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Relocating without 12 year old DS

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I am looking for support and advice on a big decision I have made. I am engaged to a wonderful man who happens to live 1.5 hours away from me. Because of his job, he is not able to relocate to my town. I have 2 DS - the youngest, age 2, will come with me with no questions asked by his father. My eldest is 12 and his father lives in the same town as us. We have had long talks about this and even tho he loves my BF, he is not willing to move and leave his friends and school behind. I get that. As hard as it is, I understand. So, I have made the hardest decision to have him stay with his dad and step-mom in town for the school year. I will come to see him during the week and we will have every other weekend together. Of course, there is also email, texting, phone, Skype..I really feel like we can keep the relationship strong and thriving. That's my optimism.

It does break my heart and I want him to come, but I can't force him to come with me. How do I get over the feeling that, as his dad puts it, I am abandoning my DS? I don't feel this way at all!! In all reality, even if my BF wasn't in the picture, I would have to relocate out of this town and area because I cannot afford to live here. I just don't know how to feel. Am I selfish for moving on, for finding the person I want to spend my life with finally? I love my DS more than anything....but I am thinking of his emotional well being and his needs....
post #2 of 13
I don't know what I would do in your situation.

I guess the only advice I can offer is to make sure your son knows that you want him to come with you. That you will miss him, but that his decision is OK, so he doesn't feel guilty. Let him know that if ever he changes his mind, and wants to come live with you then you will always, always be overjoyed to have him. And just be reliable. If you say you're coming, come. If you say you're going to call, call. Make sure that you keep up regular and frequent contact. Tell him that you love him so very much, and you wish he was coming with you but that you understand that he wants to stay with his friends.

Maybe find out about schools, activities etc in the area and when you talk to him, just mention them, so he knows that there could be a life there for him and that you are always thinking of him.

If he has a cell phone, I would probably text him randomly, telling him that you love him and are thinking of him and you hope he's having a good day.

That's all I can suggest. You sound like you're in a tough situation and like I said, I honestly don't know what I would do in your place.
post #3 of 13
This is JMO, but I think you are doing a good thing by not forcing your DS to leave. His father can say what he like to feel superior, but it sounds like you've discussed the options with your DS, given him the choice and are now respecting it. You can always tell him that the door is open anytime he wants to change his mind.

I was in a similar situation a few years ago, but on the other side of the coin. My then-H and I were moving away to another city and wanted to take his DS with us. We discussed it at lengths with DS's mother and DS, and he chose to come with us. We set up a schedule for him to return to his mom's and also gave him the option of extra trips home whenever he wanted. The first year was really rough on her, but eventually I think DS developped a new appreciation for his mom, and now that he's old enough to travel alone by train, it's easier for him to go see her when he wants.
post #4 of 13
living 1.5 hours away is not "abandoning" especially when ds has the choice to come with you, will be seeing you regularly, will be able to spend extended amounts of time with you on school breaks, and has the option to join you in the new town in the future if he chooses. i'm sorry your xh put it that way, but it's not true at all.

i spent most of my childhood living anywhere from 1 to 3 hours from my dad, and when i was 10, he moved across the country for his job (after asking me & my brother if it would be okay). i loved visiting and never felt like we didn't have a close relationship. he moved back to our homestate when i was in highschool (3 hours away) and after highschool, i moved to the city where he lives. that was 10 years ago. 3 years ago, my brother moved here too.

even though i spent a big part of my later childhood (around your ds's age) seeing my dad only a few times a year and talking on the phone a couple of times a month, i really never felt disconnected. not that i never missed him! i just wanted to say the distance didn't hurt our relationship. (now my dad, my brother and i all work together, so i pretty much see him every day except when he's on the road.)

fwiw, i also went to boarding school an hour from home at age 14, so from that point on, i've only seen my mom about every-other-weekend too! however we talked on the phone almost every day (and still do). you are not abandoning him. i think it's great that you are respecting his desire to be close to his friends and other family and his need for stability by allowing him to stay where he is, rather than insisting he move away with you.
post #5 of 13
I haven't been in your situation, and it sure sounds like you've put a lot of thought into it... but I don't think I could voluntarily move that far from him.

I don't have a son that age, so again, I haven't been there.

What's his father like? He tells you you're "abandoning" your son. Does he say this type of stuff in front of your son? Is he someone you're okay with raising your son full-time? What about the step-mother - is she too an influence you're okay with?
post #6 of 13
Follow your heart, mama. And remember that no decision is set in stone. If, for some reason, it's not working out then you can always move back or your ds can always move to the new town.

Originally Posted by Laurie73 View Post
How do I get over the feeling that, as his dad puts it, I am abandoning my DS?
The biggest hesitation I see is this. This is really not fair of him and I would really hope he's not saying stuff like this in front of you son. However, even if he's not, your son is going to pick up on this kind of negativity. That will not be good for him
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so very much for your thoughts. I have told my son over and over again that he is ALWAYS welcome to come to live with me at ANY point WHENEVER he wants....my door is always open and I always want him. I keep telling him that I want him with me more than anything, but I do understand that he wants to stay in the same town with his friends he has known since he was 5.
Despite how his dad reacts towards me, he is a good father to my DS and they have a very close relationship. A big part of why I feel comfortable even thinking of this is that they are so close and I am content with that. From what I know, my ex does not say anything to DS about this..at least I hope not. That would be unfair to DS. I try to not take what he says personally, but sometimes it is hard not to. I have tried to do what is in my son's best interest and right now, I do feel like he should remain in our current town.
I am hopeful that things will change and that he will want to move with me, but it is something that I would never ever press upon him.
He will always feel loved, he will always feel wanted.
This is so hard.
post #8 of 13
I'm not in your situation, but I don't think that I could leave my son. I'd work out some kind of arrangement with my fiance. The adults would have to do the sacrificing.
post #9 of 13
I respect that you have made a hard decision and I really think it's amazing that your are listening to your son so much. However, I can't imagine living that far from my son. I just couldn't do it.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
The thing is, even if I wasn't in a relationship, I would have to move anyway. I cannot afford to stay the town that I live in. I can barely pay my bills right now. I would most likely have to move in with my sister (2 hours away) or my mom (an hour away). So, really, moving isn't even an OPTION, but a survival for me right now.

I do think I am sacrificing. My kids are like oxygen to me. I don't know how I will do without seeing his face every day.
post #11 of 13
I understand how you're feeling. I'd move in with my fiance and take both of my children with me. Kids are resilient and your son can visit his current friends instead of visiting his mom.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks you. I wish it were as easy as that, but there is that little agreement with the ex about not moving out of state. (an hour and a half away is a new state).
post #13 of 13
Listen to your heart. It will guide you. Make peace with whatever decision you make and trust it is for the best and then make it be the best it can be.
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