Should I Stay or Should I Go

Some years back I moved from a large city to the small town I grew up in. It was only supposed to be a temporary move, but I seem to have gotten stuck here. For some, perhaps most, people this wouldn’t be a large problem, but it simply doesn’t work for me. I have no friends here and never have had any. I know most people would advise that I go out and make friends but I’ve never been good at making friends, and I know just about everybody in this town, so, one would assume, that if it were possible for me to be friends with any of them, I would be. This is a large problem in many respects. Since my divorce three years ago (the reason that I’m stuck here), I have had two short-lived, dysfunctional relationships, having your significant other also be your only physical link to the outside world doesn’t make for a healthy relationship.

The reason that I’m stuck here is my oldest child. The family court judge has made it very clear that he won’t allow me to move said child away from his father, so if I move I will have to relinquish custody of him. On top of that, I know that, should I leave, my ex-husband and his family will do their very best to convince my son that I abandoned him.

About a month ago I decided to give up custody of my son and move back to the city I lived in previously (the reason I chose said city is because, as I said, I have quite a bit of difficulty making friends, and I already have a number of friends there), but job-hunting from over a thousand miles away is far from easy, and the longer it takes the more I second-guess my decision. I don’t know if I should just stick it out for another 13 years and try to make do with my online friendships and the occasional brief fling, or if I should give up my son and go somewhere where I can have a life outside of my children.

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Tough Decision
by: Ask Sara

Thanks for the question! I appreciate your challenge. Being a single mom certainly has its lonely moments.

I believe the way all decisions should be made is to first determine what your priorities are. No judgement just need to decide.

You choices are:
1. Stay put and raise your kids.
2. Move back to your former city and be with your friends.

Once you make that decision, you will know what direction to go, and which challenges you need to solve.

Say you pick number 2. Then your steps are:
1. Get your children situated in their new home. 2. Either find a job and move back; or move back, stay with friends, and find a job.
3. Determine how and when you will return to visit with your children.

Say you pick number 1. You then need to:
1. Find a new job.
2. Make new friends. While I understand this isn't an easy activity for you, since you have friends, it certainly isn't impossible. You could try to connect with co-workers, parents of your children's friends, or people from church. You could look for groups of people who share the same interests as you. The website might be a place to start.

While a judge might not approve you moving the children 1000 miles away, if you need to move to the next town, or even one more over to get a job, judges will typically approve such plans to allow you to provide for your children.

I know it's a difficult time, but I also know that you will come to the conclusion that works best for your family. Good luck!

Oh, and on top of that...
by: OP

My current job is temporary and will be ending within the next few months. There are few jobs available in the town in which I live, and definitely none that pay enough to support myself and my two children.

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