Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > Moving back or to the UK
Reload this Page >

Need some opinion - a family meltdown....

Need some opinion - a family meltdown....

Old Feb 7th 2014, 5:06 am
  #1  
Forum Regular
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 253
guitarmaan has a reputation beyond reputeguitarmaan has a reputation beyond reputeguitarmaan has a reputation beyond reputeguitarmaan has a reputation beyond reputeguitarmaan has a reputation beyond reputeguitarmaan has a reputation beyond reputeguitarmaan has a reputation beyond reputeguitarmaan has a reputation beyond reputeguitarmaan has a reputation beyond reputeguitarmaan has a reputation beyond reputeguitarmaan has a reputation beyond repute
Default Need some opinion - a family meltdown....

Hi, any input on this is welcome.

My American wife and I (UK citizen) have decided to return to the UK, after coming the USA in 2012 looking for a new start (we lived in the UK 4 years prior to that).I have no kids in the UK, but my wife has two sons in the USA. One of these sons is aged about 23 (son C) & is married with a recent baby.

Our reasons for probably returning to the UK are the usual healthcare issues, and I have a decent job waiting there. My wife also loves England far more than I do!

And the problem? Son C has had a meltdown over this.

He's flipped out, says he'll hate me if we go, says my wife is materialistic for loving England etc etc etc. He's demanding she stay in the US and live a closer life with him and his new family.

This gives us a huge quandary. Are we selfish looking out for our best interests or just doing what many many people do all over the world? Personally I am so used to family living all over that it's normal. With Skype these days it's so much easier to keep good contact.

But Son C isn't having it. You know, we can't blame him for wanting his mother around. At least he hasn't disowned her. But in the 1.5yrs we've been in the USA he never calls her or even responds to her messages anyway! So I don't get it. I suspect he's the selfish one in this expecting his mother to spend the rest of her days following his orders. Her other son does not share the views of Son C at all.

We need some input on this, it's stressful. Are we low down selfish people for considering leaving them in the USA, or is Son C the selfish one?

sheesh
guitarmaan is offline  
Old Feb 7th 2014, 5:45 am
  #2  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Jul 2003
Location: Finally moving!
Posts: 1,236
holly_1948 has a reputation beyond reputeholly_1948 has a reputation beyond reputeholly_1948 has a reputation beyond reputeholly_1948 has a reputation beyond reputeholly_1948 has a reputation beyond reputeholly_1948 has a reputation beyond reputeholly_1948 has a reputation beyond reputeholly_1948 has a reputation beyond reputeholly_1948 has a reputation beyond reputeholly_1948 has a reputation beyond reputeholly_1948 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Need some opinion - a family meltdown....

Originally Posted by guitarmaan View Post
Hi, any input on this is welcome.
We need some input on this, it's stressful. Are we low down selfish people for considering leaving them in the USA, or is Son C the selfish one? ....
Well, it's pretty obvious the kid needs to grow up. With wife and baby his life and wants for his mother will be changing rapidly.

However ... you are on dangerous ground. You risk getting caught in the middle between wife and stepson and that might not be good. So you have to go softly with the kid and let your wife do the heavy lifting.

Since your lives will likely be changing and the baby is young then this year is perhaps the year you should do a family holiday together all five (six?) of you. It might be the last good chance you get for a while. Relaxing kind of holiday, drinks at the pool perhaps, dancing, that kind of thing. Be sure to take photos.

Last edited by holly_1948; Feb 7th 2014 at 5:47 am.
holly_1948 is offline  
Old Feb 7th 2014, 6:15 am
  #3  
Democracy advocate
 
Cape Blue's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 11,880
Cape Blue has a reputation beyond reputeCape Blue has a reputation beyond reputeCape Blue has a reputation beyond reputeCape Blue has a reputation beyond reputeCape Blue has a reputation beyond reputeCape Blue has a reputation beyond reputeCape Blue has a reputation beyond reputeCape Blue has a reputation beyond reputeCape Blue has a reputation beyond reputeCape Blue has a reputation beyond reputeCape Blue has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Need some opinion - a family meltdown....

Originally Posted by guitarmaan View Post
Hi, any input on this is welcome.

My American wife and I (UK citizen) have decided to return to the UK, after coming the USA in 2012 looking for a new start (we lived in the UK 4 years prior to that).I have no kids in the UK, but my wife has two sons in the USA. One of these sons is aged about 23 (son C) & is married with a recent baby.

Our reasons for probably returning to the UK are the usual healthcare issues, and I have a decent job waiting there. My wife also loves England far more than I do!

And the problem? Son C has had a meltdown over this.

He's flipped out, says he'll hate me if we go, says my wife is materialistic for loving England etc etc etc. He's demanding she stay in the US and live a closer life with him and his new family.

This gives us a huge quandary. Are we selfish looking out for our best interests or just doing what many many people do all over the world? Personally I am so used to family living all over that it's normal. With Skype these days it's so much easier to keep good contact.

But Son C isn't having it. You know, we can't blame him for wanting his mother around. At least he hasn't disowned her. But in the 1.5yrs we've been in the USA he never calls her or even responds to her messages anyway! So I don't get it. I suspect he's the selfish one in this expecting his mother to spend the rest of her days following his orders. Her other son does not share the views of Son C at all.

We need some input on this, it's stressful. Are we low down selfish people for considering leaving them in the USA, or is Son C the selfish one?

sheesh
Punch the little putz in the face.
Cape Blue is offline  
Old Feb 7th 2014, 7:09 am
  #4  
Ping-ponger
 
dunroving's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2002
Location: Dreich Alba
Posts: 11,964
dunroving has a reputation beyond reputedunroving has a reputation beyond reputedunroving has a reputation beyond reputedunroving has a reputation beyond reputedunroving has a reputation beyond reputedunroving has a reputation beyond reputedunroving has a reputation beyond reputedunroving has a reputation beyond reputedunroving has a reputation beyond reputedunroving has a reputation beyond reputedunroving has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Need some opinion - a family meltdown....

Originally Posted by guitarmaan View Post
Hi, any input on this is welcome.

My American wife and I (UK citizen) have decided to return to the UK, after coming the USA in 2012 looking for a new start (we lived in the UK 4 years prior to that).I have no kids in the UK, but my wife has two sons in the USA. One of these sons is aged about 23 (son C) & is married with a recent baby.

Our reasons for probably returning to the UK are the usual healthcare issues, and I have a decent job waiting there. My wife also loves England far more than I do!

And the problem? Son C has had a meltdown over this.

He's flipped out, says he'll hate me if we go, says my wife is materialistic for loving England etc etc etc. He's demanding she stay in the US and live a closer life with him and his new family.

This gives us a huge quandary. Are we selfish looking out for our best interests or just doing what many many people do all over the world? Personally I am so used to family living all over that it's normal. With Skype these days it's so much easier to keep good contact.

But Son C isn't having it. You know, we can't blame him for wanting his mother around. At least he hasn't disowned her. But in the 1.5yrs we've been in the USA he never calls her or even responds to her messages anyway! So I don't get it. I suspect he's the selfish one in this expecting his mother to spend the rest of her days following his orders. Her other son does not share the views of Son C at all.

We need some input on this, it's stressful. Are we low down selfish people for considering leaving them in the USA, or is Son C the selfish one?

sheesh
Agree with others that at 23, he's an adult and he needs to start acting like one.

Having said that, his immature reaction reflects an understandable concern about the family breaking up, so if you want to avoid long-term problems, maybe tread gently as you help him "work through his issues". You can't let his strop change your plans to improve the family's future, though.

Be careful you don't end up as the bad guy - his mum and brother are the ones who have the major responsibility to work on him (or work him over, whichever works).

Last edited by dunroving; Feb 7th 2014 at 7:12 am.
dunroving is offline  
Old Feb 7th 2014, 7:30 am
  #5  
 
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 6,841
Englishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond reputeEnglishmum has a reputation beyond repute
Post Re: Need some opinion - a family meltdown....

My guess is that he wants his mother around for (free) babysitting duties as and when he desires it....
Englishmum is offline  
Old Feb 7th 2014, 7:40 am
  #6  
BE Forum Addict
 
curleytops's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: A Proud Height, Northumberland UK
Posts: 1,162
curleytops has a reputation beyond reputecurleytops has a reputation beyond reputecurleytops has a reputation beyond reputecurleytops has a reputation beyond reputecurleytops has a reputation beyond reputecurleytops has a reputation beyond reputecurleytops has a reputation beyond reputecurleytops has a reputation beyond reputecurleytops has a reputation beyond reputecurleytops has a reputation beyond reputecurleytops has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Need some opinion - a family meltdown....

Junior needs to start behaving like a man because going by what you've said he's behaving like a five year old. Emotional blackmail is one of the most immature tricks in the book. You also mention that he hasn't really bothered with his Mother while she has been there so I suspect this was going to be a relationship of convenience (his) anyway - always a safe bet for a babysitter perhaps? I don't mean to sound harsh but I've seen too many people, some in my own family, who run themselves ragged with babysitting their grandchildren full time and washing/ironing and generally waiting hand and foot on their own grown children to the point where they really can't enjoy their own lives. That being said, I agree with Holly and the others in that being the step-parent, you are going to have to tread carefully and let your wife take the reins on this one. Good luck, hope you can resolve this amicably.

SNAP! Looks like Englishmum and I were thinking the same thing at the same time!

Last edited by curleytops; Feb 7th 2014 at 7:45 am. Reason: snap
curleytops is offline  
Old Feb 7th 2014, 8:48 am
  #7  
Heading for Poppyland
 
robin1234's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: North Norfolk and northern New York State
Posts: 11,248
robin1234 has a reputation beyond reputerobin1234 has a reputation beyond reputerobin1234 has a reputation beyond reputerobin1234 has a reputation beyond reputerobin1234 has a reputation beyond reputerobin1234 has a reputation beyond reputerobin1234 has a reputation beyond reputerobin1234 has a reputation beyond reputerobin1234 has a reputation beyond reputerobin1234 has a reputation beyond reputerobin1234 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Need some opinion - a family meltdown....

Originally Posted by guitarmaan View Post
?..... Personally I am so used to family living all over that it's normal. With Skype these days it's so much easier to keep good contact.

...
This is important, I think, what different people and different families think is the norm. Some people simply have no experience of close family members living hundreds of miles away or on a different continent. Other families (most people on BE obviously!) are used to it, have long term experience of dealing with the distance for better or worse.
robin1234 is offline  
Old Feb 7th 2014, 9:05 am
  #8  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 6,564
not2old has a reputation beyond reputenot2old has a reputation beyond reputenot2old has a reputation beyond reputenot2old has a reputation beyond reputenot2old has a reputation beyond reputenot2old has a reputation beyond reputenot2old has a reputation beyond reputenot2old has a reputation beyond reputenot2old has a reputation beyond reputenot2old has a reputation beyond reputenot2old has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Need some opinion - a family meltdown....

Is there more to this than son C wanting to hold on to mummy's apron while sucking his dummy?

I suppose if you stayed put, then son C decides he wants to move to the other side of the US, likely you should have no say or input in them wanting to move or that he'd want you to move with them.

Or, you could say 'hey were not going back to the UK' we are moving to the other side of the US away from you. - what would his reaction be then?

IMO, don't get into it with him or let your wife be undecided because of his cry baby tactics, its your lives, get on with taking care of your own business which is for the reasons stated in your OP.

Do let us know the outcome

Last edited by not2old; Feb 7th 2014 at 10:16 am. Reason: added more
not2old is offline  
Old Feb 7th 2014, 9:46 am
  #9  
Just Joined
 
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 5
mary2143 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Need some opinion - a family meltdown....

Don't let him get to you. It's a cry baby and no attention should be paid to such a child. At least, not if he is 23 years old...
mary2143 is offline  
Old Feb 7th 2014, 11:13 am
  #10  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Oct 2013
Location: Cheshire East
Posts: 588
Vadio has a reputation beyond reputeVadio has a reputation beyond reputeVadio has a reputation beyond reputeVadio has a reputation beyond reputeVadio has a reputation beyond reputeVadio has a reputation beyond reputeVadio has a reputation beyond reputeVadio has a reputation beyond reputeVadio has a reputation beyond reputeVadio has a reputation beyond reputeVadio has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Need some opinion - a family meltdown....

It's tough when a family member plays the emotional blackmail card. In my case it was my parents - mostly my father. And I was 61 at the time! I was told "if you're going to move back over there, just go and don't come back here"....and I was dumbfounded. It took 2+ years to sell our house, and for the 1st year I didn't speak or visit my parents. We were 4 hours way, which made that a bit easier. In any event, when my father did call, he was in complete denial, and forgot he ever said it, and apologized. BUT - when we finally moved, they changed their wills in favor of my brother; their choice, their right, but not the easiest thing to live with.

DH still feels they blame him, and no longer like him (and DH is now 73). I wouldn't be surprised if Son C blames you, not his mom.

In any case, I hope you live your own lives....I'm sure Son C fully intends to live his. He's a big boy and old enough to know better. The best his mom can do is say that she's sorry he feels the way he feels, but you are making the decision that's right for you. Do NOT become a hostage to this crybaby.

Last edited by Vadio; Feb 7th 2014 at 12:34 pm.
Vadio is offline  
Old Feb 7th 2014, 11:29 am
  #11  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 270
ncoomber is just really nicencoomber is just really nicencoomber is just really nicencoomber is just really nicencoomber is just really nicencoomber is just really nicencoomber is just really nicencoomber is just really nicencoomber is just really nicencoomber is just really nicencoomber is just really nice
Default Re: Need some opinion - a family meltdown....

He is the one with issues, not you.

One thing to point out to him if you must engage him with this silly conversation:
I have found that by living abroad in the USA for 27yrs I think I saw more of my parents that I would have if I had stayed in the UK. Certainly since having kids 11yrs ago. My father came over for three 3wk visits every year. He had his own room in my house and enjoyed the complete change in life for 3 wks at a time. I am not sure how he found the money to fly so often. But he payed for all the flights himself. Of course once here he didn't have to spend a penny. I sure if I had been living say 100 miles away in the UK I would have spent less hours a year with him. Probably short more often visits. He died last year and now we have decided to move back to the UK to live in his now empty house.

conversely, now that we have decided to move back to the UK I am hoping my US wife will be able to see more of her folks. Now we see them for an hour or two about once a month. I am hoping she can fly over here once or twice a yr for a couple of weeks. She will stay with them and maybe see more of them!! It sounds silly, but true for some?

Cheers
Nigel
ncoomber is offline  
Old Feb 7th 2014, 12:34 pm
  #12  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 603
NiHao has a reputation beyond reputeNiHao has a reputation beyond reputeNiHao has a reputation beyond reputeNiHao has a reputation beyond reputeNiHao has a reputation beyond reputeNiHao has a reputation beyond reputeNiHao has a reputation beyond reputeNiHao has a reputation beyond reputeNiHao has a reputation beyond reputeNiHao has a reputation beyond reputeNiHao has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Need some opinion - a family meltdown....

I don't think it would be at all selfish of you to move and I do think that if moving is the right thing for you then it would be a huge mistake to stay just because a family member doesn't want you to. i think the resentment that would bring could be just as damaging to the relationships as anything else.

I also agree that it is your wife who has to do a lot of the talking otherwise it would be easy for the son to see it as you "forcing" her to move.

However, I also think the emotions that this son is feeling are actually very understandable. The other son is taking it all in stride and understands your reasons but son "C" is having a purely emotional reaction, to him I think it probably feels like rejection. Rejection of him and of his young family. Of course logically that is not what is happening, you are not rejecting him you are moving "towards" something not moving "away" from him, but it doesn't feel like that to him.

I absolutely would make the move but I would also show empathy to him and allow him to see that while you see lots of benefits to moving the biggest downside is being further away from him and his new family. I think just acknowledging that you see this as a loss may help. Also explain that you have given the changes it will make to the relationship a lot of thought and have come up with ways to minimize it and to make sure that the relationship stays strong and especially that you want to be a big part of the grandchild's life and the ways you intend to do that. Skype, cards, emails, videos, visits back to the US, visits for them to the UK etc. As a parent myself nothing is so upsetting as thinking that a family member doesn't care about my children so I would really, really emphasis that you will be making lots of effort to stay connected to the grandchild.

I would be tactful and not bring up that you actually don't see them an awful lot right now anyway. People can have idealized visions in their heads of how things are and if you point out that you don't see them much anyway it will come across like a criticism of him and so then he will feel like you are rejecting him and his family AND that you are saying it is his fault for not making the effort to spend time with you.

I would also explain what a huge worry health care is when you are not as young as him. At his age it isn't the huge stress that it is for us all as we age. Explain that a better job in the UK will give you both greater peace of mind for your retirement years (so he doesn't have to look after you


Just be kind to him even when he is being unreasonable, you are absolutely not selfish, your wife is not selfish (and she certainly isn't materialistic for wanting to move to the UK with its tiny and expensive houses!) but you have both thought about this long and hard, its relatively new to him and he is entitled to feelings of rejection and loss as he process it. Try hard to acknowledge that and to show him how much you do value him and his family. Ultimately, you can not control how he views the move but if you can be gentle and empathetic even in the face of his self centered view you may have a chance of avoiding a relationship breakdown. You do what you can and then the rest is up to him and even if he remains angry now with time he "may" see the bigger picture.

Family stuff is really hard and I really hope he will come around but that will be his choice, you and your wife must choose what is best for you. Good luck!

Last edited by NiHao; Feb 7th 2014 at 12:42 pm.
NiHao is offline  
Old Feb 7th 2014, 1:28 pm
  #13  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Aug 2013
Location: Fort Myers, FL
Posts: 388
DebzinUS has a reputation beyond reputeDebzinUS has a reputation beyond reputeDebzinUS has a reputation beyond reputeDebzinUS has a reputation beyond reputeDebzinUS has a reputation beyond reputeDebzinUS has a reputation beyond reputeDebzinUS has a reputation beyond reputeDebzinUS has a reputation beyond reputeDebzinUS has a reputation beyond reputeDebzinUS has a reputation beyond reputeDebzinUS has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Need some opinion - a family meltdown....

I experienced something very similar with my 26 yr old son earlier this week. I have been thinking about the move back for about a year now. I am very close to both of my sons. This week, I finally broached the issue with my eldest son, even though I do not have any solid plans for a move back. His response was really surprising. I got the "how can you leave me here", and "you are all the family I have" response. However, within 12 hours he had come to terms with the idea, he apologized for his behavior, and was verbalizing how selfish he had been earlier, and finally, "go for it."

I can only imagine how your wife must be feeling. For that 12 hours I felt completely wretched.
DebzinUS is offline  
Old Feb 7th 2014, 2:19 pm
  #14  
SUPER MODERATOR
 
Jerseygirl's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 82,574
Jerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond reputeJerseygirl has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Need some opinion - a family meltdown....

Originally Posted by Englishmum View Post
My guess is that he wants his mother around for (free) babysitting duties as and when he desires it....
exactly what I thought.
Jerseygirl is offline  
Old Feb 7th 2014, 4:00 pm
  #15  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,009
colchar has a reputation beyond reputecolchar has a reputation beyond reputecolchar has a reputation beyond reputecolchar has a reputation beyond reputecolchar has a reputation beyond reputecolchar has a reputation beyond reputecolchar has a reputation beyond reputecolchar has a reputation beyond reputecolchar has a reputation beyond reputecolchar has a reputation beyond reputecolchar has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Need some opinion - a family meltdown....

Originally Posted by guitarmaan View Post
Hi, any input on this is welcome.

My American wife and I (UK citizen) have decided to return to the UK, after coming the USA in 2012 looking for a new start (we lived in the UK 4 years prior to that).I have no kids in the UK, but my wife has two sons in the USA. One of these sons is aged about 23 (son C) & is married with a recent baby.

Our reasons for probably returning to the UK are the usual healthcare issues, and I have a decent job waiting there. My wife also loves England far more than I do!

And the problem? Son C has had a meltdown over this.

He's flipped out, says he'll hate me if we go, says my wife is materialistic for loving England etc etc etc. He's demanding she stay in the US and live a closer life with him and his new family.

This gives us a huge quandary. Are we selfish looking out for our best interests or just doing what many many people do all over the world? Personally I am so used to family living all over that it's normal. With Skype these days it's so much easier to keep good contact.

But Son C isn't having it. You know, we can't blame him for wanting his mother around. At least he hasn't disowned her. But in the 1.5yrs we've been in the USA he never calls her or even responds to her messages anyway! So I don't get it. I suspect he's the selfish one in this expecting his mother to spend the rest of her days following his orders. Her other son does not share the views of Son C at all.

We need some input on this, it's stressful. Are we low down selfish people for considering leaving them in the USA, or is Son C the selfish one?

sheesh


He is being unbelievably selfish.

And how is she 'materialistic' for wanting to move back home? That is just dumb and demonstrates the complete lack of logic in his thinking.
colchar is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.