DEAR AMY: My wife and I recently relocated from a small town in New Mexico to a city in another state. We both wanted to get out of the small town and improve our quality of life. Unfortunately, soon after buying a home here, my wife began thinking that we made a mistake. She wants to go back to New Mexico. I love it here. She left her well-paying job and hasn’t found a new job here. We argue about this almost every day. She consistently threatens to move back to be closer to her adult children and grandchildren. She knows that I can’t just get up and move back. I have a great, well-paying job, which I enjoy. We have the house. Moving back to New Mexico to me is going backward. I love my wife so much, but I’m so scared that one day I’ll come home and she will be gone. All of our arguments end with her telling me she is leaving. The next day all is well, until I do something to upset her and the cycle starts all over again. I think when she gets a job she will feel better; unfortunately until then, I spend every moment worried that she’s going to leave me. She travels back to New Mexico for a few days three or four times a month. I’m alone while she is gone, yet while I’m at work she complains that she’s alone. I have been using a lot of work leave to be home with her. I’m worried and scared. I don’t want to lose her. Do you have any suggestions?
Lost in the Big City
DEAR LOST: Your wife seems to have agreed with the choice to move; she now has an obligation to try harder to adjust to this change — even if she suspects she might have made a mistake.
It would be very hard for her to find a job locally if she is in town only sporadically.
A counselor or life coach could help her cope with her feelings of sadness, homesickness and anger. She also sounds depressed. You two joining a local civic, social or religious organization together might help to orient her toward your new home and introduce her to more people.
At this point, you are the only person working. Even if you agreed to move back, the process would take time.
Your wife should not hold the threat to leave over your head when you are having an argument. This is emotional blackmail. It also keeps her stuck in a strange in-between place.
At some point, you may have to call her bluff. She is an adult. She can either stay or go.
DEAR AMY: When I was 8 my grandma passed away unexpectedly and hurt my family very deeply. My grandpa hated being alone, so we tried spending as much time as possible with him. My mom set him up with a lady who seemed nice. They secretly married only eight months after my grandma passed. This caused problems. My family ended up moving away. We lost touch with my grandpa. A year and a half ago he reached out to me on Facebook and I gladly added him and his wife. His wife sent me his phone number and told me to call whenever I wanted. He ended up passing away two days after I added him on Facebook and I was crushed. His wife then started sending me harassing messages on Facebook, so I deleted her and she in turn blocked me from Grandpa’s Facebook page. Now she has passed away. Would it be OK to reach out to her family to see if there is anything I can have in memory of my grandpa? I don’t want any money, just maybe his favorite coffee mug.
Overwhelmed in Texas
DEAR OVERWHELMED: I’m sorry for these losses and for the impact on you.
Definitely reach out. Express your condolences before making your request. Keep your expectations low.
DEAR AMY: You responded to “Mystified” that a person could rent goats to mow their lawn, if they are eco-friendly. This option is not eco-friendly, as it takes more gasoline to transport the goats to and from your property than it does to mow your own lawn with a gas mower.
DEAR CONSCIOUS: I live next door to a large flock of sheep. They occasionally leap over their fence to do some mowing and flower eating on my lawn. I’m grateful that they provide their own transportation.