Author Topic: It's hard to be objective when you are trying to talk your spouse into something  (Read 4342 times)

socaso

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I live in Southern California, which as everyone knows, is a very expensive place to be. I met my spouse out here and have been here for almost 10 years but now that we have a child I am growing fed up with the cost of living here. We work for the same company and that company has branches in other states and I would love to move. It's a pretty easy process and we are both guaranteed a job at our same rate of pay (we've already talked to HR about this) the thing is, my husband doesn't really want to move. He's lived here all his life and I think he doesn't understand how much cheaper life can be. We can't even afford to buy a house out here (at least not one we'd want to live in). We did try to move to a cheaper area for a little over a year at one point and he hated it but he wasn't really trying at all, he just insisted the place was terrible and that was the problem and he didn't seem to see that his lousy attitude was poisoning the well. I moved a good bit as a child and as an adult so it's hard for me to understand his attachment to a place that is so ridiculously expensive. He's lived here all his life but he has no family out here anymore. Since we are in our late 30's/early 40's I see this as a crucial time to plan for retirement and since our child isn't in school yet I think it would be easiest to make this move now. Has anyone else ever been in this position? I don't want to be a tyrant and I haven't brought this subject up for a couple of months because he gets upset but I don't know how to get him to be open to this idea. It won't work if he doesn't go into a move with an open mind.

matchewed

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It seems you've already made up your mind and are trying to convince your spouse into your plan of action. Maybe try a different tactic and see what their thoughts are on retirement and how to pull it off? Ask them how they plan on affording retirement. Keep it as a dialog on plans and ideas, not necessarily about yours specifically, but yours and his.

socaso

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That's a good idea. It's true I do want to move. I get worried about raising our child in the midst of all the rampant consumerism I see out here. Also the school out here are pretty terrible and we cannot afford private school. Like I said, it's hard to be objective because moving is no big deal for me, I've done it several times but he doesn't have that coping mechanism because this is all he knows.

StarryC

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Where are you wanting to move and what is great about it OTHER than lower prices?
The reason SoCal is expensive is because it is wonderful in a lot of ways:  The weather is beautiful 320 days a year, the beach is nearby, there are fun things to do.   You aren't going to get much less consumerism in any large city- just different consumerism. 

If all you have to offer with Phoenix or Dallas is just as much traffic, worse weather, and cheaper living, unfamiliarity, and having to make new friends, that's not super persuasive.  What do you do in your free time?  Where else could you do that? How much more could you do it if you didn't have to live with SoCal traffic?  What does your husband want for your kid?  How could a move facilitate that?  How much faster could you retire if you moved?  What you need to do is "cast vision" instead of make arguments.

Dee18

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I live in the south in a city with a relatively low cost of living and consumerism is absolutely rampant here too.  I think you can deal with consumerism as a parent pretty well, though it gets more difficult with the teen years.  I would not try to talk anyone into leaving a place they love.

HopetoFIRE

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I can relate since this is something we have done.  The difference is we did have to move somewhere else first and it took some convincing for him to stay.  I agree that you will find consumerism everywhere but having lived in Southern CA, it is not as bad where we are.  Many people I came into contact with as a teenager and young adult while in Southern CA, their focus seems to be on material things and looks.  Where we are now, there is some of that, but not as much.  Our kids are still young, so maybe we have not seen everything.  What I did to get him to stay is we found a house he really loves.  It's a beautiful home, very antimustachian, and we paid more than I would have liked to spend for a home here.  However, it is cheaper than what we would have spent in Southern CA in a decent area.  Now when I mention moving back, he looks at me like I am crazy!  I would definitely sit down and see what your and his vision of how you'll spend your lives, when you'd like to retire, etc.  See what that would cost where you are and see what it would cost you in other cities.  Maybe browse some housing possibilities online based on your budget.  Visit those cities before deciding on anything. 

Good luck.  Hope everything works out for you.

socaso

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I'd rather not be too direct about the city we might move to but it is a large city, the cost of living is 40% or more cheaper than where we currently live, my spouse has been there many times and likes it. It has many outdoor attractions which is a big deal to him and he has even said that he thinks we will "have" to move if we have the second child we want to have. I just want him to embrace the change and not be unhappy. I love the people we know here but I am very outgoing, as is my spouse, and I think we could be equally happy elsewhere if we put in the effort. Because we waited until later in our lives to have children the thing I am most worried about is being a burden to them. I want to know that we are able to care for ourselves financially so our child/ren can pursue what makes them happy and not have to worry about us.

As far as Southern California weather being the greatest, yeah, if you can handle the drought! It's a major issue here.

Noodle

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It sounds like you have already identified the problem and your preferred solution...but perhaps it would help to rewind to the problem itself instead of trying to convince your spouse of the "best" (your) answer. He is more likely to buy into it if he gets there on his own...it sounds like you are presenting a very good solution, and that may be what the two of you eventually choose together, but moving is very challenging (and I've done it probably a dozen times myself) so it's reasonable for him to not dive right into that.


Thegoblinchief

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I'd pitch it as a "hey, if we move, we can retire x years earlier".

ch12

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I'd pitch it as a "hey, if we move, we can retire x years earlier".

Trump card :)

The way that you can make it happen is by having joint goals. It seems so obvious from your point of view that you should move to place that offers a better quality of life for a lower cost. From his point of view (based on your post), he'd rather stick with the devil he knows.

Were I in your shoes, I'd use childrearing as my key point. I have never lived in LA, but I used to go and spend a month with my family there every summer from age 10-17. Though you can raise children there, I have grave concerns over how materialistic and appearance-based my cousins' children have turned out. I love them very much, and I was there for a cross-section of their/my childhood. They all have MacBook Pros, expensive video game equipment, and expensive Hollister and Abercrombie clothes. One family has something like 13 TVs in the house. When I was showing pictures of the campus of the software company that employs me (half designed by the architects who designed Disneyland and worth billions in construction costs), one of the children sneered that it was a cheap Disney knockoff, even after I explain how much money was put into it. (I also question whether or not he understood that I was showing OFFICE BUILDINGS.) I have 30+ relatives in the LA area, but I would never raise a child there. If you plan on having a second child, that goes double.

soccerluvof4

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I agree with others that said "Its time we do whats best for our Children and get in a better school system as well as start planning our retirement and present him a plan in how you want to get there. See if he has his priority's right then. Some people need things really spelled out for them and able to see things as opposed to the little "words of advice" they feel as being harped on.

Elaine

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Maybe bring it up as, "Well you don't want to move to ____, so what is YOUR plan for us retiring/being financially secure?"  That seems fair to me, you provided an excellent alternative to what you are currently doing. It's fine if he doesn't want to do it, but someone needs to come up with a better way. Maybe once he starts really looking at numbers he'll realize that moving is the only realistic thing to do, or maybe he'll figure out a compromise.