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want to leave as hate it here so much, what about dh?

(70 Posts)
icecreameveryday Sun 12-Jun-11 07:14:00

does anyone live with the dc'c in uk or europe as they hate the country of dh work so much? is it unusual? i hate it here and have cried nearly every day since arrival 2 ys ago. i have a group of friends, but its so transient and i feel like life is passing me by. i hate the bugs here, the poverty, stray animals dumped by expats, everything. i hate that my dc's are here and how it is for them, ie too hot to go outside, always ill ffrom dust, just malls.

my dh contract is due to be renewed and its likely he will accept as he earns so much more than in europe, and the crisis. i want to leave and dh doesn't to go and do same job for less money, which is fair enough, but i don't see why i should have to live here as well, its my life too, and the kids. he is always at work so only sees them w/e and an hour a day max. he works evenings as well, always has.

i keep picking arguements and want to split if we have to stay, he says i am selfish, i don't know, i just can't bear it.

has anyone been in this position? what did you do?

wordsonapage Sun 12-Jun-11 07:30:22

Difficult one ...if you,ve not settled after two years then tbh I think you,ve given it a bloody good ago of it. Are you in the ME? this time if year it's so. Hot I,m not surprised there arn,t more divorces ! Are you going back for the summer, and is dh going back with you?

wordsonapage Sun 12-Jun-11 07:37:07

Apologies for terrible typing on new iPad
I know of two trailing spouses who are in the same boat, one is going back to England in July with the children and not returning... Dh is not happy but won't move back and intends to visit every few months !!I can't see it ending happily. The other couple are at a total stalemate and lord knows what will happen.
Sorry it's not a very upbeat message.

savoycabbage Sun 12-Jun-11 07:42:49

I could have written that! We are in Australia though. We have been here two and a half years and I am still unhappy. I cry all the time. My husband took another job after two years so I felt even more stuck.

I too feel like my life is passing me by.
Like I am living the wring life, not my own. My children are getting older and more settled. My family back home is becoming less and less part of our lives.

roundthehouses Sun 12-Jun-11 07:48:49

No experience myself but my mum tolerated living for about 15 years in a place she didn´t want to be because it was where my dad´s job was and they wanted us to be settled and not shifted around. She has been very depressed for a very long time and most definitely feels her life has passed her by. It is really very sad.

I understand your dh but your happiness is also a very important part of the equation, or should be. It is hard to comment more without knowing you or your relationship but I do feel your happiness must be given weight, there is NOTHING selfish about that.

ajandjjmum Sun 12-Jun-11 07:56:13

It must be very hard for you. I would think that you need to find a compromise if your relationship is to survive. Could you move back 'home' and visit your DH during school holidays, when maybe he could work slightly less hours?

I think you've given it a very fair shot.

celadon Sun 12-Jun-11 08:05:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tigerfrog Sun 12-Jun-11 09:25:26

I was in exactly the same position four months ago. We made the decision that the girls and i should return back to our original country whilst my husband continues where he is. It has been the best decision we have made for everyone. The girls and I are are happy back in our own house, old school, old job and old friends back again. My husband has been released from a lot of guilt I think as well. He can now travel when he has too, work when he wants to , spend an hour on the phone at 10 oclock at night if he wants to without me glaring at him!!! He enjoys his job, enjoys the status and the tax free money!! We have also seen him more in the last four months than we would of if we had stayed - he was always at work!!!! The girls don't seem to have been affected as he was always at work anyway. Its your life as well. Its not always the easiest option as you have to do everythign in the home on your own - from every child related incident to working out why the toilet is leaking!! You have to do what is right for you and your children!!

geraldinetheluckygoat Sun 12-Jun-11 09:34:25

I think if you have cried every day for two years, that is no way to live life and you are right to want to move or change the situation

. If there is no way you can make life better there (and it sounds like you have made an effort to make friends and give it a good go there) then I think you are right to think about coming back.

Your dh might be happy, but if you are very unhappy, I would question how fair it is that he just carries on regardless. To carry on being so unhappy day in day out is not good for you or the kids, I wish you ever luck in whatever you decide to do and hope you will soon be feeling better.

kreecherlivesupstairs Sun 12-Jun-11 09:35:45

Me and DD are moving to England in August. DH will stay on here and fly to see us at weekends.
You sound as though you are in the ME somewhere so visiting would be pretty difficult.
IMO, you need to sit down and calmy and rationally (not always easy) discuss how you can make your life work.
Is it possible to tell him that you'll give it another year or two and then you want the whole family to go somewhere else?

juneau Sun 12-Jun-11 11:32:41

How awful for you. I do understand (kind of), as we lived OS for six years, but we were in the US and once I'd adjusted to being there I was pretty happy and had a great circle of friends who I still miss after 18 months back in the UK. I agree with kreecher that you need to sit down with your DH and have a reasoned discussion. Him just renewing his contract because of the money is ignoring your unhappiness and IMO unreasonable. You've given this a good go already and are really unhappy and he needs to acknowledge that and accept that if your marriage is to work then a time-frame for leaving needs to be agreed.

If you leave will he be unemployed or could he transfer back to the UK office (if one exists)? Could he maybe start applying for jobs back in the UK and test the waters? Could you speak to some head hunters back here to get a feel for how employable he would be, if he's unwilling to do it?

The bottom line is that you two need to start behaving as a team. He's being utterly selfish at the moment and shouldn't, therefore, be surprised that you're talking about returning without him. A marriage doesn't work when one person is desperately unhappy and he needs to understand that. He can't expect you to be supportive of his job if he isn't supportive of your desire to return home.

icecreameveryday Sun 12-Jun-11 12:10:06

thx for messages, we are in the middle east. its so hot and dusty, but we get away every summer, usually staying with ils, which tbh, although they make us v welcome and i like them, living here then spending summer of 2 months with them, then back here depresses me. its not that i miss family (none to speak of) or friends as they are scattered about the UK and europe so its mostly email anyway- its just living somewhere where i/we can do normal things, things taken for granted like take the baby out for a walk in the pram instead of school then endless dvd's until its a bit cooler still humid then swim, - by which time its bedtime anyway for the dc's. i feel like i am in an open prison.

my dh thinks that life here is not what he wants for the family, but thinks we should stick together and we are on the same side- we did have 2 months on our own in the uk recently due to the troubles here, and it was the best time ever tbh, even when it rained. dh had to stay here alone and he hated it. its true our marriage in in trouble as i complain all the time, i even wake up, realise where i am and start to cry, i can't help it. i try to cheer up, then something else happens, like a major dust storm and we can't leave the house, dc's go crazy indoors and dh pushes off to work.

this is such a long post but i feel so torn, i want to be with him, but not at this price, but its not fair to take the dc;s away from him. to go to the uk means a drop in salary, which i am ok with, even if i have to work, which he uses as a threat. i just see my life stretching ahead in this place, and its not worth it.

i just go round and round in circles. if i leave without him, what life is that for us? and another year, then another. and meanwhile the dc's grow up and think this way of life is ok. they have no idea. dh says they are happy, which they are, but its only because they don't know what it could be like (although they loved our time in the UK, outside all day playing)

modernmillie Sun 12-Jun-11 17:50:10

Interesting because this all relates to my thread further down about surviving with DC's in the UK whilke your DH continues to work abroad. We didn't leave because we hated it (although I can relate to everything about the ME in summer) but because DH thought his job was on the line and we worried about schooling issues for our exam year kids if we stayed on and then had to leave at a difficult time.

Nearly a year on it is the impact of splitting the family which is the biggest worry, I feel we are in a bit of a limbo. We see DH every 4-6 weeks for a long w/e which is very pressured so not at all ideal!

If your DCs are still young I would think carefully and veer towards keeping the family together.

MumblingRagDoll Sun 12-Jun-11 18:00:48

Do as YOU you say, it is your life. You do not want to get to 75 and think....damn...I should have been braver. I am speakin from DH got job abroad even though I said I would not live there...he went (thinking I would cave in) but I knew th country he went to well and have lived there in the past....I stuck to my guns and he returned after ten months.

icecreameveryday Sun 12-Jun-11 20:25:54

thanks to you all... dh is back soon so we are going to have another chat and i think i will get it right. i want to keep us together and if we can fix a definite date of leaving for all of us or he stays and comes home for good say in a year, i guess that will be best. i can't bear the tunnel with no light at the end. just hope i get this right as if i make us leave and there is no job/money then i will be very guilty- and this job will never come up again for him.

icecreameveryday Mon 13-Jun-11 06:46:18

well dh came home blind drunk in the early hours again. just want to leave him in this awful place and get our (me and dcs) out. he wouln't answer his phone. he will be all contrite until the next time. but this means the talk is put off, or he will just shout at me and rell me how hard he works for the family and how i am never happy. i told him last time, lets separate and see how it goes as i hate this drunkeness every so often as well as having to live here. why do men do this? i have never gone out leaving my family behind, got so drunk i can;'t speak and been so careless with our relationship.

wordsonapage, why won't the husbands leave? is it money?

kreecherlivesupstairs Mon 13-Jun-11 06:54:08

I feel very sorry for you. I hadn't realised that your DH was a drinker on top of it all. You sound, if you don't mind me saying, depressed.
Honestly, you need to take the bull by the horns and have THE talk.
If you think your marriage is salvagable that is. A year apart won't kill you. I can vouch for that. We've done it in the past - althought pre DD.
Good luck.

tigerfrog Mon 13-Jun-11 11:01:05

They do it to avoid facing up to the situation in front of them!!! Leaving does not mean the end of the marriage. Take it one step at a time. Get yourself and your children back to a safe happy place first. Make sure your DH knows you are leaving the country and not him. Then deal with the marriage. Once you are happy and settled back in a country that you feel comfortable in you will be able to see everything else so much clearer. You can then decide with a clear head how to work on your relationship. I wish you all the luck in the world.

icecreameveryday Mon 13-Jun-11 12:07:53

well, he started off with the usual stuff about how we will end up in th uk with no home, no job, no money, will resign today and see how i like that and how i don't realise how hard he works for us and how he hates it here too.

he then backed down and said we would leave but not sure when, and as long as i realise it will be my fault there are no holidays. no money, and he will have to take a much worse job with same hours but less money.

kreecher, i suffer from anxiety attacks which started at xmas, doc said i ought to leave, but obviously that is not an option for some expat wives.
there is no point me going back to doc as what can they do, and dh says not to, its just me being dramatic and i should make the best of it. i have tried and i still can't think, after 2 years, of anything i like here.

wordsonapage Mon 13-Jun-11 12:09:01

yy to the money (and the accompanying lifestyle/maid blah blah blah)

Agree you need "the talk" as it doesn't sound like its ever going to work with you still here (ME) iykwim

wordsonapage Mon 13-Jun-11 12:12:28

soz x post

eeek the blame stuff isn't good

Is there nothing you like about where you live ?

[clutching at straws)

Are you in Dubai .. ?

QuintessentialShadow Mon 13-Jun-11 12:14:10

Your husbands life will be pretty much the same wherever you live. He will get up in the morning, have breakfast, go to work, spend a productive day in work, come home, go to sleep etc. It wont change, whether he lives in the uk, or on the moon.

It is YOU and the kids who have to cope with every day life, in the places he chooses to work.

In fact, for that reason, YOU should have a major say in where you decide to live, as where you actually live has the greatest impact on you.

When we lived in India, dhs life was not that different to life in London. The biggest difference was that he traveled by rickshaw, not car, and went for a run in Lal Bagh botanic gardens, rather than Richmond park.
I had the drudgery of every day life, shopping and looking after a child, in Bangalore, rather than London. I did not enjoy that at all.

QuintessentialShadow Mon 13-Jun-11 12:14:37

I should add, would you want to, or be able to work, if you were to return home?

Triphop Mon 13-Jun-11 12:34:01

I've done several stretches of 3-4 years abroad with DH, and I understand what you're saying (though I've been lucky and loved everywhere we've lived).

Why do the men want to stay? For one thing, as Quint said, their lives are very constant, grounded in work. Two, the money. Three, and most importantly I think, the status. Expats don't have to live by the rules of most normal humans (money's tax free, rule of law either doesn't apply or applies differently, rules of society don't apply so much to the strange foreign folk, etc). You have a high-status, well-paid job in a country that lets you behave how you want to, you've got a 1950s housewife set-up at home, and a even a maid to clean up after you. Who wants to give it up?

Marriage is compromise, wherever you live. You need to be able to sit down and hammer out a negotiated settlement. If his attitude is, hey, I'm happy here, so suck it up - then I think you'll be questioning if this marriage is worth it. He needs to acknowledge the incontrovertible fact of your unhappiness, and come up with a solution that you can both live with.

If he won't compromise, and won't understand what this life is for you, then you should consider packing up and taking the children back to the UK.

acatcalledbob Mon 13-Jun-11 12:49:23

Quint, you are so right that it's the trailing spouses that deal with the biggest impact - the partners who work go from air con home to air con car to air con office - my DH could be in the Middle East, Far East, South America and he wouldn't notice the difference.

Icecream, I have been an expat for longer than I have lived in the UK and love it but your post really touched me. You sound so down, I really hope you and your DH can find a solution to this incredibly rough patch. Inevitably you will but it will take time and you won't be heading back to the UK tomorrow. In the meantime, have you considered some sort of distraction from the day to day life that's getting you down? How about study? Voluntary work? Paid (part time) employment? If you're busy (I do voluntary work, freelance paid work and have 2 DDs), it can make the days whizz past.

How old are your DCs? You say they are happy living abroad - do you know how they would accept moving to a different country (because after 2 years, I imagine the middle east is home to them) and leaving their dad? Have they still got friends in the UK?

Hope you're feeling a little better as each day brings you closer to whatever solution will be agreed on.

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