      • DON’T FALL FOR HER ULTIMATUMS!!!!! I DID THIS AND MY WIFE LEFT ME THREE MONTHS LATER ANYWAYS….DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY

  4. My husband moved me into his house, we got married and his adult children wanted the house and forcefully had me out of the house. My husband rented us an apartment and let his adult children stay in the house. I am not at all happy. I live in a new town with no friends or family. I want to move back home, he doesn’t.. If we legally separate can I move back home even if it’s his house and he doesn’t want to?

  5. Recently moved to SW Florida from Wisconsin. I hate it. My husband was retired and disliked the long winters and convinced me to move. I wanted to test it out for a couple years first as a snowbird I never even visited the place we moved to. 55 + community which is very boring

    I liked the change of seasons back home and miss our daughter and hometown community and the humidity here is awful so you stay inside anyway. I want the cool crisp air of wis back! Biggest mistake of my life

    I told him I am living back in wiscondin next summer or I am out of here permanently

    • I feel your pain somewhat. I decided to move to North Carolina from Michigan after graduating college, almost 12 years ago. Got stuck in a bad relationship for 4 years, then met my now-husband whom I have a child with. I have never loved it here and almost left in my first year here, but convinced myself I was a sissy, so I needed to stay. I can’t say it was a mistake because I love my husband and daughter, but we are totally stuck here for at least another 7 years until my stepson is out on his own. Shared custody. What a nightmare. I can’t believe I did this to myself. I hate the weather here. It is so humid all the time. And hot. My goodness the heat in the South never ends. I don’t blame you. It is only a matter of time before I am back to MI. I can’t possibly live my life out in this hellish heat.

      • I grew up in Ohio and my wife moved up there to be with me after we married. Couple years later her mom’s health declined and my wife asked if I’d move down to help her. Originally, our plan was to move after my wife earned her degree in teaching, which would have been 6 or 7 years later, but we moved in 2 years and my wife never finished her degrees. So we are financially strapped in SC and I’ve been contemplating moving back to OH. This has been something on my heart and not sure why and I know it will not go well with my wife when I bring it up. I just don’t know when or how. But financially, we are kind of stuck here too.

    • SW Florida is super boring. All these fake designed communities suck. No community is lively without young people and families. When families are split up and it’s seniors only, the cities lose the neighborhood feel and become sooo boring!! I went to Port Charlotte/Punta Gorda, and it was considered lively by SW Fl standards! It is so hard to make friends there plus there is nothing to do.

    • I hear ya.Im in Florida miss my family so much. I’m very lonely here.Husband said if u want to go back go……he’s not going.

  6. I’m in a similar situation where I need to move back to my home country in England. And my spouse doesn’t want to. At the moment I’m living in Kenya, my husband is running the hotel as a manager I have a little boy who’s just over a year. We’re living in a hotel for two years now and I feel like a prisoner because I can’t go out, there’s no activities here for my little one and no friends we’re stuck in one place with no freedom of movement and my husband is refusing me to go back. I’ve explained to him that’s it better there no just for us but more importantly for our son who’s ready for nursery and needs to interact with other children and here it’s impossible and the nurseries here are expensive where in England it’s free. Last time when i was visiting my family my son was happy there, because I had the chance of taking him out to the park. Since I came back to Kenya my son feels down and I can tell its affecting him emotionally.
    Whenever I try and talk it through with my husband he threatens me with an injunction and lawyers. What do I do and how can I resolve this? I’m desperate for advice…

  7. My spouse and I moved to Nevada 3 years ago. My son lives in NV and other son passed away 8 years ago, neither are my spouse’s children. We both agreed to move to NV after visiting for several years and my main motivation was to be by my son. After living here one year my spouse wanted to move back to SW Florida as his brother has moved there. He does have a son that lives in Florida too that we saw infrequently. His reasoning to go back is that Las Vegas NV is too big and a fast pace. His hometown were he grew up was very small and so was the city we lived in at Florida. I understand all of his reasoning although do not want to move back to this retirement community, and I like living by my son. He says I can visit anytime I want but things usually don’t work out that easily once you move. Friends (the few I have here) say how much do you really see your son. More than if I lived in Florida. He has done little to try and like it here and it has been hard to make friends. Maybe I am putting off the inevitable but I am not sold

  8. I’m 44 and my husband is 67. I came out of an eight year court battle with my ex, 106 court hearings I won against his team of attorneys but WOW did it take a toll on my health. I want to move 20 minutes away from our current area to live in the country on 10 acres. I want to build a beautiful new peaceful life with my current husband and children. I want to give them earthy grounded roots. We have the ability to afford a lifestyle on a ranch with horses and goats and Alpacas. I’ve had these kind of big animals before and fell in love with them. I want to go back to a lifestyle like that. After 8 years in court, 40,000 hours of paperwork and court trials, I’m desperately needing the simpler low stress life. BUT my husband is older and has lived in his home for 30 years and is scared to leave it. The problem with me staying is that my husband does everything in this house and won’t let me do anything in it. I have nothing to do that gives me purpose in our house. I want to move but my kids and my husband want to stay. I don’t think they realize how much fun it would be for them. I’m really heartbroken.

    • Show them this exact thing you wrote! You should care for them in the same amount they care for you. You try their way perhaps they should try yours too! Then and just then they could say I didn’t like it.

  9. I am so glad I found this forum! You are the only folks I’ve found who are in the same situation I’m in–living in a climate/town that makes me miserable. I was single for 12 years after my heartbreaking divorce. So when I finally found real love with a wonderful man, I didn’t think twice about moving to Florida to be with him. I’m a nurse–I have no problem finding solid employment pretty much everywhere I go–but he’s been in Tampa for 30 years now and has employment that is decidedly not portable…and is work he absolutely loves doing. We’ve been living in a small, charming beach community for most of the 5 years I’ve been here. Problem is…I’m not a water person. I also suffered heat stroke while in the Army and have a terrible time tolerating the heat now. Last summer, the temperature reached 91 degrees every, single day for 6 straight months. Oh, except for the days during Hurricane Irma, when we had to evacuate and be prepared to lose everything we owned.

    I’m at a point where I hate living here. And like others who have told their stories here, I too have scolded myself for not being able to make this work. My husband LOVES living here–I fell horrible that I don’t share his enthusiasm! I so desperately want to love it here! But I’ve finally come to grips with the fact that I honestly and truly don’t like it here. I miss the seasons terribly, especially autumn. I also miss having no place to hike (I am terrified of alligators and snakes, which populate the hiking trails here). And being cooped up for 6 months is brutal on me.

    I am completely committed to my husband and this marriage. He’s my best friend and I’ve waited a long, long time for something this good. But staying here is becoming increasingly difficult and unpleasant for me. So we are exploring our possibly living in different towns and sort of “commuting” back and forth to each other until he retires in 4-5 years. Kills me to have to consider this as an option, but I don’t know what else to do. I may end up moving back to Massachusetts so that I can be close to family–flying out of Hartford to Tampa is actually very easy. But I hate “deserting” him. He relies on my love and support and I rely on his strength and humor. I have no idea how we’re going to make this work, there are so many “moving parts.”

    I’m just grateful you guys are talking about this. I don’t feel so alone now, so thanks.

    • I sublet an apartment in ny all summer and fly to ny a lot I don’t like leaving husband so long but I do.I left my whole family I miss them all the time

  10. I live in New York. Long Island to be exact. I’ve been here 9 years. I have a wife and two young boys. She was born and raised here with a big family. I’m from the Dallas area. I’m in the medical field and make a decent income but this area is very expensive. Financial stress is constant and I’m not happy working in my field anymore. She has her master’s in education but has never had a teaching position outside of daycare because it’s very difficult to find a position. Teacher’s incomes here are very good but the daycare wages are low. We have an opportunity to move to Texas and I would begin to manage my father’s rental properties. I would be able to exit my current field and start out making almost the same salary as I do here. This would be like me getting a 50,000 raise here as far a cost of living goes. Teaching positions are easier to get there as well. My current limited vacations would be gone. We would have the time and means to visit NY on a regular basis such as holidays and long summer stays. She’s been hot and cold on the idea, mostly cold. We are going to visit the area I want to move to in the spring. I feel so trapped.

    • Hi Brad,

      I found your article very interesting. I have lived in NYC most of my life and my husband is from Long Island and wants to go back so our kids can grow up there. He says he hates the city and the kids would have more opportunities over there. I have been trying to get a job in Long Island and I have not received a call back. Plus the salaries offered would not even cover basic expenses as Long Island is very expensive. So I do not want to move there. My husband has said that if we don’t move he will divorce me and find someone over there. I honestly am at the point of contemplating divorce. I find it very unfair that he would want me to move knowing I may not be able to get a job. For some reason I find that people who have been born and raised in Long Island are not flexible and feel the need to stay there forever even knowing that most jobs/companies have left the area…

      • Long Island is very expensive but nice. My kids are making it because thank God they have good jobs.But some commute and it sucks. Been there done that. Maybe move to Queens. Bayside Whitestone is real nice. May be a good compromise.

        • Oh btw my husband says I can go back to ny but he won’t go. So I understand I struggle with this too.

    • I hear ya…..my kids and most of family live on Long Island..it s super expensive. I rent all summer sublet there And go back and forth. I live in Florida. Good idea to visit in Texas. And perhaps rent and keep ny till you see how it goes good luck.

  11. I have the opportunity to take a job in Arizona that would get us closer to our family on the west coast, but my husband used to live there and thinks it’s a pit. He doesn’t have to work, he’s disabled, but I do. This job would be a promotional opportunity for me, although I wouldn’t make any more money right now. The potential is there for the future and I was really excited about it. All my kids are on board with moving, they like the idea. He’s the only one holding us back. We moved to the east coast 5 years ago and love where we live (we are close to the beach) but the cost of living is expensive and there’s no jobs in my industry that will pay me. Plus I want to be closer to my mother who is 75 and getting frail. She will not move out here.

    What is it with spouses that are selfish about stuff like this? I get that he doesn’t like change, but it’s not like he has to worry about retirement anymore, but I do. I’m going to be stuck working the rest of my damn life, if I don’t make some changes soon.

    • so sorry you’re going through this! My husband will not move as well. I just want to move about 40 minutes away …cheaper taxes and nicer area. Everytime i try to discuss it or show houses we can afford ( that are 10 min from the beach) he acts like he wants to…but if it gets close to making a decision….he says “he’s not sure” what he wants to do. It’s been a strain on our marriage….to the point i’m thinking maybe i’ll go alone. I hope your situation gets better and he decides to go !!

  12. I’m in a totally different situation. Both in our mid to late 50’s. Also from LI. Hubby has afib and is always cold. I am still working, teaching in a private school. He wants to retire and move to Fl, because it’s warmer. We have only one child, who we tried for 5 years to have, he’s now 22 and having his first child. We have NO friends or family in Fl, and when we moved to this home, bought it with the intent that if either of our elderly parents couldn’t or didn’t want to live on their own anymore, they could live with us. My mom is 82 and still living, and we lost his dad in March. So it was all about family, but suddenly he wants to pick up and move to a place where we have NO one. I’ve said to him, you go, I’ll visit, school vacations, weekends, etc, for the few months of snowbirding, but now he says he wants to go for 6 months,

  13. I a, 61 husband is 69. We moved to AZ. from CA six years ago. A few years ago our daughter had her first baby. I fell deeply in love had the urge to move back. Then come the second now all I do is cry because want to be a part of their life. Husband refuses to move we have the means we are both retired. He also has another daughter “four kids” from a previous marriage who also lives near our daughter. We all get along and are happy when we’re together however he is content if he sees them once a year. I just don’t get it/ He has become unproductive watches TV to much I thought he would be golfing more not the case. We both get along with the daughters, We could help raise the grandkids and be involved. Still have our own life as will. He just refuses. He hates CA because of traffic high property tax. However when moving to an active retirement community taxes are not as high. Traffic problem you do your business during the week day. I have read being involved with your grandkids is a benefit you live longer. Active retire community he would find friends to golf with. I am sad all the time! My grandfather lived near by and he was my best friend I couldn’t have asked for a better grandparent and I want the same for my grandkids. The move would be a win win. He is so mad at me he just refuses. I feel like I’m losing my mind.

  14. I completely relate to all of these posts. I’ve lived in Chicago for 15 years, and while it’s a great city I’m desperately seeking a new culture and perspective to immerse myself in. I’d like to live in another city at least once in my life, but my husband is adamant against it. I’m ambitious, crave growth and opportunity, and want a new challenge. He’s content and doesn’t like change – he’d prefer to stay in one spot for the rest of his life and plant roots. I get it but it’s just not me and I feel totally held back and my soul is crushed by this. I can’t help but feel trapped and uninspired. The problem is that he’s afraid to branch out because I believe there are some self esteem issues with finding a successful career elsewhere. I’m comforted that others feel like me and I hope we can all live our best lives someday!

  15. I can empathize with many of you. I found this article and thread after a 5:30 a.m. conversation that has been brewing for some time. I’m visually challenged and cannot drive. I married my husband nearly 12 years ago and moved into his house at that time. It’s in a small town with a grocery store and maybe three professional offices downtown, plus the dentist, a coffee shop, and a great little diner. So job opportunities within walking distance are minimal there, especially for me with my degrees. Ironically, my husband has one of the few good jobs within walking distance of our home. So I work in a nearby university town at a community college, part time; I have to leave early so he can drop me at work, stay late – or go somewhere like Starbucks and wait for him to come get me…it’s been wearing on me for a long time now. We had said we’d move within two years of our marriage, and while the economy was not in favor at time, my husband is also reluctant to change. I only want to move about two hours north, to a town in which we have stayed frequently as it’s close to my sister, brother-in-law, and baby niece, and another niece who moved there after high school graduation, and it’s close to his daughter, son-in-law, and three little grandchildren. Since I’m under-employed now, it wouldn’t be hard to replace my income, the city has significantly more opportunities for employment than does our small town, yet it’s not all “big city.” It also has a small public transportation system and Uber. My husband could ask for a transfer and would have a commute, but since he has to bring me into town and pick me up now, it would be better for him than this. With his experience and credentials, he could change companies altogether if he wanted to avoid that commute. He says I want to change just for the sake of change. While I’m certainly not opposed to the idea of an adventure and a new start, the list of practical factors, like 20 – 30 minutes from family rather than 2 – 3 hours, and transportation and employment options for me, seem like pretty valid reasons to me – not just “change for the sake of change.”

  16. After reading this I feel a little stronger knowing that there are so many people in this situation.
    I’m also wanting to move. I’ve grown up moving around and lived in six different countries so far, and I always liked and wanted to continue the traveling life. It had been my plan to move back to the states after grad school in the UK, but then I met my future husband here.
    After falling in love I left my nice, private apartment in the center of London to move in with him in a small town, into a flat he shared with three other people. It was horrendous as twp of those people stole from me and bullied me. My then boyfriend and I shortly after moved into our own flat, which had to be in a place that was convenient for his work. I thought it would be temporary but we are on the brink of signing another two-year lease after having already been here for four years, five if you include that period in the shared flat which was absolute torture.
    I can’t stay in this town any longer. I went from moving once a year and leading an interesting and fulfilling life to staying in a place I detest for four years just so that his commute was OK, even though it meant I had to travel for over an hour to central London every day for my own work. Now this seems to be the standard – the flat is laid out to his comfort, located for his comfort, and I’m just an appendage to his life; that’s what it feels like at least.
    My job sometimes requires lengthy stays abroad and his unwillingness to move or even let me leave for work has already significantly lowered my career prospects. I cannot take an academic job outside of the UK because he’s concerned he won’t find a job anywhere outside of London (despite not actually working in London but in a small town next to it), and of course if I continue to live within his borders soon I won’t have a career at all and be completely dependent on him. I can’t do this commute as it is too stressful with the hordes of bad-tempered commuters trying to elbow their way into a seat at each rush hour, the air pollution is constantly making me ill, and most importantly, I’m unhappy here.
    I think all of us know what to do, it’s just taking that step and saying, my needs matter too so I’m going to go where I need to be.

  17. I am in my 40’s moved from MI to OK in 2015, and I have tried to make it work, but it’s been the most emotional roller coaster ride for me because my 2 oldest children live in MI still and it is hard for me to go see them, they are young with no help except my parents if something should happen. It is a no-brainer to me… I wan to be near my kids why can’t we just go back, but my husband will not hear me out. He actually start’s arguments with me if I try to talk to him about going back. I am told I am being manipulative and such. I am pissed off. I was told that we would go back last year and since he won’t sit down and discuss how we can get back or look for a job, I feel I have been lied to.

  18. My wife took a job 90 miles away from our current home. She wants to move closer to that job to cut down travel time. It is nearly impossible to find another home that meets our needs due to having horses. She is insistent on moving, but when I ask her to where, she doesn’t have an answer. Moving would most likely increase my drive time to work including having to drive across a major city which she currently travels. Moving to a home half way between the two jobs puts us out in the boonies and gives both of us about a 40 minute drive. Did I mention we have 6 year old and 2 year old boys who will need school and daycare? Where are we going to find that out there. If we move very close to her job, then I will have a very long drive to work which I don’t want either and would eventually have to look at changing jobs, which of course I don’t want to do. The job opportunities in the region are not stellar by any means and may mean a pay cut for me which negates the pay increase for her job. I don’t know if she has considered finding a job closer to our current home or not, and I am reluctant to bring it up because I think she will blow up if I do. Any ideas out there? At this point I don’t see this ending well. Her biggest problem in my opinion is that she oversimplifies everything. “Let’s move” to her involves leaving one house and arriving at another, with no thought of the process, complications, logistics, or cost of moving. I am pretty set on not moving, she is pretty set on moving, and I feel that we have reached an impasse. She also believes that if we move that we must sell our current house; I am not a fan of that idea either. I would rather keep it and rent it out because I fear that in a couple of years we are going to be moving back to basically where we are right now. If we keep the house then we could move right back in. I really don’t see this ending well. Did I say that already?

    • Sorry to hear about your dilemma. I’m in a similar situation. My husband wants to relocate to Arizona and I want to stay here in nm. I have suggested that he move there temporarily and once he settles and I’m able to find a job then I will join him. It’s about compromise but I know it’s not an easy decision. All the best in your decision. Weigh the pros and cons of moving.

  19. I could sell my home for $750,000 and buy a nicer home for $500,000 that is 45 minutes away. My wife doesn’t want to as we’re 30 minutes away from her mother and this will make us an hour away.
    Yes I’m serious.
    She’s also concerned it will hurt our 14 year old daughter, changing schools and friends.
    I fear she will become like her mother, having an unhealthy fear of change.
    I love my wife dearly. We have been married almost 25 years and this has been an issue in the past.
    It tears me up inside.

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