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Really need to know if it's me or if there is any hope of getting through to dh(9 Posts)
Ok. Haven't posted much here so will try and be as clear as I can.
Background: Married 8 years (today). Lived 6 of those years in US (where dh is from). 2 years ago we moved back to Ireland as I was very homesick having lost my dad and wanting my children and I to spend time with my mother and sister, in other words my family.
We decided a year ago that due to the cost of living and our inability to enter into mortgage situation in crazy property market, that we would move back to the US in summer 2009. In the meantime we decided that we would have another child as I desperately wanted another one and it seemed like a good compromise. We now have a 6month old ds as well as 2 older children and our family is complete.
We lived on the West Coast of US, Southern California to be exact. A 12 hour flight to Dublin in the past and now the direct flight is being taken off so that flying direct will no longer be an option in the near future. I found living in So. CA quite a challenge, from a cultural standpoint (found it difficult to relate to people) and also the distance aspect. (When my dad died I missed him by a half hour due to how long it took to get home and I swore I would never be in that position again).
I have an elderly mother who will be 84 next year and I dread having the same scenario play out. I am also very close to my sister and family and had hoped that we could visit every summer and spend time together as 2 families. I also hope to be able to visit sporadically throughout the year as well if at all possible as I foresee problems with my mother's health etc and would like to be able to fly back without it being a huge undertaking.
Problem: I have asked dh for reasons listed above whether we can consider living on the east coast mainly from the perspective of closeness to Europe. He feels pigeon holed and every time we have a discussion it quickly turns into an argument with me getting hysterical. He simply does not see where I am coming from as valid enough and has actually said to me on one occasion that he feels I am doing all of this out of spite.(Should also add here that he has said on a number of occasions that he should never have said that we would move back to Ireland as we had these discussions when we talked about getting married. I found that statement incredible on many levels but mostly it gave me insight into how little worth he places on me and my needs and rights within our marriage).
He is the sole breadwinner as I am a SAHM and so on that level I feel powerless. To be fair to him the majority of his contacts for work are on the west coast so finding a job would be 'easier' if he were to devote his search to that area.
His family live in So CA and while that would be greatly beneficial to our children and him of course, I feel like a spare part when I'm around them. My issue possibly, but they are Greek and very focussed on immediate family. I have had issues with a very controlling MIL in the past and I would also like to put some distance there as I feel like I would be taking a step backwards and frankly feel that if I am not going to be able to look after my own mother in her old age, well....
I also feel strongly that we have lived in both 'his' place and 'my' place and now it's time to find 'our' place. I've tried explaining that concept to him but he either doesn't understand it or doesn't give it any weight.
So here I am. Our anniversary today and not speaking due to a huge argument last night where I read an email (shouldn't have) that he sent to a friend/past colleague. In the email he basically said that I was 'set against' moving back to Orange County. The last line of the email said that we continued to have our ups and downs as he had discussed with him over their lunches in the past. That made me feel like shit. Not a huge betrayal by any means but just shit.
On a last note I have carried a lot of his resentment over the last 2 years (he absolutely hates living here) and I feel that if we lived anywhere other than where he wanted to live in teh US that I would have to shoulder that resentment as well.
Lying in bed this morning I tried to resolve to just giving up any aspirations I have for my future and my children's future but I am unable to do that.
In his defence he is a good man, a great father and he tries very hard to be good to me.
Because of all of this we no longer have a sex life (I feel it's directly linked to the resentment we both feel towards the other).
I need to know if I am being unreasonable. Am I a complete hysterical idiot who just needs to shut up and put up? And if I am being reasonable where do I go from here.
It sounds difficult. He has his family and potential work in one place, and you have your family in another, both very far apart.
My first thought is that living on the east coast will take both of you, and the children, away from everyone. Nobody wins.
Could you live in a completely new place in California? Try and find ways of meeting up with new people? I'm sure there must be some MNetters there to start you off!
Was there no work for you in Ireland? Or was it just the property situation? Do you have to own your own place?
How do you feel when you think of the most extreme scenario: you separate, he lives in US, you live in Ireland...would you be happier? would the kids adapt?
DH and I are also different nationalities and live in yet another country, so I know how difficult it can be to be pulled in two different directions. Huge sympathies.
YANBU to want to be closer to your remaining family members. However, if you are going to be on the other side of the Atlantic, I agree with your DH that you might as well be on West Coast US, near his family, and also where his job prospects are. The difference in flight times is only a couple of hours (trajectory goes closer to pole, so not 7 hrs to NY + 6 hrs to California) and California is a much nicer place to live, especially with children, than East Coast US - better weather, laid-back lifestyle, warmer people.
Can you possible compromise and extract a promise from him to visit Ireland twice a year with the kids?
You are not being unreasonable. TBH I dread being in this position in the future, my DH moved here for me and wants to move back in the future sometime. I know I don't want to live there permanently, the culture is too different and I'd be bored, lonely and miserable. Not a lot of help to you, but wanted to let you know you are not alone and being perfectly reasonable.
I really feel for you. I think that being midway between both families (ie on the West coast) is a good compromise - coming from the POV that most people have to travel for a few hours to see their families. (Having said that, we're literally in the middle of moving from being equidistant between my and DH's families to being much closer to mine, so perhaps I'm a total hypocrite.)
Thanks for the responses. Haven't been able to get online until now.
Feeling a bit better about things. I guess what I have a hard time with really is the emotional aspect of all of this. On a practical level I know that being away from both of our families wouldn't be beneficial to any of us, but I still feel strongly about distances.. CoteDAzur, I have done the flight many times, both direct and indirect and I assure you it's never been less than 11-12 hours!
Anyway, que sera, sera, as I do believe that the future is already written and I just need to breathe into it and trust that we will be happy!
YANBU. You and your DH's families have a massive cultural and geographical gulf between them and you are finding it incredibly hard to find a "place of your own".
I know an awful lot of couples with a large cultural gulf between them (my partner and I are in this position) - and, IMO, they can sometimes make it work with an awful lot of give and take, the determination to move beyond their cultures of origin to another, globalised, place and way of thinking - and not too great a geographical distance between their families (and ability to travel). Otherwise, I think those couples are pretty much doomed in my extensive experience.
Have you and your DH had any relationship therapy at all?
Thanks for the validation Anna8888. You've really hit the nail on the head re 'place or our own'. That's really at the nub of my concerns and I do wonder longterm whether our relationship will survive going back to 'his place'.
Sometimes I feel that I'm going mad and that my feelings are not reasonable and that's it's all baggage on my part.
Counselling has crossed my mind. We have had some counselling in the past but not on this issue. Maybe it's time to try again as this issue will come up again and again. I would love to hear your story and how you have resolved this issue.
We met when I was 35 and he was 36 and had both realised we had cultural issues to contend with and overcome - so in that sense, we entered the relationship clearly in the knowledge that I was never going to become an Ashkenazy Jewish wife and he was never going to become an English country husband .
We both try pretty hard almost all the time to work out what our personal prejudices, cultural biases etc are, and to examine our feelings and lives for ourselves, not through the prism of our parents'/families eyes. We believe that we need to make our own, joint decisions that we are both OK with - and to that end we discuss our decisions endlessly (and in good humour).
That's a resume. I realise that it is not at all easy for a couple relationship to get to the place that ours is at.
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