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    Old 08-11-2009, 07:44 AM   #1
    mraugust
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    Cut off contact with wife (we're separated) or stay close

    My wife of 9 years is originally from South America and hates the cold weather, and we live up north where it gets extremely bad in the winter. We're in our mid thirties with no kids.

    Her sister used to live in the same area until a few years ago, when she moved to Florida. Ever since then, my wife has felt increasingly miserable about living here. We're freezing in January while her sister calls and she's on the beach.

    This past winter was maybe the coldest ever. She broke down and said she couldn't take it anymore and had to move. She asked me repeatedly if we could move to Florida, telling me maybe I'd like it if I gave it a try. I hate the heat and would never live there. I just completely hate Florida and the idea of living there.

    I suggested a compromise so we checked out some other areas that have her Latino culture and somewhat nicer weather (but not far south so still a bit chilly in the winter), but nothing in her mind compared to Florida. It's like the palm trees, beaches, and latino food are screaming at her. There is just no compromise.

    And yes, there have been some other issues in our marriage, mostly due to our cultural differences (food, dancing, willingness to travel). But despite all of this we've always seemed to have gotten along very well, exchanged I-love-you's almost every day, and enjoyed similar interests together (movies, sporting events).

    Last week she said she cannot spend another winter here and wants to leave now. She said she still loves me very much but that just loving someone isn't enough to overcome what she is dealing with. South Florida is very similar in culture to where she grew up, and she is extremely homesick beyond words.

    She asked me literally about 50 times in 2 days to go with her and gave me all kinds of reasons why she felt I'd like it if I gave it a chance. I finally had enough and moved out. She has since quit her job and is leaving in Sept. to live with her sister. She has since asked me again to go down with her but I said it would be best if she went without me.

    This was a week ago. Since then we have spoken on the phone multiple times every day. We're on extremely friendly terms, exchange i love you's, and she cries asking if we will still always be a part of each other's lives. We've even gotten together and hung out a few times. She isn't pressing the issue as much for me to go with her because she knows deep down that I'd be as miserable down there as she would be up here, and the marriage won't work with one of us being so miserable.

    This whole thing is just so sad because it's not your typical bad breakup where one person is caught cheating or says they aren't in love anymore, or anything like that.

    The reality is this - I love her and she constantly says she loves me, but the love doesn't seem strong enough for either of us to give in on this issue. The feelings aren't as intense as they once were, which is why neither of us has gone the distance to save it. But there is still a lot of love there, and yes I am hurting a lot over this. The other reality is that even if I moved with her there is no guarantee that we'd be able to resolve the cultural issues that divide us.

    She is leaving in a month, and I'm trying to get used to her not being around (I moved back into the house and she's staying with a friend). She calls everyday and said she wants to spend as much time with me as possible before she leaves. I on the other hand am suffering from this loss and don't really know if I want to spend that much time with her because it's delaying my recovery.

    What do you folks make of all of this?
    What do you make of her behavior?
    What would you do in my shoes?

    Thanks in advance.

     
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    Old 08-11-2009, 08:01 AM   #2
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    Re: End of marriage coming - can't agree where to live - long and complicated (sorry)

    Both of you are doing the same thing. The only difference is she did compromise and lived in the North with you and found that she couldn't stand it any longer. Some people feel very strongly about where they live. I have a friend who lives in S. Florida. They lived in the NorthEast for 10 years and she said that she hated it and they both moved to FL. As much as he dislikes it there - he made the decision to stay because he didn't want to lose her.

    You are both at an impasse. Both of you have decided that where you live is more important then being with each other - that is the bottom line. You may love each other but neither one of you will bend. I look at it this way.... she lived in the cold to be with you and now wants you to try to give it a chance with her - there.

    It also sounds like you don't care for the culture - her culture very much. Living in S.FL would enable her to be immersed in her culture and I think you would rather her adapt to yours.

    Only you can decide. She's made up her mind. You have to choose whether you want a life with her - or a life without her.

    Last edited by cathy1; 08-11-2009 at 08:05 AM.

     
    Old 08-11-2009, 08:29 AM   #3
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    Re: End of marriage coming - can't agree where to live - long and complicated (sorry)

    Why do you expect her to bend to your every wish, live where You want to and give up everything that she knows and loves? Why can't you try living in Florida? Why can't you let her share her culture with you? I don't think you are being very fair or open minded about this. She gave up everything to live in the northern cold for you and you won't even attempt to try to live somewhere that you know will make her happy. How do you know you will hate it? Have you lived there before? If not, then you are simply being hard-headed. Marriage is about compromise. She compromised and lived in the north, it made her miserable and now it is time for you to compromise and move south or let her go completely.
    Good luck.

     
    Old 08-11-2009, 08:35 AM   #4
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    Re: End of marriage coming - can't agree where to live - long and complicated (sorry)

    you sound a little selfish.....rather than try it, you'd rather dig in your heels and let her go without you. she lived in the north for you, why can't you give her the same consideration and try it her way for once?
    it's up to you......if this is worth losing your marriage and your wife over, just continue doing what you're doing......if however you want to try to work things out, I suggest that a compromise is in order.....a BIG one....it's your turn to make an effort.....

     
    Old 08-11-2009, 09:08 AM   #5
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    Re: End of marriage coming - can't agree where to live - long and complicated (sorry)

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mraugust View Post
    I just completely hate Florida and the idea of living there.
    We moved down to South Florida from Pittsburgh about 40 years ago, and LOVE it down here! The sun, the sand, the beaches, the beautiful full blue sky outlined with low to the ground, fluffy, white clouds....... The beauty of the clean, unpolluted skyline is often breathtaking.

    Plus we just had one of the coldest winters on record (60's), which was really, really nice.

    Yes...... there are many things to hate about South Florida!

    Quote:
    It's like the palm trees, beaches, and latino food are screaming at her.
    They scream at us every day. We LOVE it.

    Quote:
    She has since asked me again to go down with her but I said it would be best if she went without me.
    Quote:
    But there is still a lot of love there, and yes I am hurting a lot over this. The other reality is that even if I moved with her there is no guarantee that we'd be able to resolve the cultural issues that divide us.
    Is there still a lot of love there? Or..... is there still a lot of "like" there?

    The words "I LOVE YOU" are just words. It's easy to say them. To me, loving actions and respect say "I LOVE YOU" much more than actual words. If you truly loved her, then no mountain could keep you apart, notwithstanding that there are no mountains in Florida.

    Quote:
    I on the other hand am suffering from this loss and don't really know if I want to spend that much time with her because it's delaying my recovery.
    I felt the same way when I lost some money in the Stock Market. I had to get away from "it" for a while.

    Quote:
    What do you folks make of all of this?
    What do you make of her behavior?
    What would you do in my shoes?

    Thanks in advance.
    I would do the same thing as you. Obviously the relationship has limited value to you. You already said "I DON'T LOVE YOU" when you moved out and wouldn't consider spending even one day with her in South Florida. You have already made up your mind quite clearly. Both of you would be better off without each other, IMHO. Move on and find someone else who is a better fit.
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    Last edited by Machaon; 08-11-2009 at 09:22 AM.

     
    Old 08-11-2009, 11:28 AM   #6
    mraugust
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    Re: End of marriage coming - can't agree where to live - long and complicated (sorry)

    Well I appreciate the replies and honesty.

    There's something that you aren't considering though.

    She's the one who is willing to end the marriage because she is going with me or without me. That's called an ultimatum. How would you feel if your spouse said, in effect, "I'm leaving with or without you".

    Besides that, and I realize I didn't mention this, but I tried very hard to compromise. I was willing to try Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, or pretty much anywhere else - my aging parents are up here and I wanted at least to be able to drive up to see them sometimes. She wanted nothing to do with any of those places, most notably Southwest Maryland, where the weather isn't nearly as bad and there actually is a lot of culture there - but with her it's Florida or nothing.

    When that didn't work I offered to spend 6 months in Florida and 6 months up here every year - doing what the "snowbirds" do. Never a snowflake in our lives again. She doesn't want to do that either.

    I respect the criticism except for one point ... she agreed to marry me and knew what she was getting into at the time, and to say that now I "owe her" and have to give up my family and friends to follow her to the one place in the country I dislike the most, just to make it even, and do that or it's goodbye, isn't fair to me.

    I know I've been a bit selfish but in my opinion not nearly as selfish as her. I'm not the one walking out the door.

    Thanks for the thoughts and honest comments.

    Last edited by mraugust; 08-11-2009 at 11:31 AM.

     
    Old 08-11-2009, 12:57 PM   #7
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    Re: End of marriage coming - can't agree where to live - long and complicated (sorry)

    well it sounds like it's a done deal.....she has her mind made up and so do you. I guess it's time to talk to a lawyer, get a divorce and move on, right?

     
    Old 08-11-2009, 09:20 PM   #8
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    Re: End of marriage coming - can't agree where to live - long and complicated (sorry)

    I didn't see where she moved up north for the OP. Her sister lived up north, I assumed she moved there to be near the sister. And now that sister has gone, she wants to follow.

    When my now ex-husband proposed to me, my reply was, fine, but don't ever ask me to move as long as my parents (then in their 70's) are living.

    I think he has made a fair attempt compromising.

     
    Old 08-12-2009, 02:55 AM   #9
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    Re: End of marriage coming - can't agree where to live - long and complicated (sorry)

    To me, this is a very interesting case. Maybe because I am also from South America. Actually, I live in South America, and I can tell you that even in South America you can have very cold places. Perhaps your wife comes from somewhere on the coast?

    In very general terms, I'm of the opinion that a wife should follow her husband wherever he goes. This is not a tight rule, however, but it seems to be the best arrangement, as far as I am concerned. Husband chooses the place/town, but wife chooses the house.

    Apart from cultural and meteorological issues, what I am reading here is that your wife is essentially bored. Moving to Florida will probably make her feel better in the beginning, but probably boredom will hit her again soon.

    Why don't you discuss the course of your marriage, make plans for the future, and find things that will keep both of you in touch and in a compromise? Is there friendship between the two of you? This is essential. Small talk is very important for a couple. Do you ever talk? Have meals together? Gossip? whatever...

    Flying and the Internet have both made this world so small!

    It is not so much a question of you being together either in the North or in the South, as it is of finding common ground and fighting against boredom.

     
    Old 08-12-2009, 05:00 AM   #10
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    Re: End of marriage coming - can't agree where to live - long and complicated (sorry)

    If your marriage and love for one another isn't strong enough to work out a problem like this then, sadly, you are doing the right thing by moving on without each other.

     
    Old 08-12-2009, 06:47 AM   #11
    mraugust
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    Re: End of marriage coming - can't agree where to live - long and complicated (sorry)

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pendulum View Post
    To me, this is a very interesting case. Maybe because I am also from South America. Actually, I live in South America, and I can tell you that even in South America you can have very cold places. Perhaps your wife comes from somewhere on the coast?

    In very general terms, I'm of the opinion that a wife should follow her husband wherever he goes. This is not a tight rule, however, but it seems to be the best arrangement, as far as I am concerned. Husband chooses the place/town, but wife chooses the house.

    Apart from cultural and meteorological issues, what I am reading here is that your wife is essentially bored. Moving to Florida will probably make her feel better in the beginning, but probably boredom will hit her again soon.

    Why don't you discuss the course of your marriage, make plans for the future, and find things that will keep both of you in touch and in a compromise? Is there friendship between the two of you? This is essential. Small talk is very important for a couple. Do you ever talk? Have meals together? Gossip? whatever...

    Flying and the Internet have both made this world so small!

    It is not so much a question of you being together either in the North or in the South, as it is of finding common ground and fighting against boredom.

    We've both been unhappy with our lives for awhile, and she constantly complains that there is very little to do here.

    Still friends and speaking every day. We've always been able to talk.

    Last night she wasn't as upset and I said "You seem to be handling this pretty well." She was mad that I thought that.

    I questioned whether or not she really wanted to try to make this marriage work and she repeated that she wants me to come down with her and try. No guarantees but we could work on the cultural differences and issues with our marriage.

    I'm depressed and having a hard time with this. This would be a difficult move for so many reasons, with no guarantee that we'd stay together.

    Last edited by mraugust; 08-12-2009 at 06:48 AM.

     
    Old 08-12-2009, 06:56 AM   #12
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    Re: End of marriage coming - can't agree where to live - long and complicated (sorry)

    Could you elaborate on your cultural differences? Or are these differences related to different temperaments instead?

     
    Old 08-12-2009, 03:48 PM   #13
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    Re: End of marriage coming - can't agree where to live - long and complicated (sorry)

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pendulum View Post
    Could you elaborate on your cultural differences? Or are these differences related to different temperaments instead?
    Her tastes in food are different and it was almost impossible to take her to a restaurant where she could enjoy her meal. She got thinner than she already was because of this.

    She comes from an ethnicity where everyone is into dancing, men and women. I tried, but I was never much of a dancer. We'd go to clubs and I'd dance a few songs with her but I wasn't that good at it.

    Oh, and winter, winter, and more winter.

    On my end, I love to tailgate or go out to dinner before sporting events (we're both big hockey fans) and even grab a drink afterwards. With her it's get there just in time for the national anthem and race home after the final buzzer.

    I used to enjoy just being out not to dance but to sit at the bar with a cocktail and talk. With her if there's no dancing she would get bored.

     
    Old 08-13-2009, 05:56 AM   #14
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    Re: End of marriage coming - can't agree where to live - long and complicated (sorry)

    I see: the differences are clear and ... great, but the real problem is that neither of you is willing to change a bit for the sake of the other.

     
    Old 08-13-2009, 09:44 AM   #15
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    Re: End of marriage coming - can't agree where to live - long and complicated (sorry)

    These differences must have been there when you were dating. Did one or the other of you think or expect the other one to change? OR did you think "love conquers all"? Because, unfortunately, it doesn't.
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