For a long time I've been wanting to live somewhere more peaceful, smaller and more rural than the city in which I live, which although it has a lot going for it is not the place I want to ultimately settle. City living in general makes me feel frazzled - I'm a highly sensitive person and am easily affected and overwhelmed by hectic surroundings. I've found an area nearly 4 hours train ride from where I am now, which I've visited a few times and has a lot of what I'm looking for including a lovely community of people who have regular camps and who I connect with so much and would love to be a lot closer to. I've spoken to a few parents who live there and they all say it's a great area for kids, safe and lots of activities/resources, good schools (which I've checked out independently too). I think soon is a good time to move because DS (4 yo) starts school next September and I wouldn't want to uproot him once he's got into a particular school. Also would make it easier to make friends etc if we move at a natural transition point for families.
. But so much fear comes up when i think of really going through with the move, because my X who currently sees our son once or twice a week (during the week he has one overnight stay, and alternate weeks he goes there for one weekend overnight stay too), lives here, is very settled here, and last time (1 1/2 years ago) I told him I was thinking of moving (that time it was to somewhere else) he really got angry and obstructive even though I said I was going to keep access as regular as possible & was totally willing to negotiate. I could of course see where he was coming from and roles being reversed I'd feel angry and sad too, but he went straight to blame and confrontation, threatening me with lawyers etc rather than trying to discuss it rationally. Eventually we compromised and I agreed to his request that I try one year of living in this city alone with DS, which I've now done ( 1 1/2 years actually) and I'm still wanting to move.
So I backed off, and on and off since then the idea has come back to me, and finally I think I need to move towards what I think is best for me and DS. I don't know if this has any bearing on the situation but X is a pretty crap parent by all accounts (my own observations and that of his housemates and friends) who gives DS the bare minimum of attention, mostly sits him in front of the TV, rarely takes him out, rarely cooks for him (and he's an excellent cook!) and will sit reading a book and ignoring him half the time. All of which breaks my heart - but I know DS loves him and in his own way X loves DS,so I'm not wanting to stop them seeing each other at all, but realistically it's going to be maybe twice a month visitation, hopefully for longer periods, and hopefully a week or two each holiday if X is willing to take that much leave from work. I know X is going to hate the idea of spending money on travel, he is a heavy smoker and drinker and that is where 90 % of his spare cash goes. I live in a country where the laws are very different from the US, (England), where there is no legal obligation to provide and pay for the same amount of visitation after the move, as long as there are reasonable attempts at continuing visitation. (I consulted a lawyer last time i decided to move).
Please, I don't want any flames about my potential choice - I am looking for support. I want to know from other single mama's who have moved a significant distance from their X, (who has had regular visitation), how did it work out for you? In terms both of negotiating with your X and what life was like once you moved somewhere different and started again, rebuilding support networks etc. I have a reasonably OK support system here but I do still feel plenty isolated a lot, have neighbours who are friends but hardly ever get together with me, and am pretty reliant on my ex for any breaks from childcare (well, and pre-school) and I'm scared I will at least initially feel worse off in some ways... I know a few people who live in the new area but not well yet and it takes time to build friendships. I