Annie’s Mailbox: MIL upset over decision to move

Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married for 11 years. We have three young children and a great relationship.

We recently decided to move from Boston to Georgia. The problem is my mother-in-law. Right now, we live within a mile of her. She is devastated that we are moving and is blaming me. She says I am taking her son away from her and that we are making a big mistake. When I pointed out the exciting professional and personal opportunities available to us, she said we are being rash.

Our decision is the product of much discussion and analysis over the past two years. Others have not been privy to those conversations, so I understand why my mother-in-law thinks we are rushing things. But when I explain, it falls on deaf ears.

Is there any way to get my mother-in-law to focus less on how this affects her and more on the positive impact it will have on her son and grandchildren? I worry the move will drive a permanent wedge between us. It’s hard for my husband because she is framing it as a choice between his wife and his mother. – Ready To Go in the Northeast

Dear Ready: For 11 years, your mother-in-law has had her son and grandchildren within walking distance. Please try to understand that the move is not only a shock to her, it is breaking her heart. And while you see opportunity, she sees uncertainty. If your husband had been offered a terrific job in Georgia, she might be more accepting. Your husband should be the one to talk to his mother about this decision. Don’t argue with her. Simply reassure her repeatedly that you will remain as close as possible, that you will visit as often as you can and welcome her to your new home, and that the kids will Skype or FaceTime with her daily so she can see them. It will take her a while to get used to the idea, and she will always miss you, but things will eventually settle down. Hang in there.

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