DEAR ABBY: I'm a 32-year-old mom of four (11-month-old twins, a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old). I've been married for six years. I'm a Southern girl, but my husband is an immigrant to this country. When he emigrated, he settled in the North. I have always told him before and during our marriage that I don't like the North. I want to move somewhere down south or at least the middle of the country. We are currently in the process of house-hunting, and he keeps showing me homes in the North, even though he knows I don't want to live here. I understand that he loves our stability here and the friends we've made over the years, but we have so much flexibility with our jobs that we can move to someplace we both love. Recently, he said I could go and live in the South if I want to -- alone. So now I'm wondering, should I break up our family and take him at his word, or keep talking to him about it until I get his OK? -- NEGATIVE ON THE NORTH
DEAR NEGATIVE: Base the decision about where to live less on geography and more on where your children can get the best education and where the cost of living is more affordable. That your husband has informed you (four kids later) that he has no intention of compromising is regrettable. Because you feel so strongly about returning to your roots, you may be able to do it once the children are grown. I do not think it is worth breaking up a marriage over -- unless this is your husband's way of addressing every disagreement.