Serious advice needed. I feel weird airing my laundry on the net but I donít really have anyone I can turn to who can give me unbiased advice. My wife and I have been together for 6 years although we have been married only 2 and a half years When we met she was 19 and I was 28. I know this is a pretty large age difference but in many ways she is more mature than people my age or older. We have a wonderful healthy two year old boy. We have had several ups and downs but in my eyes its been mostly ups. Now the problem.
In 2002 I relocated to South Florida , from NY. I had just sold a company in NY and purchased a mortgage company. At that time I hired the woman who would eventually become my wife.. As the business grew and I enjoyed large amounts of success and as the years passed we all know what happened with the mortgage market. After we were together about 4 years we started seeing where the mortgage market was going and started to look at the idea of moving back to NY where I was originally from. In addition to the economy being more stable in NY the schools are much better, and the area is much safer.. These are several of the reasons that weighed into our decision. My wife started applying to law schools in NY and I looked at possible business opportunities. Over the course of the next year we had a little surprise with the pregnancy and arrival of our wonderful son. At this time my wife realized Law school was not going to be conducive with an infant, After almost another year of planning we executed the move to NY in January of 2008. My wife elected to enroll in a Masters program and become a teacher due to flexible hours and summers off. My business venture did not go well and I accepted position with a new company within a few months of being up here.
Here is a little history on my wife. She was born in Cuba but spent most of her life in South Florida. She comes from a very close knit family who mostly all reside in Florida. Obviously the move was a huge thing for her never being out of South Florida. Her family is wonderful and loving and have always been there for us in times of need. They are wonderful grandparents and I cannot say enough good things about them. As far as my family they donít compare at all to her family. My parents are divorced. My mom lives on the west coast, my father lives close to us but I have two half sisters that are 11 and 15 so he is not at all in the mode of being grandpa and while I love him to death I have never felt the love from him that I have felt from my in-laws.
I am sure you can see where this is going. She hates NY, she has been homesick since we got her, hates the cold weather, claims its miserable and she has no friends and wants to go back to Florida. However she complains about it so much that she just keeps convincing herself that its worse than it is. She has made friends but know one really her age mostly moms who have 3 kids and who are at different stages of their lifeís. She has since finished her masters and is now teaching. I have tried so hard to make it work for here. We have been up here sixteen months and in that time she has been to Florida three times and her parents have been up here at least seven or eight times. She has never been more than maybe five weeks without seeing them. I have paid for several tickets to surprise her and have her mom come up. Well its wonderful while her mom or parents are here but two days before her mom leaves and the two weeks that follow she goes into depression and starts the I hate it here and I want to go back to Florida. I am constantly worrying about her needs and wanting her to be happy. The only time she seems to start to adjust is when she has been away from her family for five or six weeks because its almost like she is forced to adjust. Itís a catch 22, I want to make her happy and have her family here as much as possible but the other side is she never gets in the mode of adapting to NY. My wife is the type who throws around separation and divorce pretty freely which could be partially because of her age. We went to a counselor twice and who was not really helpful. She said the Florida NY issue is basically an irreconcilable difference, because there is no middle ground on this issue. Either you live in NY or you live in Florida.
As far as the reasons for staying in NY, we both have great jobs between the two of us we make 200k with about 75% of that being my income. The job Market in Florida sucks right now and we would be lucky if we could make half of that. On top of that we would have to do private schools for our son because the public schools in the area where we would be in Florida stink. Not to mention the crime rate is very high. At this point she has basically told me that when she finishes her certification which is June of 2010 she is going back to Florida with my son and I quote with or without you but I want you to come. Obviously itís not that easy because she cannot just pack up and take our son and that would surely be a battle but I donít want it to come to that point. I think at this point if in a year she still was really unhappy here and I felt she really had made a conscience effort to make it work then I would probably consider going back., The problem is I do not see how this is going to be possible if she has her mind made up that she is going back. Her father has encouraged her that its in the best interested of our son and myself to be here right now that she really needs to try to make it work here. Her mom has no concept of how lucky we are to have great jobs in this market and would love nothing more than to have her back in Florida five mins away from her house. I am constantly consoling her and rarely can focus on myself. The thought of divorce scares the hell out of me and the thought of our son not having both of his parents put him to bed at night breaks my heart. I have spoken with a few other female friends and they say I need to put my foot down and she needs to understand that this is what is in the best interest of her family right now and that I am babying her to much. I think I am scared that if I put my foot down then she will leave me. All thoughts and advice appreciated and sorry for the rant. Thanks for listening
Coming from a Spanish family, I can see your problem. The big issue is that her family was to close and she cannot accept to be separted from them, she is scare that the separation will make her lose all the contact with her family, bacuase of the distance, something new is scary. I went to this withdrawal when I moved from my country to the US. And the fact that she has continued seeing them every few weeks is not helping, she really needs a longer separation from the family to accept the change.
I believe that you should talk to you father in law, and tell him that the best way to get her to see that the move is for the best and accept the changes easier, will be for them to not come to NY for a few months, you can get together in NY or Florida, for B-days and holidays, but not as frequent as you say. If she sees that the separation from the family is longer it might help. Since you FIL has realize the issue, he can help with MIL and talk to your wife. Do not buy her tickets, she can be away from her parents for six months and not die. It will be hard, but she can talk to them anytime she wants, just get your FIL help to make the mom also understand that she needs this move and telling her to move back and that she misses her too much and that she can live without her, is not helping. He can handle you MIL and you will see the changes will come, take it from somebody who has been there.
You can be forceful without being mean. With the help of your FIL and your loving forceful way, she can overcome this.
This isn't really just FL/NY, it's about values--are family and all that goes with it more important than $$$$? I'd say, go back to FL in a heartbeat--nothing replaces a loving family, and so what if you don't have as much $$$!
Also, I think it is very difficult for anyone who did not grow up in a warm climate to appreciate how awful it is to live where it is cold if you are from a warm climate. I haven't not heard many people complain about the reverse--hating hot climes when they are from the North. Northerners suck it up and just do it b/c they always have, Southerners are constantly aware of the fact that "it doesn't have to be this way!" Just another thought to help you appreciate her circumstances.
I really think the family/$$ issue is a big difference between you, and one you need to consider carefully in making decisions. Money comes and goes, but family is forever. A family-oriented person isn't likely to become money-oriented, but someone who is money-oriented can become family-centered. And "family" does not mean the nuclear family in this context, it's about extended family. The emphasis on husband/wife/child/nuclear family is very historically specific to some cultures, but it's actually the exception, not the rule. You married a woman from a culture where extended family matters a lot, and you can weigh that into your decision making.
She may be younger than you, but she knows what is most important to her. The marriage may not work if you and she have such a basic difference. This is not a criticism of you, by the way, just an observation on what seems to be the crux of the problem.
If you value your wife, marriage and family then you move...it's simple. Find a job making a little less money to have more stability and happiness in your marriage.
You're being a little selfish...
Maybe my post came across with to much emphasis on the job situation. There are several factors such as the crime rate, quality of life, corrupt government, poor education system, traffic, and on top of that the cost of living is close to equal and the job market is virtually non existent.
I grew up with nothing so I know what its like to be without money, I want to be able to provide for my son and pay for his college as wells giving him the things I never had. I cannot see taking a 50% paycut and her taking 25% paycut having to pay for private schools so she can be close to home. We would never be able to make ends meet financially. If the economy was different its a completly different story. We currently live in a great area, with great public schools where you can run to the gas station and not worry about being shot. Here is the headlines from todays paper. This happened two miles from where we used to live in Florida. This is considered a good area for Florida standards. I do appreciate the advice look forward to more.
"Maybe my post came across with to much emphasis on the job situation. There are several factors such as the crime rate, quality of life, corrupt government, poor education system, traffic, and on top of that the cost of living is close to equal and the job market is virtually non existent."
Excuses, selfish...tantamount to the same thing here. I'm sure there are areas in and around where you were that aren't as bad. School systems, you can look at their ranking online these days and many have open enrollments...
I agree your issue is mostly about what you value most. If your wife is determined to be closer to her family and is willing to divorce you, then I think you better pay attention. Granted, don't just hop on the plane and load the moving trucks, get a stable job first, sell your current house, plan the details. Aren't bilingual teachers in high demand in Florida? Cut back by getting a smaller house. The kid(s) will be better off with two happy parents than a lot of extra material things. No one ever regrets spending too much time with their family. Many people regret spending too much time at work.
i dont know what kind of people her parents are, but i would suggest talking to them. It sounds like your MIL might be adding to her frustration with not moving back. If you can get her parents on your side it would help. i dont know it that is an option for you but its just something to consider.
i left my family for my H, too and it was really hard. it took a couple years for me to adjust. I am fine being away from them now. but my mom would never encourage me to leave my H, especially if I had kids. my mom, and my two olders sisters have always encouraged me to work it out with him instead of running away. I would think your wife's parents would understand sacrificing family for the marriage since they've been together for so long. and im sure they had to leave behind family in cuba.
Have you considered a possible compromise in your situation? What I mean is, perhaps you could look into jobs and schools in other states that are closer to Florida and in a warmer climate. Maybe if your wife was not as far away from her family as she is now, and if she was in a climate that felt more natural to her, then maybe she would not be so fixated on being so miserable.
There is a website called CITY-DATA.COM. It has an outstanding forum where people from all over the country answer questions about the areas in which they live. You can look at some locations with your wife and then read the forums to see what people who live there feel and think about the area. You can also post questions and such if you need more info.
You can also look at a website called GREATSCHOOLS.ORG. It is a website where you can enter the name of different school districts and see how they rate nationally, compare them to other school districts, and read reviews from parents who have children attending there.
Perhaps if you and your wife work together and explore options other than simply "stay in NY or move back to FL" then you can find a common ground in which everyone can be happy.