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I am stuck on the other side of the world and my marriage is falling apart(120 Posts)
I have posted before on 'living overseas' but think this is more of a relationship problem at the moment. I have made a terrible mistake and ruined my life and would appreciate any help as I can't see the situation clearly at the moment.
My DH is australian, I'm from the UK (though i have an australian mother and other strong family ties here). We married 4 years ago after meeting in the UK. About 2 months before our wedding he made it very clear that he wanted us to move to Australia in the next few years and if I did not do this we would need to call the wedding off. After a very stressful period I agreed (this is first big mistake). From that point on DH looked for work in Australia so we could move but had no luck...he had a very good job in UK (as did I) and I would not move without him finding work first. He became increasingly unhappy and we could not move on with our lives at all - he absolutely refused to buy a house or even rent a bigger flat as then we would be committed to stay for longer. He argue that he could not find a role as no company was interested when they couldn't meet with him etc. i was going mad living in limbo so agreed to go after we had our second child (so we would at least have my maternity leave to support us in the interim). I never wanted to go but felt that I had to as I promised this before we married. This was the second big mistake. We agreed that we would give it a go for a year and if things had not 'worked out' in that time (specifically, if he couldn't find a job and/or I was very unhappy) we would return.
So...over a year on and he has still not found a job. We live in a horrible house his parents usually rent out to students (at least it is free...) I am working in an ok job but not as good as the one I left. I miss my parents and friends horribly and feel terribly guilty they are missing out on the grandchildren. In all cases it hasn't worked out, but DH insists things will improve and effectively refuses to return. After a lot of arguing about this he has agreed to return by the end of the year if he still hasn't found a job, but I don't think he will honour this if it came down to it (there are practical problems too as he will not look for a job in the UK as he says he can't do that and job hunt in Australia ...)
The children are in childcare so all he does is look for work and drop them off/ pick them up. I work full time and do all the housework. He is very good with the children but our relationship is pretty poor at the moment. I don't think there's any option but to stay with him though is there? I feel completely trapped and isolated and bitter about what he's done to our lives.
Get yourself and your kids on a plane and come home. He can stay till the end of year of he wants or he can come with you leave that choice to be his. Put yourself and your children first x
Its so tricky as children have been brought into this. How do you feel about taking them away from their father? How will he react?. I think the best thing for you is to go home.
I really feel for you. Australia is an amazing place, but bloody lonely when things get hard and your support network is on the other side of the world.
I'm assuming that you can't return to the UK due to the Hague Convention?
What visa are you on, are you able to access any practical help ie. centreline which would make it possible financially to get away from him and rent somewhere independently?
You poor love, I feel so sorry for you.
I too am married to an Aussie - he also said that he would expect to move back to Australia when we were married and I agreed to it, rather less reluctantly than you by the sound of it but still with levels of doubt.
But! DH has a very good job here, we live in a nice house that his mum owns but we pay her rent for, it's much bigger than the house I own in the UK and bigger than anything we could afford in the UK, so already we're several steps ahead of you there.
I don't work at the moment because I left behind 2 jobs in the UK, neither of which would be easy to reproduce here (one was client-based self-employment, which I can pick up when DS2 goes to school in 3 1/2 years time and the other, no chance) and it was pretty much part of our "agreement" that I could stay at home with DS1, who was 20mo when we moved out here, and any subsequent children.
We put an initial time limit of 3 years on it - if by the end of 3 years I hadn't adjusted, completely hated it and had to go back, then DH might have reconsidered but it would have half killed him to leave his mother and all the stuff he loves about Australia. As it is, after 3 years I was ok to stay and in all honesty I think I would have needed a barrage of reasons, not least being my health, to have forced him to return to the UK.
I go back to the UK every year with the DC (but not DH) - I see my friends and family when I return and in between I skype my Dad and my sister and any friends who want to. Every time I go back I wish I still lived there, I still miss it - but now I miss things about Australia when I'm there too and so does DS1 (DS2 still too small to notice). We have friends here, DH has the good job, we do ok - DS1 is in school and has lots of friends and his life is really here. I too feel guilty about my family missing out on the boys growing up but Skype really helps to keep them in touch, and DS2 loves to see "Bampa" on Skype whenever I'm talking to my Dad, he followed him around like a little tail when we were over there at Easter! But that makes me sad again too - I so wish Australia were nearer to the UK!
DH and I don't have the greatest of relationships - he annoys the shit out of me sometimes, especially when he's pulling the "typical Aussie male" crap - but we get on well enough and I don't think I could leave even if things did deteriorate because of the sodding Hague convention.
So that's my situation - but yours is slightly different. I think you should take the children and return to the UK under the circs - your H then has a choice as to whether or not he joins you. But as he's currently not really supporting your family in any useful way (if he was a SAHD that might be different - at least you'd save on childcare costs!) then you have to do what is best for you and your DC and that, as things stand, seems to be to go back.
Where are you based? If you're near Sydney, we do have a MN group of expats who meet up every now and then - we're very nice, I promise!
My sister just returned to the UK after three unhappy years in Australia. It's very hard because her dh is equally unhappy in England. We were just very glad he didn't try and keep them there.
Your set up seems particularly unfair as you've made big ongoing sacrifices and are getting very little support - why is he not doing the housework?
This is such a tricky one, and a problem I have seen friends here struggle with. One friend was happy here, but her husband wasn't. She agreed to go back to the UK, and within weeks her husband was saying they had made a terrible mistake, but there is no way they can come back. One thing that jumps out at me is that your husband has been job hunting for absolutely ages! He is either doing something wrong or he needs to change profession! And its ridiculous that you are paying for child care while he is out of work, job hunting is hard work but can be done around child care. In contrast when we moved to Oz my husband had a job in weeks, ok it wasnt the best job ever but after a few months he had showed his worth and was given a massive pay rise! I didn't look for work right away, but when I did I got temp work in weeks which is now permanent (and I also got a rise). This is an expensive country, you must be really struggling with only one wage if yuou are paying for child care too. A year job hunting here is utterly ridiculous, I know its slowed down a bit but there are plenty of jobs still out there!
Actually, did you post this before, it seems familiar? If I were you Id be checking the Hague conventon too
You need legal advice, to find out how long your children have to have lived there for it to count as their habitual residence. Staying just a bit longer could be a big mistake.
As you know, you can't just leave with the children, as this would be seen as abduction.
It sounds like a terrible situation for you, and you really do need to find out what you legally can and can't do.
Above poster is spot on - you need to check your position legally re removing the children - you would need Fathers consent.
My little sis is in a similar position but after 15 years in Aus she can't just separate and up and return to the UK with the kids.
Sorry to hear your situation though but crack on and find out timings as mentioned in previous post.
One thing, though. I am Australian and DH is British. All my dc have Australian citizenship by descent, as well as British. I don't know if you have claimed Australian citizenship, but I expect you would be able to, in which case you don't have to worry about being dependent on him if you decide to split up.
Even the understanding that you would split up even if it means staying in Australia, rather than stay in your current situation may be the warning shot he needs to realise you are serious.
Thanks all. Unfortunately I can't go home without DH's 'permission' due to The Hague convention so I have to tread a bit carefully. He won't let us go home permanently without him.
I think the best i can do is just hope that he finds a job or will at least come home if not. I can access government benefits etc as i am an australian citizen, but to be honest the thought of leaving is worse than staying...i would also be completely giving up on the possibility of getting home if I left as he would not then go to the UK.
Thumb witch, thanks for your story. The thing that makes me feel hopeless is that we made the same deal an my husband just doesn't care that I'm terribly unhappy. He says 'I was unhappy for 7 years' - meaning too bad. I tried to explain to him yesterday how much I missed my dad (in his late 80s) and he just shrugged....
Yes I did post before (as cloud wallaby, can't work out how to get back on under that name though...)
Sounds like he's going to be difficult
I also cannot understand what he has been doing for a year - are you sure he's really looking properly for a job? He might have to lower his expectations a touch if he still doesn't have one! And yes, it is utterly ridiculous that he doesn't do either childcare or housework - if he's honestly been looking for a job without success for minimum 6h a day for the last year then he's doing it wrong!
You can go without his permission, but you'd have to ask a court and show how moving back would benefit the children in relation to staying in Australia.
What are the legalities regarding your visa? Surely if you separate you should be allowed to stay because of the children. Or apply for citizenship as suggested. It may take a while, but it means that you will get free at some point.
Have you got legal advice?
Do get legal advice.
Surely it can't be right that someone who doesn't provide financially for the children, doesn't look after them, and doesn't even do any of the housework, should be able to dictate where they live!
Of course he's bloody happy, bludging around while you do all the work!
Can you come back for a holiday and just not go back? You really need some legal advice on this.
She doesn't need a visa, Lweji, she's an Australian citizen through her mum.
Oh dear, I had no idea he could make you stay, and it looks like he will do. I'd seek legal advice to find out the chance of getting home.
I think he has you trapped and I feel really sorry for you, it's such a long way away from home.
The rules are there for good reason but gosh it could keep a very depressed person in a country miles from home, not good for anyone.
Ups, sorry, although it is not necessarily automatic as you'd need to apply for a passport.
Well, if you are already a citizen (are you legally?) then you can still stay in Australia but separate.
Look for what support you can get down there.
And do check and double check, because you've been there for only a year.
I meant to check if you can take the children away.
A court might be sympathetic, as it has been a short time and he's not even their main carer.
I know the job hunting thing is completely ridiculous. I don't know what I can do about it though - it is the source of most of our arguments. I feel like the wife in 'The Shining' who thinks her husband is writing a novel but actually he is wiring the same sentence over and over again....
He has an interview tomorrow so fingers crossed. Everything would be a lot easier if he had a job..
I would give him an ultimatum re the job search, i.e. he continues full time job search for three more weeks and after that you sit down together and thrash out a deal re childcare and housework.
Either he will magically come up with a job or at least you may start to feel more supported.
Would that allow you to move within Australia, to a nicer house or a place you might like better? Is there somewhere in Australia you would like to live?
And if you have more time, could you think about moves to getting a better job? One that includes a deal that you can go back to the UK for a month a year at least?
Once you are heading towards a nicer place to live, more of a team approach to family life and a job you enjoy, would that help at all? And to know that you can spend a full month back in the UK with the kids and see your family?
I have citizenship so can stay, but I don't think this helps much.... I have nowhere to live and would rather stick with him despite all this than be alone over here and only have access to the children half the time
He has always been clear that he wanted to go back to Australia (to the extent that he wanted to call off the marriage if you did not agree). It's that important to him.
Do you actually want to stay married to him? I do not think there is any chance of persuading him out of his clear and often stated choice on where to live. You seem to continue to hold out hope that you all move together elsewhere. It is however the basic question from which all the admin flows.
Look, what is the actual likelihood that he will want the children 50-50? He's offloading them to childcare while at home!
And I'm sure you can find a place to live. You have to check what financial support you might get, including from him.
Don't feel that there is nothing you can do about it. I'm sure loads of couples separate in Australia.
But still get legal advice regarding your situation and taking the children back. ASAP.
I would have thought that if you want to leave Australia, him being out of a job, and not providing any kind of childcare or house work are your aces.
How could anyone argue that the children would be better off in Australia, with one parent effectively doing all the work, or in the UK with one parent doing all the work? They have the same access to health, education and family network in whichever country they are living.
Once he is working, or even taking on more responsibility for childcare and in the home, you wouldn't have this argument, anymore.
It's always so tricky in this kind of situation. You feel bad cos your parents are missing out on the grandchildren but presumably his family would then miss out if you move back. Like you say it would be easier if he had a job plus I do think it takes at least a year to settle into a new country.
Looks like he has moved the goalposts continually throughout your relationship, and will continue to do so.
As posted up thread, you really need to decide whether your want to stay with him, as he is never going to make it easy for you to move back to the uk.
Moving overseas is not easy (I have been in France for 6 years) but we committed to it, have a very good lifestyle and now it is home for me.
I personally think your DP is being emotionally abusive towards you. (The ultimatum before your wedding being the first red flag.)
I agree that he does sound abusive. And ATM a cocklodger too.
And he gave you the ultimatum 2 months before the wedding because he knew you'd do your best to keep to your word and it was "too late to cancel".
Forget being fair to him and do what is best for you and the children (and that is not necessarily staying with a father who is abusive towards the mother).
As soon as i read the opening post I was sure I'd heard your story. I posted on a thread of yours before. I'm gutted that things haven't picked up.
Can you access some couples counseling? What about some just for you so you can have some space to sort out how you feel. You can access them from GPs which reduces the cost somewhat.
I agree, an ultimatum on childcare and housework is in order here.
He has to take it on, which will save money, and ease your burden. He actually sounds like a total arse actually. I'd hate him for all this stuff,
There's no reason why he can't put the dc into childcare if he needs to arrange interviews etc, but if he's not even getting these, there's absolutely no reason at all for full time childcare bills.
Thing is, the longer he's without a job, the harder it'll be to get one.
That's where i'd start. He was all great and powerful issuing you ultimatums, now that the boot's on the other foot, it's time for him to see how that feels.
His comments about his 7 years of misery are utterly shit. He had 7 years (apparently ) so you have to suffer for the rest of your life?
Remind him that regardless of anything, you are making a go of it, and could leave him and live independently, so he needs to sort himself out or admit he has to reassess the decisions he's made.
If he's not careful, whether or not he gets a job, the attitude he's demonstrating is likely to end in divorce anyway.
Keep posting. Do you have RL friends out there?
Your husband doesn't sound reasonable, the fact that he would not even be open to negotiation about something as important as where you live.
I lived in Canada for 5 years and was unhappy for probably 3-4 of those, its so hard when you feel trapped where you live and your usual supports are very far away.
If you could come back I think that would be best for you and your children but that doesn't sound likely. I'm sorry to say it but it doesn't sound like much is going to change while you are still with this man.
Hopefully he will get a job soon and then that is one problem solved. I would get some legal advice anyway and then at least you onow where you stand. Have you made any friends yet? I think you need to focus on yourself and getting some social supports in Oz meantime. This at least will improve your quality of life in terms of having someone to talk to and meaybe even some fun?
There are a few expat groups on line that might be a good place to start.
What an arse. Why have you stuck with him? If it's fear of being alone, bin him. You have your financial independence and children.
I'm sorry, but I only have questions.
What does he do all day?
What do his parents think?
Do you have the "go back after a year" thing in writing?
Do you know where you stand legally re coming home? I mean, have you seen a lawyer?
Sad to say, this is going to end up with you divorcing , wherever you are, because I can't see how you can come back from being treated like this. That he can be OK with the situation is beyond me.
I really feel for you too. He has pulled a bit of a blinder to get you in this position where you are now somewhere you don't want to be. If must be a big strain on your relationship, I don't blame you for feeling bitter.
However, I think if he gets a job it could improve things as you say. Good luck, fingers crossed it happens for next interview or very soon. Does he work in a good sector? Ie one with good opportunity.
What an arse. Why have you stuck with him? If it's fear of being alone, bin him. You have your financial independence and children
But then she's potentially stuck in Australia for ever, which she doesnt want.
Iris, I remember your previous thread and sorry that there's been no progress. Did you give any thought to potentially looking at a compromise posting like Singapore/ Hong Kong? There are lots of UK/Aussie families here for precisely that reason (splitting the geographical difference).
I also think spending all day job hunting is a bit of a piss-take. There just can't be that many appropriate jobs in his sector that applying for them is a FT job, and if there are, but he's not getting them, then that also says something. If he's just spending the day on Linked in and having coffees with people who might be able to help, but seemingly never can, then I think you have to put your foot down.
Sorry but this guy sounds like an utter selfish bastard. And cruel too. If he has said he won't permit you to leave with your kids he effectively has you hostage.
My concern is that somehow you feel marriage is worth this at all costs. To my mind, it isn't. You matter too.
I have no idea about the practicalities, but emotionally you need to stop thinking of this idiot as your husband. He isn't really, he's your jailer. Put yourself and your kids first, so bloody what if you promised some stuff a few years ago. Hes broken all his promises hasn't he.
He does sound awful, but I don't see why OP should just be able to clear off with the kids.
Thank you so much for replying everyone. It really helps to feel like I have someone to 'talk' to. I will look into getting legal advice so I know where I stand - suspect I can't go back with the children but it would be helpful to know. I do like where I live so could probably make a life here alone if I had to...going back for a month a year is a very good idea, and what I meant to do when we left (been difficult this year with new job). I'll go home and look into getting back for Christmas at least.
If he has said he won't permit you to leave with your kids he effectively has you hostage.
Well, yes; but by the same logic, if the OP could legally take the kids to the UK and never come back, he'd have to follow her and she'd effectively be holding him hostage.
The problem is that the OP came to Australia of her own free will. There's nothing stopping her from leaving the marriage, but she can't force her husband to go back to the UK. And she can't take the kids there without him, because there are good reasons for legally preventing a person from removing children from a country against the will of one of their parents.
All that said, he is being an arsehole and I'm really sorry you're going through this, OP. Of course he should be able to get a job in less than a year, and he should be doing the childcare and the housework while he's looking. The whole situation is miserable, and extremely unfair to you.
I think you need to see a good counsellor and a family lawyer.
I don't know what job market is like in AUS, but after being redundant here I had to drop my salary expectation by quite a lot.
If he is not prepared to do that he is in trouble.
Employment is a foot in the door, no matter salary/how high up on the greasy pole.
I hope he realizes that. And him not helping with housework whilst you do 100% of it is just ridiculous!
OP, message me if you are in WA.
Thank you so much for replying everyone. It really helps to feel like I have someone to 'talk' to. I will look into getting legal advice so I know where I stand - suspect I can't go back with the children but it would be helpful to know. I do like where I live so could probably make a life here alone if I had to...going back for a month a year is a very good idea, and what I meant to do when we left (been difficult this year with new job). I'll go home and look into getting back for Christmas at least.
Go and get legal advice now. Seriously - do it now.
You will need to explain the situation truthfully, but in full. That you are living in sub standard accomodation, that your partner is not supporting the children, that you are desperately, desperately unhappy, but your partner is refusing to even consider returning to the UK. You feel trapped because you don't know if you will be forced to leave the children.
See what they have to say, but this situation is NOT fair. Fucking Hague Convention. I can understand where one parent is simply running off with a child, but in terrible relationships it basically forces the mother to stay in a horribly abusive relationship in order not to lose her children. I knowit's not that bad for you, but still.
Go and speak to a lawyer this week though - seriously.
my dd was in the identical situation, in Canada.
she was so desperate to come back to the uk, that she took the dc on "holiday", with permission,
moved to a rented flat.
but, in no time at all the police came knocking,
now, with the hague convenction,
I am just wondering if there is an age limit that children can decide for themselves where they want to live?
so sad for you
Ooooo did they have to return?
yes, she had to return to Canada with the children.
her x was waiting at the airport and took them from her.
they went willingly, as the fear from the fathers wrath was something they had learned to comply with.
as long as they did what he dictated ( an abusive narcissistic nasty piece of work)they would be ok, but to disagree meant horrors for them.
now they are 18/19, they have returned to the uk as adults.
the sad thing is that dd is stuck in Canada, as she can't afford to return yet.
but that was why I asked how old the op's children are.
light at the end of the tunnel sort of thing
Iris, you agreed to go to Australia based on his agreement that if he didn't have a job or you were very unhappy by one year that you'd go back.
I think this is very relevant for a court case requesting that the children are allowed to leave Australia.
He could deny it, of course, but I'd use all I could if I really wanted to go back.
You need to decide if you want to stay or not and if you want to leave, then now is the time to act, as the children have only had one year to settle, and many more of the UK, so the UK is still very much their home. That is why you must act now.
Your DH sounds like an absolute twat in terms of job hunting etc - I think your marriage would be under strain no matter where you lived.
I think you are being v v bu re living in Australia. Your DH told you how important it was to him before you were married (which is good & you accepted it) - I think you'd be very unfair to turn around and break your promise now. All the reasons you cite for wanting to return to the uk (closer to family etc) are reasons he wants to be in oz for a bit! I'm afraid you need to compromise - why did you marry him knowing this was so important to him but you'd hate it?
I am australian and my DH is British - we will move back to oz one day (for a few years only) and I would HATE it if every time something went wrong in oz it was used as a stick to beat me with about moving back to the uk.
That said, he is definitely a knob - but I think you need to separate the two issues
I would suggest separating but staying there. You are basically being a single working mum anyway x
The problem here is that Iris has been true to her promise, but he hasn't.
He issued an ultimatum when it was hard for her to refuse it, then not only he didn't get a job before they moved out, but he is defaulting on his promise to go back after one year if things didn't work out.
By all means, stay in Australia, I just don't think you are unreasonable if you want to leave.
But definitely give him marching orders.
hi OP, haven't quite readvthebwholebthread but wanted to ask if you are on the Facebook stuck mums forum? There are several women in Oz and NZ in the same situation , and it's at least a valuable support. I' m in the same situation but in Europe so a bit less dramatic. but I will now be stuck here for the next 10 years at least. Am divorcing H due to similar attitudes as those you describe. all We can do is put ourselves and our DCs happiness first. How possible that is, I just don't know because it's a heartbreaking situation to be in.
This situation sounds awful.
It sounds as if he has already given up on the marriage and just wants to stay where he is, in his place of choice. I don't understand his attitude to the job search
Do you really think he would even want shared responsibility and equal time with the dc if you were to divorce? That fact that the dc are in full time childcare and he is not working at all, only job searching, shows that he is not really bothered with them imo.
Reading your posts it sounds to me as if he is no longer interested in being a husband or a father. But he does would does sound like a bastard so he would be likely to stop you from returning home with them, even if he has no interest in being a father.
I have no advice I'm sorry, but don't let your fears keep you stuck in a horrible relationship. I think being single (whilst being stuck where you are) and having some autonomy over your life and possible future relationships would be preferable to being stuck where you are and staying with such a selfish disinterested husband.
Thanks so much . All the comments have given me strength to see that I can't just put up with this behaviour. Sadly, we seemed to have a good relationship in the UK but he has really changed since we moved. I expected him to be supportive of me but he hasn't been at all - just completely given up and left me to do everything. I think he feels that he can treat me badly now because he has all the control over where we live. I will see if he sticks to his promise to go back in November if he still hasn't found a job and if not I could never trust him so I will leave - even if I have to stay here.
CommonBurdock, the stuck mums page is interesting, thanks for the tip. So sad that so many are in this situation though - and sorry to hear of your situation. Well done though for getting free and all the best.
It's a bit risky but could you threaten him with going home alone and leaving the children with him? If he can't/ won't look after them while you're at work, I doubt he'll want them full time. It might push him to agreeing for you go home with the children.
Mind you, he may realise that you'd never leave your kids, so probably a silly idea , sorry.
Do you think he is acting like he is because he is actually unhappy but to scared to admit it? I am not saying this to excuse his behaviour. He is being a shit. But I wonder if his long term dream has been shattered and now he is lost.
I'm the person your husband is in my relationship. And the fact I have pushed the move half way across the world and it is not working out how we planned ways heavily on me. I have however been able to express those feelings to my partner but I wonder if I would be behaving like a petulant child if I hadn't.
Thanks hazchem. Yes I think he is unhappy and I do think he feels somewhat guilty about the situation. I think him and his family also blame me somewhat for 'keeping' him in the UK (pretty irrational but they hav commented a few times that if he had left earlier he would be established in a job now). We used to communicate fairly well about the situation but this has become much worse. His attitude is 'I am trying to get a job but I can't, what do you expect me to do about it?' I have really for my best to make a life for us here - made friends so the children can have friends to play with, got a job, tried to get on with his family etc etc...he just seems to have accepted the situation whilst I'd like him to be looking at all options (including trying to find a job in UK or overseas if he can't find one here) and supporting me more both in terms if housework and childcare and emotionally. He is totally focused on getting a job but is obviously doing something wrong - perhaps looking at the wrong level or industry. If I ask him to help more with the house he will say that in that case it will take him longer to find a job! I'm just so frustrated with the whole thing.
He has an interview today so fingers crossed...
t just sounds like such a mess in his head. Job searching does require time and effort but you can still do other things around it.
I know you have worked really hard to make a go of it and to an outsider it sounds like he isn't.
Fingers crossed that the interview goes well today.
I really hope things pick up for you soon.
Do take legal advice. I live in Mexico, a totally different legal system but here there is way of removing parental rights, when a parent does not take responsability for their children.
You should check about legality with regards to child abduction/Hague convention. You have only been resident in Australia for a year, and were resident in the UK for a lot longer. This makes a huge difference.
Dear lord, he's saying that if he does housework it will take that much longer to find a job? WORRALOADOFSHIT.
I don't like that his parents are having a pop at you either, how very unpleasant of them. At least my MIL is helpful and nice - we've only fallen out a couple of times, once over DH's feckless brother and once over her overstepping boundaries in my home - but we still get on and she does loads to help us. Your ILs sound like they're just going to back their DS against you at every turn, which is really shit.
Sounds like he thinks he's in the catbird seat to me, that you're stuck putting up with whatever he feels like dishing out. I agree with those who say to get legal advice immediately as far as being able to return to the UK or separating and staying in AUS. IMO, you're better off without him, but that's up to you to decide for yourself.
As far as 'I'm looking, what do you want?' I'd tell him that I want him to get a job. Don't care if it's scrubbing toilets or flipping burgers or as CEO of a multinational company. Any job is better than none & if he won't take whatever he can get to start helping support his family, then he probably doesn't really want to get a job at all. The best way to get a job is to have a job, any job. It shows prospective employers that you have a good work ethic and don't mind doing anything out there to have employment.
If there is a local MN expat group I urge you to get involved with them. You need advice and support from people who may be in a similar situation.
Just dropping into say I'm sorry you are in this situation but I wanted to (unfortunately) confirm that your suspicions about having to remain in the country are likely right.
My ex left me 4 years ago (he is Australian) after I'd been living here for less than 2 years, with no career history, with a 2 year old and all family/support/network etc, in the UK (and having talked about returning to the UK). I consulting several relocation legal specialists, as my ex would not permit me to return, and the gist of it is that without documented physical or sexual abuse (and sometimes not even in those cases) there is little change of winning a case. The law over here for divorce is no fault (doesn't matter who has done what to whom) and they start at 50/50 care if a parent wants that and works backwards depending on desire, age, location, circumstances.
I'm not saying this to make you alarmed just so you can make an appropriate plan. If you want to go back to the UK, frankly you need to engineer a way to go back as a family and then leave.
It hugely hugely sucks. I won't hijack but I was left in a dreadful financial/career/housing position and could write a book about the perceived injustice of it but I do know its good to be armed with knowledge. Of course, get your own legal advise, but well meaning UK friends still ask me if I could do x or y as things are different in the UK about divorce/child support/location than over here (which is well meaning, but drives me nuts).
Feel free to PM me. BTW its nearly 4 years later and with a few claw marks where I've dug in deep, things are certainly on the up and up and I've learnt to love Australia and where I live but I would not wish the process on anyone so do get in touch if I can help.
Good luck xx
I'm not saying this to make you alarmed just so you can make an appropriate plan. If you want to go back to the UK, frankly you need to engineer a way to go back as a family and then leave
This times 100. You may need to be a bit devious - gem up on the law on the quiet, return to the UK for a family 'holiday' (borrow money off family if necessary) then don't return leaving H with the option of staying in the UK or returning to Aus' on his own.
Worry about the legal stuff after you are back in the UK after your 'extended holiday' to Aus'.
You have no property in Aus' and he has no job so it doesn't look like your permanent residence on paper this may actually help you return to the UK with the kids?........just a suggestion, get legal advice.
God downunderdolly that sounds like a nightmare. I agree that I need us to go back as a family - ironically though, if H was prepared to move back to the UK I think this would show he takes my feelings and the family's future seriously and I don't think I could cynically leave him under those circumstances. I suspect The Hague convention would still apply under a 'pretend holiday' scenario and one of my biggest fears is that I will never be able to return to the UK with the children, even for a holiday (presumably H could stop me if he thought there was a risk of me running off with them...and maybe even if there wasn't reasonable grounds go this belief?)
This is all really difficult for me to weigh up in my head but I do think H and the children need to continue to have a strong relationship - so we need to be in the same country, even if not together. It might be that I just have to get on with things here. I do like the city we live in and I could make a life here...it's just the situation and the relationship that are crap at the moment, and I feel betrayed and let down and sad for the life we uses to have...
I agree on the maintaining relationships front --I wanted ex to move back as we met, married and intended to return there (although of course he had OW so not a flyer
Depending on the 'severity' of how things are it would be good to speak to a lawyer for some hypothetical advise. If, for arguments sake, you split in AU, you could get the 'right' to travel back to the UK to maintain family relationships into your legal agreement. I have for 6 weeks a year. Less easy to do financially etc (and ex trying to change that) but that should be achievable.
I'm not in my nature a calculating, cynical person -- hence I moved to the other side of the world not even looking at what might happen if things went wrong -- and from your note about not leaving your H if he did go to the UK I imagine you are not. So I will say this cynical, calculating thing on your behalf. One things to VERY carefully consider is that if you decided that you could make a future for yourself in AU but that you would like to split, you need to consider at this point in time you would probably be liable to provide your ex-H with child support (maintenance for spouses is pretty much unheard of here, its asset split and child support). I feel uncomfortable raising it for a number of reasons but if you working and him not working is not a mutually agreed decision but has been the norm in Australia, you could end up in a 'tricky' situation. Again, hate thinking like this but you do need to have your eyes wide open before you make any decisions.
That said, it does sound like there is some hope for your relationship and I would never normally counsel being 'strategic' or 'calculated' in normal circumstances but as splitting up in AU takes a number of choices away from you which are quite material, thought it worth referencing!
so true, come back to the uk on holiday, then make the decision for the future.
it may, only just may, be the be a pivotal moment for you all.
he may realise that it would be better for him to stay here, his pride wouldn't be affected if he "agreed".
can the children be allowed to voice their preference where they want to be?
I can't see how it would work long term if you divorce and stay in oz.
As you seek legal advice from a solicitor in Aus, is there anyone who could see a solicitor in the UK on your behalf to gather information on your legal position if you should decide to go the 'UK holiday, not returning to Aus' scenario? You don't want to do that only to find that the UK legal system won't support your position.
I'm really sorry to say this, but I've just done some reading on it, and apparently Australia is one of the WORST countries when it comes to allowing re-locations.
The only thing you can do is make it clear to your husband that you will leave him, and then re-locate within Australia. The only thing to do then will be to try your hardest to build an enjoyable life for yourself there, or to grind him down until he lets you go home.
This has certainly shown me to never, ever move to Australia for any reason whatsoever.
It is a bugger, yes kaykay. They're really strict on sticking to the Hague Convention in both directions - there was a tragic story of an Australian woman married to an Italian, with 4 DDs, who came home to Australia with the girls because he was abusive. He went to the police, the Australian govt returned them to their father in Italy. It was awful - the gran went on the run with them for a while until they caught up with her, they were wrested from their mother, I think she was arrested, it was shocking. www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2212640/Four-girls-dragged-aeroplane-Australia-judge-rules-return-father-Italy.html
Sorry about the DM link! The Aussie link I found failed to work.
Thanks for all comments. We're waiting to hear the results of DH's interview - but I'm not getting hopes up too much as we've been through the cycle of hope and disappointment so often recently. We had a chat about things last night. He believes that the job thing will work out soon and we should hang on, and that we would be worse off in the UK as he would have to start the job hunt thing all over again, we would have nowhere to live, no childcare set up etc etc...and to be honest I worry that he just won't really try to get a job if we go back. I mentioned some sort of counselling and he seemed a bit shocked. We just have a very different view of where we are - to him, it is an obstacle but worth it because we are heading towards the 'dream' of being here, whilst to me I never really wanted to move from the UK but did so on the assumption that we would at least have the same standard of living. So to me, I've lost out on all fronts. Looking back, I really resent the fact that he was so unbending on the whole moving thing. It would have meant a lot if he'd said 'you know what...you are more important to me than living in Australia and we don't have to move'. I know this is probably unreasonable but I regret marrying someone who loves his country more than me.
It's more than the country though. He could do the housework and look after the kids but he doesn't. He could get any job in order to afford a nicer home but he doesn't. He's just doing next to nothing. Childcare must cost heaps - he could save that money in lieu of an income for now.
Sorry but the longer he is unemployed, the more he is seen as unemployable. He could get a job stacking shop shelves in the meantime, he could study, he could volunteer, he could do the fecking laundry.
I'd separate from him if you can and seek legal advice. You might be able to take him to court to legally relocate, especially if he provides no money of care for your kids. Separating and letting him deal with his own shit is first.
There is no starting on the job thing. Every time he applies it starts from zero. It's like playing the lottery, it doesn't matter how long he does it for, except for the worst.
Could he even think of a business, such as selling on eBay or something? Providing services, online or physically?
I think you need a plan, an ultimatum and to stick to it.
Ahhhhh, the dream. He's not doing much to work towards the dream. He's not working towards improving your lives apart from these sporadic job interviews. He's not improving your lives by scrubbing the house.
I don't understand why he can't work in Macdonalds.
You are going to get stuck here. You already seem resigned to it. He's telling you that you are better off as a family here - where you have been for over a year, living in a student house, working full time (while supporting your non-working dh) and running a house. On your own. While you miss your friends and family.
How is it better?
Dear lord, he's saying that if he does housework it will take that much longer to find a job? WORRALOADOFSHIT. m
Do get legal advice. You've been completely stitched up. Pressured into agreeing to move to Australia, and now working (and paying childcare) whilst the other parent does sod all except lethargically look for work.
I think you won't leave because you still think it might get better if he gets this job. He'll still be a thoroughly unreasonable tosser, though.
If you have to stay in Australia, so be it but at least take control of your own destiny again.
Please don't think this is a case of him loving a country more than you. It's not that at all.
He merely sees that HE is more important than anyone/anything
I think if this latest job thing fails, you have to tell him that you are going to insist that he does housework AND some childcare. You are not going to do all the work in the home, and out of the home by yourself anymore.
Start chipping away at his ivory tower. It may even motivate him to get that job.
Also start telling him that it's beyond the year he promised and that at the end of this year he will give permission for you and the dc to leave as agreed. He's more than welcome to come back with you, but a promise is a promise. It's not working atm, and he has to see that.
He's had a year-how much longer?
You've managed to find a job-what's his excuse?
Realistically, would he stop you returning with the kids even if he didn't want to?
What, so he's actively job-hunting in the evening as well? While you're doing all the housework? You're effectively a single parent can you afford to rent somewhere for you and the children? I can't think of a single reason to stay with this emotional bully at all, sorry.
Iris - I was in a similar position some years ago but I left with my child, in fact booked the flight for the next day and left DH. I had been there about a year and he never tried to get custody or make me return to Australia. I never got legal advice either. Fortunately it all worked out, I moved back to the UK, eventually got remarried, never looked back. I could never have stayed in Aus as I found it all so miserable, I missed my family, DH was just an appalling husband in Aus. We met in the UK and he was so different, we were happy there but never in Aus.
Not sure what advice I can give you as I really did leave on the spur of the moment, during a very dark period. Life is short and it is possible you can have a happier life without your pathetic DH, he is showing no evidence of support at all. Perhaps go back for a holiday to the UK for as long as you can, 6 weeks or so and perhaps plan to stay. You can turn the tables and give your DH an ultimatum to go back to the UK, get a job there. There is no reason for you to stay in Aus just because you agreed to live there before you got married and had DCs. He is not the man you married so why keep to your side of that agreement. You and your DCs deserve a happy life.
Thanks. I don't think my husband would just let me take the children and leave - I think him and his parents would pursue it legally and this may be worse for me in the long term. I'm not sure whether my chances of returning would be better if I just cut my losses now and tried to get legal permission to return, or wait 6 months and hope H agrees to go back (assuming he still doesn't have a job). I think second option probably more likely to succeed, though it does mean we've got more 'established' here. There is no way DH would go back or let me take the children if we split up whilst in Australia, and as has been pointed out (thank you), I might still get stuck here and have to pay him child support! I still hope it doesn't come to this but I cannot go on indefinitely in this situation..
I think that you are going to have more trouble going back the longer you leave it, just because he will "bed in" and refuse to move regardless.
Have you thought about seeing a solicitor just for some basic advice on your options yet?
I don't think you can tell him that you are leaving in case the tables turn against you. Go back to the UK for a holiday and stay, telling him to come and join you. He may well do that because perhaps his parents are behind him staying in Aus so he is being pulled in two directions. This way, he can "blame" you for him returning to the UK. I have a friend who stayed in Aus and she had to pay child support until her child was 18.
Turn the screws on him. No looking after him/the house beyond keeping your kids clean and safe. No funding him for anything. If you have spare, put it in a private, separate account and build a nest egg - will help with costs in the future.
Good luck op.
Just wanted to say OP, you are living my dream! I too have citizenship and an australian mother, with family there, and have married an English man who will not consider moving there. Hope all works out for you though :D
Misspilly88 - have you even read the posts! This is not living the dream.
Iris - get legal advice and soon! The longer you leave it the worse the long term consequences.
The big plus is you have a right to remain in Australia. You have also shown you are adaptable and can make friends.
He is not going to change. He sounds incredibly selfish, and believes his dreams will come true - regardless of how other people think/want.
I don't think he will agree to come to the UK. So make the best of what you have, and stop making his life easier.
I think if he can't see where you are coming from some counseling would be a really good thing if you want to maintain the relationship. at the same time I think getting some legal advice is worth while both what happens if you go, what happens if you stay and what happens if you stay and leave him.
part of the problem is him not getting a job and the market in pretty crap so there isn't much about, VIC is about to face a probable government change which holds things up like no ones business but I get the feeling if he wasn't being such a complete arse these things would be OK. It's the lack of understand and support he is giving you.
Once again I'm truely sorry.
Misspilly88 I'm in Oz, I'm the aussie. OH is working a minimum wage job not in his field, we rent a house of my parents that sometimes lets the rain in, after listening to a report on poverty on saturday morning I realise that even with OH incomeand the little bit of benefit we receive we could be classified as living below the relative poverty line. I'm thankful as fuck we aren't on the absolute poverty line and am grateful that OH and I are managing to get through this together. But suggesting either mine or Iris is leaving a dream is quite off.
He doesn't sound like he's that into the children anyway.
hazchem that sounds like our
slum house! I really hope things get better for you soon. At least it sounds like your relationship is strong - your DH sounds great.
It will get better soon My parents are fixing the flat out the back for my dad to live in part time and once that is done we will do work on the house. Yes he is quite great.
I think you need to separate the two issues in your head - leaving your husband and leaving the country.
You simply will not be permitted to leave the country permanently with your children without DH's permission, not even if you engineer a fake holiday. The longer term scenario of waiting until he sees the light, gets a job in the UK and then you refuse to come back to Australia is just fantasy land - and it also would mean knowingly living a lie for possibly several years.
Frankly though it sounds like you don't like your husband, maybe even despise him, and certainly resent him. You can't make him go back to the UK. You can only do what is best for you and the DCs. From where I'm standing, that seems to be separating from your DH and making a go of life in Australia as a single mum.
That being said, children grow up fast and when they turn 18 you and they can make their/your own decisions about where you live. Living in Australia doesn't have to be a life sentence any more.
I'd also suggest you are, possibly quite unexpectedly given all your links with and experience of Australia, suffering from culture shock. When I emigrated from Oz to the UK it took me two whole years to feel like I'd made any friends and four to feel at home. Now I love it in the UK and would never go back.
What I'm saying is that you need to separate the issues in your mind. Do you want to stay with DH, regardless of where in the world that is? If not, you don't have to. You will have to stay in Australia for a bit for your DCs, but it won't be forever and you may soon find you love it. Think of all the upsides.
I think you need to tackle the things you can change first. You have some power as the breadwinner, use it! Give him notice and tell him you're no longer paying for childcare after a certain date. Tell him you need the money to visit your family more regularly.
If he doesn't want to stay home looking after the kids he can get a job. Any job.
To be honest, it sounds like the relationship has serious problems though. How can he justify not doing housework or looking after the dc when you're working full time? If you're not able to leave Australia, and he's not willing to change then I think you should seriously consider leaving him and making a life for yourself there that you are happy with. You will be happier without all the anger and resentment even if it's not ideal for you.
Good luck op, I really feel for you.
So sorry to hear of your situation Iris. I think the best plan might be to continue being outwardly 'supportive' until Nov, so that your DH is willing to consider the holiday back to the UK.
In the meantime, get legal advice in Aus and legal advice in the UK (via Skype or webchat?).
It goes without saying that you also need to squirrel away a small fund to support yourself initially if you do split.
Is there anything you can do remotely in the UK to apparently maintain continuity or show evidence of 'plans' to return? Not sure what that might be, but maybe others could follow up on this thought. Applying for UK schools or nurseries perhaps?
Please, people, stop trying to suggest she engineer a move back to the UK with the kids. It's illegal under the Hague Convention and heavily enforced.
Thank you all. pirate panda you are right that I have the issues about my husband and the issues about australia confused in my mind. I know it must sound as though I can't stand being here but that's not it at all - I love it in some ways but it doesn't seem to offer us the way of life we had before (I know this sounds irrational but I feel 'rejected' by the country on some level!) Part of the wish to return is to do with the feeling that things are completely out of control here and I'm powerless (the rest is just a simple desire to be with my close family and friends). I don't think I despise my husband but it's true that I resent him at the moment.
Just keep in mind how you would feel if he got a job tomorrow. I know you can't wait forever, but if he could at least do childcare / housework while searching.
Would you feel less resentful? This could change, and I hope it does for you soon and he gets something.
Iris, to me - and I've been there! - your feelings of rejection by the country really do sound like culture shock. There are some really good books you can read on this which might help.
Obviously that's separate from the issues with your DH, which sound pretty bad.
Is there any counselling you could access to talk this through?
Pirate - I think people on this thread are fairly aware of the Hague Convention and no one has advised her to do anything without seeking legal advice.
I know, branching, but the first time the OP said she knew it applied to her case it should have knocked on the head all the silly posts about taking the DCs on holidays, deceiving the DH into going back to the UK, etc.
She needs more constructive and knowledgeable advice than that (probably from an Australian lawyer).
I feel for the OP and my heart sinks a little these days whenever I hear of someone getting married before emigrating (which often seems like such as romantic prospect), as I think there are risks that people just might not consider.
branchingout - actually being married in this situation doesn't mean anything at all. Even if the parents aren't married Australia would still enforce their RIDICULOUS non relocation policies. Marriage isn't important, it's the presence of children.
I genuinely believe that they will be taken to international court at someone point. What they are doing is effectively holding people hostage. It breaches Article 8 of the ECHR (granted their not in the EU).
I think op needs legal advice.
It has only been a year.
Hague convention seems to be rely on 'habitual residence', do you still have work connections here? I looked up your cloud wallaby posts, are you still on maternity leave?
The fact that you live in 'temporary' accommodation provided free by family and dh isn't settled at all and is still unemployed shows that he at least isn't settled into Australia yet.
Children being in preschool/childcare is not a good sign though, as this does show them as being settled somewhat. Also you working in australia is not good unfortunately, but on paper it only seems that you have' settled' and found work.
Australia in particular gives the same rights to defacto couples as it does married people. For example if you split when married or defactor you are entitled to half of your spouses super or pension I think is the UK term.
The visa my partner is on is partner visa we looked at getting married before the application but on looking at they were more concerned that we had joint bank accounts and joint bills.
I could write a Thesis on this topic. But here's a quick question to OP - who's more important, your parents or your kids? Or another way around, who's more important, your friends or your husband?
Answer those truthfully, and you'll know where you want to be, as I honestly don't think the location has a great deal to do with anything. Seems to me, you want to leave your hubby and come running back to Mummy and Daddy. Is that best for your kids? Where do they want to be? Where will they have the best opportunities?
And as for the job thing.... this I really do not get. We have some of the lowest unemployment figures in the world here in Aus, there are stacks of jobs, what does he do that can't get him a job here, Secretary General to the UN or something?
Eekaman it might be low but it's still no great. My brother has been looking for work in melbourne for over 12 months. Since my partner and I have arrived there has been 6 jobs in his filed advertised where we live. Australia is not currently the land of milk and honey.
The kids are too young really to have a firm opinion on where they want to live (3 and 1), but they seem happy enough here, are settled at pre-school and obviously want to be with their Dad as well as me. In terms of which country offers the best opportunities for children, I think this is equal, personally. I agree that the deciding factor on where we should live should be what's best for them.
In the end then, this comes down to job opportunities for us. DH was in banking in the UK. He worked in a particular area which should have transferable skills across the industry, but no banks in Australia carry out the very specific thing that he did which is why I think his job opportunities may be better if he looks elsewhere (London being the obvious option). Clearly we might be back in the same position if we move back but I think he should at least be looking into this.
If there have only been six jobs advertised in your field, then you expand your field! Me and my husband both got jobs within weeks of looking here in Perth, not in our exact fields and we took pay cuts (comparitively speaking to Ireland). Within six months we both got big payrises and are now much better off than we were in Ireland where our wages had been frozen and cut for years. But you've got to go for it, drooping around on the dole for a year isn't going to cut it!
FWIW I think PiratePanda has it spot on, you need to separate the issues. I think if I was in your shoes I'd stay in Oz, as I don't think the Hague convention gives you much choice. I'd ditch the deadbeat husband though, he is just a drain on your life and resources.
It has been a year, he knows his skills are not that needed. Has he even done anything to retrain and acquire new skills?
Well he's been trying to meet with people from other industries and applying for different sorts of jobs...and he's had far more chances in the last 6 months than the first...been in the last three four times since January...so on the one hand there''s some ''progress' but on the other still no job. It's not that he's lazy about finding a job (though he is about housework..)....I think it's more that he is not channelling his energies very effectively.
OH is working out of his field with a huge cut in salary, while I am a SAHM/student so I can return to the work force with better qualifications. OH has been up skilling in his field via tafe and is about to start a diploma so he has an Australian qualification in his field.
The "there is plenty of work out there" line particularly in Vic is troublesome. Where do you think all the plant workers in geelong are going to go?
I'm not saying Iris husband shouldn't get a job but I find the there is plenty of work out there a bit rubbish. The lifter and leaner dichotomy is harming Australia which once was a place of championing our poor and disadvantaged.
iris has he thought of engaging a consutlant? A friend of mine after being made redundant had a session with a consultant and found it really helpful. The aussie job market has changed in the last 10 years and application process are both very different to the UK and how they were.
If he wants Australia would he consider another area? i thought Sydney had more of banking industry. I hesitate to suggest that as I know in myself I don't want to leave where we are (although pregnancy has granted us at least anther 12 months here). I think after that then we will need to move for OH sanity.
Thanks hazchem. Yes, he has had some sessions with a consultant which he at least thought were useful. When we first moved over he did look at jobs in Sydney and we would move if a good opportunity came up, but it's harder now that I've been lucky enough to find a reasonably decent job and the children are happy in daycare (hard to get round where we are, particularly for under 3s.) I've also made a few friends and do really like the city - and I just find the thought if moving to yet another new place really hard.
When you talk about moving, do you mean back to the UK? Sorry if this is a mosey question!
Moving again within Australia is something DH suggested (vaguely) to me. The job he got, very quickly the head honchos decided he was too good for and wanted him to move to HO in Melbourne. I refused point blank to consider it - I loathe change, it was an enormous thing for me to come out here in the first place and the main reason I agreed to it was because DH would be near his mother. It therefore made fuck all sense to me to move 12h drive away from her - plus I had made a reasonable life for myself here with playgroups and so on, have friends, and absolutely could not bear the thought of starting all over again in a different city, especially with no back up at all.
DH has now got a different promotion that has allowed him to stay where we are, he has to go to Sydney more often but we can cope with that. I still get the benefit of the support network I have here (incl. MIL) and that's ok.
No probably to Melbourne. We would likely stay here and OH would start applying for work in Melbourne. I would prefer not to live in a big city and wonder if we would be better living in Ballarat but that is a pretty shit commute for OH and one of the things we like about living in Australia is not commuting.
We aren't in a position to afford to go back to the UK and my Visa has run out so would need to work out if I'm even allowed to go back. I could have applied for residency about 2 months before we left but the cost was just too much.
In someways I'd rather say move to a totally different country maybe somewhere in SE Asia then relocate in Australia but I am a bit crazy.
That is sort of how I feel about moving from here to some where else in Australia thumbwitch I mean if I have to board a plane to visit my family might as well being somewhere really exciting.
I have had quite a few friends who have been trying to get a job in Melbourne, in all sorts of professions, plus gap year students who want any job and it has virtually been impossible. The only one who got a job was an accountant. Most young people there do two degrees, one after the other because of this. Salaries are high though when you eventually get one. Your DH must be feeling very disheartened OP.
Does he have a degree? Would his employment chances improve if he furthered his education? After the banking collapse here I had quite a few friends who went back to school for a year (or 2) and got teaching credentials or certifications in other branches of finance or real estate. Most of them managed to find jobs they were satisfied with to begin building their careers back. A couple of them found that their degrees qualified them to obtain gov't jobs (secure and good benefits, if not glamourous).
He is very disheartened and I'm pretty sure he's depressed. He's been a 'successful' person all his life, found it easy to Iget good jobs etc and now doesn't. I feel unable to support him because I'm struggling so much myself and frankly I blame him for moving us here in the first place. If he were to retrain or take a much lower paid role than the one he did before I'd be fine with that but would want to do it in the UK where my job prospects are better. To be honest, I would want to see him explore opportunities in his current field in the UK before he did that.
I need to get formal legal advice but I strongly suspect my chances of taking the children back to the UK would be borderline at best - and I doubt they could give me a clear yes or no and then I'd need to spend all my savings and lots of stress in fighting the case. I think my best chance is to insist he keeps to his word to move back if he doesn't have a job by the end of the year. If he won't do that we will need to split up and I'll need to get on with my life here. But hopefully something will work out before then....
What a shitty situation. He really needs to get himself some help. I know that isn't something you can do for him. I wish I could offer more.
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