To not want to move to dh’s hometown?(81 Posts)
We currently live in London but ever since ds was born six months ago dh has been desperate to leave.
He wants to move to his hometown in Hertfordshire. He constantly goes on about how fresh the air is, how safe it is, how great the schools are etc.
But I love where we live now and have no desire whatsoever to leave - and I really don’t want to move to dh’s hometown. From visiting dh’s parents it seems suffocatingly upper middle class and twee (I went in a local gift shop once and they were selling ‘Keep Calm You’re in ^Town name^’ coasters). It also seems so dull compared to London - in order to do anything interesting you have to travel into London which seems to negate the point of moving out of London in the first place. And it is one of the whitest places I’ve ever seen that is so close to London.
Dh is getting angry that I’m not even willing to consider it, but I love living in London, and before ds was born, we had talked about the future and both agreed that we wanted to raise our dc in London.
AIBU to not want to move to dh’s hometown?
I don’t think YABU, and your husband is mean to pressure you especially since you had discussed staying in advance but I also think he is NBU to want to leave London and to have realised once you had the DC that it wasn’t working for him. Sounds tough and I hope you can come to an agreement!
it seems suffocatingly upper middle class and twee (I went in a local gift shop once and they were selling ‘Keep Calm You’re in ^Town name^’ coasters)
It’s Harpenden, isn’t it? That has to be Harpenden.
Yanbu as you has this convo so it can’t be a surprise to him.
You're going to get slaughtered OP, for even thinking anything negative about NotLondon but in my personal opinion, YANBU in the slightest!
We lived in a small flat in a not-great-but-not-awful part of London, when the DC were toddlers we moved to another city for DH's work. It meant we could afford an actual house, with a garden, and in a nice area. Although I liked the new house and area, I did miss London but I rationalised it with all that stuff about fresher air, bigger house, decent schools etc.
Then a few years later, we moved city again, this time to DH's home city. Most people would say it's a good city to live in, with various good points. I hate it with a passion, and I wish we had never come here. And ultimately, I realise it was (for our family - emotionally, personally, financially) a mistake to leave London in the first place and we will never be able to afford to move back there.
Bear in mind that it's not uncommon for men who are insistent about moving house once the first DC comes to be, basically, abusers-in-waiting. If you were to go ahead and move, would this fuck up your career, while leaving his unaffected (he'd carry on commuting to London...)
Even if he's not heading for major abuser status, it sounds like his fantasies could be about carrying on with his glittering career with Wifey looking after the nice little house in the suburbs and not having any opportunities to be anything other than an appendage of The Man.
If you can afford a property in London then stay! The desire to move away has to be from both of you YANBU
Priorities change when baby arrives so it is no surprise one of you now feels there are other considerations now, you can't hold him to a discussion before the baby came.
However, having a discussion and moving are two very different things. There may be a middle ground. Not London but not his hometown perhaps? There might be somewhere that gives the factors he considers important but also covers yours?
YANBU for wanting to stay in London though.
Whatever you do, don’t move. I made this exact same mistake, but in Kent, not Herts. Regret it every day.
I think it depends where in Hertfordshire. We live in Herts and we do have the best of both worlds because we're close enough to London to get there in 30 minutes but far enough out to be able to afford a decent sized house and, yes, fresh air and countryside.
There are definitely some areas of the county I wouldn't live in for love nor money though.
I think, broadly speaking, you do need to consider a move because to write it off entirely when your DH is so desperate to move may drive a wedge between you.
I wonder how he'd react if you suggested moving to your home town or close to your family?
Tbf i’m from st albans and there’s not much better I can think of than living here vs london! I LOVE london, i think it’s the most amazing place in the WORLD, but it’s 20 mins away to central on the fast train and ten to fifteen minutes drive or train to the outskirts. Yes it’s expensive and a lot of it is quite white middle class, but it’s clean, safe, much MUCH cheaper than where we were in london, and schools are great. It’s london without the trouble!
(That was for the harpenden vs london people.. if it’s much further in to herts than 20/30 mins op I agree with you!)
It’s Harpenden, isn’t it? That has to be Harpenden.
Pmsl, @Peeltheavocado, my first thought!
@amanduh you’re kidding, right? There are at least 3 gangs known to be operating ‘county lines’ (drug running using vulnerable kids) in St Albans. Charming story about the stabbing in Veruliam Park last year, the teen was just sentenced, I think. People I know living there won’t go down the Alban way due to so many muggings recently. London without the trouble? And the museums/culture too. Yes, it’s not far to London, but you could say that about multiple commuter towns around the M25.
I lived in Harpenden until our DD was 4. I loved it. It is not stuck up, posh or pretentious as some people make it out to be. The commute to Londen is easy, it's brilliant for kids and I have made some lifelong friends whom I met when I had our DD. Can't fault it.
Lol. No I’m not ‘kidding.’ A few incidents in a quiet herts town is NOTHING compared to multiple murders every night!! It is absolutely no where NEAR comparable. 3 WHOLE gangs?! There are 33,000 where we lived previously 🙄
I think the general public is unaware, amanduh, of what happens day to day, even in middle class mostly white towns. I’m not trying to scaremonger, it’s all publically available anyway.
Multiple murders every night? In London? I believe there were 122 last year, highest for almost 10 years, I think.
I think if you're the one at home with a baby (massive assumption that you are) then you get to choose for the moment. Can you say you'll think about it in a couple of years but for now you'd prefer to stay (as you'd agreed together to stay).
It’s Harpenden, isn’t it? That has to be Harpenden
Yes, it’s Harpenden - I didn’t want to say to avoid offending anyone who might live there
Regarding crime, I’m really not sure that Harpenden is significantly safer than the part of London that we live in. Our area is lovely - certainly no gangs/stabbings.
There’s only the odd mugging, plus burglaries and cars getting broken into, which according to the police figures all happens in Harpenden too.
I can’t think of anything worse than moving out of London for either of our dullsville home towns
My OH tried to get me to move to his hometown from London. Told him to bog off and I was not interested. I had moved to London years before and loved it. We are still in London 19yrs later
He can't just spring this on you.
If you can afford to stay in London, stay in London. He may well just be going through a new parent phase of nostalgia for his own childhood and feeling that his child should be raised in the same way, same place etc.
Anywhere that is still pushing the Keep Calm And... nonsense should be regarded with deep suspicion.
Other thing I should have said...
In wanting to move to his hometown, DH I think had a bit of a fantasy of "re-doing" his childhood for our DC, but with more of the "good" stuff like visiting places he enjoyed as a kid, and less of the "bad" stuff like real, boring daily life. Of course, real, boring daily life is the living, boring reality. And the fun kid-friendly places, well, we could have experienced (and did!) them whenever we visited the PiLs in the hometown anyway - we didn't need to move here.
So I second the other posters speculating that this has been triggered by nostalgia and a fantasy of "re-doing" his own childhood, but better IYSWIM.
Meh, is he trying to relive his childhood? Will it involve 2.4 children, a Volvo, semi-detached, a labrador and a minor public school ....if not then it has to be a joint decision, Wyatt do you both want fur your lives? Fwiw I used to get cold sweats about leaving zone two....we now live in Bristol. We have more space and quick access to the coast and hills
plus bristol is ace. Friends with kids who stayed in London live quite a local life, their social and other activities confined to the local area so not really making use of "London".....
YANBU in wanting to stay in London. He is NBU in wanting to leave London.
I know a few people who’ve moved to Harpenden and it has suited them well. However, there appear to be quite a few black holes to get admission to primary and secondary schools and there is a lot of anxiety about getting a place. Perhaps this is unsurprising in a town that people often move to when they want to have large families - lots of siblings getting priority.
I know that at least one of the secondary schools gives priority to churchgoers so to get in, children need to be christened, you need a letter from the vicar to say you’ve been at least every other weekend for a number of years and you still need to live really close. However I don’t know about the other secondary schools there.
Opposite to @hettie, I left Bristol with my partner to move to a city 3 hours away, for him. I left my family, friends and everything I knew in Bristol and am now hating life where we live now and would do anything to move back.
I cannot imagine bringing my kids up in London, too polluted, too crowded and far too expensive. We can jump on a train and in an hour access the "delights" of London without the downsides of living their
Bear in mind that it's not uncommon for men who are insistent about moving house once the first DC comes to be, basically, abusers-in-waiting.
There’s quite a big gap between ‘London’ and ‘Harpenden’.
Would you consider maybe moving to a smaller city like Bristol, Exeter or Bath? They might suit you better than a small town.
How would this negatively affect you?You do t say if you work or where your family are.Do you have a support network in London,do you get on with his family?Fresh air,less crime apply to much of the country not just Harpenden and aren't London schools getting really good results.
Can't you just buy DH the coasters? He can pretend he's there?
I do think there is a potential compromise since London and hertfordshire are close to each other. It's a lot more difficult when it's London and Cornwall or something else that are geographically far away. I don't think either of you are being unreasonable but would another town in Hertfordshire be ok? Or moving to another neighbourhood in London that would be more like a town than part of London?
YANBU - I like to like away from parents and ILs, makes "popping round" not a thing so more privacy and no arguments if you aren't in each others pockets. What about your jobs - would you and he have to commute in to London? That could be hard if you have DC(s).
This has to be a decision of the head, not the heart, and which option is best for the majority of the family. I’d be drawing up lists, considering things like air quality, comparable size of accommodation £ for £, outside space, safety and security, likelihood of getting a decent school of your choice, access to public services. If you can both put your personal wishes aside, be honest and put the greater good ahead, whichever comes out on top has to be the answer. All very easy to research.
I don’t think he’s being unreasonable, his focus and priorities have just shifted now he’s a father, he’s considering them and taking them seriously.
Another for a at "Bear in mind that it's not uncommon for men who are insistent about moving house once the first DC comes to be, basically, abusers-in-waiting.*.
What about your jobs - would you and he have to commute in to London?
Dh works in finance in the City so would be commuting.
I'm a GP (and not a partner), so can work anywhere.
I don't think your being unreasonable by not wanting to move but I think you are being unreasonable for not considering it! Your husband obviously feels very strong about this for a reason and while I do not agree that your life should be turned upside down and that you should be forced to life somewhere you do not want to I also think its fair to explore this even if its just to say to him I tried to consider it and then he might back off.
Is there another town near his hometown that is different/nicer, maybe somewhere that could new for you all instead of feeling your down the road from his parents? Or even somewhere that is similar to that but a town closer to London so you get the best of both worlds. Your husband does not seem happy where he is at the moment and its unfair to just ignore his feelings but he has to consider yours also. Its about sometimes finding a compromise and testing the waters.
I would investigate some options, other towns and maybe do an odd weekend in his hometown and see if you can get to like the place without his family around. I really do hope you all work this out.
Is he just being nostalgic for his own childhood? You are being a bit judgy about it, but I wouldn’t want to either - well don’t minimise the support family on hand can be actually.
As a long term and unrepentant NotLondoner I don't think you are being at all unreasonable.
Your issue is that the two of you had discussed this prior to DC arriving. Now he has changed his mind and gas chosen his childhood to be your married life.
You need another conversation. Tell him you will consider anywhere just NOT the place he grew up. You don't want to slip into his family, his friends, his memories, his blue remembered hills.
You want to build a life for the two of you and your children. Not relive his. He is being unfair, but you might be able to make him see it...
The “abusers in waiting” comment. My dad abused us all and the last thing he would have done was move us closer to family and friends, he did quite the opposite and isolated us.
I think maybe you should sit down with him and ask him to list the factors that appeal to him about the move. Is it closeness to his family, access to countryside, better commute, bigger house, etc ? And get him to list those factors in order of priority. Then once you’ve got a clearer idea of what it is that he’s seeking, you’ll be in a better possible to discuss what possible compromise you could reach. For example getting a bigger house in a cheaper area that’s still in London. Or moving to somewhere closer to his family but still in London. Etc.
Bristol is much better than London though the traffic is a nightmare.
YANBU in wanting to stay.
HINBU in wanting to leave.
Lengthy discussion needed.
St Albans might be a good compromise if you’re willing to make one, on the same train line but better shops, better restaurants, better pubs/bars etc. Also more choice of schools within easy reach. I grew up not far from Harpenden and wouldn’t want to live there as a teen/adult as there doesn’t seem to be a lot going on there.
I love London but moved out to Surrey and love it. I get my London fix with work and fabulous events. My DC enjoy clean air, no gangs, short journey to school etc with the benefit of London nearby. I would worry about dc travelling to school on the tube etc I have seen some horrible bullying and behaviour that are the wouldn’t like if they ever got to find out.
I grew up in Harpenden Hertfordshire and I loved it! And my parents are foreign and we fitted in well. Schools are fantastic, the open space, the quality of the environment for kids is fantastic. My memories of Harpenden are wonderful- playing in the common, the park, the fates etc.
I would move back in a heartbeat. But I can’t afford it. I do remember takin the train into London as a teen and it taking less than an hour...
It doesn't matter how much other posters like Harpenden, the OP doesn't.
You’re living a life you love - what is it he is looking for to improve his? Try to understand this, and it might help you think about how you can achieve both. Does he imagine himself mowing the lawn? Walking to the pub with his mate/brother/cousin? Having family to babysit so you can spend time together? The kids having more outdorr space?
I don't think anybody is unreasonable to not want to move to Harpenden. I can't imagine anything worse - it's the epitome of dullness.
And it is one of the whitest places I’ve ever seen that is so close to London
Are you racist against white people op? Do you have preconceived predjuces against living amongst white people?
Yabu for saying this. You wouldn't say 'I don't want to live there, it's one of the blackest places I've ever been' would you? So it's not acceptable to say what you've said.
I'd always move my kids out of London if given the chance. Unless you live in a 1% income bracket area your kids are probably not safe from gangs, either being recruited or targeted.
London is a shit hole now anyway. I'd rather travel in for a day out and go home than live there now.
If you can live in a good area of London I wouldn't bother, I've lived in both, I much preferred living in st Margaret's or crouch end to living in St Albans (dead in the week) . Harpenden and St. Albans really are not cheap and St. Albans still has some not that nice bits too. the commute in is pricey and in the decent areas in London state schools are not bad at all. We rent and moved out there and ended up being no better off. Yes the air is a bit better but I can't honestly say I preferred it. We live in Bath these days and that's a much better difference as it has better facilities and lots going on. If you were going to stay in south east and commutable then I would stay put or go to Brighton (crap schools though I am told)
Are you racist against white people op? Do you have preconceived predjuces against living amongst white people?
Oh do shut up.
The OP wants to bring her child up in a multi-cultural area. If you're offended by that you may want to examine your own conscience.
I can see both sides of the argument. Are you really saying that for the next 18 years until the kids leave home you're going to have it your way and discount his feelings? Maybe there's a middle way.
'Omg I went to Tottenham and there were so many black people there, I could never live there. It's the blackest place I've ever been'
See, it's not acceptable is it?
I’ll be surprised if the OP comes back to this thread now.
She has said that her husband works in the City and she is a GP - so I would think that they are probably quite well off (I don’t know whether they’d fall into the 1%). They can probably afford a nice bit of London, Harpenden or St Albans.
Having said that, it sounds as though only she would have to move professionally - her husband would stay working where he is. So it would be more of a wrench for her.
Could you move to a nice bit of an outer borough of London as a compromise? For example, parts of Barnet and Enfield have more green open spaces but are still in London with a multicultural feel.
I think saying they discussed this before they had DC means it's now off the table is a bit silly. Things change once you have DC - you start to notice things you didn't before, start to be bothered about things that were barely on your radar.
We are in a London borough where every single school is reporting high levels of pollution. If you have a child with any kind of respiratory problem suddenly that's a huge fuck-off issue.
I moved out of London to XPs home town in Herts when DC were small, and I massively regret it now that DC are young adults and I'm stuck here dying of boredom. Everyone knows everyone's business, there is nothing to do, the shops are shit, the town is 90% coffee shop, 5% shit chain restaurants and 5% charity shops, its tory central too. It's dull as fuck.
Every time any of us want a decent night out we have to travel in to town. DS worked out that he spent more on travelling into London, and the odd travelodge/cheap hotel for nights out than he did on drinks and gig tickets last year. All my real friends are in London so it involves proper arrangements to do anything interesting and to top it off cuntface the ex twat has moved back in to London after persuading me to move out here. I wish I'd never bloody moved here!
Er no Eliza it's not the same thing. There's no such thing as black privilege and white people have never been a minority prosecuted by white people.
Unless you live in a 1% income bracket area your kids are probably not safe from gangs, either being recruited or targeted.
What utter crap.
OP you are NBU at all. I guess you need to find out what your DH is struggling with in your current set up.
But he needs to understand that recreating his childhood is both possible and in no way any kind of priority for you.
I rather like Harpenden! But I'm not you, OP, and you don't like it so you're not being unreasonable at all in my opinion! Is there a compromise available? a London borrough that's a little further? Has DH actually laid out specific reasons why it MUST be Harpenden?
The problem with moving back to your hometown is, unless you are well off, it can be disappointing to find that there’s no way you can afford the sort of house or area that you grew up in. I think this is quite a problem in Harpenden - it isn’t cheap.
I grew up in Brighton and quite a few people I went to school with now live in Worthing for this reason.
The only 'benefits' of this move would be mainly for your husband and it's all about him wanting to re-create his own idealized childhood for your dc.
Dh works in finance in the City so would be commuting
Ahhhh.....so I guess that would be his get-out
excuse for not being 'able' to do his share of nursery/school drops and picks ups etc?
No doubt the commute would mean he's out of the house earlier and back later than he currently is - so you'd be left to pick up the slack resulting from this, including taking on his share of housework and childcare because he's not there or 'tired' from his commute?
What about support networks for you? Do you have any friends/family in that area?
You'd be surrounded by his family and friends and no doubt there's be pressure to 'fit in' and do things their way, plus you'd effectively be on your own/feel ganged up on in any disagreements etc because they'd be on his side.
How easy would it be for you to continue your own social life given the distance and his late returns home?
Or would it be left to you to organise childcare/babysitting because he 'can't' get home earlier/isn't his responsibility?
I wouldn't move because it's not in your best interests -at all.
Plus you both agreed to bring up your dc in London and now he's trying to go back on his word.
Whatever his 'reasons' for this move they were applicable at the time you made your agreement -so what's changed - other than you having given birth and now being in a more 'vulnerable' position as a result it has on all areas of your life?
With a 6 month my number one concern would be childcare. What type are you planning on using and whether it is possible to arrange this in a new place. With a nanny it is easier but how would you arrange nursery/childminders/sick days in a new location. What are the school options like.
YANBU however showing DH that you have thought about it and can explain all the reasons you don't want to make the move is important.
If I would be picking up the childcare drop off and pick up load so dh could have a house in the little town he wanted near his family and commute into his job the answer would be a non negotiable no, as it’s not a fair ask. He can do drinks or events in London just by staying late. You’d have to travel in. He’s not really sacrificing anything to get what he wants, while you are.
Would it be good to be near his family? Would they be involved in childcare?
CantStopMe is saying what I meant - the man who wants to move out of town while still keeping his own job in town* may well be potentially abusive at least in the sense that he wants his wife/s life to change (she is away from her friends and family, may not be able to get as good a job) more than his own will. If he's adding to the insistence on moving with suggestions that she 'take a career break' while DC are little, then that should ring even more alarm bells...
It’s Harpenden, isn’t it? That has to be Harpenden
My first thought too, such an awful place, so full of itself and it's not attractive either!
As someone who was born, raised & educated in London (except for uni) & lives here now I can reassure you that I survived unscathed as did DH & our school friends!
There is a benefit to having family nearby to either help with childcare/babysitting etc. I’d love a bigger property but for now location & family outweigh that.
Have you discussed moving anywhere else? I have had 3 neighbours who rather than do the traditional Surrey move have gone to Bristol, Edinburgh & Manchester as they wanted “city life” but bigger properties. They worked in finance & one was a surgeon & said the pay was less but not that much less & everything else was so much more reasonable.
I would talk to him about concerns and then do some research together
Clean air he may have a point in London as I thought recent studies had shown pollution is now at unacceptable levels in a lot of places - however that doesn't mean that Harpenden is loads better
Schools you get good and bad everywhere. We live in a high income town with ofsted rated good schools but strangely when you actually look in greater depth (our local newspaper does in depth reports) they all just scrape into the good category, they actually fall below the minimum standard in most areas. So to get into one of the fee schools that are actually good, it's going to cost at least an extra 100k. In the lower income parts of the adjacent big city there are some excellent schools.
Do you live near lots of outside space and activities for children that you can't get elsewhere? How often do you think you'll use them? What is he actually worried about? Do you see yourself staying in the same house long term?
I don't think he is necessarily being unreasonable changing his mind about where he wants to live after a baby. Lots of people suddenly want more space than they thought after a baby. But he is being unreasonable expecting you to move somewhere you really don't want to, at the extreme opposite of where you are now. And it is childish to try and force you to by being in a massive grump.
Surely there may be a middle ground?
Also what would his commute be like? If he's going to be out the house for an extra hour a day that's 5 hours a week less your child will see him and 5 hours more you will have to pick up the slack or pay for extra childcare. Most young kids would rather see their parents more and most older kids would rather live in places with stuff to do, than live somewhere greener with a long commute for their parents
I think DH and I were like this but the other way round. I had a sudden strong wish to move to where we grew up, I felt guilty I was depriving DS of what I’d had.
DH listened, we talked. We made lists of what we each wanted in our neighbourhood and what we wanted for DS (not lists of pros and cons of my hometown vs our London flat). We researched trains and houses. I felt heard. We ended up moving within London, to a neighbourhood neither of us had heard of before, but which we both love.
Before we married (back in the dark ages so we weren’t yet living together) we agreed that we would live in my end of the Midlands so OH (well, fiancé then) got a job there as did I. Then his employer closed suddenly and we agreed that it was his turn to choose where to live. So he, and I when we married, settled in his home area, the other side of the Midlands. 40 years on, though I like the area we live in, somehow i still don’t feel I really belong. My heart is still in “my” part of the Midlands.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to leave London post children. It’s what lots of people do but you both have to find a location you’re happy with. Harpenden is nice so I can see why your husband might be comparing. But, unless you have a big budget for a house, he might not be able to replicate his childhood. House prices are crazy in harpenden as are school catchment areas. We looked as I did really like it but we got a lot more for our money in a different commuter area that we had assumed would have been more expensive.
My main issue with the move would seem to be you change jobs but he remains in the same one. He now has a longer commute and you end up doing all the drops/collections etc.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Get started »
Please login first.