DEAR ABBY: Wife seeks advice about moving closer to her son and his family

Monday, October 14, 2019

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I live in Washington state. My son and his family live in South Carolina. I have decided I want to move close to my son and grandchildren. My husband doesn’t want to move there. He has never been to South Carolina, but he has preconceived notions about what the people are like and has decided he wants to stay on the West Coast.

I know what would make me happier, but I’d feel guilty about leaving my husband. We have been married 27 years. (He is my second husband; my first died when we were 36.) My son is from my first marriage.

I need some objective advice. Am I being selfish? Is it wrong for me to want to move to be with my family? — GUILTY ON THE WEST COAST

DEAR GUILTY: You ARE with your family — your husband. Have you explored how your son and his wife would feel about you pulling up stakes and moving there alone? If you haven’t, you should, because they may not be comfortable feeling responsible for you and being your only social outlet.

Since you asked, I think it would be foolish to sacrifice a marriage (I assume a happy one) that has lasted more than a quarter of a century. It’s possible that you could visit your son and grandchildren several times a year without jettisoning your spouse, and because planes fly both ways, they could visit the two of you as well.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.