I think I made a mistake in marrying my husband. We got married three months ago. We live in New York City, which is where he’s is from. I'm from a mid-sized town in the Midwest.
We met online, had a long-distance relationship, fell in love, and I moved to be with him. He’s amazing! Everything I want in a man. But this is not everything I want in my life. I don’t like living in New York.
We both want children, but I always envisioned living near my big, loving family which I have back home, that’s how I want my children to grow up.
There are huge drawbacks to living in New York, but he insists it's the best place in the world and everyone wants to come here.
I'm at a breaking point. I just can't raise a family here and be happy. He refuses to leave.
I feel bad because I misled him. I knew I didn't like NYC but thought I’d get used to it.
Is this a case of irreconcilable differences?
Kathryn Z. – New York, NY
Part of me thinks if you are certain you aren’t raising children in New York and he’s firmly planted there, then it’s simple: you two are done here.
However, the other part of me—the New York-loving romantic side—is a bit suspicious. Three months, huh? I’m not sure that’s long enough to give New York (and your marriage) a fair shake. I get that you feel bad about misleading him, but you do need to be willing to have for-realsies conversations about this with him, so he’s not blindsided by your unilateral decision-making. Let him know that you thought you could handle it, and you’re struggling. Perhaps he can help you to adjust if you’re honest about why it’s been so difficult for you?
I know I don’t need to tell you this, but NYC is intense. It’s high-energy, fast-paced, and it’s loud. If you don’t learn how to shield yourself from it, the day to day can overwhelm you and wipe you out, and that might be what’s happening to you. What relaxes and calms you? Mediation? Yoga? Music? A walk through Central Park or a museum?
Pinpoint the thing(s) you don’t like about New York specifically so you can apply some life hacks to them, like if you love nature, then take yourself hiking in the Hudson Valley. Also, with the family piece, what about more frequent visits to the town you grew up in? If you two decide to have kids, I’d suggest making a plan together for integrating the small-town, family-focused feel that’s important to you with the big-city buzz and adventure he’s used to into your parenting.
If I were in your shoes, I’d give it at least six months before I bailed, because it really does take a minute to get used to any big change like that. Bonus: We’re coming into spring, which is extraordinary in New York, so the season alone just may have you turning over a new leaf.
No matter what you decide, I urge you to be open and honest with your husband about it so that you two can hopefully work out a solution together.