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Question
Posted by: Worried | 2010/04/06

What''s right and what''s wrong?

I moved to a different country a year and a half ago. At first, I didn''t know how long, but after a while I decided that I want to stay and I''ll be able to apply for permanent residency in September and I''ll get a reply around March 2010. However, I haven''t had the heart to tell my parents yet. My dad is 85 and my mom 54, and they have 4 other children together but they are quite traditional and want the whole family around. Two of my sibblings are living an hour away from them now and only two are still living with them, and my parents are terrified of being left alone in the house in a few years. Still, everything was going well.. they seemed not to miss me too much lately and everything. But yesterday we talked and my mom wouldn''t stop saying how she misses me and how she can''t wait till I''m back. She also said she can''t wait to become a grandmother (I''m 25 and her oldest child, so she''s starting to put pressure on me). I want to become a mother one day, but I know that my staying in this country would make it hard for my mom to be with my children often. But I''m in love with someone I met here (my family doesn''t know) and I want to give my best to make this relationship last. I had planned to stay for him (he doesn''t know he''s the reason). But I realize my dad won''t live forever and my mom is still young and might have a lonely life after he''s gone. So I feel really guilty about wanting to stay here now. I wonder what is the right thing to do now. I love my family but should I sacrifice my happiness for them? I thought I could bring my mom here, but she wouldn''t leave her country for anything. I can only picture her living her last decades all alone, without my sibblings visiting her much (they are young and only care about their new freedom now). What am I supposed to do? How do I tell my parents? I thought I''d bring my boyfriend the next time I go and visit them, but I''m afraid I should prepare them for that first. I feel this is my fault because I decided to leave the country and I even let myself fall in love like this. But I am soooo much happier here. The weather solved my health problems that I had all my life, and even job opportunities are much better than if I go back. I am so unwilling to go, but they make me feel like I have to. And then I can''t even find a way to explain because I don''t want my dad to die. 85 years might be too old to take this.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

With 4 sibs living near enough to help your parents, it's not necessary for you to feel so solely responsible to give up other fulfilling plans you apparently have, in order to remain with them. You may be the eldest, but shouldn't take all the responsibility for fulfilling your parents dreams at the expense of your own.
I'm more uneasy about the basis for your staying overseas being, not some unique educational of job opportunity. but apparently from your feelings of love for someone who apparently doesn't even know about this yet ?
How sure can you be that this relationship will be lasting or of the type you are assuming it will be ?
You are taking too much responsibility on yourself, and placing too little on your sibs and indeed your parents themselves. Its not your fault, but situations like this usually create similar problems - even if you're wrong about your current relationship, and even thopugh it might end in disaster emotionally - if you go home to serve what you see as the needs of your parents, you could spend the rest of your life convinced that you sacrificed what you might (wrongly, but sincerely ) feel was your greatest chance of happiness, for them. And if you stay where you are, you will have room to feel guilty if anything happens to them, even though you could not have prevented it, even if you were at their side. Old men of 86 plus do die, for various reasons, and ultimately all of us die, even if we have a loving daughter at our sides.

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: rob | 2010/04/06

Worried, we all have to live our own lives, if you stay and apply for permanent residence it does not mean you don''t love your family. As you know many many people leave for different reasons, yes your Dad won''t be around for ever, but neither will your Mom it''s just a fact of life, if you are happy where you are and can make a good life for yourself there you must. You can still come back and visit and arrange for your Mom to visit you (obviously depending on finance). My brother and his wife left for Aus 18 months ago went through the same thing as you are, but he is staying there, both sets of parents weren''t happy initially but they have both come to realise that for him and his family it is the best thing and are now very supportive of him. Just play open cards and tell your parents you are thinking of staying, they might be more supportive than you think. You need to do what''s best for you
Good luck

Reply to rob
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/04/06

With 4 sibs living near enough to help your parents, it's not necessary for you to feel so solely responsible to give up other fulfilling plans you apparently have, in order to remain with them. You may be the eldest, but shouldn't take all the responsibility for fulfilling your parents dreams at the expense of your own.
I'm more uneasy about the basis for your staying overseas being, not some unique educational of job opportunity. but apparently from your feelings of love for someone who apparently doesn't even know about this yet ?
How sure can you be that this relationship will be lasting or of the type you are assuming it will be ?
You are taking too much responsibility on yourself, and placing too little on your sibs and indeed your parents themselves. Its not your fault, but situations like this usually create similar problems - even if you're wrong about your current relationship, and even thopugh it might end in disaster emotionally - if you go home to serve what you see as the needs of your parents, you could spend the rest of your life convinced that you sacrificed what you might (wrongly, but sincerely ) feel was your greatest chance of happiness, for them. And if you stay where you are, you will have room to feel guilty if anything happens to them, even though you could not have prevented it, even if you were at their side. Old men of 86 plus do die, for various reasons, and ultimately all of us die, even if we have a loving daughter at our sides.

Reply to cybershrink

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