Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Try a long-distance compromise

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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I may have blown my whole marriage. My husband announced last week he'd gotten a job in another province and I have refused to go. We have two preschool children and an excellent job that I love. I was blown away that he'd been secretly job-hunting elsewhere, landed the job and told me I'd have to quit my job, uproot the kids from their grandparents (not to mention the aunts and uncles and friends and babysitters and the home we all love) -- to follow him, the great king of our lives. My mother followed my father all over hell's half acre when we were young and I can't stand uprooting my little kids. My husband's response? "I thought you'd understand because your dad got better jobs and your mom came with him." Right! We got DRAGGED after him!" I screamed. It was all about HIM, HIM, HIM!" He says he already accepted. But he has not told his present employer and still has a great job. I'm simply not going. I am SICK at heart. What to do? Should I sacrifice everything the kids love for what he wants? -- Not the Sacrificial Lamb, Winnipeg

Dear Lamb: Your anger is understandable. He should have told you he was fishing for a new job in another province. Did he sneak off for the interviews? But it is rigid to say you'll never move in aid of his career, and it's all about the kids. The kids are young enough to adjust. It's really about your not wanting to move. There is a compromise -- you don't have to break up, but have a long-distance relationship for some time while he sees if it pans out, and you decide how you feel. You'll see how you feel about being in Winnipeg with the kids and he'll see how he feels about the job and the new place. Because you both have great jobs, you can spend money on plane tickets. Do visit his new world and check it out and see if you might like it. Leave the kids with the grandparents the first time, in case there's fighting. Your husband may also find he doesn't like the job or the people out there, and misses this world. This solution is better than breaking up, though it isn't going to be easy.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I just had to respond to the woman in the paper today from St. Boniface who told her husband that she loved their children more. Ouch! I have four children and have had trying times with one of our teenagers. A friend suggested how challenging it must be as my children are the love of my life and the centre of my world. I replied that no, my husband was the love of my life and the centre of my world -- and our love is the foundation on which we have built our family. (Needless to say this friend has gone through a bitter divorce). Until the Catholic woman in St. Boniface realizes this, her marriage is on shaky ground...or should I say her foundation needs work. You pointed out to her that using love for her children as a manipulative tool is not healthy. I also agree that if her husband said the same thing to her, she may very well decide to get "love" elsewhere. Sounds like the marriage -- which means both of them -- needs some re-building with "'healthy" tools! -- K.R. Winnipeg

Dear K.R.: People say a lot of stupid things they don't mean when they're angry and hurt. Inaccurate things! For instance, you can't compare parental love and adult love. They're different types. Being a woman, you may feel your child is almost an extension of your body (at least when they're very young) and the man/husband is literally outside your internal existence though held close to you. You feel fiercely protective love towards your child and you feel deep friendship/romantic/erotic love with your husband. Saying you love the children more than your partner may not be valid -- unless that adult love has dwindled a great deal.

Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press 1355 Mountain Ave. Wpg R2X 3B6 or email lovecoach@hotmail.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 25, 2012 C4

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