3

I am a husband who has been married for the last 9 years and have 3 daughters (7,3,1). Recently I told my wife that I want to move to another state because my new job lets me work remotely and the state we are in now has killer property taxes and cost of living (because it's so close to NYC, and I no longer need to be).

"We can find a much nicer house with warmer weather and pay much less for it," I said to my wife.

She however is reluctant to move because her extended family is here. My first daughter is also siding with Mom because her friends and grandparents are here. And she grew up in this house.

Now suddenly I am the bad guy who is putting money and a bigger house over family and friends. So the parenting side of this dilemma is what impact will this move have on my daughter if I go through with it? What will it teach her about what are our priories in life?

Just the talk of moving right now brings tears to her eyes. Should I call it off for her (and for my wife of course)?

  • 1
    "More money" is a bad reason to do anything. The things you intend to do with the additional money might be a good reason. If this is all about a bigger house while your current house is big enough, it doesn't look like a smart move. If it's about spending less so you can take more time off to spend more time with your family, it looks like a smart move. – Peter Jun 21 '17 at 11:27
  • Stay where you are. A bigger house won't make much difference to your happiness, but your wife and daughter will miss the family. There's a huge difference between seeing people weekly and seeing them twice a year. – kevin cline Jun 26 '17 at 10:08
  • 1
    It might help to add more information on your financial situation. If it's just for a bigger house when your current house is large enough, that'd seem more questionable; if it's to move to a house that's more comfortable for your family and to have enough money for college and medical expenses, then that'd be a much stronger rationale. – Nat Jun 27 '17 at 0:50
5

Wanting to move for better living conditions isn't a bad thing in and of itself. It does show a concern for the well-being of your family. However, better living conditions alone may not be a sufficient reason to move.

Moving sucks. Nobody likes it. If you are going to move, you need to make a compelling case as to why it is worth going through the pain of getting a new place to live, leaving family and friends and starting over in a lot of ways. And your case has to be good enough to not only overcome that, but also every other reason your family can think of for not moving.

You need to convince your family (or at the very least your wife) that this is a good idea, that moving will be worth all the things you give up. If you can't do that, you will appear very selfish, that you are forcing your family to move to further a personal agenda and not doing what is best for your wife and children.

Given the reasons you've presented, you do come off as putting money over the other things your family is citing as reasons to stay. Your children will see that money, etc. is more important to you than them and their desire to be with friends. And that won't earn you any points. However, if you can come up with better arguments and reasons, you stand a better chance of not appearing as a despot.

From experience, I can say that even if you make a convincing argument, your child will see you as being mean, uncaring, etc. (at least in the short term). She doesn't want to leave her friends and grandparents. As she warms up to the new place and finds new friends, she may not see the move (and thus you) as such a bad thing. But until that happens, you aren't likely to be viewed in a positive light.

2

As @Becuzz states, you need to present a compelling argument to get your wife on board.

The most common method to do this is to list the pros and cons of making a move. Are you unhappy in your current location or merely irritated? If you're genuinely unhappy, a move would be a pro. Does your wife have a job at present? Does she love it? Will you be moving to a location with better schools? Will you be within easy traveling distance for visits? Are your in-laws willing to travel to see you in a new location? Can your family Skype? Do you take vacations together? Might this be a possibility? Will you be making significantly more in your new job to allow for things the entire family would like (like quality family vacations)?

The lists are long. They are a starting point for serious discussion in place of "my opinion"/"your opinion" type arguments.

I don't think children should have input weighted equally with your wife's, though they need to be heard. You are responsible for the well being of your children, but you are in a better position to determine that than they are. (Better schools, less drugs, better community, etc. are issues adults appreciate more than 7 year olds.)

It might be that when everyone contributes to the pros and cons, you will see that your desire to move is not in keeping with the happiness and well being of your entire family. Maybe everyone will be surprised to find a move would improve family time.

...what impact will this move have on my daughter if I go through with it? What will it teach her about what are our priories in life?

What are your priorities in life? Actions always speak louder than words. You should decide this before you move.

If you make a unilateral decision, it will teach her that what the women in your family want is relatively unimportant. But if it is a reasonably democratic process between your wife and yourself, it will teach her that you care about your wife's emotional well being, which is an important lesson for a young female to learn.

Good luck. Moving is never easy.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.