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Between a rock & Hard place
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Between a rock & Hard place

Help!
I am in quite a conflict that I can't seem to come to terms resolving, and I can't get myself to decide.
When I married, my spouse assured me would would remain in my state near my parents and siblings as I had grown into that tradition. Years later my spouse hates this state and wants a quiet country life several states away. I am trying to avoid causing a divorce here, but my spouse is desperate and wants a change and if I don't go, he will.

For the most part, he is a good spouse and takes care of me. I have health issues and can't work yet. If I don't go, I am on my own. If I do make the move, I will worry and feel very saddened over leaving an elderly mother behind and brother, both with health issues. They will be with my other siblings, but they dont' want me to do. I know the guilt will kill me everyday.

I feel anger over my spouse going back on his word and wanting out of the state, but I know he wants to be happy too...I just don't know what to do. I don't even want to take about it with my mother. She has had so many scary issues with her daughters all having serious health issues this year.

any thoughts
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Avatar_n_tn
If you are married it's not about your family or his family anymore it's about you two and the family you are going to create together.  

IF your mom has other people around to help her then I wouldn't feel guilty.  Have you talked to your husband about your anger over this?  I mean really talked about it?  You need to definately do some serious communicating and make these decisions together.

I mean if he is willing to go without maybe there is a different issue underlying it all.  Get to the root of it.  Hash it out and make your decisions together - something as big as this anyway.  If you love him and he loves you then there should be a compromise somewhere in it all.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your advice. Yes, we are childless and unable to have kids. With my health issues, adoption is not viable. He moved from another country to be with me and is not happy here. He is happy with me but not in the city in a career he is stressed and burnt out on. He has stayed here for me the past 13 years and tells me he can no longer bear the unhappiness of the situation. He feels he is not going to last with all the stress here both mentally and physically. I think he may be depressed, but he will not seek help. He says the depression comes from the situation. He is desperate as he feels he is going to self-destruct. He does have trichotillmania? which is usally anxiety driven and more.

Our compromise would be for me to have a 2nd home near my mother and can visit anytime I need to get away. My spouse wants to get into farming and a slower pace of life. Having the 2nd home would be a financial nightmare for my spouse as the only breadwinner, but he is willing to do that to make me happy even if it kills him, heart attack. I don't know if I am being fair in this respect or realistic.

Yes, I did express my anger about it, and he tells me that when he agreed to stay in this state he never agreed to be unhappy the rest of his life and die an unfulfilled man .

Thank you again
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177641_tn?1189759437
sadchic, your husband has supported you for the last 13 years. Think about how unbalanced your situation has been. What about his family? What about his life/dreams/desires that existed before he integrated into your world? Besides being with you, what is he getting out of all the time and attention you're giving to your family. It sounds pretty unbalanced, and that kind of pressure has to give somewhere.

I agree with becks - I think when you get married, you create a new family with that person. Whether it's large or small, that family should come first. Your parents, siblings, etc. should respect that. If not, they're making a choice not to accept that - a choice they're responsible for. Sorry if this isn't what you want to hear, but I think you owe it to return that support to our husband. If you're not willing, then let him go.
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Avatar_n_tn
Slowhealer, your thoughts brought tears to my eyes as you are right and I have not wanted to admit that to myself, and I  pretend that all was ok and why couldn't he be happy with a loving family like mine who took him in with open arms. That's exactly how my husband feels that this is unbalanced and he has done it all my way for all these years and now it is afffecting him mentally everyday. I think he also feels let down that I am not putting him first and to some extent threaten to let him go (in past)over this which is heartbreaking to him and me.

He says that he left his family continents away for me and the least I could do is make a sacrafice 2 states away where I still have the chance to see family if I need to. It breaks my heart because I do want to support him so much, but I can't stand the thought of family members who will also be heartbroken. Yes, I too have fears of my own of moving to a place where neither of us have any family and relying only on each other for everything. I fear starting over in a new place and life I have never known other than hectic, crowded city life, metropolitan. I am in my late 39 and feel too old to start again, go figure.

I know he is right, and I don't want to let him go. The situation is tough for me to stomach, already my IBS has gone out of control with the stress of this. I know that if I split our homes it will financially ruin his dreams of a farm and having to work less outside to support it. Truthfully, I wouldn't even be able to stay in that 2nd home anyway other than once a year.

I do get mad at my family sometimes for telling me that its a bad idea to live anywhere but here. That he should leave instead, etc...However, it does work to confuse me.

thanks for your input
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177641_tn?1189759437
sadchic, I didn't mean to hurt your feelings - please recognize that. It sounds like you're feeling torn up right down the middle, deciding between your obligations to your family and your commitments to your husband AND yourself. It also sounds like you've been taking care of your family for a very long time. Are YOU happy taking care of your family? I mean, really REALLY happy?

Or does the fear of guilty keep you from pursuing anything else. I don't know your whole situation, but I'm not surprised that your family thinks HE should leave - who take care of them if YOU left? Ask yourself - do they really NEED you to take care of them? All dependencies put aside, would they be able to survive comfortably if you weren't in the picture?

Your post really strikes a chord with me. My parents, as much as I love them, have always "needed" me - to the point where I would break dates and cancel plans with friends. I'm watching my buddies travel and move to different places and come back so enriched, and I'm sitting at home wondering why I feel like I can't do the same. I have always lived within an hour of my parents, and I've recognized that when they can get away with it, my parents will manipulate me (intentional or not) into coming home to help them take care of things. My dad alone lays on so much guilt that when I don't come home, I waste the time I could have had to myself crying over how guilty I feel. If I ever wanted to date instead of coming home on the weekends, my parents would remind me that boys aren't worth it. That's been my life for the past several years, and the story hasn't changed.

On the other hand, I have changed. To even have a relationship I've had to assert myself against my family. I know they want good things for me, BUT I know they are also being selfish (and it's taken a lot of counselling to even SAY that without feeling guilty). It's put a huge strain on my relationship, especially since I didn't realize how unsupported my partner felt. He was always afraid to speak up because he thought I'd take their side over his. I've come to realize that I can't handle this either - if I stay like this, I will become old, miserable with my life, and burnt out. I've made it my personal goal to myself (and subsequently my boyfriend) that I will move to another province in the next year (after our jobs here end). If I go and find I'm miserable anyway, at least I will know.

The other thing too - you're ONLY 39! You're not too old and it's not too late for you to be tackling new adventures. Post this on the relationship forum and all the women there will tell you the exact same thing.

Anyhow, with all that said, it's going to boil down to what you really want. If you truly are happy looking after your family, then there's nothing wrong making that choice. But I think you should take a long look at yourself, while you still have so much of life waiting for you. Do you really want to watch those years slip by, hiding from the rest of the world, because your family won't let you go? And even worse, lose the man you love in the process? Sorry for the long post.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you. I know you didnt mean to hurt me. I was touched by what you had to say and now that I have read your post, I see that your experience and pain is very much like mine. Honestly, if it were not for my mother, I would even probably move to my spouse's country, with trepidation, but I would do it and enjoy the new adventure. I have so much guilt since a child, like you, for doing things that would take me away from my parents. I have always wanted to be the good girl and be loved and do the right thing. If I even thought of leaving away to college, which was forbidden, I went to a local jr. college instead, I would get a heavy guilt trip from my mother and brother. Yes, I held anger towards them years ago deep down for holding me back and now my mother is 80 and has health issues and rather than anger I have guilt and sadness about possibly leaving her behind. Yes, I am torn in 2 for this reason. On the other hand, for them to tell me if he wants to go, let him go also angers me. I don't want to just let him go. He for the most part is a very good man, and I don't think I have always given him credit for it nor considered his feelings.

What I really want is to please both, but it's not possible. What is realistically the best decision and right decision as a spouse is to follow my husband and support his happiness too. I have gone to the area he wants to move and it is gorgeous and serene in some ways. I keep avoiding what I truly think and that's just it I do envy friends or nieces who just pick up and go and live abroad. I have health issues to, so I can't help my mother like I used to but just being there for moral support is fulfilling to me. What can I say I carry major guilt like crazy. In the end, I will have to pick my husband. I can't let my family hold me back like they did when I was 18. Am I truly happy being here in this state and living "on call" all the time, NO. Do I want to have some adventure in my life? Yes.
I do long for travel and see things that I haven't seen or done. I have played it safe and close to home.
I don't want to let anymore years slip by before I get another ailment or another tragedy strikes and I would forever be angry & regretful  if I lost a man I loved over where we chose to live!!!!

You are right if I am miserable in this new place nothing holds me back to visit and at least I will know that I have tried and lived my life instead of what everyone else wants me to do becuase I'm too fragile or they are.

bless your heart!
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Avatar_n_tn
It sounds from your last post that you know what needs to be done.  I can't say I empathsize as I didn't grow up in a household like yours or slow healers but what I can tell you is I made that jump as you are scared to do.  

I moved across the country to be with my love and 3 years later I am nothing but at ease with myself and happy with my life.  It was the best thing I ever did for MY life.  And ultimately our life together.  There comes a time when you have to stand up and say "it's time for me now" easier said then done I know but I think you're parents have ruled you long enough.  Your mom will be fine without you and who knows maybe moving and leaving this stress behind and getting to truly be with your husband will be just what you need for your health to improve.  I hate to say it but your mom is 80 and probably isn't going to be around much longer right?  What 5-10 years if she's lucky and that's just the reality of life - and then what?  By that point your husband has left and your mom is gone and you are alone.  Which is your fear right now.  

A state or two away is not a country you can still go back and visit and by not working you could go back 2 weeks at a time if you needed to - maybe your husband doesn't have to buy you a home there, why not discuss agreeing on a trip back for you every month or two?  

You are 39 it is time for you to start LIVING your life.  Put the guilt aside, they are wrong for putting that emotion in you and that just isn't fair.  Go on, get the guts up and have an adventure!  You will be ever more happy knowing you did it and tried it and even if it doesn't work out in the long run and you end up coming back - your husband will know you were willing to go with him and try.  That says a lot.  

Best of luck.
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177641_tn?1189759437
sadchic, it was relieving to hear that my reply to you wasn't too preachy or inappropriate. lol, I ALSO went to a college that was only an hour away from my parents. Whenever I brought up any other places for schooling, my parents always talked it down and scared me into changing my mind. "What will you do if you have an emergency? Who will you call? Who can you rely on?" Unsure of myself, I would give in. But still somehow there are all these other people out there, living much further from their parents, and they're doing just fine. Some of them have sick parents, yet I don't see it holding them down like it's holding me (one of my parents had a tumour removed, and for the past year the pressure has REALLY tremendous in "appreciating" them).

Be careful. After YEARS of fulfilling the role you have with your family, expect resistance. Expect all the doubt and criticism and "you don't really know what you're doing" to come out. Be ready for the heavy guilt trips - think now about how you will prevent yourself from giving in to that guilt and depression of feeling helpless. Remind yourself that you DO deserve this. And if you really do believe you deserve this, then why should you feel guilty? Though easier said than done, just do your best to be prepared and avoid getting dragged back in to years of powerful habit-based behavior (and by that, I mean the ongoing taking care and giving in to your family). I'm afraid that because it's been so long, it's going to be *really* rough on you

The only other thing I wanted to add is your family also makes choices (whether they realize it or not): to depend on you, to be angry with you, to support you or not. That's something else you can remind yourself when the guilt starts to get to you. You are making the choice to make the most of your life before it's too late and your best years are gone. If your family is not happy with that, then they are making the choice to not recognize the worthy wishes and desires that *you* have. No matter what they say or what resistance they put up, they will always have the choice of accepting that you are a grown woman and you ARE a good daughter (even if you decide to give living further away a chance). Have faith in yourself, and good luck!
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