Your Dilemmas: My husband wants to move abroad for his work... but I don't want to leave Cork

In her weekly column, JOAN LONG, a Bishopstown psychologist and psychotherapist, answers readers’ queries
Your Dilemmas: My husband wants to move abroad for his work... but I don't want to leave Cork

"I have told him how upset, sad and lonely I feel at the prospect of this but he tells me — very kindly to be fair — that I will “adjust” like he did."

Dear Joan,

Please help me. My husband and I are in a state of crisis. He wants to move abroad for his work. We have two young kids and I have all of my family here in Cork.

My husband is English and we have been happily married for almost a decade. Then he lost his job and got a good redundancy package and this is where things started to go wrong.

I thought we would pay off the mortgage and he would find another job. But he wants to relocate to the UK or Canada. I do not want to leave Cork. This is my home and I love the place.

Our eldest child has started school and this is where I thought I would see my own kids grow up, but now everything has changed and I am devastated.

I have tried to explain to him how I feel and that all my roots are in Cork but he replies that he left his roots and family for me years ago and now we have the chance to start afresh and have the money to do it. It is a chance of a lifetime we might never get again.

I have told him how upset, sad and lonely I feel at the prospect of this but he tells me — very kindly to be fair — that I will “adjust” like he did. I see where he is coming from but am devastated. My family are very worried for me and sad at the thought of us all leaving.

I know my husband is a good man and I love him but maybe love is not enough as I feel I have not been consulted about this and am being handed a fait-acomplai. Maybe our love has died and is not enough to survive this.

Dear Reader,

First of all, I suggest you slow down! You and your husband have been together a very long time. Much time, love and investment in all different areas have been put into your marriage and relationship.

You have two beautiful children and love for each other and that is worth a lot. Too much to make quick decisions about!

I am guessing your husband and perhaps you too are in your mid to late forties? This is a very big life change for him and indeed for you.

When we hit the forties, like it or not, changes happen for us psychologically. This is midlife and often involves a reappraisal of a person’s life — looking at what has been achieved and what is left.

This can be quite frightening and often, sadly, people keep these thoughts and feelings to themselves, which is not a good idea. This can further the fears we feel and thus isolate us further.

Your husband may be going through some of this now and that is why you need to sit down and start some open conversations. You are in a very serious crisis where you could do irreparable damage to your your relationship if you do not tread carefully and cautiously.

Please stop and talk to each other honestly about this. Do not let this go on any longer. You have two little people too who need their parents in a good place mentally and emotionally. It may also be wise to have a third party to facilitate an open conversation. It may even be wise to get the professional help of a therapist/counsellor. Best of luck.

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