U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Non-Romantic Relationships
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 02-27-2010, 04:11 PM
 
18 posts, read 29,372 times
Reputation: 26

Advertisements

My husband and I are a 35-year old childfree European-American couple living in New England. I'm the American half and we live about 2 1/2 hours away from the out-of-state town where I grew up, and 2 of my siblings live a little closer, about an hour and a half away. So all of my immediate family members live within 45 minutes of each other; I'm the only one who lives out of state. My mother died nearly 7 years ago, and my younger brother lives alone in the family homestead which my dad still owns, while my dad lives with his girlfriend a few miles from there. My husband's family is all in Europe and they do not visit us; the last time we saw them was nearly 3 years ago when we went over there to visit, and my husband seems to be fine with that. We've been married for 9 years, and lived in my husband's home country for the first 5 years, now we've lived in the States for about 4 years. We both wanted to come live in the States for family, cultural, and financial reasons.

When we moved to the States, the only certainty was my husband's work. I wanted to try living in a different state from where I grew up, and also was attracted to the state where we live because of the low taxation rates. I distinctly remember making it clear to my husband that I did not want to live in my hometown again after returning to the States, but I now realize that I set that goal because it's what was expected of me while I was growing up...the understanding was that all 4 of us kids would eventually move out, and I remember the looks of disapproval on people's faces when they learned that I was living at home after graduating from college, until I did actually move out about a year and a half later.

We are now homeowners and have survived a layoff which occurred only 7 months after we bought our house; we are both working full-time again although our mortgage is now barely affordable even after refinancing.

I'm giving some background info because it ties closely to my conflicting sentiments about the fact that we have no local family.

I feel sad almost to tears every time someone at work or in the neighborhood talks about how they went to their parents' house for dinner, or stopped over at a sibling's house on the way home from work...or went shopping with siblings over the weekend, etc. because we can't do that. I am amazed at how many folks we know of ALL ages w either live in an extended family household, or right around the corner from relatives. We are starting to make some local friends through work, but I can't escape the feeling that we are making things unnecessarily hard on ourselves by living this far from family, and I never imagined that a distance of 85 miles could be so isolating. My family rarely visits, although they want to, there is always something getting in the way, and we are always the ones making the effort to see them. This reality has come as a huge shock to me, because I assured my husband that when we moved to the States my family would visit us a lot. When they didn't, we thought it was because our apartment was too small, so when we were ready to buy the house we have now, we thought sure things would change, but they did not, and we've been homeowners for almost 2 years now. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the emotional independence that my parents taught me to strive for, sucks.

Before buying our house, we did tell my family that we would most likely move back home, but then advances in both of our jobs convinced us to stay where we are. I feel like we are getting used to the area where we live and mistaking that for actually liking it. My personal sentiments change all the time...one day I hate it, the next day I love it. The key is that we have no roots where we are living now, and that is not likely to change because we do not plan to have children (if having children is the only way to create roots?).

My husband points out that if we were to move back to my family's homestead and be mortgage-free and have instant contacts, it would create as many problems as it would solve, and intellectually I know he's right. I've learned that even a positively anticipated change can bring on a lot of stress, such as when we moved to the States, the upheaval and reverse culture shock triggered very unsettling anxiety attacks in me, and resulted in ER visits, counseling, and an anti-depressant treatment.

But in my heart I still feel like we're only taking advantage of the fringe benefits where we live now, I feel like we're just existing here, that it's not really home. I'm afraid that we might always feel like outsiders. Many coworkers have left the area for better jobs just as we were getting to know them as friends. I feel like I'm starting to accept insecurity and loneliness as "normal" because that's the price you pay for going after opportunities and expanding your horizons.

I guess the core of the issue is that just when I finished going through the stress necessary to achieve a difficult state of independence, suddenly the "rules" changed, and it's no longer considered pathetic for people of any age to live with relatives. In other words, "you mean I didn't have to leave the nest after all??"

I'm not looking for an easy answer, but I am looking to hear from others who have had the same emotional dilemma and am curious to know what you finally decided to do.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-27-2010, 04:26 PM
 
530 posts, read 706,964 times
Reputation: 432
I live about 3 1/2-4 hours from my family and soon will live on the other side of the country. Have you tried getting involved in the community you live in to establish ties? All I can suggest is kind of corny but here it is: sit down with your SO and make a pros and cons list about staying where you are vs. moving closer to family and see which side is longer, discuss it and go from there. I hope things work out for you, but if you are unhappy to the point of anxiety attacks/depression there needs to be some kind of solution that works for both of you. Good luck!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-27-2010, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Nashville, Tn
7,916 posts, read 17,236,986 times
Reputation: 5477
Usually someone who feels the way you do is quite a bit younger than you. I think it's typical for a young person who's going away to college to get homesick but it's just a part of growing up. It's also very common for young people to move to another part of the country from where they were raised, especially if they grew up in a smaller town or rural area where there aren't any job opportunities. I live a long way from any of my relatives but it's so easy to keep in touch with people by phone and email that I don't feel like I've lost all contact with them. I don't want to sound insensitive to your situation but someone in their mid-thirties should be establishing their own life and not become fixated on how far away their loved ones live. I hope that doesn't come across the wrong way and I do hope you manage to sort things out. Good luck.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-27-2010, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
39,658 posts, read 48,977,283 times
Reputation: 67662
Why don't you invest in a couple of sessions with a good psychologist? It seems like you are stuck on how you should feel, rather than how you do feel.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-27-2010, 05:40 PM
 
4,899 posts, read 17,019,038 times
Reputation: 3831
goodness! i think some of you are being a bit harsh. if you read closely you will see that the OP lived out of the country and VERY far from her family for 5 years before coming back!
i too moved away from everyone and everything that i have ever known, and my DH 's family is all in Europe. he has no one here, and so my family is his in that respect. it is not easy living 500 miles away from any help. i needed to gain some independence from a very tight family who was smothering me in so many ways, much as they love me. i felt VERY alone for the fist couple of months and in fact moved back for 4 months without my DH. but i felt it was time to grow up. i initiated the move, and i was going to lie in my bed so to speak.
although i feel that eventually we WILL move back again, probably in the next 5 years, i feel it is not quite time yet. i am making strides in my personal growth and doing things i would never be "allowed" to do because my family is very oppressive in some ways. they are afraid of taking risks.
we also have a son and i do want him to be around his grandparents and uncle more. but for now we will need to settle on a few visits per year.
i personally felt much better when i finally got out to work. that eliminated my feeling lonely and like i wasn't accomplishing much each day---even though i was a stay at home mom....
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2010, 07:07 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 61,403,505 times
Reputation: 26581
I can't really relate to the OP's situation as I've been independent for donkey's years. My family is thousands of miles away across the Atlantic and that's been the case for over 40 years now. I do tend to agree with gentlearts who suggests a psychological session or two. It does seem a little unusual and off kilter to be so disturbed at 35 years of age by a separation distance of a mere 85 miles.

"My family rarely visits, although they want to, there is always something getting in the way, and we are always the ones making the effort to see them. This reality has come as a huge shock to me, because I assured my husband that when we moved to the States my family would visit us a lot. When they didn't, we thought it was because our apartment was too small, so when we were ready to buy the house we have now, we thought sure things would change, but they did not, and we've been homeowners for almost 2 years now."

It sounds as though your family is pretty well-adjusted and busy with their own lives in a perfectly normal way. Even if you did move closer to them there's no guarantee that your interaction with them would be any different or closer than it is now which could result in even more frustration for you. I think getting to the root of the problem is a priority and I really do wish you all the very best.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2010, 07:15 AM
 
8,415 posts, read 36,344,545 times
Reputation: 6302
New England is VERY small town and just like that. I moved around a lot and really missed my gram. But I called her all the time and we would make each other care packages. Thats how I dealt with it. My closest friend from HS lives in south africa now so all our exchanges are digital. Talking on the phone and being able to see the person on you computer is so awesome. I am glad I lived to see the Jetson phone become MY PHONE!

I do agree you need to maybe talk to someone about your current stressed state. I think you may be feeling a family would make it all better but it would not. Its nice to feel that warm and fuzzy vibe from a paternal type figure. But at some point you need to grow strong enough to do that yourself. Chin up, deep breath and go web cam shopping to talk to your fam.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2010, 07:20 AM
 
Location: New York, NY
917 posts, read 2,691,751 times
Reputation: 1022
2 1/2 hours is nothing! If you really want to see them as much as you do, go and see them more. Honestly, if they are not making the effort to come your way and see now, what makes you think they'll make time for you if you live closer? It sounds like they have busy lives, which is great. Would you want them to be in your same position, moping about not seeing family?

You also posted that they can be oppressive. That won't change if you move back. Now, though, you have a son and husband- you can't put your family's wishes first and that won't sit will with them. They can't make time to come see you but they expect you to make time to see them- you're 2.5 hours away and it's already happening.

Seeing your family once every two months is more than most people see them. You have a family- it's your son and your husband. Everyone else should come second.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2010, 07:23 AM
 
8,415 posts, read 36,344,545 times
Reputation: 6302
2.5 hours seems like a lot to someone that grew up "across the pond" Everything there is much closer than the US's sprawl.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2010, 07:25 AM
 
19,059 posts, read 22,688,507 times
Reputation: 13453
Two and a half hours isn't much. You could easily visit every weekend if you wanted. My folks are 6-7 hours (depending on traffic) from where I am. That has never bothered me until now since they're getting older and will need care in the years to come.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Non-Romantic Relationships
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top