Author Topic: Family moving out of country and visiting  (Read 6718 times)

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Giggity

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Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2012, 05:05:32 PM »
Are we rude for not taking the time and money to visit?

Why would that be rude?
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GraceSullivan

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Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2012, 06:09:33 PM »
I agree with SamiHami that your best bet at this time would be to say something along the lines of "we'd love to visit; we'll see how things turn out."  Don't need to commit now to an actual visit.  Also, giving your (very understandable) excuses might just make them try to work around or fix your excuses (or dismiss them).

I agree with other posters that a lot of it has to do with expectations.  I've been the one to live far away from the majority of my family; the greatest distance recently was US east coast (family) and me on the west coast.  In the four years I lived out there, none of my family visited me.  But, there was the expectation that I was the one that should/will visit them, at least twice a year.  That bred resentment on my part, because I was the only one making the effort and putting in the expense.    Their excuses were/are not based on money, it was more based on comfort, vacation time, convenience, etc.  But my own comfort, vacation time and convenience were/are pretty much dismissed.

Even now I'm a two-flight, or 13 to 28 hour drive away (depending on the family member)--again, I travel to visit family twice a year, various family members have visited me once in 6 years.  If its off-balance, in my opinion and situation only, it can breed resentment.

Cami

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Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2012, 06:15:37 PM »
My brother just accepted a job overseas in Europe.  He, his wife, and their baby will be moving soon.  Most likely, they will be there for at least several years.

My brother and SIL have both mentioned several times since my brother even applied for this job that they hope we (DH and I) can visit them.  Each time, I've said that unfortunately, I don't foresee that being an option in the near future.  The first time I will admit I justified why (i.e., we are about start IVF (after other failed fertility treatments), and are hoping to have a baby soon (which they know), and I don't want to fly overseas with a baby/young child; I hate flying long distances, so I don't even want to fly overseas; I don't think  it will be economically feasible, etc.).

My question for you all is - when family moves overseas, is it up to you to visit them?  My husband thinks that since they're the ones choosing to move, they should accept the fact that they may not got a lot of visitors.  Are we rude for not taking the time and money to visit?  Every time I've mentioned we won't be able to visit, they seem a bit perturbed.

As someone who moved away, I agree with this:
Asking you to visit is partly a desire to have you visit, and partly a desire to make sure you all stay in contact. That you won't forget them.


We had the "you moved, so it's your problem to come back and visit us rule"  thrown at us over and over and over, plus had almost no one visit us.  (We've lived here 20+ years and had less than 3 visits from family in that time. (My SIL has actually been IN our town twice in that time on business but "too busy" to see us and refused to take a vacation day after her business was done to see us.) At a certain point you start to feel/realize that maintaining a relationship with you is clearly not a priority for the people "back home" or that you're only worth maintaining a relationship with if YOU spend the money and vacation time.  And that's hurtful.

(Just as it would be hurtful, for example, if you had a friend who was happy to go out with you when you paid her way, but had no interest when it was her turn to pay. So while it might not be an issue of etiquette, it might be an issue of emotional equity.)

Truth is, they did forget us. The minute the moving truck pulled away, we were out of sight, out of mind. We were written off. So, OP, I'd advise if you don't want your brother and his wife to feel written off and you can't or won't go to visit them, please consider how you can help them feel that you still care about them.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2012, 07:37:55 AM by Cami »

GraceSullivan

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Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2012, 06:20:02 PM »
Cami said it much more eloquently than I did! ;)

heartmug

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Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2012, 06:34:55 PM »

We had the "you moved, so it's your problem to come back and visit us rule"  thrown at us over and over and over, plus had almost no one visit us.  (We've lived here 20+ years and had less than 3 visits from family in that time.) At a certain point you start to feel/realize that maintaining a relationship with you is clearly not a priority for the people "back home" or that you're only worth maintaining a relationship with if YOU spend the money and vacation time.  And that's hurtful.


Oh boy, can I relate to that!  We are suppose to spend our money to come visit them.  Yep, we hear that a lot.
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Phoebe

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Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2012, 07:07:46 PM »
I don't see why you are making such a rigid statement to them that you will not visit. Of course you don't have to and shouldn't if you'd rather not. But if they say, "I hope you'll come visit sometime" why not just say "We'll see what happens" or "That would be nice" or some other non-committal statement. It isn't a lie and it would probably be nicer for them to hear than "No, I don't want to."

This is exactly the point I was going to make.

KenveeB

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Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2012, 09:47:45 PM »
I agree with not responding so rigidly. My family moved overseas when I was in high school. We had lots of family and friends use it as an excuse to make a trip that they otherwise wouldn't have done. They didn't have to pay lodging because they were staying with us plus they had (sort of) local guides, so it was an opportunity. There were plenty of times we said something like "Oh, you'll have to come visit us", meaning nothing more than "hey, feel free to come visit if you want to take a trip." Try to accept it as an offer, not a command, and a desire to stay in touch.

Ceallach

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Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2012, 09:57:05 PM »
There is just no obligation either way, so nobody is rude.    I don't think it's necessary to explain to them that you have no intention of coming, because surely in *theory* you would like to visit them, right?   It's just that you know circumstances are unlikely to permit it.

I live overseas, and am fortunate in that some of my family have been able to visit.   Others haven't.  And that's ok.  It's no reflection of our closeness or anything like that, it's just life.  Some don't have the money, time or other resources necessary to make a trip overseas.    It's a fact we were aware of when we moved, and while it's a huge downside  - we really do miss everybody -  it's a fact that we cannot change as long as *our* life circumstances necessitate us being over here.   Thank goodness for skype!  (We're all having kids now, so it's great for the babies to wave to each other through skype and for us to be able to talk.  It has definitely bridged the distance better than the phone did).   
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Lady Snowdon

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Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2012, 10:07:08 PM »
I think both sides need to manage their expectations, in a situation like this.  It doesn't work to always expect one side to make all the effort, no matter who "caused" the problem by moving away.  For a number of years, my grandparents lived in Berlin, Germany, while the rest of my family was still in the States.  On the rare occasions they made it home, people were willing to shift events around (my parents and my uncle and aunt were married within a week of each other because my grandparents wanted to be there for both weddings).  My mom somehow made it work to go visit them once with me. 

On the flip side, if there is a situation that prevents one side or the other from traveling, that needs to be taken into account as well.  My dad has Alzheimer's, and doesn't handle travel well at this point.  It's pretty much a given that he and my Mom will not be able to travel out to visit my DH and I anymore.  We're trying to figure things out to make sure we're still able to see each other. 

onikenbai

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Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2012, 11:24:25 PM »
I think when you move to some far away place, especially if it's a place with a different language, you can't expect anybody to visit you unless you are a) getting married, b) having a baby or c) dying.  Even then, it's not guaranteed.  I moved to the other side of the earth for 4 years and not a single person in my family even expressed a wish to visit, and that was just fine with me.  I was the one who decided to see other places, not my family.

I think the only time you could conceivably be put out is if your whole family does a tour of Europe with the sole exception of the European country you are residing in while you are abroad.  I would be a tad miffed then.

KenveeB

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Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2012, 11:31:40 PM »
I think the only time you could conceivably be put out is if your whole family does a tour of Europe with the sole exception of the European country you are residing in while you are abroad.  I would be a tad miffed then.

How about moving to the other side of the country and having your grandparents take a tour of the area but not bother to come by to visit you? Not that I'm still bitter or anything, 15 years later.  :P

I think the key is in tone, and that's something only OP can answer. Are they doing it in a "you MUST visit" command sort of way, or a "oh, we'd love to have you, you've got to come" excitement in sharing kind of way? The first can be given the hard no, but for the second you should respond to the sentiment ("it'll be so exciting, I can't wait to hear all about it!") rather just flat declining the invitation.

mbbored

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Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
« Reply #26 on: September 25, 2012, 12:31:08 AM »
I disagree w/ the idea that because they have moved, the onus is on them to visit.

But I do agree that they need to understand if people can't visit often.

However, expressing the hope that you'll visit, or encouraging you to challenge your knee-jerk assumptions about whether you visit, are not rude either.  How much pressure is "too much" is nebulous and hard to define. But at this point, I don't think your family is rude for bringing the topic up.

Thank you for this, Toots. I moved to the other side of the continent from my family for work and school and most of them have the belief that because I left, it's all on me to travel. While I understand that it's expensive to travel and I don't expect them to do it, the message I got when my sister spent a week 60 miles from me and couldn't be bothered to come see my home is that she does not support me and my decisions. On the other hand, when my sister-in-law went 200 miles out of her way to come see me, I was thrilled and honor.

Pippen

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Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
« Reply #27 on: September 25, 2012, 12:54:56 AM »
It would be lovely if you could but your circumstances prevent it. Most likely his company will give him tickets home at least once a year if he is on an expat package so he is not totally lost to you.

I would however seriously consider taking him up on his offer despite your reservations. It's a great opportunity. There is something really special about having your family visit when you are in a different country. You want to share everything with them and get them to experience your new life and you get an insight into it (and them) in ways you would never get otherwise.

bopper

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Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
« Reply #28 on: September 25, 2012, 08:43:55 AM »
We moved to Germany for 3 years. We would have loved for people to come visit. My ILs came twice (they love to travel) but nobody else did, and that was okay.  We traveled home 1-2 per year.   I don't think people know what a hassle it is to come home for Christmas when you can't stay at your own house and are expected to visit everyone.

Geekychick1984

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Re: Family moving out of country and visiting
« Reply #29 on: September 25, 2012, 08:54:12 AM »
I appreciate all of the responses, especially from those that lived overseas.

His company will be paying for him to come back here twice a year, so I will see him then. :)

As for rigidity, I can say with absolute certainty I won't be able to make it out there, but if you think it it will spare their feelings, I will be more vague.  I would love to see the country they're going to, as well as other places, but even if I could afford to go, there's still the fact that I get violently ill if I have to fly over 2 1/12 hours or so.  Plus the fact that we'll have kids then, and I'm definitely not going to fly with them until they're a bit older. But I'll keep all of those reasons and keep it vague so they know that it's not that I don't want to see them...

I have mentioned sine bro made his announcement that we'll keep in touch over Skype.  We just purchased a new web cam for this purpose.