My selfish husband or my mom?

Should I move to be with my husband and hope he treats me well this time? It would mean leaving my mom all alone…

Our elder encourages a letter writer to consider her own needs. What will make you happy?

Dear EWC

Should I move an hour away from my mother with my husband? My husband and I have known each other since I was 19 and he was 24. We have had issues throughout our relationship, he can be selfish and self absorbed sometimes. He hasn’t had a steady job in years; he’s always borrowing money from his mom, living off of her. We have a two-year-old son. My mom moved from a different to be with me and my son after he was born. Now my husband and I want to move an hour away because he got a really good job. But that would be leaving my mom alone — she doesn’t know anyone. She would be completely alone. So I’m wondering if I should move with my husband in the hopes he keeps this new job and treats me well. Or should I stay with my mom and divorce my husband, because I’m tired of giving him chance after chance. If I move with my husband I can be a stay-at-home mom. If I stay here with my mom I’ll have to out him in daycare and work.

Mr. Bill replies

Thanks for writing to us and sharing this difficult decision. In your letter, you include consideration for two people, your mother and your husband. I think there is a third person to consider. You. Here are a few thoughts on that.

My first reaction when I read your letter was more a question to you. I wanted to ask, What would make you the most happy? I hope you consider and think about that as you decide what to do. In the meantime…

I’m sure you know that you are the one who must make the decision. We can’t make it for you, but I do have a few reactions and an opinion, given my limited information.

My first reaction is in regard to your husband. Selfish. Self-absorbed. Hasn’t held a steady job in years. Living off his mom. Those are the things you have written about him and that is what you think of him. Further, you say you are tired of giving him chance after chance and you are considering divorce. Those are pretty indicting. If I were you, especially after giving him chance after chance, I’d have to think seriously… at what point do I stop doing that? What is it costing me? How much more will I take?

At this point in your life and relationship, how would you answer those? How many chances are you willing to give him, and is this one worth it? Frankly, even though this is a good and steady job, given everything else you have written, I would wonder if he can or is willing to keep it? In which case, if you move with him, you will be exactly where you are now, except you will be an hour away from your mom.

Your mom has moved to be with you and her grandchild. Good for her and good for you for even considering her in this decision. I know that our elderly parents can’t be the final determination of what we do and where we go. Having said that, here’s a personal story.
My mother moved to our town to be with her children and grandchildren, and when we thought about and had opportunities to move away, we did consider her in our decision. While she wasn’t the only consideration, there were others, she was a significant one and we stayed put. We didn’t move.

Have you talked with your mom about this decision and possibility? What does she think and say?

I know you’d like to be a stay-at-home mom, but I’m not sure there is any guarantee about you’d be doing that over the long haul if you move. Unless you are more convinced that your husband will and can be successful in this new job. And as much as it would be nice to be stay-at-home, many families find excellent childcare then make the most of the time they do spend and have with their children.

So, here’s what I think I might do if I were in your position. I think I may stay with mom, let my husband go – on his own – but put off joining him or divorcing him until more time passes, until he establishes himself in the new town an hour away and in his job. See how he is doing and what the prospects might be. That would be a compromise I’d seriously consider as I made a decision. Stay with your mom; let him move and see what happens; and put the final decision off until more is known and until your mom gets more established.

That’s my thinking. As I said, it’s your decision and all I can do is tell you what I think. Now as you decide what you think and what you want to do, I want to go back to my question to you. What will make you happy? Being with your mom and away from your husband, a person you describe as selfish, self-absorbed, irresponsible with work, and giving him chance after chance? Or with your mom and working to support yourself and your son, with a chance for a little more peaceful and more predictable future, one that you control.

Thanks for contacting the EWC and trusting us with your story. Good luck. Be happy; be independent; and take care of yourself.

Letter #: 447725
Category: Marriage

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