FAMILY: Should we relocate?
Article #: 249838
I am married with 2 children, 4 years old and 4 months old. I am very close with my family (my mom, dad and 2 sisters). We all live within a mile of each other in NJ. My husband supports us and works from home. He is from VA. The cost of living is MUCH less in VA than here in NJ and he really wants us to move there so we can live easier financially. I really like the larger houses and cost of living in VA, but I would miss my family so much. I truly don't know what to choose. Right now our house is small and expensive. We have very little storage. We only live here because my family is here. They are so helpful with our kids. They babysit and help drive all the time. My children have 2 cousins here too and they will go to school together. I don't know how to leave them, but I also don't know how to tell my husband that he has to stay somewhere he hates. I would love any advice on the issue of leaving family. We would be a 6-hour drive away.
I'm wondering about your husband's family in Virginia. You haven't mentioned anything about them, only the lower cost of living. Is there a family there of which you all could be a part? Families should live in an atmosphere in which all feel that things are as they should be, and your situation in NJ sounds ideal from a "what's most important in life" point of view; yet, if your husband can't stand living there, something needs to change.
I see you've checked out the lower cost of living in VA, and certainly that's a consideration, if indeed it's important to your family's future. Is it difficult to manage the cost of living where you are now? Does your husband make a case for having to build a savings account for your and the children's futures? That might not be possible were you to remain in NJ.
A big consideration is the change you yourself will experience in Virginia. A much reduced cost of living there suggests to me that you would be moving to an area very different in "feel" than that to which you're accustomed. I think this issue should be investigated by both of you for a longer period of time. A visit to the area in which your husband wishes to relocate is in order, if you've not already done so. You need to get the feel and tone of the community, and also understand how you and his family could relate. Both of you need to hash out the financial aspect of the move, and why it matters. You need to have a thorough understanding of your husband's negative reaction to where you now live. What is it that is bothering him, and is it necessary to move to his home state for him to be happy, rather than to just move away from the town and area in which you now live?
Perhaps a compromise community could be a solution. Maybe your family could reside in an area midway between NJ and VA, so as to be within reasonable reach of your family and his. You might consider renting a house for a year to see how you feel about a potential community, and how things go without your family being so close by. You also need to experience what it's like to have strangers babysit and how you'd manage without the driving help you mentioned.
Sometimes change is for the best, but there's no way of knowing without reviewing all the information you can dig up and examining it very carefully. When uncertain, sometimes the best thing you can do is not to make a decision... but to think about it some more and to get more input to help you come to a sound conclusion.
In a marriage, it's essential that the spouses are in harmony on important issues. I truly don't see this as an either/or situation, but one that can come to a satisfactory conclusion, given time and effort to make it happen.
I hope these thoughts are helpful to you and your family.