OT - Help me craft a sales pitch to wife for relocating to Michigan (Grand Rapids)

Submitted by FormAFarkingWall on March 26th, 2015 at 5:37 PM

I am originally from the great State of Michigan (Farmington Hills), having graduated from UM in 2000.  I relocated to Arizona for career reasons in 2006 and have been living in Phoenix ever since. There is, however, a decent to strong possibility that I may be offered a job in the Grand Rapids area within the next two months.  If offered, it would represent an advancement in my line of work, but would be around an 8 percent pay cut (vastly different salary averages in AZ vs. MI for my profession).  I absolutely hate my current job, and love the state where I was born and raised, so if all things were my decision, it would be an easy one to accept the position (if offered) and relocate to GR.

It is not solely my decision to make, however.  After dating for around 3 years, I married my wife in December '14.  She has lived her entire life in Texas and Arizona, and has family (including both parents) that live in the Phoenix area.  In GR we would be 2 hours from my folks in SE Michigan but her family would be over 1,600 miles and three time zones (2 during winter) away.  We have no kids, yet, but they are a possibility in the next few years.  She also hates her job (a plus for moving) and works in a field that I'm sure she could find employment in back in GR. 

Help me sell this potential relocation to my wife, or alternatively, talk me out of returning to Michigan. I'm struggling with this and really appreciate anybody's advice, guidance, or tips!  You just don't realize how much more difficult decisions become once you make them for 2 (or more, with kids).......

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

Double-D

March 26th, 2015 at 7:41 PM ^

highly educated area with a low crime rate. Housing costs are low and the downtown has a great vibe. Traffic means you are going the speed limit. It's a great place to raise a family and becoming great for young singles. It's beer city USA.

Canadian

March 26th, 2015 at 5:43 PM ^

People consider Jim Harbaugh to be a very successful person in his field of employment and he decided to go to the state of Michigan for less money than he could've gotten elsewhere.
You want to be successful and have a chance to follow his path.

Good luck lol

NorthSideBlueFan

March 26th, 2015 at 5:52 PM ^

With her family in AZ and you'll be taking a pay cut (not to mention pay state tax in MI)?
Yeah, GL with all that.
Unless you are the sole bread winner, you have almost no leverage in this negotiation.
BUT if you were to also have kids it would be even worse, and you would probably have zero chance, so I do admire your attempt.

Sincerely,
Married, father of two

Steve in PA

March 26th, 2015 at 6:47 PM ^

My wife's 1st husband was Air Force. My plan was to flee Pennsyltucky. She said, "I want to stay close to my parents. 17 years later we're still here and I still don't want to be here.

 

OP's only hope may be that she would only be 2 hours from her parents airport-to-airport.

xtramelanin

March 26th, 2015 at 8:08 PM ^

and did this come up during courtship?  my mgobride (a socal native) and i discussed this at length 20 yrs ago when we were dating, and moved to da UP 5 months after marriage.    we went back to socal for 3 yrs to take care of her parents when they got sick (they got better, thank God), and have been home for more than a decade since that time. 

seriously, anyone can make some bold statements about how you're supposed to do this, but the bottom line is sit down with your wife, hold hands, talk about the family vision and why that's important to you two.  won't hurt to mention that living in phoenix is like living on the surface of the sun and that the state of michigan will have clean, fresh water until the the rest of the planet runs dry.

M go Bru

March 27th, 2015 at 12:03 AM ^

30 miles from Lake Michigan. (sandy beaches / swimming / sailing / fishing)

200 miles from Chicago. (Art Institute / Shedd Aquarium / Museum of Science and Industry / Field Museum of Natural History)

100 miles from up north (Cadillac / Manistee National Forest / camping / canoeing / kayaking)

130 miles from Traverse City (Skiing)

130 mles from Ann Arbor (M Football / Basketball / Art Fair)

 

Wings (Griffins) and Tigers (Whitecaps) Minor league teams (affordable sports)

Beer City / ArtPrize festival / vibrant downtown / plans to recreate rapids in the Grand River / Art Museum / Meijer Sculpture Park / Ford Presidential Museum

drjaws

March 26th, 2015 at 8:51 PM ^

I was in the same boat (though I had 2 kids). Wife wanted to stay in NC. I got a good job offer in Michigan. Here's how the conversation went.

Me: "Honey, I got a sweet job offer, we're moving to Michigan."

Her: "Wait what? Uh no, we're not moving."

Kids: "We're moving to Michigan? Awesome!"

Wife: "No, this is not awesome and we're not moving."

Me: "Well, apparently the kids and I are going, we'd all really like it if you came too."

Needless to say, we have lived here for almost 7 years and she never wants to leave.

ST3

March 26th, 2015 at 6:09 PM ^

My dad worked on that campaign many years ago. As a result, I know that Michigan produces some of the best soy-based products in the world. Michigan also has cherries and wines from the Paw Paw region.

My serious response would be, the four seasons. I miss winter, spring and fall, I just don't miss the length of the Michigan winter. Don't try to convince your wife when it's 80 in AZ and 10 in Michigan. Wait until August when it's 130 in AZ. But it's a dry heat, I know, I know...

gbdub

March 26th, 2015 at 7:15 PM ^

The amount of time you are forced to stay indoors is roughly the same in both areas. Grand Rapids is pretty nice, and is not like the stereotypes of Detroit at all.

Has this wife ever been to Michigan? Rent a house on Lake Michigan for a week in July and convince her it's always like that.

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chunkums

March 26th, 2015 at 5:47 PM ^

1. Recently chosen by Forbes as the best city in America to raise a family.

2. Voted Beer City USA

3. Very inexpensive housing

4. Good public schools within 15 minutes of the center of town

5. Big enough city to have everything you need, but small enough to keep costs low and avoid crippling traffic

6. 30 minutes from some of the most beautiful beaches in America

7. Art prize

8. Booming medical and college scene

BlueKoj

March 26th, 2015 at 6:23 PM ^

Great list. Also, fewer poisonous insects/killer bees and reptiles than AZ or TX. Plenty of fresh water. No dust storms. It's almost never 100 degrees. White Christmas/festivus. Lake Michigan beaches. Terrific golf. The Griffins. Autum in MI is awesome. And GR is only 2 hours by car to the Big House.

TrueBlue2003

March 26th, 2015 at 6:51 PM ^

and GR was named top, that's right #1, US travel destination in 2014 by Lonely Planet.  This article explains why and all the reasons apply to living there, not just visiting. 

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/usa/travel-tips-and-articles/top-10-us-trav…

That said, you're going to have to play the "let's just try it for a couple years while we don't have kids" angle.  You gotta get her there and hope she falls in love with the place or it's never going to be long-term.  As many posters have pointed out, the challenge of being far from her family when you have kids is tough to overcome.

sLideshowBob

March 26th, 2015 at 5:49 PM ^

You may as well get used to Arizona. Even if you love once you have kids she is going to want to move back anyway. Unless you discussed this before getting married you got a realllllllly tough pitch.

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BubbaT33

March 27th, 2015 at 5:19 AM ^

Love the West Michigan area!  Summers and the Fall in Michigan as compared to AZ? Really?  Let her visit Lake Michigan and walk along one of the piers (South Haven, Holland, Grand Haven, Ludington).  Fire on the beach!  BOOM! For the Win!

FormAFarkingWall

March 26th, 2015 at 5:53 PM ^

Rather than thanking each poster individually (both serious and HARBAUGH! types), I'll just thank everyone here.  Special thanks to Chunkums - wasn't aware of the Forbes thing - that's a major selling point to someone who doesn't know GR from Saginaw. 

Also thanks to sLideshow Bob for snapping me back really quickly to reality. 

WolvinLA2

March 26th, 2015 at 5:57 PM ^

Water. AZ has very little, and between the Grand and Thornapple Rivers, Reeds Lake (and other nearby inland lakes) and Lake Michigan, there is lots of water to enjoy. My wife is a native Californian, and the first time I took her to Grand Haven she thought it was the ocean.

Also, tell her to research Forest Hills Public Schools. Regularly recognized as one of the best school systems in the country, and an overall great area to live.

SamGoBlue2

March 27th, 2015 at 1:42 PM ^

Words can usually only go so far. I'm a native of Grand Rapids currently in Lansing and I can't wait to move back one hour West some day myself. People have covered the vast majority of the major pluses - water, beaches, beer, great jobs, no traffic, four Pure Michigan seasons, friendly people, small city feel/big city opportunities, no natural disasters, etc. etc., - but sometimes a three-minute video is a nice, ringing endoresement of a city. This is one of the best I've ever seen, and it's all so true too.

This video was shown before all the Movies in the Park (which is absolutely amazing BTW - a giant blow-up screen is brought to Ah-Nab-Awen park (right next to the great Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum) to show movies on Friday evenings in the summer right across from downtown with BYOB) and gave the vast majority of the audience chills every time. The views of the city from that spot are pristine.

turtleboy

March 26th, 2015 at 5:53 PM ^

Michigans great lake coastline is longer than the United States Atlantic coastline. Not to mention the thousands of inland lakes and waterways. Grand Rapids is close to Chicago and Detroit, as well, for a variety of great weekend getaways. The 4 seasons are wonderful, you can have a luxurious garden compared to xeriscaping, you'll have the long summer nights, the chance to see northern lights on a weekend trip up north, not to mention a good portion of the year the weather is a comfortable 70 degrees so you can just leave the windows open and enjoy nature. Also, she'll have the chance to make you happy when you move because you can attend Michigan games regularly.

turtleboy

March 26th, 2015 at 5:54 PM ^

Michigans great lake coastline is longer than the United States Atlantic coastline. Not to mention the thousands of inland lakes and waterways. Grand Rapids is close to Chicago and Detroit, as well, for a variety of great weekend getaways. The 4 seasons are wonderful, you can have a luxurious garden compared to xeriscaping, you'll have the long summer nights, the chance to see northern lights on a weekend trip up north, not to mention a good portion of the year the weather is a comfortable 70 degrees so you can just leave the windows open and enjoy nature. Also, she'll have the chance to make you happy when you move because you can attend Michigan games regularly.