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Am I being unfair?

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    Am I being unfair?

    Me and my then pregnant wife moved back from Scotland last year, staying with her in-laws. My wife then gave birth to our first child last September. However with the run up to the birth of our daughter, my wife had a serious MS relapse, leaving her pretty much bedridden for the first 3-4 months after our daughter was born. The good news is she is able to walk short distances with a rollator and a cane now and is able to pick up our baby daughter now to move her say from the crib to the bed or from the car seat to the couch. She has also started to drive again, so slowly but surely her independence is returning.

    After staying with the in-laws in rural Kentucky for more than a year now, I am so desperately wanting for us to buy a house closer into civilization in Louisville, where I work. But my wife wants us to buy a house near her in-laws, as she is afraid of MS fatigue and jeopardizing the safety of our daughter while she looks after her at home. Plus the in-laws wont want to drive into Louisville to help as it would be a good 40 miles for them.

    Is it wrong for me, who is a city kind of guy, to not want to compromise on the location of us buying our home? Furthermore I want our child to live and go to school in the more diverse Jefferson county where Louisville is, instead of the "over white" Bullitt county as I view it.

    As I mentioned earlier, I am South African/ British expat who I feel has given up a great deal to come and stay in America and also abandoned a career change, so I can try and be the best husband to support my wife and daughter. Therefore am I really asking too much for my wife to try accept living in the city or are her fears genuine and I need to compromise?

    Any advise from spouses in similar situations would be greatly helpful.

    Hi saffie:

    You're in a tough spot. It doesn't sound like there are any easy answers, and someone is going to end up unhappy no matter what you do.

    I think part of the solution might come from what made you move from Scotland to rural Kentucky to begin with, before your wife even had her relapse. It sounds like you already made a huge compromise in moving to the US, not to mention moving in with her relatives. Living with relatives rarely goes well for anyone. It makes me curious how you and your wife got together in the first place, when a city boy and a country girl sound so incompatible.

    Your wife's concerns about having her family around to help care for her and your baby are absolutely legitimate. And a lot of people will argue that that's all that matters and you have to accept that and give in to it.

    Another good argument in your wife's favor is that your daughter is still a baby and won't be enrolling in school for another 4 years at least. So you wanting to move to Louisville now, years before schooling is even an issue, isn't the real reason you want to move now. I think everybody can see right through that one.

    But there are also downsides to living in a rural area that may not be in your wife's best interest.

    First, someone with a chronic disease will most likely benefit from living closer to a larger city where they can have easier access to good healthcare. A rural area is not a good place to be when someone with MS has a serious relapse. I've read so many forum posts from people complaining that they live too far away from healthcare and don't have good transportation to get to it, which has left them suffering. Certainly this has to have already come up with your wife's relapse. Chances are good that it's going to happen again and again.

    It's also interesting to me that her relatives don't want to drive to you in another city if your wife needs help for herself or your baby. I live in California where people drive 30 to 40 miles one way to and from work every day. So their unwillingness to drive to another city to help out is concerning. Who is going to drive your wife into the big city if she -- or your baby even -- has ongoing healthcare needs?

    Another major issue that you didn't mention is where you're working. Do you have a job? How far away is it? The convenience of the wage earner has to be a major factor in deciding where to live. If you're the one making a 60- or 80-mile round trip everyday, you're subject to burning out from the travel. And that's not good for anyone in your family. If you're the one making the family's money, then you should have the major say in how you do it. If you own a house in Louisville, your wife can still spend as much time with her family as she wants to.

    It sounds like there are many underlying issues in your marriage, and where to live is just an easy, sort of depersonalized one to bring up. It may be that professional marriage counseling will be needed in order for you to find those underlying issues and find out where the compromises should be made. If your wife doesn't want to go to counseling, it might be a good idea for you to go by yourself. I wish you all the best in getting this figured out.


      Green Acres

      You may be too young to remember that show. :-)

      Growing up, my biggest dream was to live in Chicago. I pictured myself in a loft overlooking Lakeshore Drive, attending cool parties, eating at the best restaurants, going to museums, meeting diverse people from all walks of life.

      Well, I did it! I bought a condo on lakeshore drive, got a great job, and had an awesome, international crowd of friends.

      Then I met Dave. The country boy love of my life. We got married and lived in my condo while he commuted an hour and a half to and from the country each way for work. I couldn't sleep for fear of him driving off the road one day in some crazy Chicago icestorm/blizzard/tornado. We ended up buying a house in the country/burbs but currently rent out my city condo. I miss the city a lot, and so does he, but he's safer and I see him more this way.

      Can you guys maybe move midway between where you are now and the city and get a nanny-type person for a couple hours a day to help your wife? We're relatively close to the highway (easy city access) so that could be an option, too? Out here the schools are pretty diverse in the burbs, especially as you get closer to Chicago. Also, the best MS doctors tend to be in large cities (Kentucky is probably that way too?)so getting to neurologist appts. might be easier for your wife if you live closer to a large metropolitan area. Good luck!
      "It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
      I am the master of my fate,
      I am the captain of my soul." ˜William Ernest Henley