I have just realised that were something to happen to my DH, I would NOT be moving back to the UK with ds....

(23 Posts)
Boomerwang Sat 01-Dec-12 23:19:34

I'd be back in a heartbeat. I'm actually dreading my 8 month old growing up here and not wanting to leave. I can't get out yet but that is my ultimate aim and I won't waver on it. I don't belong here!

I am sorry for loss, too, exexpat. I realise I am talking about this from a theoretical what-if point of view, and of course no-one knows really how they'd feel until it actually happened. I hope I haven't upset anyone by this thread, that really wasn't my intention.

I still have family in the UK, but having been away for so long means our relationship has changed a lot: I am clearly nowhere near as close to my parents as my sister is (this is causing a lot of problems at the moment due to horrible health situation but that's another story), and I'm not that close to my sister either. We do see each other a few times a year, and we talk on the phone etc. but it's not the same as the friends here who I share my daily life with.

Having said that, I do have friends scattered around the UK who I have known since school, and that level and depth of friendship is obviously hard to find again. Then again, I find with those friends that we don't need to see each other very often to maintain the friendship - we've been apart since we all went off and did different things after A-Levels, so our relationships have never been based on seeing each other regularly.

Language has been a HUGE issue with me - it wasn't until I was fluent enough to really feel that I'm still "me" even when talking in German that I could make proper new friends.
I'm so used to the way things are done here now, and much of it I like and appreciate. I have expat friends here whose language is not that great and I think they still feel at odds with everything - even doing things like communicating with their dc's schools is fraught with difficulties. I imagine they would welcome moving back to the UK as it would simplify everything for them (from a language pov at least).

Funnily enough, I could imagine moving somewhere else together with dh and ds (and ddog grin ) more easily than moving back to the uk!

MiauMau Sat 01-Dec-12 08:14:48

exexpat one thing is to imagine the situation, the other is to live it. I'm really sorry for your loss. I hope that you found the support that you needed when you returned to the UK

exexpat Fri 30-Nov-12 23:53:32

DH & I had been living overseas for 12 years, with no intention to move back to the UK any time soon, if ever. But when he died (very suddenly) I decided within 24 hours to move back to the UK.

It was partly necessity - I had only been working part-time, not enough to give me a working visa in my own right, and without DH, my status (and the DCs) as a family dependent was wiped out. My visa was due to expire a few months after he died, and even if I had been able to find a full time job (with visa) immediately, I thought that with only one parent left, the DCs needed Me around more, not less. There were also financial issues - his company had paid the rent, school fees etc. But also it suddenly seemed much more important to have family around.

We still miss our old home, and regularly go back to visit, but it was definitely the right move for me to bring them back here rather than try to struggle on as a single working parent, spending all my earnings on childcare so that the DCs could be brought up by a Filipino nanny who'd left her own children behind at home...

MiauMau Fri 30-Nov-12 23:41:05

Just a little note, for me overseas is the UK, I'm originally from Portugal...
Saying that... I feel like I'm in limbo, I'm reaching a stage where I'm almost twice as old as I was when I first came here so, Portugal isn't home any more and the way things are there at the moment it just isn't an alternative. However, the UK isn't my home either as I have never been able to settle down for more than 2 years in one place.
We're now going to try a find our home in a new country and in my heart of hearts I'm hoping and keeping my fingers cross that we'll be able to make it our home as I don't want my LO to be rootless as I am.

I would move back. In fact, DSD's guardianship - in the event that DH's exW died, and then DH died while she is a child - is based on me moving back to the US. She would stay here with close relatives.

I've been here for six years, and the US has changed a lot since I've been away. And the longer I'm away, the stranger and more unfair or ridiculous a lot of things seem. The economy there scares me, and I don't like the idea of going back to the working culture - it is easier to have a life and a job in the UK. But... the US is still home. And if my DH died before me, I'd really need my family around me. I don't think I could handle DH's family on my own!

It has been interesting to read all your posts.
Somewhat ironically, I've been away this week - back in the UK grin

And although I enjoyed it, I was really looking forward to coming back home.

I'd probably have to go back to the UK for practical reasons - my German is functional day to day but not good enough, and I've been a SAHM doing just a few hours teaching all my 5 years here so have no ongoing career or job to support us. I would end up relying on my in-laws for help with admin and maybe even having to stay with them until I could pay the rent - which would mean uprooting the kids from school/Kindergarten/ friends anyway- would not not be good.
At the same time I am like Hope in that there is no one place in the UK I feel rooted too - friends are scattered and have become less close emotionally, and the ones who are geographically close together still were close but relatively new friends, made when I had my eldest, and most of them have moved on and apart in day to day life if not geographically since since we moved. I have parents and sisters in the UK, but don't have particularly close relationships.

I regard where I live now as home in terms of specific location and hate the "when are you coming home"? question because home is my house, where my husband and children live and go to school and have friends, y but somehow this is true in parallel with it being true that England (probably England rather than the UK as I've never lived in other countries of the UK) is my home country... Not sure how much sense that makes but it is true for me. If I did move back I'd probably compare a lot of things negatively with Germany, yet find life easier!

echt Tue 20-Nov-12 06:57:01

I've been in Australia for just over 6 years, and though we came here in our 50s, this is where I'd stay if anything happened to DH. Family in UK are lovely, though none have ever visited, which says something.

I don't have friends as close as those in the UK, but would they stay in London if I came back? Of course not, and why should they?

This is my home. Crucially, when travelling abroad, I can't wait to get home at some point, and home means Australia.

hattymattie Mon 19-Nov-12 20:17:24

I think I'd probably go home even after 18 years in France things seem somehow much more straightforward at home - it's noticable as soon as I walk into a shop in the UK - friendly helpful people!

digerd Wed 14-Nov-12 20:28:28

I lived in Germany married to a german. I loved many things including the NHS, (KK), but found the winters long and very hard. My DH did die, but as we had no children, and I had a grown up one who had stayed in England, I returned. My father had died 13 years ago and my mother died 8 months before DH. If I did have a child in school at the time, I would not have returned, though

NulliusInBlurba Wed 14-Nov-12 20:03:39

I've wondered that too, after 20 years in Germany - half my life. The kids have never lived anywhere else and we're very integrated into the culture. DH and I have different nationalities, but neither of us is German, and he has always said he would never be willing to live in the UK, and I sure as hell wouldn't want to live in his country (given that it's a country where the 'life' of a dying foetus is prioritised over that of a grown woman).

My mum died recently and I now have no close family in the UK at all. That leaves us with Germany, and although I have my problems with the place, nowhere is perfect. Having said that, we went to the Brecon Beacons in the summer, and it was so lovely and peaceful I did think it would be a nice place to retire in a little cottage there. But then again, Britain has changed so much in the last 20 years it would be something like coming back to a foreign country.

NatashaBee Wed 14-Nov-12 19:48:53

If anything happened to DH, I'd be desperate to go back to the UK - but DSD would stay here with her mother, and I wouldn't want to separate her from DS. My inlaws are here too, and I would hate them to miss out on DS growing up.

I would still go back in a flash. Not just because Canada isn't home yet. Also, because if something happened to DH, I would need my friends and family. It takes a long time to make old friends.

I often wonder about this (morbid).
I think I would stay here in France, as I have a job, home, dc are settled etc., but coming to the UK still feels like coming 'home' in many ways.

Losing a DP has happened to 2 expats I know recently, one couldn't get out of the country quickly enough, one stuck it out and is doing ok now.

Mastering the language/administration etc does help a lot ime

C0smos Wed 14-Nov-12 18:47:21

Not me, although this is home (south Africa) I would still go back to the UK if something happened to DH! My family and friends are all there though and live fairly close to each other, just me that made a run for it.

legalalien Wed 14-Nov-12 18:44:53

I feel the same, after 13 years here in the uk, this is home. I always think you can tell by the feeling you have when you land at the airport on an international flight. Landing at what used to be home, now has an exciting holiday feel. And heathrow, despite its shortcomings, is a bit comfort blankety.

NapDamnYou Wed 14-Nov-12 18:39:58

I'd go back like a shot.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Wed 14-Nov-12 18:39:49

I wish I had roots.

Lucky you.

GreyElephant Wed 14-Nov-12 18:38:36

I know just the feeling.

We recently took DD1 3, back to UK for a trip. It was the first trip back in 9 months. After 3 days she was crying to go back home to Switzerland. A week later we were back home and she said she was happy to be home and she missed the dog and the mountains and doesn't like the island where Granny lives.

I found it slightly heartbreaking. That island, GB, is my spiritual home but not my kids.

We are not on the Expat circuit, so to speak. DH is looking for a new job where we live in CH. That sort of confirms we are staying here, i guess.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Tue 13-Nov-12 14:01:44

I was wondering this the other day- whether, if anything happened to DH, I would move home or I would stay here in HK. At the moment it's a moot point as I wouldn't have a visa so I'd probably have to go back but I'm not sure Id necessarily want to, whereas even a year ago, I'd definitely have just gone back. I must be getting settled grin

CaliforniaLeaving Mon 12-Nov-12 20:35:46

I thought the same thing, but now after 27 years Dh and I are moving back. I had figured we'd be here forever, seeing I would like to live the same country and my kids and they are all Americans. But the older two moved to UK and are on our case to follow very soon, so we are.

because, after 16 years here, this is now home.

UK has my parents and dsis with her family, but friends are scattered all over the place. I no longer know anyone in the place where I grew up, it's all quite unfamiliar to me.

This little bit of Germany is home, here is where I belong.

It is both reassuring and somewhat strange at the same time!

I'd be interested to hear how it is for everyone else smile

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