Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

My wife wants to move to Florida “to swim in warm water.” Currently

we live in the high, and yes “too cold and dark in winter,” MidWest.

We’ve been married 25 years and together for 30. She didn’t ask me.

She told me in a tone of royal proclamation with an “or else we’re

getting divorced” undertone. I’d consider a move, to Florida or pretty

much anywhere, but that’s a theory, not a let’s get packing reality.

Apparently during some conversation about lifestyles, I once said that

if she wasn’t happy “I’d go anywhere,” something she’s clearly held

onto for a very long and silent time. We don’t have family holding us

here but do have jobs, home, friends, and community connections. I

am not unwilling to discuss the idea, but I’d like to feel I have a say. I

don’t want to end up divorced but shouldn’t I get a vote too? What do

I owe her?



Dear Uprooting:

You owe your wife communication, as she owes you. Get a process

going to make the theory and the ultimatum meet. Choose a context

that’s designed to test all the options. “All” probably includes divorce if

she’s so attached to relocating that’s she’s willing to threaten it. But I

doubt that she’d simply walk out, either on you or the process, if she

commits to it.


Find a marriage counselor who’s commissioned to represent the

relationship, not either one of you. Both of you should commit to a

process of at least six months, possibly a year. Yes both of you should

get a vote, after identifying all the alternatives. But if relocation’s the

only one she’ll consider, you’ll have to decide if you’re willing to give in

or not. Note that the counseling route not only buys interactive time

but also allows you opportunities to learn more, together. Subscribe to

the local papers on-line and peruse job and housing ads, weather

patterns and concert ads, and generally get a feel for the communities.

Then take some vacations there, in the best and worst seasons. Stay

open but be very clear that she’s serious.