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Relationship Health Message Board

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My wife of 9 years is originally from South America and hates the cold weather, and we live up north where it gets extremely bad in the winter. We're in our mid thirties with no kids.

Her sister used to live in the same area until a few years ago, when she moved to Florida. Ever since then, my wife has felt increasingly miserable about living here. We're freezing in January while her sister calls and she's on the beach.

This past winter was maybe the coldest ever. She broke down and said she couldn't take it anymore and had to move. She asked me repeatedly if we could move to Florida, telling me maybe I'd like it if I gave it a try. I hate the heat and would never live there. I just completely hate Florida and the idea of living there.

I suggested a compromise so we checked out some other areas that have her Latino culture and somewhat nicer weather (but not far south so still a bit chilly in the winter), but nothing in her mind compared to Florida. It's like the palm trees, beaches, and latino food are screaming at her. There is just no compromise.

And yes, there have been some other issues in our marriage, mostly due to our cultural differences (food, dancing, willingness to travel). But despite all of this we've always seemed to have gotten along very well, exchanged I-love-you's almost every day, and enjoyed similar interests together (movies, sporting events).

Last week she said she cannot spend another winter here and wants to leave now. She said she still loves me very much but that just loving someone isn't enough to overcome what she is dealing with. South Florida is very similar in culture to where she grew up, and she is extremely homesick beyond words.

She asked me literally about 50 times in 2 days to go with her and gave me all kinds of reasons why she felt I'd like it if I gave it a chance. I finally had enough and moved out. She has since quit her job and is leaving in Sept. to live with her sister. She has since asked me again to go down with her but I said it would be best if she went without me.

This was a week ago. Since then we have spoken on the phone multiple times every day. We're on extremely friendly terms, exchange i love you's, and she cries asking if we will still always be a part of each other's lives. We've even gotten together and hung out a few times. She isn't pressing the issue as much for me to go with her because she knows deep down that I'd be as miserable down there as she would be up here, and the marriage won't work with one of us being so miserable.

This whole thing is just so sad because it's not your typical bad breakup where one person is caught cheating or says they aren't in love anymore, or anything like that.

The reality is this - I love her and she constantly says she loves me, but the love doesn't seem strong enough for either of us to give in on this issue. The feelings aren't as intense as they once were, which is why neither of us has gone the distance to save it. But there is still a lot of love there, and yes I am hurting a lot over this. The other reality is that even if I moved with her there is no guarantee that we'd be able to resolve the cultural issues that divide us.

She is leaving in a month, and I'm trying to get used to her not being around (I moved back into the house and she's staying with a friend). She calls everyday and said she wants to spend as much time with me as possible before she leaves. I on the other hand am suffering from this loss and don't really know if I want to spend that much time with her because it's delaying my recovery.

What do you folks make of all of this?
What do you make of her behavior?
What would you do in my shoes?

Thanks in advance.

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