A question about moving for a job, with a spouse:
I am about to finish my phd, and I’ve been interviewing for jobs all over the country. My husband and I currently live in his home state (where we met, but I have no ties to this place other than I love his family who mostly live in state), and if I wasn’t in the picture he would want to stay here (in this state) for the rest of his life. He hates our current city and doesn’t have good job prospects here anyway. We’re both really excited about moving away from here, but I’m feeling increasingly guilty about being the reason he’s going to move across the country to a place he’s never been – and nervous myself about moving to a place I will have probably only visited for 30 hours, tops. How did you and your partners handle the emotional aspects of moving for academic jobs?
Don’t feel guilty! This is a fun new adventure for both of you! Going to a new place that you’ve never been before and living there is a wonderful thing to do– you become more cultured and a better person. Like that wear sunscreen graduation speech goes (“Live in NYC but not so long that it makes you hard, live in LA but not so long as it makes you soft”). And if it doesn’t work out, you can do like #2 did and move again. It’s only a permanent thing if you want it to be.
(Note: #2 had to move for a job without her significant other– that was pretty awful emotionally. But the moving to a new place means lots of fun new discoveries at first, even if you end up someplace that turns out to be a Blasted Wasteland and not a permanent living place.)
UPDATE: We are NOT saying that there is anything wrong with Katherine. We are not saying her feelings are abnormal. We are not saying she’s a bad person for feeling guilty. We are giving her permission to NOT FEEL GUILTY and to reframe this move as an adventure and a potential learning experience and not something permanent (unless they want it to be permanent). Her husband is already excited about the opportunity.
So please, no more comments saying, “I disagree, Katherine has every right to feel guilty.” Yes, she can continue to feel guilty if that’s what she wants to do. But it wasn’t our sense that that was how she wanted to handle the emotional aspects of moving to a new place and trying to solve the two-body problem.