Dear Abby: My husband, my child and I have moved six times over an eight-year period. Some of the moves were within months of each other. All of them were for financial or emotional reasons. The last one took us an hour and a half away from where we had been living for many years. We had formed relationships there, and our child had built friendships. We loved the area and school. We decided to buy a house after renting, but we struggled to find a place in our price range. Instead, we found one back in an old area we liked.
We have been here three months now, and we all regret the move. We miss our old friends, our child misses the old school and we are unhappy in the new house. I think my child and I may have developed depression. Our child’s grades have slipped, and they have made no new friends.
We are debating returning to the area we loved so much. Family and friends are giving us grief about all the moves, and I know they’ll do it again. We are at a loss as to why we moved away and would like an outside honest opinion. Is it OK to move back to an area we loved and established roots in?
Wandering in Indiana
Dear Wandering: You state that finances had a lot to do with your nomadic lifestyle. That’s a valid reason for moving. I do not think you should quickly move again. All of the moves you mentioned may be the reason your child is having difficulty establishing friendships, which takes time. The administrators at your child’s new school may be able to help if you explain to them what you think is going on.
As to your own depression, if you can afford it, I’m suggesting some sessions with a licensed psychologist or social worker for the time being. If, after that, your family still cannot adjust, return to the community from which you came without making apologies to anyone (and with my blessing).
Dear Abby: I’ve been married to my husband for 21 years. I learned only a few days ago that he has a 9-year-old daughter from an affair he had. I never knew he’d been unfaithful. I’m disgusted about what he did. Now he wants his daughter to move in with us! I don’t hate her, but I’m not crazy about children.
Also, I’m the only one in the household who is employed. He doesn’t even try to find a job, and I’m treated like this live-in housekeeper, cleaning up his messes, etc. He refuses to help with housework. If the kid moves in, I’ll be cleaning up after two people, plus trying to cope with anxiety and depression due to past trauma.
I can only take so much. He keeps harassing me about having her stay, and he says that if I don’t accept her, I don’t accept him. I’m ready to ask him to leave, but what should I really do?
Fed Up in Pennsylvania
Dear Fed Up: After 21 years of carrying the entire load for your freeloader husband, rather than shoulder even more responsibility by taking in this child, what you should really do is consult a lawyer. It’s time you started taking care of YOURSELF, because by now it should be apparent that he never will.
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.