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I need help-moving to be closer to bf and kids are upset

Cassia's picture

Ok it's a really long story (aren't they always?) but I'm leaning heavily toward moving to be closer to my boyfriend. We've been together for 9 months (met online, I travel to see him every week, we are very compatible for those few days every week, now we want to move it to the next level but can't with our distance. ) I would be moving to his general area, but not in with him. I would find something to either rent or buy so that the kids and I have our own space as my bf and I see if we're going to last. (I feel like we will last, or I'd never consider this. He has a wonderful job and a beautiful house and is just more rooted which is why it makes more sense for me to move. )

the problems?

-It's a town that's 3 hours away-and out of state

-the ex-husband and I share custody of our son who is 15.( My daughter is 19and would choose to stay with me. ) 
-my son has said he doesn't want to move, he wants to stay with his dad but the ex was almost evicted this month and doesn't even have a bedroom for our son to stay in. He's also an alcoholic and has some issues with pills. Sad However, I don't keep the kids from their dad, and that wouldn't change. I'd drive down every week to meet with the ex to hand off our son until he gets his license. 
-just the possibility of this has caused huge feelings in both kids. I'm very guilty of having led a child centered life-I've always looked out for their interests and wants-and put mine on the back burner every single time. I'm tired of that now though. I want this-and I feel so selfish. 

Honestly I feel so guilty about this though it's truly what I want to do. I'm beginning to be a little resentful that they're giving me such grief over this and feel like if I don't make a stand now they're just going to continue to run all over me. The 19 yr old and I are very close and she's really upset that I have someone. She's single and lonely, has horrible anxiety and just is having a tough go in life right now. She's in therapy but doesn't seem to be getting better. 

Any ideas? Any been there, done that stories? I'm so afraid I'm going to ruin their life. But I'm also afraid I'm going to forever regret not trying to get my relationship to the next stage with my bf. Sorry this is so disjointed. I have a job interview in the new city soon and I'm just frazzled and confused. 

Gimlet's picture

So you're going to either uproot your 15 year old or have him move in with his addict dad so you can move to be with a guy you've known for 9 months? 

No way would I do that to my kid.  Just because you've made the mistake of bring too child centric in the past doesn't make this a good choice.  

I'd continue to date until your son is out of high school. 

GoingWicked's picture

This.  You have the responsibility of raising your kids so they become responsible adults not only for their own good, but for society as a whole.  

Cassia's picture

Thank you all. You've pretty much said what I was thinking. To be clear, I plan to move by September once my lease is up. none of us are happy where we currently live. Maybe I'll just move closer to the bf but still stay in state. Not exactly what I wanted but it sounds like a good compromise for the next few years anyway. 

BethAnne's picture

OP, maybe you need to find different ways to do things for yourself so that you can feel like you are not so child-centered and that you are looking after yourself while you wait until your kids are launched.

Maybe start taking a course that interests you in your town or take up a hobby that you have always wanted to try. Spend more time going out and doing adult activities with your friends. Perhaps book a nice child-free vacation with your boyfriend.

lieutenant_dad's picture

OP, out of curiosity, have you done anything for yourself that DIDN'T revolve around another person being the source of your happiness? You said you lived a child-centric life, which I assume means most of your activities/interactions with adults centered on kid stuff. You were a soccer mom or in the PTA or were a den mom/troop leader, etc. Now that you're kids don't need you for the fun things, you've glomped on to another person for your happiness versus finding a path that you enjoy for yourself. If you don't have hobbies or your own identity aside from "mother", "girlfriend", and "employee", I highly recommend finding some hobbies before you move in with anyone new. You'll resent a life defined by other people's definition of what you are, even if you don't see that now.

Next, I think your kids are likely reeling from the whiplash of you going from selfless to selfish in .5 seconds. Nine months isn't a long time in a relationship. When you visit your BF, do your kids come, or do you only visit when they aren't around? For your 15 year old, you're not just telling him that you're moving into a new house. You're telling him that he's being removed from his social circle, his school that he is accustomed to, easier access to his father, and just his general familiar surroundings. That's ripping your son's life away from him for a new relationship.

And while we're talking about kids, your daughter is either lazy or actually needs help. If she actually needs help, even at 19, you need to be home helping her with her issues. Therapy isn't a magic pill. What have you been doing with her to help ease her anxiety? Have you taken her out of the house to the store? Does she have a license? Have you been teaching her to drive? Have you worked with her therapist on techniques at home to get her to launch? Enrolles her in any online classes? Does she have a job? Your daughter is failing at launching, and your #1 goal as a parent is to launch a productive human being out into the world. You have bigger priorities with her right now that may limit time you have to spend with a BF 3 hours away.

As for this BF, what does he think of your kids? What are his thoughts on parenting and being a SF? Does he have space in his home for your kids to get their own rooms and space? Does he have kids, and what are their thoughts on you, your kids, your parenting, and you becoming their SM? I'm having a hard time picturing, if you have two kids, one who is school aged, you spending vast quantities of time with your BF given that you need to be home during the week. Have you stayed with your BF for a week, or seen him daily for week, that wasn't a vacation? Have any of your visits with him not included sex? That may seem like a personal question, but sex hormones blind us to a lot of BS. 

All this leads me to one big final question: are you using your BF as an escape from parenthood because you're tired and feel your happiness is deserved after giving so much up for your kids?

That's a heavy question, but I sense bitterness toward your kids in your post, or at least bitterness towards yourself for being so focused on them and having bred with someone who has turned out to be a lackluster parent who isn't as helpful. You lost yourself in being a parent, and someone found you and saw you as beautiful and you just *know* you'll be the next main character of the next Nicholas Sparks novel with this love story.

But OP, your BF won't fix that part of you that feels like it has given up so much - maybe even an unfair amount. Your moving could ruin your relationships with your kids. I'm not so sure that their responses to this are all that unwarranted.

My own mother and SF up and moved away when my brother and sister were in high school, and they refused to move with her. They were established here st home, where they had been in the same school system my mom graduated from herself. My mom had always refused to live outside the school system, because she wanted us to have that same experience of getting to go to school and graduate with the same kids. My siblings lived in less-than-ideal circumstances with our dad because they didn't want to uproot something that *our mom* planted in them.

My sister resented my mother for a very long time for leaving, for making her choose between her home/dad and mom, and for acting like it wasn't a big deal because my sister was "older". Nope. It took about a decade for my sister to be okay with my mom again because my mom kept saying "she had a choice" and "SF and I hated living there". My mom set our home, my siblings and I accepted our home, and then my mom threw it away when something better came along. That was unfair to my minor siblings.

And it will be unfair to move your kids like this. I'm not saying you shouldn't be happy or shouldn't have your own time. I'm not even saying you should leave your BF. But your kids have clung to you and your home. Your oldest can't/won't stretch her wings, so you need to do the hard work of starting to kick her out of the nest. You need to start working on finding your own activities to do that don't revolve around kids. You need to be teaching your kids independence and showing them that you are more than just someone whose whole identity is wrapped up in someone else. Fair or not, you've set your kids up to expect you to always put them first, and you need to ease them from that. You moving them away from their home, away from their father, and away from their lives. And you're not taking them somewhere where thw three of you are re-establishing. You're taking them somewhere that has a new person with new rules that they don't know and don't want to learn.

IF you go through with this, are you prepared to tell your kids to shut up and deal with it? Are you prepared to deal with grumpy teenagers? Are you prepared to back up your BF 100% and give him equal say about your children's behavior in your mutual home? Will he be able to help make the rules that you'll enforce with gusto? If not, it's not fair to your BF to move in with him.

Your kids are telling you that they aren't on the same page as you with hating where they live. So, ease them into transition. Tell them you're unhappy, that you want to live closer to BF, that you will eventually live with him, and that they need to start learning to accept that now. Then work with them to accept it. Take them to spend more time with BF, and MAKE BF come to them and see how they live their lives. Take them to tour the school in the area. Look for a new house with the BF that you all can move in together. Help them work through their anger and resentment of you so that they don't misplace it on your BF. If you're planning on BF being your next DH and being around forever, then laying this groundwork where your kids don't immediately think he's the bad guy is crucial. You'll save yourself a lot of heartache long-term if you put the brakes on this impromptu-feeling move and take the time the ease your kids from being both your #1 priority and responsibility to just your #1 responsibility.

And get your BF to put a ring on it. BFs are a dime a dozen. If he isn't willing to commit to marrying you, then he isn't worth relocating your family for. If he can't say for certain when you move in that he wants to live with you forever and find a way to make that work (versus using moving in as a "trial run" to see if it will work), then you need to wait until your kids have launched to move. It's not fair to them to put them in a "trial" situation 3 hours from everything they know and love.

justmakingthebest's picture

This is a hot mess. 

Do not do that to your son. Don't even "just move closer but stay in state". Stay in your son's current school district. It is so wrong to uproot him or ditch him with his addict father so you can get laid more frequently. Seriously... that is what is happening here. 

Why can't your BF move to you? Why do women always make the sacrifice? Respect yourself and have him move closer to you. It doesn't matter if he owns his house or has a good job, if he can't make moves for you, why should you have to jump and do so for him? 


susanm's picture

You are forgetting something.  How your BF is going to react to dealing with these people.  Even if you can get them somewhat on board, they are not going to be really happy about the move.  That means even more of your time being taken up with them and less for your BF even though you have moved to be close to him.  Do you envision him spending time at your home involved with the kids?  Because from what you have described, a childless man is going to take one look at the situation and go back to his nice peaceful house.  And you saying the expected "But I moved for you - you can't just leave!!!!" is going to slam shut the door on the relationship in record time.

If you want to give the relationship a real chance, get your kids sorted out before moving anywhere.  Trust us on this!  There is nothing less sexy and more destructive to relationships than kids with issues.

Merry's picture

DH and I dated long distance for years. Take turns visiting each other, take trips together, spend holidays together than include you (and his?) kids. See how the normal things of life work between the two of you. I promise, you barely know this man. You are in the early phase of this relationship where everything looks and feels so good and you are sure you can conquer anything. That doesn't last. Love might last, but eventually the love goggles come off. 

Slow down. If indeed this is the perfect man for you, you will find a way to make it work long distance. In the meantime, focus on yourself and your own stability. Get your daughter the help she needs, and get your son through high school.

Rags's picture

So, why doesn't your BF move to where you are?  Why are you the one uprooting your life and kids for him rather than the other way around?

I agree that adults cannot tolerate their children exerting control over their lives, however, 9mos may be a bit premature to give up your life in your community to go join your SO's life in his community. 

Why not both of you move to a new location to make a life together rather than either of you giving up your lives and families for the other?

DHsfamilyfromhell's picture

What are the repercussions going to be if this relationship doesn’t work out? Are you going to uproot again and move again? It might be wise to date another 6 months to a year before such a big decision. Your partner has nothing to loose if it doesn’t work, you could end up in a tricky situation