3/13/2023 | By Amy Dickinson

A retired woman is very unhappy after she and her husband relocated. While the wife wants to move, her husband is quite content. Is there a solution? See what advice columnist Amy Dickinson advises in this edition of “Ask Amy.”

Dear Amy, 

I am 64 and retired. My husband is 62 and has his own home-based business.

He said he was going to retire, but now he’s saying he will just work part time so that we will have extra money “to play.”

We moved to an extremely small town, which has very few entertainment opportunities. It entails over two hours of driving to get all but the most basic of medical care.

Most of the women here grew up with their friends, and are not welcoming.

There is also snow on the ground for six months of the year, and I have physical problems that make it difficult and risky for me to walk in snow.

My husband is happy here. He has friends through his work and doesn’t really care about spending time with people. He’s an outdoor guy. All I do is watch TV with him or wait for him to not be working.

I want to move to a place where I have more options for friendship and entertainment, but he refuses to move.

He doesn’t like to travel, and I am afraid the rest of my life will be spent living in this fishbowl where I can only look outside and be alone.

He rejects the idea of looking for another place, and becomes angry when I bring it up.

What should I do now?

– Trapped Wife

Dear Trapped: 

wife wants to move - snowy house
House in winter snow.

Your husband’s “play fund” seems to apply only to him. There doesn’t seem to be much play in your life.

I assume that you have done your utmost to engage in the social life of your chilly home. Joining book groups, volunteering at the library, or getting a part-time job would help to keep you engaged and active.

You are unhappy. You are cold. Your health is at risk. You have not adjusted to life in this place.

For the remainder of this winter, you might spend time researching options. Do you have friends or family members living in more congenial locales? If so, you should look into alternatives for places to stay for at least the worst of the winter. You might be able to rent or share a room in an affordable area.

When a wife wants to move but the husband cold-blank refuses, there may be a compromise. My overall point is that you obviously feel trapped, but perhaps you should not look to your husband for solutions. 

In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers – ranging from marital disputes to a bossy friend to cellphone use in public. Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.

Amy Dickinson