Fairly soon I will be losing about 40% of the income with the departure of my husband, and that's with child support added in. I feel like I have to make a decision about my living situation and I have no clue what to do. Right now we live in a tiny apartment that works well for us but it doesn't feel stable long-term. It's in a great neighborhood, we have our own washer/dryer and our own yard. The rent is low compared to Seattle averages ($900), I only pay for part of the utilities, and landlords are great. The problem is that they are in their early 80s so I know that at some point they won't be living in the home anymore. If the house sells, the rent will increase for sure, possibly even double. This apartment is the only way I could afford to live in this city, unless I get a roommate and I'm not really interested in doing that. The other thing is that if I stay in Seattle, I will never be able to buy a house, which is something I have always wanted. I don't have tons of friends here just because I am kind of anti-social, so my supports here are pretty limited. I love how liberal and vibrant Seattle is, it's beautiful here and for the most part I enjoy living here. I could do without the traffic the cooler-than-thou attitudes, and how expensive it is.

It doesn't make sense to just move some other random place since I wouldn't know anyone there. So my other option is to move back to Ohio, which my soon-to-be ex has already indicated he wouldn't fight. My parents, who believe that my kids are the center of the universe, live there. I would have lots of support with the kids. My kids would love getting to see their grandparents all the time, although they wouldn't be able to see their father nearly as much. The cost of living is much cheaper, and I could definitely afford a house. The downside is the fact that it's Ohio (Cleveland, specifically). It's cold, it's humid, it's kind of gross weather-wise. It's a depressed city that has a caricature of a Native American as one of their sports mascots. The other problems is that I knew from eight grade that I wanted to leave Cleveland and I'm proud of the fact that I've stayed gone for 22 years. I don't know that anyone else would think I was a failure for moving back there, but I probably would.

My BFF doesn't have any good advice since we met when we were five in Cleveland and fled it together 22 years ago. She's in Portland now and would love to be closer to her family but feels that same ambivalence.The only logical conclusion is to seek advice from internet strangers.