Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Work relocation is working for her, but not for him

Move vs. countermove :
Relocation rough on spouse

Q: I made a two-year commitment to a job that's good for my career and for which my husband agreed to move. Where we are living is not our kind of place. I am doing well and making friends, but my husband is miserable. I have agreed to move to the city of his choice when the two years are up (about 15 months away). However, seeing him so unhappy is in turn making me miserable.

Do I break my commitment, even though this would not be best for me? I would hate to have been dishonest to my employer, but isn't my first loyalty to my husband? How can I help him see the bright side when he is determined to be miserable?

Smogsville

A: Hm. Interesting phrasing. Do you genuinely believe he's "determined" to be miserable? That he could like the place if he wanted to?

People do feel more inclined (vs. forced) to accommodate someone who's trying to be a good sport. You're certainly right that your first loyalty is to your husband and not to optional personal fulfillment, but that comes with a flip side: Your husband's first loyalty is to you, and not to optional funk fulfillment.

Meanwhile — getting into the chicken-and-egg of it all — are you making friends and leaving him to fend for himself, thus his funk? Or is he choosing to stay home funky and therefore isn't making friends? Or both, with one feeding the other?

It's amazing how much hinges on one detail: Did your husband agree to this and mean it, only to find that his unhappiness was too intense to smile through, or did he agree to it grudgingly, and is now staging a passive-aggressive masterpiece of resistance to the move by refusing to make it pleasant for you?

I imagine you already know which of these is happening. The former means you at least indicate you're willing to leave early, for his and ultimately your well-being, and you see where that goes. The latter means you're due for a conversation about what it means for you to support each other. And, you see where that goes.

Let your sister-in-law
be inspiring, not irritating

Q: My sister-in-law goes out of her way to help me, my husband and everyone around her, and I'm trying to figure out why I find it really annoying. She lives frugally, is a tree-hugger, loves children and volunteers on Election Day, and I agree with all of her causes also, so I really don't know why I find myself wanting to pick out her faults (only to fall short since she's such a good, decent person). Am I so insecure that I can't appreciate having this wonderful in-law?

Los Angeles

A: Maybe. If you see her as the human embodiment of everything you think you should be — and, thus, incontrovertible proof that it can be done, you're merely not doing it — then I don't think you're supposed to enjoy her company entirely. There will always be twinges of guilt.

However, as long as you can restrain yourself from rooting out her faults, reveling in her failures and sabotaging her causes, and you can honestly accept her as a good, decent person, then I don't think there's any reason you should beat yourself up. Or her.

Advice

Comments

Tell Me About It: Play up challenged child’s strengths

Q: One of my children has a challenging personality. Within my family, we are aware of it, and deal with it, and love him oh-so-much. As he is getting older, I can see how the outside world (teachers, coaches, neighbors) favors him less than my other...
Published: 02/20/18

Tell Me About It: DNA results reveal 52-year-old secret

Q: I am in the middle of a growing crisis in my extended family because of revelations from a DNA match. After getting my results, I was contacted by a woman looking for her biological family. It quickly became apparent she was the child my sister ga...
Published: 02/20/18

Tell Me About It: Don’t expect help from careless grandma

Q: My mother moved to be closer to us when we had a baby, who’s now 2. She’s not responsible with him. She gives him anything he points to and grunts. Just in the past month, this has included a lighter ("He doesn’t know how to use it"), garden shear...
Published: 02/19/18
Ordinary dogs take to the Derby Lane greyhound track for the Mutt Derby

Ordinary dogs take to the Derby Lane greyhound track for the Mutt Derby

Some stopped midway, some turned around and ran the wrong way and some dashed to the arms of their owners as more than 300 average house pets took to the track at Derby Lane on Sunday for the Mutt Derby. The popular fundraiser for the Jaycees died o...
Published: 02/18/18

Tell Me About It: Doubts creep in to six-year relationship

Q: I have been with my partner for six years and have just graduated from college. I love my partner and could see myself happily married to them for the long haul. However, I am beginning to feel wistful about never having dated anyone else — or kis...
Published: 02/18/18

Tell Me About It: Vacation opens dialogue about money

Vacation opens dialogue about moneyQ: My girlfriend and I just went on our first vacation together. I thought it went well, but after we were home she told me she felt I had been cheap because I wanted to split all costs 50-50.I think cheap would be ...
Published: 02/16/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Feb. 19-25

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Feb. 19-25

Gasparilla Distance Classic: One of Tampa’s best known road races returns to downtown, with a 5K and 15K Saturday and an 8K and half marathon on Sunday. The chief attraction is the 15K on Saturday, which takes runners out and back along the man...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/18/18
Dance Moms star Chloe Lukasiak to appear at Florida State Fair on Saturday

Dance Moms star Chloe Lukasiak to appear at Florida State Fair on Saturday

TAMPA — Chloe Lukasiak will take on a different role than she is accustomed when she stops by the Florida State Fair this weekend.After all, the 16-year-old Pennsylvania-native and resident rose to fame on Seasons 1 through 4 of Lifetime’s reality te...
Published: 02/15/18

Tell Me About It: Past eating disorder affects food choices

Q: My wife refuses to change her diet and grocery shopping to accommodate my health needs and those of our kids. Everything she gets is processed grains and sugar. My doctor recently recommended losing weight, and exercise won’t cut it. But because s...
Published: 02/15/18
Top things to do this weekend: Florida State Fair, Mutt Derby at Derby Lane

Top things to do this weekend: Florida State Fair, Mutt Derby at Derby Lane

GO, DOG, GO: Mutt DerbyOne of the most hilarious days at the races is Sunday, when ordinary house pets get a chance to run on the Derby Lane greyhound track. Mutt Derby registration begins at 11 a.m., but you can register in advance at greyhoundpets...
Published: 02/14/18