Mid-life crisis took me 3,000 miles away from home

October 22, 2007 3:38am CST
I know he's not a child any more, but I'm feeling very sad because I am 3,000 miles away from my son today on his 20th birthday. It's not him who has moved away for college, the military, or even a job. It's me who left a couple of years ago because I could no longer live in an empty marriage with his father. I'd felt so lonely and taken for granted for such a long time, that when I met my present husband I decided to go. I moved "across the pond" to start over with someone who made me feel like a human being again. It's not an excuse, it's just what happened. I've been back and forth many times since then, have had my son here, and keep in constant contact. However, my guilt is overwhelming and if I had it to do over again, I never would have moved. It's been really difficult to be away, to try to assimilate into a new culture, and to feel so awful all of the time. Suppose this is a warning to anyone who thinks the grass is greener on the other side. Guess again. Is there anyone out there, perhaps contemplating a major change in their life? Has anyone else moved to a new country and been happy? How do you deal with guilt?
1 person likes this
4 responses
@palonghorn (5486)
• United States
22 Oct 07
Well I didn't move to a new country, however at times it felt like I did hahaha. I moved from way down south to way up north, 1600 miles. I too had ended a long marriage, but had lived on my own for a year. My youngest daughter stayed with her dad ( she had gone to school with the kids there since 2nd grade and was 16), and I was only 2hrs away. Then I met a wonderful man, and him moving was not an option.So I packed what I could and moved the 1600 miles. I missed proms, her winning top honors at the livestock show, birthdays, etc. But, I haved stayed in touch with phone calls, emails and snail mail, we send pictures and she knows I'm happy here. All of my family lives there (Texas) except my oldest daughter who is 6 hrs away. I never felt the guilt that you seem to be feeling, but then again, I knew this is where I belonged. For some reason, I get the feeling that you really didn't think things all the way through, moving to a new country, having to learn their cultures. And from the way you express yourself, I have to ask, is it all guilt over being away from your son, or is it that you actually aren't happy with yourself and your decisions to be with your new husband and your move?
22 Oct 07
You've given me food for thought, palonghorn. To be honest, it has been a rocky road since I moved here. I do love my husband and he treats me well, but we have been through some very rough personal and financial times. All part of life, I know, but I would have preferred that my first marriage had worked out. It's not that I certainly didn't give it a try, because I did for many years. Anyway, I suppose the guilt does have something to do with my level of happiness. Thanks.
• United States
22 Oct 07
Your welcome, I've learned that life is too short to be unhappy all the time. And I couldn't be happier or ask for anything more than I have now. It wasn't easy for my youngest, but we stayed in touch as often as we could, and once she realized that I was truly happy, she was okay with me moving. After all both of my daughters were there through my last marriage and saw the arguing and saw how my ex-husband mentally abused me, there was never any physical abuse. One bit of advice is this, put all others aside, and look at yourself and if you are truly happy with where you are, if not, is there really a reason to stay in that place.
@wotfpatty (2068)
• United States
22 Oct 07
I applaud you for seeking the happiness you deserve. Why didn't you take your son with you? I have sons ages 21 and 17 and I wouldn't go so far if they didn't come with me and I know my 21 year old wouldn't. I just don't know if I could handle being away from my kids even if I was happy otherwise. Still, I am sure your son knows you are happy now and weren't before and holds no ill will against you. Nothing we do is ever "right". It's just the best we can do with what we have. I know I, too, would feel very guilty if I left and went so far away but, if it was the right thing for you, then your son is happy for you, I am sure.
22 Oct 07
Thanks for the comment wotfpatty. I would have loved to bring my son, but he didn't want to move. He had his friends, school, girlfriend, and preferred to stay with his dad. At the time, my self-esteem was rock bottom and my ex worked hard to turn my son against me. Fortunately, we are in the process of mending our relationship and his father has finally realized that it was his neglect that pushed me away.
@wotfpatty (2068)
• United States
23 Oct 07
I am sure the same scenario would happen here. My kids wouldn't want to move so far away and my husband would definitely do his best to make me look like a bad person. I am glad things are getting better for you. Everyone deserves happiness but it seems we have to sacrifice one thing for another and can never be really happy no matter what we do. Good luck to you.
@summer218 (197)
• United States
22 Oct 07
In all of our lives, we always wish we could go back and do something differently. There is a reason you decided to leave. You had to save yourself. When you are happy and fulfilled as a human being, you set an extraordinary example for your son, know this. Your son will be happier and more at peace now, knowing that your happy. We as parents feel the anguish of our decisions exaggerated. I'm sure he would have a different opinion. As long as you are in constant contact and he knows you're thinking of him, all will be well. I hope you will transfer your guilt into peace. You really have made the right decision. :)
22 Oct 07
Thanks summer218, you make some good points. I did feel like I was going to completely disappear before meeting my present husband. Your encouraging words are helpful.
@ctrymuziklvr (11059)
• United States
23 Oct 07
I did the exact same thing only not across any pond. I moved from one end of the US to the other...from Boston to California and left my then 15 year old son with his Dad, my ex. After I was gone about a year I tried to get him to move out there with me and he did come to visit but he wasn't happy there so he went back to Boston with his Dad. I visited a number of times because I also had a daughter and my mother living in Boston. Two times that I visited I didn't go back to California and stayed in Boston for over a year before going back. I eventually came back for a visit and stayed. I've been back 10 years now and am happy I am. The guilt I was feeling just got to me even though I know he was being well taken care of.