My wife and I moved abroad to Thailand for three years back in 2016. At that time I did not want to move abroad because my parents were elderly and my father had Parkinson’s. We moved abroad anyway and I left my job for her job as a trailing spouse. We spent three wonderful years there. Now we are back in United States. She now wants to move abroad again but my father has progressed quite a bit. I have spoken with her and told her that I want to be closer to my parents because I’m worried about their health. She has given me ultimatums a few times saying that we are different people. We have two small children. I want to be there for my father but I don’t want my marriage to get ruined and not be able to see my children. Should I leave my parents, or should I separate to care for my father? I don’t want to ruin my marriage over this but she will not compromise.
You already gave up your job once and left the US when you didn't want to, if you do it again, you may live to regret it once the resentment kicks in. Then the marriage is compromised AGAIN, even more than it already is!
It sounds like some marriage counseling is in order, if, of course, your wife is willing to see that it's necessary. If not, you have some very serious thinking to do about your future and what you want it to look like.
I'm sorry you're being forced into a corner like this. My husband and I just had a talk last night about teamwork and how vital it is to make a marriage work. Wishing you the best of luck with all you have on your plate.
Your description makes your wife come off as a ball busting alpha witch and you as a milquetoast doormat, do you feel that is an accurate representation of your life? If so then maybe some counselling could help you set healthier boundaries in respect to both your wife and your parents.
That being said, being given "ultimatums" by your wife isn't healthy. Maybe a few meetings with a marriage counselor will help objectively put things in perspective for the both of you. Your anxiety and sadness are real and understandable, but so is your wife's expectation of not being forever tethered to your parents. A counselor can help sort through it so you both can (hopefully) come to a unified decision.
Moving further away from aging family to avoid being pressed into caregiver service is understandable. Families have been known to do just that and no judgements.
Packing up their spouses and children then leaving the country is a bit excessive. If they were dealing with my mother, going to the moon to avoid becoming the caregiver would be understandable.
The more probable explanation is the wife wants out of the marriage but doesn't want to be the "bad guy" and just be truthful about it. Making her job the "bad guy" and the reason for an international relocation of her husband and kids, takes any blame off of her.
The poster should start talking with a few divorce lawyers and see what his chances look like to get custody of his kids so they don't have to be uprooted and moved to Thailand.
Looking back we realize we should have lived our lives, his parents had had theirs, they had travelled, lived and loved, we never had or will have that again. If he is in a place that takes care of him you have done your job as a son. Zoom him and talk, visit him when you can, but live YOUR life.
Stay in the United States if that's where you want to be. Don't stay here for your parents and don't become their caregiver. Stay for yourself. I don't know you, but it sure seems to me like you're probably the one who made most or all the sacrifices and compromises in your marriage. That's not fair.
Maybe speak to a divorce lawyer. Also remind your wife that the kids are American citizens and you are their father. That should maybe deter her from getting cute on certain things. Good luck to you.
I would consider taking a good look at your relationship with your wife before deciding anything. Is it possible you have often put your parents first? It is good to look after our parents but how will you feel after they are gone and you have let your children go in the mean time? How will your children feel about that as they grow up learning they did not come first?
You have not said anything much about your relationship with your wife and why she might feel like this but your first step might be to get to the bottom of why she is unhappy and then make decisions on how to compromise.
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