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to feel sad that I'll probably not return to the UK to live

(99 Posts)
Toadinthehole Thu 18-Apr-13 19:20:21

I left the UK for NZ a decade ago. DW is not from the UK and generally dislikes people who are (me excepted, most of the time). We have two children, born here, who go to a good school and are in zone for good secondaries. They are happy here. We have a house which, although bloody freezing in winter, is big enough for us, has a big garden and a small mortgage. I have a reasonably-paying and very secure job which doesn't require horrible hours and requires a very short commute.

..and yes I would love to leave all that and return to the UK for reasons of missing my family and simple homesickness, plus the usual things the UK offers such as history, culture etc, despite the recession and the manifold problems the UK is said to have.

I have this horrible feeling that I now have been given most of what life has to offer me, and I can see precisely where I will be in twenty years time: the children will have grown up, I will have redecorated the house, replaced the shed, I will still not quite got round to reading x,y,z books or fixed a,b or c, and will still be right here, older and a bit wrinklier - unless there is some disaster in which case things will be worse.

If we were to return to the UK: would my children go to as good a school as they have here? Probably not. Good house big garden? Probably not. Decent job? Late 30s in my profession, no better than possibly. Would DW get a job? Probably not. Would she like it back in the UK DEFINATELY NOT.

Please tell me IABU and why I should get a grip.

CaffeDoppio Thu 18-Apr-13 19:23:45

Well I do understand how you feel but speaking as someone who DID return to the UK from somewhere hot and prosperous I'll have to ask you to believe me when I say I wish I hadn't. Most of the time anyway! Yes, we have the history and Europe on the doorstep but everything else is a bit shit don't you think? I think it is! DS is counting the days till he can leave and get back to America. Can't say I blame him!

GoblinGranny Thu 18-Apr-13 19:27:42

'I can see precisely where I will be in twenty years time: the children will have grown up, I will have redecorated the house, replaced the shed, I will still not quite got round to reading x,y,z books or fixed a,b or c, and will still be right here, older and a bit wrinklier - unless there is some disaster in which case things will be worse.'

That will happen if you moved to the UK as well. smile
You need to find happiness there if you can, late 30s is a crunch time for many.

gloucestergirl Thu 18-Apr-13 19:28:34

I'll tell you YABU :-) I live abroad and have done so in a few different countries. The UK is fun, vibrate, interesting, and fascinating country. Brilliant for holidays with cheap meals and drinks and sensational scenery. BUT I couldn't face living there with a family as a working mother. Count self lucky that you are lucky enough to the opportunity to experience life outside the grind.

Jinty64 Thu 18-Apr-13 19:30:58

Being realistic I don't think you will be able to return to the UK with your family and, from what you have said, presume you don't wish to return without them.

I think you need to focus more on the things you can change and less on those you can't.

What about a holiday in the Uk or doing something else with your life or finding new hobbies in NZ.

BerthaTheBogCleaner Thu 18-Apr-13 19:32:59

It really doesn't sound as if your issue is with the country you live in.

I have this horrible feeling that I now have been given most of what life has to offer me,

Moving country is really really not the way to solve that one.

abbyfromoz Thu 18-Apr-13 19:33:55

I have the opposite problem! I want to get back to Australia at some point but finding it will be like starting a life all over again since i have spent most of my adult life in the UK and DD was born here...But we are both Australian so it's on the cards at some stage. Why can't you make a compromise with DW? go for a couple of months in the year? what' your profession?
I know if i moved back home i would miss so much about the UK...what you listed to name a few! But the grass is always greener. I can see pros and cons on both sides... That's the downside of being an expat! It's like too many brands in the supermarket and you can see the benefit of all...even though some are superior in some ways- others may be more affordable? I am probably taking that metaphor a bit far now! Lol
But i think you just need to be happy with what you have for don't know what the future holds!

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 18-Apr-13 19:34:49

I live in Canada. I'm also sad that I may not live in the UK again, for all the reasons you stated. I try to remember the bad. Public drunkenness, pride in a lack of education, terrible economy, crowded. I try not to remember the good...

gostraighttojail Thu 18-Apr-13 19:35:44

My best advice to you is to go back to the UK for a few weeks holiday. It will remind you of all the reasons you left. Happens to me every time! grin

OTheHugeManatee Thu 18-Apr-13 19:35:57

YANBU to miss your country of origin. There's nothing wrong with feeling like that; but lots of people make decisions that mean some kind of compromise and at some point the reality of having made one sacrifice or another starts to hit home.

It sounds like you and your family have a nice life where you are. To obtain that, you had to give up some things that meant a lot to you. Nothing wrong with acknowledging that and feeling a bit of yearning - the problems arise when you blow that yearning out of all proportion and either deny it until it explodes in some kind of compensatory behaviour or else results in you throwing the baby (as it were) out with the bathwater.

marjproops Thu 18-Apr-13 19:38:18

I love the UK SOOOO much. My England. the greenery, locations, heritage, history etc etc etc....

but the people spoil it for people I mean the government (surprise surprise), the hipocrisy, crime,prejudice, anti-socail behaviour, 'justice system', financial probs etc etc...but then again you get bad stuff in every country in the world. nowhere is perfect.

the thought of ever leaving here freaks me, i love it so much, yet sometimes.........desert island and DC....any sort of hunky guy......

ZZZenagain Thu 18-Apr-13 19:38:36

YANBU if it isn't the right place for you, it isn't , however many benefits you see for the dc or however much your dw loves it there. I can understand why you feel sad. It is a tricky situation to solve though, given that your dw isn't keen on Brits so she will not want to move to the UK and be surrounded by them, and the dc sound settled in good schools which is a big plus. No harm in looking at jobs and even applying but I don't see you getting your wife to leave there really.

PeppermintBark Thu 18-Apr-13 19:42:35

I don't think YABU.

We moved to the US 11 years ago, with a couple of years back in the UK in the middle, and I am just starting to come to terms with not going back to live in the UK permanently, despite all its 'faults'.

My DCs are in High School here and will be going onto college here; they will most likely stay here. My DH has no desire whatsoever to move back to the UK, and I have really struggled with this as I miss my family.

In the last few months I have started to try and have a more positive mindset about the prospect of staying here permanently, and have told DH that I would be prepared to get citizenship and retire here if we move somewhere better weather wise (we have long and very cold winters where we are). He and our children are the focus of my family, and although I miss relatives in the UK, my family is here now, IYSWIM.

North America is close enough for trips back every year, though, and we are fortunate enough to be able to afford to do so.

MunchMunch Thu 18-Apr-13 19:46:48

By the sounds of it your dw wouldnt want to come here anyway so unless your coming back on your own I don't think you will be moving!

What's your dw's problem with the uk? confused

HighJinx Thu 18-Apr-13 19:46:58

In my experience once you've lived abroad, unless you had an awful experience in either country, you never fully settle in quite the same way again.

Wherever you are you're missing something about wherever else you lived.

As for you having been given most of what life has to offer, I can't see what the UK could offer instead, except maybe a few months of excitement/upheaval as you relocated.

grovel Thu 18-Apr-13 19:48:09


NZ is a parochial place at the wrong end of the world.

Some nice views though.

grovel Thu 18-Apr-13 19:49:49

Oh no, Peppermint, you're going to end up a blue-rinsed retiree in Florida with grandchildren calling your DH "Pop".

MunchMunch Thu 18-Apr-13 19:49:53

YANBU btw.

MrsHuxtable Thu 18-Apr-13 19:50:37


The UK has nothing to offer.

grovel Thu 18-Apr-13 19:51:46

You don't get decent state funerals in NZ, MrsH.

DontmindifIdo Thu 18-Apr-13 19:53:13

Would your DW do it for a year, renting out your place in NZ on the grounds that do it soonish before your DCs start secondary schools and it can't be done? See if she hates it/you love it as much as you both think. Also, does it have to be the UK? Could it be you want to be closer to home, so mainland Europe as an option?

juneau Thu 18-Apr-13 19:53:42

Well, firstly it sounds like you're having a bit of a mid-life crisis. All this evaluating and seeing yourself in 20 years in the same place - it's normal, wherever you are. I'm going through it myself at the moment.

I think it's hard when you marry someone from somewhere else and you end up living in their country for good. My DH is from the US and when we met and could see that things could seriously go places I made it very clear that I wanted to end up in the UK. Fortunately, he felt the same, because, for me, it was a deal-breaker.

But this is your life, your DW and kids and unless you're willing to put all that on the line I think, ultimately, you're going to have to make your peace with it. If possible, choose the life you have.

The grass is always greener, but it really isn't. I've lived overseas and life is really the same, wherever you live it. Visit your family, if you miss them. Save up and come over here and take your kids to Europe. You're not consigned to living in some shit-hole somewhere - you're living in a beautiful country that many people consider to be rather like England was 50 years ago and you have fresh air, beautiful beaches, mountains, good food - celebrate what you have. And visit. And make sure your kids have UK passports so they can come over here and experience life in the UK when they get older. It will give you another reason to visit and, you never know, they might settle over here!

Toadinthehole Thu 18-Apr-13 19:55:27

Thanks everyone for replies.


I'm a lawyer.

I'm interested in what you say: the last thing I'd want to impose on my kids is the relentless desire to get back here. The truth is that I half expect them to leave for the UK or somewhere else when they grow up. The benefits of an NZ education are considerable, but they tend to tail off by university - lots and lots of people leave to find decent work.


Yes it is parochial here. Don't remind me! It doesnt' help me get a grip.

Graveyard Thu 18-Apr-13 19:55:39

Your lifestyle sounds lovely to me, but understandable to be homesick.

juneau Thu 18-Apr-13 19:55:58

P.S. Why don't you pick up one of those books now? The ones you think you'll never get around to reading.

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