Visiting family members who live far away can always be tough and one woman has revealed her frustration at being pressured into travelling to see her grandparents, who recently moved to the other side of the country.
Writing to the Denver Post’s ‘Ask Amy’ advice column in the United States, the woman said that her grandparents wanted to retire in a nicer town far away, but they’ve been pressuring their granddaughter, her husband and other family members to visit ever since.
When she speaks to them on the phone, she said that her grandparents are quick to point out that other relatives have visited, even suggesting that she doesn’t really love them because she hasn’t yet. It isn’t the case, with the woman pointing out that time and money are the biggest factors stopping her from visiting.
“While visiting them used to be a drive up the street, it would now require plane tickets, time off work, gas money to get to an airport and hiring someone to care for our dog while we’re away,” she explained.
She’s told her grandparents this and they’ve offered to pay for her flights, but the woman said her husband doesn’t get paid unless he works, meaning a week away would leave them without money for bills and rent. As such, the grandparents continue pressuring the couple, which is causing them to feel stressed out.
The woman has even accused her grandparents of not thinking about the implications of moving so far away from loved ones, but accepts that they have the right to move if they want. To make it worse, they’ve moved to a town where they don’t know anyone, with the woman explaining that they’re desperate for constant visitors.
“How can I tell them that the rest of us just don’t have the means to pick up and fly away?” she asks.
Amy suggested the woman take a solo trip to visit her grandmother and that if she couldn’t, it’s simply nonnegotiable. She claimed it wasn’t fair for her grandparents to “emotionally manipulate” her into visiting.
Instead, she said the grandparents could make a trip back home to visit everyone.
“They seem able to afford to make the trip, and so you should encourage them to come back to their hometown,” she replied. “A visit might make them feel loved, and shore them up as they continue to adjust to their new lives.”