Deciding Whether to Move
Should We or Shouldn't We?
Make the decision to move together. Be honest about your needs and communicate them clearly to your spouse.
Jack was offered the opportunity to move to a new city 500 miles away. He would be given a promotion and his salary would increase by almost 50 percent. At first he was very excited and couldn't imagine turning down the offer. He went home to tell his wife, Sally, so they could celebrate.
However, while driving home he started to realize that there were really a lot of factors to consider. When he got home he told Sally about the opportunity and suggested that they go out to dinner and talk about it. They went through the “Moving Questionnaire” that you just took. Here are their answers:
They would be moving so that Jack would have an opportunity to have a promotion and make more money. They did not have to move, because his company was willing to keep him in his current position.
It was not clear whether Sally would be able to get as good a job in the new city. She had been with her company for seven years and had a lot of security in the company. Sally didn't particularly love her job, so she wouldn't mind working somewhere else, but she did have a good salary and reasonable working conditions.
Jack would be making substantially more money, although Sally would likely make somewhat less money. Housing would cost approximately 10 percent to 15 percent more than where they currently lived. The general cost of living was approximately the same in both places. Overall, they would probably have more money than they currently did, but not as much as they initially thought.
Jack and Sally would be leaving Jack's sister and her family, as well as his mother. They saw them every few weeks. But when they thought about it, they had really enjoyed having the family around. Another factor to consider was that Jack and Sally were planning to have kids in the next few years. It would be especially nice to have family around then.
Jack's family would miss them, but no one was currently relying on them for support.
Jack and Sally realized that they would spend close to $1,000 every year on telephone bills and plane travel to visit Jack's family.
The climate would be somewhat better in the new place. It would not be as cold in the winter and there would be less snow. Sally did not like winters and would prefer them to be milder. Jack didn't have a preference.
The new city was bigger than the one they currently lived in. It had more cultural resources, but also more congestion and a higher crime rate.
Jack and Sally felt that the new city would have a church they would like. They couldn't anticipate any other special needs that they would have.
Jack and Sally didn't have children yet. The schools were good in some of the neighborhoods where they would be living.
Marriage Q & A's
Q: Doesn't moving because you were given a raise usually mean more money?
A: A salary increase doesn't automatically mean that you will have extra spending money in your pocket each month. You need to consider both of your incomes, as well as your expenses. Conversely, a salary decrease might not mean that you will have less money. Your expenses might be lower in a different place, resulting in the same amount of money left over every month.
When they looked at their answers, they realized that the only real advantage to the new city was Jack's job, both the opportunity for promotion and the salary increase. When they considered the increase in housing costs, Sally's possible decrease in salary, and the money that they would have to spend to keep in touch with friends and family, the salary increase seemed much less than 50 percent. They realized that it was not a good enough reason to move. Jack was excited about the chance to have a promotion and do more challenging work. But Sally and Jack realized that they wanted to be near family when they had children.
Jack talked to his boss at work and let him know what he was thinking. He was wondering if there was a chance that he would eventually be promoted if he stayed at his current job. His boss said that he was a very valued employee and that he would probably be promoted eventually. But he cautioned him that the salary increase could not match the one they were offering in the new city. After much deliberation, Jack and Sally decided not to move.
When you and your spouse are thinking about moving, remember to consider all of the factors so that you can isolate your real reasons for moving. Always keep in mind that you are a team and that you need to jointly decide whether to move.
More on: Marriage and Divorce
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Perfect Marriage © 2001 by Hilary Rich and Helaina Laks Kravitz, M.D. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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