Unhappy Marriage Leading To Isolation, What to Do?

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Dear Laura,
I have been married for one year (our anniversary is in 2 days), and not very happily. Though there has been love, we got married mainly because I was pregnant. Our daughter will be one in July. My husband is from northern Maine. He wants to move back there to be closer to his family, build a house on his family property. I don’t want to be that far from the people I care about and suggest a move somewhere in between (we live in Mass., where we met, and my family is in CT), which he refuses to do. I also don’t want my in-laws as my next door neighbors, as much as I like them. The bottom line is that he says he will leave the relationship if I don’t move within a short drive to his family. Do I stay in the relationship so my daughter can have a dad around all the time?

Dear Anon.,

I am sorry to hear that you and your husband are struggling with willingness. From what you say, he has very little interest in being willing to compromise. In fact, he has laid out his ultimatum. The healthiest of relationships require compromise and win-win solution models. When things are set up in a “my way or the high way” choice, no one really wins. Even if you stay ‘for your daughter’s sake’ you are compromising far beyond your comfort zone and in essence signing over your soul’s needs and opinions. I can’t imagine that would be good for anyone’s love quotient to try to curl up beside someone who doesn’t care what you think, how you feel, or what you need. Do you? In which case, what kind of role model are you really giving your daughter? Since you can only control your own degree of willingness, not his, I suggest you search your heart long and hard before you sign up to be cut off from your support system…because it sounds like more than ever you are going to need one.