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Desperate to come home but confused and need advice(19 Posts)
I know this isn't AIBU but I really need some honest advice on my situation and my expectations. This is going to be long but I'll try to keep it brief! Please bear with me as my situation is complicated.
So.. In my mid 20s (7 years go)I moved away from the uk to travel and experience life in another country. My intention was never to immigrate for good but I met a wonderful man 6 months after arriving, I had a great job, fantastic friends including my best friend from uk who married a man of this nationality and lives here too. Life was good.
This man and I had a brief wobble and split up, we then got back together. He said he was worried about me going back to the uk and therefore was there any future? I said that I loved him wanted to be with him and was very happy where I was so why would I leave?
Moving on 6 months our relationship progresses (despite being sort of long distance: 1.5 hours away) and we talk of moving in together - however he lives in a smallish town that I did not like. Him moving up to the major city where I live not an option as he has his own business which is also a family business with his brother and father.
We talk that him being so involved is short term and we'll move in a year or so.
1 week before my move date I get cold feet and wonder if I'm doing the right thing, I have an overwhelming feeling that this is not the country for me and crave the UK and my family. i then find out I'm pregnant very unexpectantly. DP absolutely delighted. I am horrified! But also know that I really want children and am with a wonderful man... After much talking through of my feelings with sister and close freinds I take the plunge - move in with DP and have baby putting homesickness feelings down to hormones.
We marry a year later. Homesickness still praying on my mind but busy with baby etc...
Now we have just had our third (and definitely last) child and still in the town I hate and I am having to come to terms with the fact that for the last 5 years I have been desperately homesick and it's gettign worse and worse. To compound the issue the business dh is in is suffering terrbily and isn't returning much and is on the brink of bancruptcy. dh is under terrible pressure to keep it afloat as he does lions share of work (another story altogether), and MIL is extremely, extremely manipulative and overbearing. Something that I have only become aware of in the last 3-4 years as she is incredibly good at being 'nice' and very very generous. she will do everything in her power to stop us leaving. btw I haven't really told dh just how unhappy I am - he knows I'm homesick but tries not to deal with it. I think deep down I am scared that if I approach the subject he will say he never wants to live in the uk and I'll be devastated.
To cut this short I desperately want to leave and come back to the uk. But I need a bit of advice about how to organise by thoughts on this:
1) Seeing as I was the one who decided to come here in the first place do I have the 'right' to change my mind? especially as he said he was nervous I would want to leave? AIBU?
2) AIBU to feel that it's our decision where to live and that PIL and DH's brother shouldn't really be able to guilt dh out of it?
3) Am I unhappy becuase life has been tough rather than actually homesick: 3 kids (who I love to bits but still tough!), recession and little money, overbearing MIL, living in city I hate, freinds leaving...
4) If DH says he doesn't want to live in the uk AIBU to try and convince him or to say that I am so unhappy he has to make a sacrifice for me for at least a couple of years?
I would love to know your thoughts - once again sorry for length
That's difficult because he never indicated he was prepared to move and you were aware of his family pressures.
Have you investigated the costs/logistics of moving back? It may be impossible anyway.
Other alternatives could be a holiday home every 2 years or move to another city?
I can imagine how hard it must be, sometimes holidays back show you how life has moved on and it's not how you remember it.
Sorry I'm not much help.
Which country are you in?
It would be very hard to get jobs over here at the moment
, that would be my main worry
I'm in the south of Italy and have been for the past 18 yrs, and much of the general stuff you describe could apply to here (and to me!)
If it is any consolation on the "friends" stuff, since dd started school I have a much more solid and permanent group of friends I think,whereas before, mixing mainly with English teachers, who came and went, it was harder.
But,to answer your specific Qs:
1. You always have the right to change your mind. Always. No matter what the situation.
2. Absoloutely it's your (you and him) decision. But,if you're in any kind ofcountry similar to where I am, then you know already that's not going to happen. They can't wipe their arses without ringing half the family first. In your situation, it's even more difficult because they work in a family business,so I'm guessing as the family is effectively making a financial contribution to your life, then they are in all likelihood going to feel they have a right to say where you live and what you do.
3. You're unhappy because of all those things, but plenty of money in your pocket eases even the worst homesickness. I think it's probably a feeling of loss of control, and also grass is greener. I spend 3 mths of each year,in the summer, in England, and I love it.I need it. It was part of a non-pre-nuptial agreement I live in the arse end ofEurope for 9mths,I ship out from end June-September. but I also spend enough time in England to recognise there is stuff I do not want me, or my child to be part of.
How much time do you spend in your own country? (am presuming it's the UK?) Could you spend more? Would that be better?
4. You are NBU to try and persuade him, no. But I doubt, given the family situation you have described, you'd succeed. Does he know how unhappy you are? You need to try and make him see that you are effectively alone. Because no matter how nice they are, his family are only going to be looking out for him. (and I'd hazard a guess to keep the grandchildren within spitting distance (the one time me and dp were seriously considering moving to the UK, he wasn't talking to his family,but it was like the jungle telegraph,we mentioned it to abrother and next minute mamma is on the phone begging for a reconciliation. Meh.
What country are you in?
My dh is well aware of how unhappy I am in Australia. It's an impossible situation to be in as you can't just march off back to the uk. We have to protect dh's career and we don't want to be apart do I am stuck really. I feel like I'm just waiting, although I have a very full life, to go back and live my own life instead if the one I have had to create through necessity.
thanks for taking the time to read and get back to me
sleepless obviously I knew he was in a family business but dh (and I) thought he'd be doing other things and have more direct involvement - so things have changed from when I first decided to stay but yes I do see the point that I kind of knew what I was getting into and now want to change things.. Hence needing advice! Would love to come back for a long holiday but just so expensive and difficult.
I am in NZ.
gumby I was/am a marketing manager so haven't got a shit show of getting ajob in the uk. But am a SAHM at the moment we both would want to continue if possible for the next 3-4 years. May have to go back depending on finances her though. DH is an engineer and job propects are reasonable I beleive but please correct me otherwise..
Bucharest Well as I mentioned we actually live in NZ... But you'd think I was married to an Italian Mamma's boy! He has come a very long way since we married and finally is coming round to the fact that his wife and kids are his immediate family and therefore we must come first. He also would very much like use to have financial indenpendence from the family. Very hard because it is us actually supporting them rather than the other way round. Which increases the pressure / guilt etc and also my resentment...
please excuse numerous typos! Just wanted to add that DD1 has started school and I have met some lovely people, I guess I just feel I don't fit and when I do come back I just feel so at home and in love with england again.
I guess I feel sad becuase I knew I wanted to come home, but decided to go against my gut feeling to do the best by my baby in not being born to a single Mum living with parents!
But now I don't have that choice...
Bucharest you have hit the nail on the head - his family are extremely protective and close ranks at the drop of a hat. Also MIL all over grandchildren like an drash and sometimes needs reminding she did not actually give birth to them and therefore is not promarly caregiver or mother of my family.
Yes I am aware that my chances are slim they would pull every trick in the book to prevent it. BUT I don't want to spend the rest of my life thinking I should have at least tried while I could - children still young, PIL not too old and infirm...
I think an extended holiday home is essential regardless of the cost to let you get a feel for how possible it is to return permanently. Could you stay with family to reduce the cost?
The expense is worth it for your sanity.
Yes I could.. I am planning a trip at the end of the year- stuff the cost!
you are really a long way from home. Boy this is tricky. I mean he is very involved with his family, a small town boy who does the main part of the work in the family firm. Even if it is faltering now, I don't see how he could easily extricate himself from the family firm. Do you think it is quite straight-forward for him to do that and for the firm to stay afloat if he does?
I think you have been there long enough to know it is not what you want but with 3 dc , I don't see how you can go back to the UK for good at this stage without him. He can refuse to let you take the dc for one thing and if he did not, you might struggle financially since he presumably could not support you and might not want to. As you say, you are a SAHM atm.
Any chance of him moving to the UK for a certain term in order for the dc to also experience life in the UK (somehow you need to sell it to him) or for work reasons and then when you are all in the UK, see how it goes? Otherwise I think I would try and go with the dc without it being an actual separation so the dc can be with and get to know their British grandparents (for instance) and you can get some work experience (another sensible plan). You can always say you will go back. If it is really that grim there for you, maybe you need to get to the UK with the dc and set yourself up and see if he follows. You have to know how you feel about the marriage though, I cannot say how that would pan out.
Has your dh ever lived in the UK? He says he doesn't want to but does he know what it would be like?
Yes it's very tricky.. Dh has lived in the uk for 3 years or so.. From what I gather he did rather well but his brother and parents struggling back in nz. He was under a lot of pressure to go back and help them out, which he did by putting money he'd saved into this business. Which was extremely small. He has now grown it to over 35 people. It's a long story but it's actually financing other ventures. I don't know all the details. It would go under without him for certain. They would have to recruit someone in his place as they have no clue how to do his job.
Without sounding too defensive zzz he absolutely could support me and out family, but it's whether there are jobs available...
Yes small town family, but again without sounding defensive, dh and his eldest bro are educated, well travelled etc.. Just the pil and other bro who are a bit bumpkinny IFSWIM...
I think if I could sell the uk I could convince him but what if it's a big mistake? He hates it? Hates his job? I believe he says he doesn't want to go back because he is well aware of the family pressures and is avoiding.
Just writing this, it's apparent I need to talk to him and clear up exactly what his view is on it...
It is a very difficult situation, but if you feel so strongly about wanting to go back then I would start working on a plan. It won't be overnight obviously. An extended Holiday in the UK is a good start. Do you have family/friends in the UK who can help you? I am thinking about jobs/accommodation/schools. Do you have an idea where in the UK you would want to live? I think I would first try to work out things a bit more before discussing in detail with your husband. In that way, you might be able to address some of his concerns better.
It may be more difficult to get a job now, but it is definitely not impossible. Would you work or your DH or both? Try to see who may be able to help you finding jobs. Same for accommodation (if you roughly know where you want to go to because costs of commuting can be very high) and who could help you find schools.
IT CAN BE DONE, so don't despair. Start making a list of the key things you need to find out and who you could ask to help you.
Also look at the bright side: you all speak English, so no need to learn languages etc. that makes it already a lot easier to move to the UK compared with many other moves to other countries.
Your husband has already worked here, that will probably help as well. If they offered him work then, there probably are still opportunities around.
To make it work for your husband, you could agree that once you have settled here you have an extended Holiday in New Zealand once a year or every other year with you going one year and his family coming over the other year.
It would be easier to make the move now, while your kids are still small. When they start having their own lives it will be much harder for you all.
Try to work on a plan so that there is something in it for all of you. It will feel less that there is lots of family upheaval just for you, it becomes more a family thing.
His family business is not going well, so he would need to explore other opportunities anyway, so why not explore them in the UK where there will be just because of its size more opportunities (and challenges, but these are there to be overcome, you can do that by working as a team).
Do you have any idea about how the kids would feel about it? How does education and job prospects for them in New Zealand compare with the UK? Could you say that it would be better for them in the medium to long term?
These are just some ideas. As you worked in marketing, you probably put project plans together. See this as your project. Put a plan together, identify all/most of the issues and put a plan together to address them.
Can I ask which town it is?
Dikkers Thank you for the great advice! Quite strange strange actually as I had been thinking I need to approach in a different way. I love dh and want to be with him- he is a fab dad and h. Yes things have been strained via of the family business etc but I want to be with him and do this as a team. You are right. I cannot just say 'i want us all to upsticks and go back to uk'.. Quite rightly he will want to know where, what jobs, schools houses etc etc.. I don't want to bully him into something and I want him to be as happy as possible.
DCs are very young (10 weeks, 2 and 5) 5yo dd would be most effected due to school changes.. Schools would therefore be v important.
I have to 'sell' this to dh and provide a very convincing, well planned proposal like you say. One that will also deflect all of pil's objections (hopefully)..
Yes I have a wonderful family and friends back in the uk who would be willing to help me plan.
If I don't take action now for a move in the next 18 months then it really could be too late.. And if in the planning I find it wouldn't be better for our family to go, then so be it. And I can try and accept it and make the best of life here.
It will take up quite a lot of your time and energy to put all this together, but it is well worth doing if happiness is at stake! Don't put yourself under unnecessary pressure by thinking that if you don't pull it off in 18 months it will be too late. I don't think so, some things might be (slightly) more difficult, e.g. your eldest might be slightly more settled and your husband's business might either have picked up or he has started to do something different altogether (and possibly something he enjoys), but even then it will still be possible. I have always understood that international moves become really hard when the kids are teenagers and may then result in a lot of resentment, you have a long time to go yet.
My final bit of advice would be: draw up a proper project plan (it is a big project after all) with a proper timeline and milestones. You don't have to stick rigidly to it, you can change things based on new information you find out but it will give you (and ultimately your whole family) some structure. Once you have an idea about some of the key issues: housing, schools and jobs, I would start discussing it with your DH because you don't want to confront him with what he may perceive as a Fait Accomplis (e.g. this is the deal, everything has already been arranged) - it is important that he has his own say. However, it is much easier to discuss these things if you have a clear structure. Get some key people in the UK involved sooner rather than later I would say, but do make sure they leave it to you to breach it with your DH and your kids. They need to understand how you are going to approach things.
I think you can and will pull it off. Good luck.
Thanks so much for the great advice - I am new to MN (recommended by my sister in the uk) and I feel so much better now I've discovered what a support it can be (an also honest), I guess this is what MN is all about!
I've enlisted support from my sisters to start with and will start on the project plan right now! Yes I agree, actually it will be good to start involving dh along the way as I gather info... Most men like to feel like they've made some of the decision themselves rather than be told what to do by dw and bulldozed.. Especially strong-minded Kiwis!
I will update how I'm getting on on here and seek support from potential challenges so keep watching if you can be bothered have time..
Wish me luck!!
Kids in front of video (i know, i know...) off to get strong coffee and get busy
You are so right about men having to feel like they have made the decision themselves. I know I worked on Dh for years to move home, finally the oldest son went without us now Ds 2 is going this summer and Dh got deathly sick last year and realized we should live nearer to our family, not here with just him, me and youngest Dd. So he came to a great realization that we should move! Ha, it works, keep working on him and take control our your family unit from the overbearing MIL (mine was a pain then Dh got sick of her and cut her off, so she moved to another state) Your Dh will come around. We are planning our move and I hope we are back in UK next Spring.