Gransnet forums

AIBU

to want to move near my grandchildren?

(36 Posts)
lavendergreen Sat 22-Nov-14 22:45:29

My daughter and my granddaughter live 300 miles away and I want to move near to them but my husband just isn't keen. We are both retired and have few reasons to stay where we are and he can't come up with any good reasons why we can't move. He just keeps saying he likes things as they are and then goes into a major sulk. We've been married for more than thirty years and I don't want to leave him to go by myself, tempting as that occasionally is!! But I also don't want to waste the rest of my life living somewhere I really don't like and away from my granddaughter. He has no friends here and the things he does here (gardening, walking), he could do better down in the south-west (of England) where I want to go. And we live in a too big house here on a new estate with noisy kis all around, whereas we could have a nice character house with a big garden for him down there and plenty of great walks. AIBU to expect him to uproot himself? I really think he'd love it once we'd done it but I'm getting so frustrated trying to get him to shift himself!! :-(

durhamjen Sat 22-Nov-14 22:53:25

We moved, Lavender. What we did first was sell our too big house and rent a bungalow in the city where we lived.
It was complicated because we had a guest house and my husband was ill. Then we realised that we did not have many friends in the city. Mst of our friends were previous guests.
We moved to be close to our family and I have not regretted it.
Perhaps sell your too big house first and rent where you live until you end up on the same wavelength?

merlotgran Sat 22-Nov-14 23:02:30

It's a tricky one because the words bridges and burn spring to mind. I'd be like you, lavender and want to do it but DH would be horrified - even though I know he'd do what I wanted.

It's a huge step to take and you have to bear in mind that your DD might want to move in the future and then what would you do?

Nelliemoser Sat 22-Nov-14 23:12:38

I have thought of this for a while but *Merlot's" points are very valid. It's a huge step to take.

I keep thinking about it and then getting cold feet. I haven't asked OH.
One day I might just sell up find myself a granny pad and do my own thing.

lavenderblue Sat 22-Nov-14 23:16:18

Durhamjen, I really can't see him agreeing to rent as he just doesn't want to do anything other than stay exactly where we are. Merlotgran, it is a big step but I really think we'd enjoy the area my daughter lives and if we had something small there, it would be easier to move again if we wanted/needed to (tho I suspect my husband wouldn't agree with that thought!). I'm really fed up with living where we do and I desperately want a change besides wanting to be an active part of my granddaughter's life. Very occasionally, he seems open to a change but just as I get excited, he shuts down again and refuses to talk about it. I've wanted this for years so how long do I wait??

durhamjen Sat 22-Nov-14 23:23:42

I could add, if you want to do something do not think about it too long. My husband died 18 months after we moved. I could have been in a city on my own with no family or friends, although they do all say why did you move? I would probably have had more visitors if we had stayed in York as it's everybody's favourite city to visit.
Also, talk it over very thoroughly with family. My sons know that they can move if they want to but if they do, I will probably go back to York, as that is the city my husband and I decided to retire to. I have no other half to ask.

merlotgran Sat 22-Nov-14 23:26:13

You don't say if your daughter is married or has a partner. Have you discussed your feelings with her?

I had a major wobble last year and wanted to move back to the Isle of Wight which is my spiritual home. Our friends that we spent our early married life with have all moved back and I spent hours on RightMove but in the end we decided it was too big a move and if one of us died the other one might be isolated and alone.

There's a lot to consider and you have to be careful that you are not landing an emotional burden on your daughter.

durhamjen Sat 22-Nov-14 23:40:05

Where do you live?

lavenderblue Sat 22-Nov-14 23:41:13

Durhamjen, really sorry to hear that you're alone now :-( I have talked my plans over with all my kids and they all think its a good idea. My daughter is keen for us to be near her and we get on well with her husband so think he'd be fine. I wasn't planning on living in their pockets, just close enough to be part of their lives and give a hand when we can. We are relatively young and both fit and I think we should be out there living life and doing something different while we can!

durhamjen Sat 22-Nov-14 23:43:47

Careful what you wish for. My grandson is being homeschooled, and at the moment I am teaching him five days a week. When he goes home, I fall asleep!
Fortunately his mother has realised that she does not want to teach other kids five days a week, and next month we go back to me teaching him three days, and she teaches him two days. We are all looking forward to that.

merlotgran Sat 22-Nov-14 23:45:12

Go for it then, lavender It doesn't sound like an impulsive decision and you sometimes have to go with your instincts.

Your DH might need a lot of persuading but that's men for you hmm

durhamjen Sat 22-Nov-14 23:48:25

I think it is possible to think too much about these things. If you want to move, do so now while you can. You may regret moving; you may regret not moving. At least if you move, you will have made a decision and cannot blame anyone else. You will then have got rid of the large house that is too big for you. Anyway, the west country is lovely. If you said you wanted to move to London or the home counties, I would have said no way!

durhamjen Sat 22-Nov-14 23:51:50

Thanks, Lavender. My husband died 34 months ago, to the minute, as I write.
Do not waste time.

Riverwalk Sat 22-Nov-14 23:53:40

I think you've forgotten that the husband doesn't want to move jen - that's the issue, not just making a big decision to move to a different part of the country.

durhamjen Sat 22-Nov-14 23:59:42

No I haven't. My sister is the same. She and her husband were going to move to the west country to be closer to family. She would move, but her husband keeps changing his mind. I stay out of the way, as they know by now what I think. It is their decision. All I am doing is answering Lavender's OP. She does not say he will not move, just that he isn't keen.
I have said they could have regrets whichever way they choose.

Eloethan Sun 23-Nov-14 01:54:25

Probably the thought of moving is quite daunting. It involves a lot of organisation, expense and uncertainty. It's said that moving house is one of the most stressful things a person can do.

Nevertheless, I think if you are really unhappy where you are (and, as someone else has said, you should firstly talk about it with your daughter - whether there's a possibility she might move, etc.), try and convince your husband of all the benefits of moving. As has been said on other threads, it's important as you get older to live somewhere where there is easy access to transport, shops and other amenities.

There is a saying that people tend to regret the things they haven't done in life more than the things that they have done.

I hope it all works out for you. Having been in the position of living somewhere I disliked, I know how unsettling it can feel.

thatbags Sun 23-Nov-14 07:07:43

I can understand an attachment to a garden, OP. That may be what makes your OH unwilling to move. A lot of work and love goes into a garden, so it's not "nothing" to keep him where he is. And perhaps he's a loner (nothing wrong with that) and doesn't need friends around him.

I hope you can work out a solution that is agreeable to both of you.

mollie65 Sun 23-Nov-14 07:28:49

Read this thread with interest as I am currently contemplating moving further
away from my family - to an area I have always wanted to live in and
wonder if I am being unreasonable grin
currently I live about 35 mins from my son and his family (one
grandson and will not have any more) so I am a fairly frequent visitor
and help out when I can but do find the 6 year old very tiring.
I live in an old cottage down a bit of a track and winters are
becoming unbearable now I am 68 - so my idea was to downsize, free up
capital and live within about 5-10 miles of the sea (which is my one
great love that I miss in my landlocked area) -probably dorset or
devon.
so I could visit them by train (reasonable service) and they could
visit me for longer.
BUT - they are against the idea as they will not see me so often
grandson is at school, both parents work, I have no particular friends
here as I am of the reclusive self-sufficient nature, do I put my life
on hold (who knows how many years I have left) or do I resurrect the
'selfish' idea of doing something for me.
in retrospect I would have done the big move 5 years ago (when I moved here) and while I don't regret seeing more of grandson while he was young I have mixed feelings about whether I should have done the 'move' for me.
good luck with your decision - it is not easy and no solution is right for everyone.

littleflo Sun 23-Nov-14 07:46:45

Could you afford to rent some holiday accommodation for a couple of months this summer. Your husband could perhaps join you at weekends. This would give you both a tentative toe in the water. You could look at properties while you are there
Your husband can see that you are seriously considering the move and that you might make the decision without him. It could possibly be a long term solution, spending the summers near your daughter and the rest of th year at home.

suzied Sun 23-Nov-14 07:47:15

I say go for it. It's a risk, but if we can't take risks at our age when can we? My neighbours were in your position, so they have rented a cottage in the area she wanted to go near the family, and rented out their house in London for a year. They will then decide whether to sell up . I think they will as they seem to be loving it in the countryside, that way you don't completely burn your boats but get a taste of living in the new area and can decide whether it's for you.

TriciaF Sun 23-Nov-14 10:15:41

Lavender - you sound just like my friend and her husband, here (in France.) Her family all live in one small town in Devon and she wants to go back but he won't discuss it, shuts off completely.
They're both in their 70s and he's disabled.
She's working on him, drip at a time, and hopes to wear him down.
As Eleothan says, I think it's partly the dread of all the planning and work involved.
I'll let you know if she has a breakthrough with him.

jinglbellsfrocks Sun 23-Nov-14 10:41:27

I think you need to get DH down there. Somewhere pretty. The sort of place you would like to live. Find a cosy holiday cottage with a wood burner and have a winter break. Don't go down to visit the family this time. Go on walks. Show him the little towns. Find a local pub with a good menu. Work on persuading him. (Let the family know what you are doing so they don't get miffed at your not visiting)

And pray for sunshine. That always helps.

jinglbellsfrocks Sun 23-Nov-14 10:42:52

Oh, and look in estate agents windows whilst you are there. They usually like to do that anyway.

henetha Sun 23-Nov-14 10:45:57

I think that, generally speaking, older men don't like all the upheaval of moving. But it sounds like a brilliant idea to me and I hope you can persuade him. I can completely understand how being nearer your grandaughter means so much to you. And anyway, sometimes a move is a good thing to shake us out of our rut. So, good luck, and I hope he will give in, sooner rather than later.

Mishap Sun 23-Nov-14 10:46:47

I was going to suggest what littleflo said. Why not rent for a few months? - although I think off-season would be better and cheaper. See how it feels to live there before taking the plunge.

OH could come at the weekends, and might - you never know! - decide to join you in your rented accommodation after a short while.

I can see he might not want to part with his garden; but can you look at properties on the net and find some with exciting gardens to tempt him?

Don't forget that selling and buying are slow old jobs these days.

Difficult decisions for you and mollie.