During another one of our nightly phone calls my husband mentioned me moving down there with him. This comes up every so often but we are never realy serious about it because we both know it will never happen. People think we are crazy for deciding not to live together, we have even been called dysfunctional, but we have good reasons for making the decisions we have made.
Our first reason for living separately is due to my career. I am a horse trainer/riding instructor. Yes, I know there are horses in Texas but it takes more than horses to be successful. My career requires me to form personal relationships with people and form a strong client base. It took me years to create a name for myself where I grew up and I was just starting to establish myself when we learned of my husband’s PCS. If I had moved I would have lost all the relationships I had worked so hard to establish and it would be very difficult to start over in an entirely new state. I was lucky enough to have only moved 2 hours from my childhood home so I was able to use word of mouth to get started.
Our second reason goes along with the first, money. The cost of living is lower in Texas, as well as houses, but property is way more expensive. For the price of our current home, we could have purchased a nice house in the suburbs. In order to get enough acreage to keep my horses would have been an astronomical price. Without my horses, I don’t have my business. There is always the option of board, but boarding one horse is expensive enough so I can’t imagine boarding six. And with the price of hay this year, who knows what the monthly costs are.
Our third reason is much less selfish of me, education. The public school system in Texas is less than par in our opinion. We both had wonderful educations growing up and we want the same for our children. The education our son would receive in Texas would not be nearly as beneficial as the education he would receive here. Also, our son was scheduled to start Pre-K the months after my husband moved. Trying to register him for school in Texas in such a short time would be difficult. Not to mention trying to tell a four year old that he wouldn’t be attending the school he had been looking forward to for months.
On top of those three major factors are some smaller ones. Proximity to family and living in a state that we know and love were both factors in our decision. We grew up in close knit families and love to have those family ties around. We also purchased a home and plan to live here until our last days. No matter where he may move, or where I may have followed him, we always planned on retiring in New York.
If you and your spouse chose to live separately, know that you are not alone. There are more families in our position than you may think and we all have our reasons for making that choice. When someone questions why you made this decision, tell it to them straight. No one understands your family like you do and we all know you make choices based on what you know is best for them. Stick to your guns and keep your chin up!