Dear Annie: My family wants to move to another state. The only reason we haven’t is because of my dad’s job. He has worked for the same company for 18 years and doesn’t want to lose his retirement benefits. I understand how important the job is, but the company could easily allow a transfer to another branch.

Whenever we try to talk to Dad about moving, he gets angry and yells at us or leaves the room in frustration. It’s causing a lot of tension at home. We feel stuck and unhappy here, and that makes me upset with my father for not putting any effort into moving. He has told us many times that he wants to go somewhere else, yet he doesn’t do anything to make it happen.

Dad was looking at real estate prices in a city we vacationed in this year, but seems to have forgotten about it. How do we help him see that moving is best for all of us? There is no downside. Other branches of the company pay better than the one he works at now, and there’s also the possibility that he could find a job with an entirely different company that’s even better for him.

I think Dad is worried about selling the house, but how will he know whether he can sell it if he doesn’t try? He is so resistant to change. How can we help him?

His Daughter

Dear Daughter: Moving away may seem like a simple thing to you, but for your father, it is fraught with uncertainty. You don’t know that his company would offer to transfer him. You don’t know that he could find a better, or even an adequate, job somewhere else and start from scratch to support his family. You don’t know that he could sell the house for enough to buy another one. All of these things weigh on his mind, and your constant pressure adds to his unhappiness and stress.

Here’s how you can help Dad: Tell him you love him and you know he is doing what he thinks is best for the family. Don’t bring up the subject again. He knows how you feel. Decide to make the best of the situation you have, and if you don’t move away, you have the option of leaving on your own when you are an adult.

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