Thursday, 27 June 2013
A move too far
A person can want to move for all sorts of reasons. They might just want somewhere bigger and better. Or they might want to move for work purposes, or to be near their family or a frail relative, or they think the area they're in is dangerous or not good for children.
Their partner is having none of it. They're happy with their home and happy with the area. Lots of their friends and relatives are there, it has great parks and shops and facilities, it's full of "people like us", the kids would have to change school, they wouldn't know anyone in the new place, it's a leap in the dark.
So they're at loggerheads. They argue and fume and bully and stamp their feet, but neither partner is giving an inch. They both have their reasons for not relenting.
And what happens? In extreme cases they split up and the one who wanted to move does so. Or they agree to stay put. Or they agree to move.
But if it's not genuine agreement and one of them is just giving in to end the conflict, there's often more trouble on the way. The person who agreed to stay put gets frustrated and resentful and harps on any negative aspect of the local neighbourhood. "Did you see that? Another nasty mugging. And just in the next street."
Or the person who agreed to move hates where they've moved to, hates the locals, hates the crummy shops, hates the schools, misses their old friends, is profoundly miserable and depressed and just wants to go back. They can't imagine why they ever agreed to move to the arse end of nowhere. Every day they're living there is torture.
Jenny and I have moved several times. Luckily, despite initial disagreement, we've always agreed in the end - and genuinely agreed. We've moved into bigger and better homes and we've moved to a completely different city - from London to Belfast. It always ended happily. But for some couples, it's the battle to end all battles, and it ends badly. Home Sweet Home turns very bitter.