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Moved over 100 miles, AIBU

(81 Posts)
Daftbag1 Thu 30-Dec-21 13:28:58

At the end of July, my husband and I were lucky enough to be offered a council bungalow within 10 miles of our DD, SIL, DGD, & DGS. This was a move that we'd hoped for for a few years and would enable us to have much more contact and support with them all, and for them to be able to support us a little (I have both mental and physical problems).

Anyway we moved in and spent time and money on making our little bungalow our home. Then out of the blue in November our daughter came over and announced that she was divorcing her husband of 17 years on the grounds of domestic abuse. To say we were and indeed still are shocked was an understatement, but sadly somehow we were not surprised.

We tried to support her, helped her to open a bank account, to claim benefits, and find a new home for her and the children. At some point she went to the police and told them about her marriage and they have taken it much further.

But amidst all of this she introduced a new man, he was a boyfriend from childhood. Within a week of separating from her husband this boyfriend started to appear, staying with our DD.

Then. A few weeks ago, she started to talk about moving out of this area completely, to move with the new man!

We are both really hurt. We have done everything to support her, we moved from a home that we were perfectly settled in to be closer to her, and she is preparing to move away.
Here we have no support network, and once she goes with the children no one. We are in a remote village and already feeling lonely. We feel completely used AIBU?

Peasblossom Thu 30-Dec-21 13:41:03

Not used, I think. When you made the choice to move closer it was more for your benefit than hers. You wanted more contact and support with your health problems. I hope you discussed thoroughly beforehand what this would mean for her life and we’re sure that she was happy with this.

Now her life has taken a different turn. I don’t think you can expect her to give up a life she wants to meet your needs.

She should have discussed this thoroughly with you when you mooted the move. That she was on the brink of leaving her husband. That she was not settled. She is at fault there. And she may or may not be making a wise decision in regard to the new man. I’d be a bit worried about that.

But in the end it’s a common problem of parents moving to be close to children and children moving on with their lives in other directions.

I’m afraid you will either have to make a new life of your own where you are or try to move back.

silverlining48 Thu 30-Dec-21 13:50:41

This is always the possibility when parents move close to their family and has been discussed many times here on GN.
What a huge disappointment for you especially having only just moved there.
I dont understand when she knew you were moving close to her that she didn’t talk to you and let you know how difficult things were with her husband, she will presumably have known a few months earlier that it wasn’t working.
I am sorry, it’s really upsetting and you have a hard decision. The choice is to stay and make a go if it, or try to move back closer to where you were before. flowers

Hithere Thu 30-Dec-21 14:26:33


This is the danger of moving closer to a relatives, whose lives are in progress and may change

Hithere Thu 30-Dec-21 14:31:33

To relatives, sorry

silverlining48 Thu 30-Dec-21 14:40:22

Hi there . Why always so direct? Daft bag is upset and disappointed having only moved there a few short months ago. A little kindness/sympathy might be in order.

grandtanteJE65 Thu 30-Dec-21 14:48:40

Like many women with abusive husbands, your daughter has concealed how bad her marriage really was for 17 years.

Either she is a very good actress, or you and she were never very close for this to be at all possible.

Can you truly say you never once suspected something was badly wrong in her life?

You and your husband moved nearer your daughter and her husband for two reasons, one because you wanted to be nearer them, and the second because you hoped she would provide help and support with your health issues.

I am very much afraid that none of you thought all this through before you moved.

Your daughter finally found the courage to tell you what was going on in her life and to divorce her husband.

You helped and supported her, but you cannot and should not expect her to live the rest of her life, or rather of yours, tailored to your needs.

I could be afraid that she has started a new relationship far too soon, but moving away from the place where she lived formerly and WHERE HER ABUSIVE FORMER HUSBAND KNOWS HE CAN FIND HER is the most sensible thing she could possibly do,

He has obviously been very violent if the police were "willing to take things further" as you put it. Be happy that your daughter is removing herself from the vicinity and promise me that if your former SIL turns up, you will not tell him where she is.

I don't think she has used you - anymore than I was hinting that you were using, or intending to use her.

There has been an unfortunate lack of openess between you and her, which as I said to start with is usual on the behalf of those living with abusive spouses. I find it harder to understand that you and her father did not realise years ago that something was badly wrong in your daughter's life, but these things happen.

Could you afford to move back to where you came from?

If not, start making a life for the pair of you that is not centred on your daughter. Sorry if this last sentence sounds harsh - it wasn't meant so, but I frankly cannot find a nicer way of putting it.

Grandpanow Thu 30-Dec-21 14:54:07

I can understand you might be feeling emotional. But on a rational level, surely you don’t expect your daughter to never move away simply because you moved closer. Particularly if she’s getting out of an abusive marriage, any professional with experience with such relationships would be telling her to get far away from him.

Marthjolly1 Thu 30-Dec-21 14:54:49

Your daughter may not have wished to worry you with her problems, particularly when you have have physical and mental health problems of your own to deal with. It may have been very difficult for her to find the courage to leave him but now she has made the decision to make serious changes to her and her children's lives she is totally focused on moving forward. A huge disappointment for you and natural to be upset. I hope in time you can all work things out where you can support each other.

MissAdventure Thu 30-Dec-21 14:58:18

I'd be more concerned about the new man being involved so early on, when there are children.

M0nica Thu 30-Dec-21 15:05:06

I agree silverlining. of course *Daftbag is naturally upset and shocked at what has happened. But, sadly, she has made the mistake so many of us make; to trust our children implicitly and think that as things are in the moment, that is how it will always be.

All of us, regardless of age can set a target for which we aim, head down, blinkers on, and just not notice the changes happening round us that make it no longer a sensible target.

Whenever someone starts a thread saying they are thinking they will move to be near a AC and family, there will be a slew of people saying 'Be careful, all sorts of things can go wrong, relationships break up, jobs change, bankruptcy and financial difficulties can cause problems'

And, with due respect, it this case there were warning flags.
The OP says in her OP about the breakdown and cause of her DD's marital breakdown To say we were and indeed still are shocked was an understatement, but sadly somehow we were not surprised.. That last phrase, really ought to have been enough to give them pause for thought.

However what has happened, has happened. What they do not need to do now is jump from the frying pan into the fire.

Assess their currant situation, they clearly like their new home, how can they build a new social network? they do not say how old they are, but do have health problems.

First step would be to contact the local Age UK. They run social and other events that you could go to to meet other people living in the area. Does your village have a local branch of the WI you could join? Does it have a Darby & Joan club or a British Legion.

If the chances of meeting people locally is too difficult, then consider moving back to the area you moved from so that you can slot back into your old networks, or try to move to a town with facilities, like doctor's surgeries, food shops and good bus services, so that you are less dependent on others, but also will have more opportunties to meet people.

Either way. sit down, and discuss it, think of all the disadvantages as well as advantages of each new place, so that the next move is made clear-eyed and without blinkers.

Anne701951 Thu 30-Dec-21 15:33:13

Unfortunately, communications between you and your daughter weren't good. She was in a bad situation and you moving closer for her to help with your issues wasn't the right thing for her. Please support her she is going through a difficult time and has her whole life in front of her. You and your husband should try to enjoy your new surroundings. You each have your own lives. My sons live on the East coast and the West coast of the United States and I live in the middle. I miss them dreadfully, but they have their own lives to live and families to take care if. We keep in touch and visit as much as we cof. My husband and I have our own lives and friends and that is at it should be.

BlueBelle Thu 30-Dec-21 15:49:09

It’s not about trusting your children but about over expectations it all seemed like a good idea at the time but I never think it’s a good idea to move nearer a child because for all sorts of reasons they may need or want to move and it puts too much pressure on the child
Her life has changed she has gone into a new relationship very quickly (maybe far too quickly) and is moving on which you must surely expect at some point
You say you feel used but you initiated the move because you wanted mutual support I don’t read that the daughter asked you to move
It’s gone wrong and I can thoroughly understand your upset and feel very sorry for you but it’s just never a good idea to ‘follow’ your children They need their own lives

Now what can you do if she does move, I agree with the poster that said try and go back to your old area where you have a support network already set up but another move is a huge financial and mental upheaval
What a shame I do feel for you and hope you can rectify it I can imagine your disappointment

Daftbag1 Thu 30-Dec-21 19:58:51

Just a point here, our daughter had been trying to persuade us to move here for several years prior to our deciding to apply for housing. She wanted the children to have a closer relationship with us.

We only agreed because her husband had finished his RAF career, they'd bought their 'forever' home, so they'd stopped moving around. We had never been close to our son in law, it was mutual toleration really. And no, we hadn't been close to our daughter at all of late due to Covid, the distances and my having to shield.

And we must have been blind, we had no idea what was going on. Had she told us we definitely would not have moved but would have suggested she moved to us.

As for our ages hubby is in his 70's, I'm 60 in 2 days. I'm a stroke victim, and have a long list of other conditions. I should add that she knows that I could never move to the town she's heading for it holds the worst memories possible for us.

Her boyfriend is a nice man as he was aged 12, but it's very much a rebound relationship.

Hetty58 Thu 30-Dec-21 20:35:31

Daftbag1, you're only guessing that it's a 'rebound relationship', perhaps it's not. There may well be many things that you don't know about your daughter's life.

It must be really upsetting for you, but there's never any certainty that people won't move or have found their 'forever home'. (The same applies to the 'Love of their life'.)

You say that you 'had no idea what was going on' but, perhaps, your daughter had never really considered moving away - until very recently. You could consider moving again in the future.

Elizabeth27 Thu 30-Dec-21 21:28:19

You say that you cannot move to the new town because of bad memories, surely that applies to your daughter in that she cannot stay where she suffered abuse from her husband.

AmberSpyglass Thu 30-Dec-21 21:37:55

Is moving again an option? If not, it really is just a case of making sure that you’re settled in your new area - and that your ex SIL doesn’t try and cause any problems. Your daughter’s priority is the safety of herself and the children, yours is your health. Both focus on your individual situations and things will be much more manageable.

3dognight Thu 30-Dec-21 21:39:59

Let your daughter get on with her new life.
See if you can get a swap bungalow where you were before.
Don’t rush, just keep looking, and make the best of where you are now.

Good luck, flowers

Lucca Thu 30-Dec-21 21:40:55

I am confused. In your post at 19:58 you say “ we had no idea what was going on”
But in your OP you say
“somehow we were not surprised.”

Allsorts Thu 30-Dec-21 21:42:21

Daftbag, I can understand how you will be feeling, it was a move both sides wanted, now everything changed. If your daughter had been suffering abuse in silence, it obviously came to a head and she’s done something about it thank goodness, what a life that family must have had behind closed doors. Now she has a chance at happiness, try and support her as much as it will pull at your heart strings.I can understand her not wanting to stay in the same place as her abusive husband. You must make up your mind where you want to live, not follow your daughter however tempting you find it, the truth is it rarely works out, a little distance is a good thing. My d estranged herself from me and she would pass me by in the street, I’m old and not useful any more,and loves her freedom and holidays, but your daughter cares and you will see her and visit them all, she just wants a new start.

BlueBelle Thu 30-Dec-21 22:01:25

I should add that she knows that I could never move to the town she's heading for it holds the worst memories possible for us

Oh please don’t even consider following her again she has rightly or wrongly found a new life now you and your husband must find your life and if the place you ve moved to isn’t good for you try and go back to where you came from and where have friends and familiarity and settle down to life together looking after each other and use outside agencies if you need help and support

MayBeMaw Thu 30-Dec-21 22:12:12


Hi there . Why always so direct? Daft bag is upset and disappointed having only moved there a few short months ago. A little kindness/sympathy might be in order.

I don’t think Hithere is showing any lack of sympathy or kindness when she states a very obvious truth.
We do not know where our grown up children lives will take them and there is always a danger inherent in this sort of move .
If the move was to a pleasant village or town, it would be better to make the best of it and to establish friendships and a life separate from daughter’s. 60 and 70’s is not too old and it is in any case always a bad idea to live our lives through our children.
I don’t see where “trust” comes into it M0nica, as the D is not moving specifically to get away from her parents.
However as this is still a relatively new relationship, I would counsel doing absolutely nothing for the time being, then see how things pan out.

Calistemon Thu 30-Dec-21 22:42:11

I agree, it's not a good idea to move to be nearer adult children as they may move on as circumstances change or new job offers arise.
We have thought of moving slightly nearer ours but that is because we want to and know the town reasonably well.

The best thing to do is either move back if you were happy where you were or to start making a new life where you are without depending on family. It's not easy to join clubs etc at the moment with all the restrictions.

You need to have a good think what is best for both of you.

Calistemon Thu 30-Dec-21 22:45:09


You say that you cannot move to the new town because of bad memories, surely that applies to your daughter in that she cannot stay where she suffered abuse from her husband.

I agree.
She needs to do what is best for her and her DC although spending time on her own without a new man might have given her time to decide.

Gwyneth Thu 30-Dec-21 23:04:34

What does Yabu mean please? Not on list of acronyms.