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Persuading husband to move house

(31 Posts)
j00ls312 Tue 12-Jul-16 19:00:16

Hello everyone I would really appreciate some advice. My parents, both in their eighties, retired to the seaside some years ago. When they first moved they were both fit and healthy but now not so much. I am an only child and I really need to be there with them, not just an occasional visit. I just can't get my husband to move, it's becoming quite an issue and I really feel that it could end up in us splitting after 36 years. Any advice gratefully appreciated

Izabella Tue 12-Jul-16 19:07:59

difficult. Your parents time is limited, your marriage may continue for many years. At the end of the day you may have to make a choice between the two. My own decision years ago was to organise care packages for both parents and visit monthly. The hardest part I found was trusting others to provide the level of care I would wish, but it can be done. My only advice would not to burn your bridges at home.. You may also need to have the conversation with your husband that a home is only bricks and mortar and memories themselves are carried within us. If the actual process of packing and moving is the problem, pay for a removal firm that does it all for you.

No doubt others will be along with various other points of view, but whatever your decision I wish you well.

granjura Tue 12-Jul-16 19:50:00

Totally agree with Izabella.

How far are your parents? Do you drive and have good train service to them? And could you afford to rent or buy a mobile home in the area, or a very small flat so you can go more often and plan home help for them?

Jalima Tue 12-Jul-16 20:23:29

It depends how strong your marriage is. If you are not unhappy at the thought of abandoning it after 36 years, then you could move to your parents' home and care for them.

However - they were the ones who moved away, did what they wanted and enjoyed their retirement up till now. I agree with Izabella. We could not have moved to be near my parents or DH's mother as they were at opposite ends of the country, so we just had to manage as best we could with frequent visits.

Could they not come to live near you? Could they sell their home and pay to have a Granny annexe built onto your house, if your DH is agreeable.

I can see how he feels if he is happy where you are now - and are you both still working?. Difficult to give up everything.

madamecholet Tue 12-Jul-16 20:56:06

I am in a similar situation. I don’t have elderly parents, but would like to move nearer to family and DH would like to stay where we are and downsize. From my point of view, moving is obviously the right thing to do, but DH sees it differently, as we do have a lovely quality of life here. I don’t feel I have any right to try to force the issue, as we are both equally entitled to have our opinions taken into account, so we are still discussing it. Ultimately, we will have to come to decision, but I think if I was adamant that we need to move, it would be counter productive and you do need to respect your DH’s point of view in this. It is understandable that he doesn’t want to relocate his life to an area that neither of you has chosen and which possibly doesn’t appeal to him. You obviously love your parents very much and are prepared to uproot yourself to be close enough to care for them, but, even if your husband is fond of his in-laws, I don’t think he can be expected to change his whole life for them.

I agree with previous posters that your choices are either to make sure your DPs have support in place and visit them frequently or for them to move closer to you, otherwise you are effectively prioritising your parent’s needs over your husband. Your parents love you too and surely wouldn’t want you to jeopardise your marriage because of them.

Crafting Tue 12-Jul-16 21:10:32

I agree with others. Your parents decided to retire and move to the seaside. They must have realised they would get old there and may need some help but they moved anyway. It was what they wanted to do and good for them. You should not have to change your life (or that of your DH) to suit them. Get care packages for them or get them to move nearer to you. Only move to them if it is what you And your DH want to do with your lives.

Anya Wed 13-Jul-16 06:18:13

Good advice, especially the point that your parents chose to move away. Your husband is entitled also to choose to stay where he is and I'd think very carefully about this decision.

PRINTMISS Wed 13-Jul-16 07:50:44

As 'elderly' parents who moved away from where their daughter and family were local, I would say, stay where you are, do not create a situation between your husband and yourself. Your parents moved, we moved, we do not expect our daughter to be at our beck and call, she has a busy life, as did we at her age, her children are up and away, and she has some freedom to herself now, without worrying about us. Because we live an hours drive away, we do not expect her to 'pop' in, which we would do, if she live nearer, and of course we would get upset if she did not. Your parents made the decision, and have thankfully lived long enough to enjoy their time at the coast. Let it be.

annsixty Wed 13-Jul-16 08:32:37

As I read the OP I had decided instantly what everyone else has since said. Your parents made their own choice at a time when they knew what could happen. If anyone should move it should be them.
I trust your marriage is a happy one, you would be a long time on your own and a caring role is not an easy or desirable one. You could end up resenting your parents for the life they have made for you.

M0nica Wed 13-Jul-16 09:06:46

j00ls312 You give us so little information. How far away do your parents live? How old are you and your husband? Is your husband still at work? Do your parents live somewhere where you would want to live and could build up an enjoyable social life once they are gone? There really is far more to consider before making a move like this than just the care of your parents.

On the limited information you give it strikes me as unreasonable to expect your husband to up sticks and move just because your parents are now old and frail. If you did move you might find that within months or only a year both your parents may have died or moved into a care home, which could as easily be near your current home as their current home.

I am afraid that on the information you give I am with your DH and all the previous posters on the move you want.

marionk Wed 13-Jul-16 09:52:35

Ask yourself if you would move to look after his parents. I was told by a care professional to think about my own life first when I was in this situation with my mother some years ago. This is sound advice as all being well your life and relationships will last for many years longer than you can expect your parents to. Do you want to be on your own in the future when your parents pass on?

Smileless2012 Wed 13-Jul-16 10:11:14

I shouldn't be sat here on line as I've loads to do but just had to respond to your post jOOls as we've faced the same dilemma, all be it for different reasons.

I'll apologise in advance for my long post. We've lived in our current home for 28 years, 30 years in the same village. 4 years ago we became estranged from our son, his wife and our GC; they live 350 yards down the road. At the end of last year they had another child. We've spent the last 4 years catching glimpses of our son and GC, seeing our GC with the childminder, it's been really awful for us both.

I work for our business from home so unlike Mr. S. spend all of my time here. In February while going out for lunch we spotted a house and arranged a viewing. That got the ball rolling and we looked at several properties eventually finding a lovely refurbished victorian property. We had ours valued and Mr. S. reluctantly agreed to put ours up for sale.

3 weeks later having talked to family and friends who felt Mr. S. would be unhappier if we moved, than I would be if we stayed, I took the house off the market. A week later, I told him that I was more sorry than I could say, but I just couldn't stay here any more. We've also been married 36 years and I too was worried about what staying could do to our marriage because of me, and what moving could if we moved because of Mr. S.

He agreed to put ours back on the market. In the meantime we bought a holiday home and have been spending an increasing amount of time there because I just hate being at home. Being away from here has eased Mr. S. into moving away. He too is happier and more relaxed being away from our current home.

We were due to complete at the end of this month but on Monday got a very damning surveyor's report on the house we were going to buy so have withdrawn our offer. Yesterday we went to view a 4 and 3 bed refurbished in the same area and the 4 bed just blew us away. Absolutely fabulous; we offered the asking price then and there.

Mr. S. told me last night that for the first time he was really excited about moving away and can't wait to get into our new home.

So I understand your dilemma, it's a difficult situation to be in.
Might it not be an idea to get your home valued and then start looking on line to see what's available in your parents area?

You could arrange some viewings and your husband may come across something that he falls in love with. I suppose what it really comes down too is one of you making what could be an enormous sacrifice for the other.

I'll be eternally grateful to Mr. S. agreeing to move for me. His journey to work although only about a 40 minute drive , is 35 minutes longer than ever before.

I was gutted on Monday knowing we couldn't go ahead with our purchase and only got 3 hours sleep. To see Mr. S. so thrilled with the house we saw for the first time yesterday and are going to buy had made Monday's stress totally worthwhile.

It's been a very stressful 4 years and the last 5 months even more so but it's all worked out for the best in the end. Of course the real happy ending for us would be a reconciliation with our son and to be able to be GP's to our GC but as that isn't even a possibility it's time to move on.

I wish you well and hope that you can find a solution to your problem.

gagsy Wed 13-Jul-16 10:58:55

When I got married my mother told me that although she knew how much I loved her and my father, my first duty was now to my husband and future children.
I was very lucky that I lived locally and when they became old and frail Icwas able to help them but my sister in law is on the position of having her parents far away and has had to manage with arranging care packages and visits. It's very hard and I often wonder what the future will bring as my children are far away!

Neversaydie Wed 13-Jul-16 11:24:08

Your first loyalty is surely to your husband and your marriage ?
Is there something deeper going on here ?

Zena510 Wed 13-Jul-16 11:29:11

Life does bring some dilemmas along the way indeed.
Some great point of view already posted.
I would love to move to the sea but because of kids and grandkids plus an elderly Mum and disabled brother - can't do the move.
We compromise by spending time away by the sea.
We've experienced instances when we have thanked God that we were nearby.
I have an aunt and uncle by the sea who I am close to and worry constantly but know I have to put me, hubby and family first. In visit when I can and will ensure things are in place when need be.
It's a real hard place to be in for you.
Your heart being pulled in all directions but you can only do what you can and you must think of yourself and your health first otherwise you're no good to anyone.

VIOLETTE Wed 13-Jul-16 11:54:45

Dilemma ! you don't say if you have discusses this with your parents, and what they would, if possible, like. It may be, as suggested here, they could sell their house in order to pay for an extension to yours ...if that is what they would like would then have the granny annexe for your in laws if that is necessary ...and it could add value to your house if and when you decide to sell (and I think in the UK granny annexes are at either no, or reduced, council tax ?) ......We chose to move to France, and in any case, my daughter has not spoken to me for 10 years, my husband's daughter makes it plain she has her own life ...there is no way either would wish to care for us (and to be honest, we would not want them to !) in the UK, any form of care is expensive ...but there are schemes whereby people 'rent' a room to an elderly person .... and schemes whereby an elderly person takes perhaps a student in rent free, so they can help with things like gardening, dog walking, driving, etc .....In my case, when I lived in the UK I offered my dad, who was by then a widower, a bedroom, small lounge and en suite bathroom in my then large house ....he was 75 at the time. He declined, saying he would rather live on his own, so he sold his house and moved into a retirement flat with an alarm system. He was really happy there, having other people of his generation to socialise with. I was therefore pleased for him ...he would have been isolated I think, if he had moved in with me as he would have had no friends locally, so for him it was the right decision.

It is difficult now, especially for the sandwich generation, if you have children of your own, or a full time job then it is really not possible to uproot your family and husband ...maybe you could investigate, with Age Concern or whatever it is called now, and Social Services, private agencies, etc what help might be available where they live and what would be the likely cost ...and if any help, if they need it, towards costs, might be .....if difficult where expense is concerned, are they claiming everything to which they might be entitled ?
I would not be too quick to move away if your husband wants to stay ....discuss with him what he would do if it were his parents .....but you may find you end up on your own and regretting this decision. Do you have friends with elderly parents you can discuss this with ? Everyone is different, I know, and good luck with your decision ...weight it up carefully, which I am sure you will do !

Sugarpufffairy Wed 13-Jul-16 12:23:06

I moved back to the area that my parents had lived all their lives. They were in the house where I had been a child. My own position was that I loved where I lived (extremely rural) but husband was being a nightmare. I came back to the major city which I hate. I looked after both parents until their deaths which I am glad I did because I could never have lived with the guilt of having done nothing.
I am now in the position for the first time in my life of having the wherewithal to do practically anything I want. My children are adults with children of their own, they have partners and jobs. I am therefore living in a city that I hate, in a house where I am totally alone remembering how there used to be a lot more people living in the house and others who came around. A lot of the people of my own age have moved away or even died.
I take the point of view above that the parents had moved away so they should be the ones to move back. I am seriously thinking that I will move for whatever active and able time I have and then perhaps move back to the city when I am in need of help.
It has always been my dream to return to a similar place as I left many years ago. I don't think I can cope with a future in a place that I hate.
It is not as if my children are giving me much company while I live here and perhaps they would run a mile if I held out any hopes of them acting towards me as I did to my parents.
I do not have any partner to consider.

janeainsworth Wed 13-Jul-16 12:50:28

jools You write in your OP that you 'really need to be with your parents'.

Really? you need them? A Freudian slip maybe, but I agree with neversaydie that perhaps you need to think about what's going on in your life.
I loved my MiL but there would never have been any question of going to live near her if she had needed care.
I think you're being quite unreasonable to expect it of your husband.

GrandmaMoira Wed 13-Jul-16 13:11:14

Can you get your parents to move back near you in appropriate housing? Are you or your husband still working? If so, he can't really move too far from his job. Could you just visit regularly and stay for a couple of days at a time?

HildaW Wed 13-Jul-16 13:25:00

I too read a certain amount of underlying tension in the OP. We had to move because my FIL needed our help and I honestly saw this as part of our future the minute we both realised there was no alternative. We sold up, left daughter freshly home from University and moved 90 miles away. Not easy but it had to be done and I chose to see it as an adventure and a challenge. Needless to say it was hard work, eventually very draining and distressing and something I would not want to do again. I think what I'm trying to say is that both OH and I realised instinctively that we had no choice. It was part duty part love and respect for a dear old man and part hoping for the best.

If you and your OH do not instinctively feel you can do together you will have to come up with some other plan. Ask yourself what if he does go along with this plan - will he be resentful, even bitter and uncooperative. Will he spend the next few years cursing the move and all the added responsibilities? Caring for elderly parents is not easy - and you will definitely need to be a strong couple to weather its storms. My OH and I were very battered by the experience but we were a team, we coped together and got extra help when available and then jointly decided when we could no longer care for FIL and an excellent Care Home was used.

You really have to be very careful here - ask yourself what is really important to you and be honest about the relationship you have with your OH. Is this the only thing you have ever been so out of step about or have there been other important matters that have not been resolved.

On a very simple level if one partner says yes to anything and the other says a firm no - you cannot really expect to wave a magic wand and make them do exactly what you want.

Welshwife Wed 13-Jul-16 13:30:01

jools I have read most of the posts but not all.
Would it be a possible solution to rent a place nearer to your parents and move there and rent your house out? With any luck you could profit on the arrangement. Then in the future you would both have the choice of moving back to your home or selling and buying somewhere else.

Chrishappy Wed 13-Jul-16 13:37:05

I too am an only child and have a mother living on her own who is rather demanding when I visit, she only lived a short distance away yet I very rarely see her. I felt guilty for years and did a duty visit once a week, she is a very active 84 yr old and puts me down at every oportunity. I now visit on my terms, I belive I suffered from only child syndrome as I put it. If I'd carried on I would have been at her beck and call, my life is just as important as hers and her health better than mine, so pls think of yourself and your life first and ditch the guilt it serves no purpose

Felicia Wed 13-Jul-16 13:40:56

H Having read all post in this discussion, decided to aadd my bit. I am atthe other end of the spectrum, my husband and I are the elderly parents with hubby having vascular problems and me with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis, having said that, we both live very active lives and potter on with our dogs and allotments. Difficulties do occur and as time goes on problems crop up which we overcome. Ouronly daughter is a very busy lady with adult family at home and many cats and dogs and other animals being rescued. We like being independent and have a good relationship with the whole family. As time goes on we will potter on and work out which is our best road to go along and arrange accordingly knowing our daughter is always thee or us with love , wisdom and advice. we are very optimistic that everything will work out fine. Hope this gives food for thought from the elderly parents point of view. all the best.

starbird Wed 13-Jul-16 15:52:48

If your parents have a spare room, could you go and stay for a couple of days every week or fortnight, with or without your husband? That way you could check on how they are being looked after. Or, as has been suggeted, perhaps you could find a bome that will take them as a couple, and their house will of course be sold to pay for it unless they have other private means.

Unless of course you would actually prefer to live with them instead of your husband.

Even if you were to move to look after them, if they both need help with personal care, now or in the future, you may find they will end up in a home sooner or later.

However, even if you are there, the carers may only be in and out for 15 minutes at a time and I don't know how much influence you would have over them.

At some point in the future it might be worth your parents arranging a power of attorney so that you can deal with their financial affairs.

The best I idea is your having a granny annex for them.

It must be hard for you, I can understand why you are torn over what to do.

Willow500 Wed 13-Jul-16 16:36:34

I can see this from both perspectives. My parents moved to the same road as us 30 years ago in their mid 60's - they were still very fit and active and enjoyed many years of golfing and family visits. However in their mid 80's they began to fail and as an only child it fell to me and my husband to care for them which was very difficult towards the end as both developed dementia. My in-laws were 60 miles away and I know my husband suffered many guilt trips being unable to visit them as much as he wanted to as they neared the end of their lives due to work commitments as well as caring for mine. Moving on we are now in our early 60's - still fit and active and both still working. Both our children and their families no longer live nearby - one is 2 hours away and the other 27 hours away in NZ. We have no other family and no friends near us and are very well aware that at some point we too (hopefully) will be in our latter years and possibly in need of care. We are adamant that at no point would we want our son's on either side of the world to feel they have to move closer to look after us - they have their lives to live and should not feel that they have to change that or give up those lives to care for us. I too would advocate getting as much care in place as you can if they are unwilling or unable to move closer to you. You shouldn't feel you have to be their carers and indeed they might not want you to be. Whatever you decide your husband should come first really. Good luck.