DW and kids moving away - what can I do?

(11 Posts)

Seems I posted too soon... hmm

I should add, the greatest cost came to ME though, not my dh.
We kept our uk friends, and we are back with our old network.

But I was the one who had to cope with my parents, and I was the one who had to deal with my son, and his school.

Most of the time my oldest was happy. He does not regret the years there. In fact, they are both quite keen to move back. As is my dh. But I dont think I can go through another move. I am telling dh "no way, we agreed to go back and here we are".

I think in that situation, it would be hellish anyway. Had I stayed, our marriage may not have survived, and it would have been hellish for me anyway.

So when you are facing terrible times, you have to chose:

Are we going to go through the terrible times together or

will I let my wife deal with it alone and possibly let my children grow up without me.

If they tables were turned, and YOU faced terrible times. With your own parents, or a sibling, or you were made redundant in work and lost your job, or your job was relocated to somewhere else, or you had to work in Europe 5 nights per week, would you expect your wife to stick by you, or would she say "Fair enough, you go do that, I am staying put/moving to Brighton then."

We did this.

We uprooted the kids and our selves and moved to Norway to look after my ageing parents. It turned out to be the worst thing for our family ever.

What motivated the move for me:
- Guilt. Terrible guilt for living so far away and not being near my parents, and not be able to do anything for them.
- Responsibility. They had been good parents to me, and I felt terrible that they would spend their old age sick and alone.

The reality was a lot of hard work. My husband had issues settling. My oldest son was terribly bullied in school for "being English". The pressure my parents put on me was immense. I spent several hours nearly every day at their place sorting stuff, and battling with my mum. (dementia)
And getting care sorted for them.

We lasted three years. Thankfully we had rented out our London house while gone, so we had our home to return to. However, this meant we had the additional headache of tenants, one tenant nearly demolishing the house to the cost of more than £20 repairs, before she did a runner.

The whole experience has cost me not just my health, but my mental health.

We are back in London now after three hellish years in Norway. My husband was a saint coming with me.

On the negative side:
The kids schooling was interrupted.
DS1 experienced bullying. He had a hard time settling back in the uk.
Dh was depressed due to the work situation.
I was stressed out of my brains with my parents.

On the plus side:
Dh learnt Norwegian.
He learnt to ski, both cross country and downhill.
He took up mountain biking and took part in many races
He developed many friendships
I managed to get a care package sorted for my parents
My sons are now totally bilingual
They got to spend some time with their grandparents and get to know them properly
They learnt to ski and are really very accomplished skiers now
They have fantastic balance and stamina from numerous mountain trips per month throughout the year.
They can build bonfires, source firewood, and make bbq skewers from trees just using a knife
DS1 has developed maturity and was praised in primary for his leadership qualities.
DS1 is now in a selective independent doing very well.

Oh, and we kept our family together.

Yes, it all came at a cost. But the alternative?

Had my husband not come with me and been sympathetic to my feelings, we may not have made it as a couple. I would have felt terrible, and been resentful to him. I would have had to go without him. And I would have taken the kids.

Being in "The sandwich generation" is a terrible thing. You have young children, and suddenly the needs of elderly parents.

Why do you not want to support your wife through this? Why has it come to the point that she has been made to chose? Is there nothing positive that can come out of such a temporary move to her parents so she can get care sorted for them?

honey86 Fri 04-Oct-13 10:36:23

what milly said.

yes a court can stop her if it will disrupt the kids, make dads contact impossible and the fact shes doing it for selfish reasons. my grandparents live quite far from me too, i dearly love them and would love to be near them (gramdad has terminal cancer). but no way would i uproot my kids from everything they know purely based on that desire

millymolls Fri 04-Oct-13 10:30:03

completely agree Dumpy - I dont see how it is in the childrens best interests to move them away from their dad, and schools and friends when they are already settled, further more making a realtionship with their father much harder (and certainly changing the relationship) because she wants to be near her parents.
If she is hell bent on moving one could argue that she could leave the children with their dad and she move and only see them on some weekends and holidays -less upheaval for the children and she gets her wish to be near parents! ......... hmm, thought not!

How old are the children?

Personally, as someone who lives 3 hours from my elderly parents i can understand why she would wish to be nearer in their old age but breaking up a childrens relationship with their father and uprooting them to do so? Terrible idea (and one, which my own parents would not want either). Why can;t her parents move near to her and her family so she can help look after?

Dumpylump Fri 04-Oct-13 09:44:15

Conversely Onebuddha you could argue that she has no more rights than he does.
Why, if children are happy and settled already, with good housing, schooling and a support network already in place, should it be assumed that just because their mother wishes it so, a move would be in their best interests?
I can quite understand it being in her parents best interests.

Onebuddhaisnotenough Fri 04-Oct-13 08:29:18

If the marriage has broken down then courts are not in the habitbof stopping prople from rebuilding their lives post divorce. If the children have good housing, schooling and a support network in their new home, and there is a plan for regular contact, then it's not likely that s court will stop her from moving. I think it's admirable that she wants to be near elderly parents and I really wonder how you think your relationship is going to survive if you force her to stay. You have no more rights over your children than she does.

honey86 Thu 03-Oct-13 17:37:27

not much in the way of advice but your wife sounds completely out of order.
if shes planning of going out of the uk she legally has to get your permission, assuming you have pr.

if not you could apply for a prohibited steps order cos several hundred miles distance i imagine will make regular contact next to impossible..

you could try families need fathers n maybe move this thread to legal matters? theres some good MNer solicitors on there that could give you advice?

hope your ok

HowardTJMoon Wed 02-Oct-13 12:56:21

I'm sorry to hear this. It must be awful to have this hanging over your head.

Legally the answer is "it depends". As you both have Parental Responsibility for your children then you are both obliged to discuss with each other important matters such as your children's schooling. She shouldn't unilaterally decide to remove your children from their existing school and move them to a new one.

If she's serious about this then you could apply to court for a Prohibited Steps Order which, if the judge agrees, would stop her moving your children. The judge would have to weigh up whether such a move would be in the childrens' best interests. There are lots of factors involved in this and it will Do remember though that once it gets to being a court battle it can get intensely adversarial and will almost certainly worsen your relationship with your wife. Mediation might be a better first step.

I'd also strongly recommend you get in touch with Families Need Fathers. They can help you try to resolve this kind of issue in as non-adversarial way as possible.

Good luck!

Wednesbury Wed 02-Oct-13 12:43:46

For what it's worth, I think this is unreasonable in the extreme on your wife's part. I can understand that she might desire to be closer to her parents, but what about your children's relationship with you? I do not know exactly where you stand in terms of power to prevent it but it might be worth a look at this site (Families Need Fathers) and a call to their helpline. I do know that certainly in terms of the courts, there is a strong drive to ensure children maintain a relationship with both parents and I for one think this is immensely important.

www.fnf.org.uk/help-and-support/helpline

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 02-Oct-13 12:38:57

Are there ways around it? Can you move her parents nearer to you for example?

Or are there other underlying issues?

Gravimetric Wed 02-Oct-13 12:27:07

My wife and I are on the cusp of separating, in part because she is insisting that we move to be nearer to her ageing parents who live several hundred miles away.

For many reasons, I don't want to move to where her parents live. Not least of all because our children are settled at school, and our lives, friends and jobs are based where we live now. But it appears to be a case of I either agree to move with the family to be near her parents, or we split and she does it anyway.

So - is there anything I can actually do about this, or am I effectively powerless to prevent it and have to accept it's happening? Can my wife just decide we're going to separate, probably leading to divorce and then up sticks, with the kids, without my permission or involvement?

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