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Poor DB in OZ, SIL doesnt want to be there. (Long)

(56 Posts)
ShamelessHussey Mon 10-Jun-13 11:09:57

Have just had a distressing call with my DB.
He and SIL and kids moved to Oz a couple of years ago from Ireland.
He had been unemployed for 5 yrs, and got a fantastic offer, so they moved.
There have been ups and downs in their relationship over the years, (she had quite bad pnd after 2 of the kids.)
She left him a couple of times and went home to her parents. A lot of this was while she was ill, though I am sure my DB is not that easy to live with either.
Anyway, they are on a 457 visa, and he wants to apply for permanent residency. On his own, he doesnt have enough points, (he is 45, she is 43) but with her qualifications, he has been advised by a migration agent that they stand a much better chance.
She has refused to apply with him. She is now saying that she needs to go back to Ireland. She has accused him of tricking her to get her to go to OZ. She wont believe him that PR just means they can stay forever if they want to, not that they have to stay forever. Aything he tries to explain with regards to situation in Ireland vs Oz she says he is lying.

He is trying to do whats best for the family.That they will have more options if they get PR. She has said she needs to go back to look after herself.
They have plenty of money, have cleared the debt they had before they left, and are saving. They have a good standard of living. He is well qualified but there are no jobs for him in Ireland in his area.
They would have no home to go back to.

She said they can live with her parents. Her parents dont like him, partly because of some of the insane stuff she said when they were having problems. She has actually told me that she said a lot of things that werent true because she was so angry with him. So I know this is not all me being biased.

One of their children is disabled, they get a hell of a lot more services in Oz than they would get in Ireland. Obviously they pay for it, but those services are being withdrawn or are already unavailable in Ireland.

I am sure it is very hard for her, being away from home, but surely you do the best you can for your kids, for your family. None of her immediate family have been over to visit. I have been a couple of times. She seems to have a good social circle. She seems to have a good network set up. Obviosuly thats not the same as family though.

He thinks she is getting sick again. He is afraid to say anything about it to her though.

He has suggested she go home for a holiday. He said he would organise a live in helper for the kids for while she was away. She refused.
He suggested they move out of the tiny town they are currently living in, to somewhere with a bit more going on. She refused.
He has told me they dont ever go out without the kids, because whatever he suggests, she refuses.

If she is getting sick, I am sure its related to being so far away from home. But if they go home, he will be unemployed and they will have no where to live. I cant see how that can be better.

I dont know what to suggest to him. I don't have any answers but have told him I am on the end of the phone for him.

yetanotherworry Tue 11-Jun-13 12:24:04

I have been in your sil's situation, living in Oz on a 457 visa. DH wanted to stay and I was so unhappy there that I refused to talk about (and I am not prone to depression). As far as I was concerned I was very unhappy and needed to get back to the UK to find my happy self again. We were at the stage of our relationship where I would have moved back on my own without him. Dh told me to come back to the UK for a few weeks for a holiday but I knew that if I did that then I would never return. Part of the problem was that I felt I had no control over my life - I had suddenly become completely dependent on DH and the limitations of the 457 visa. I was also worried about the fact that I could end being in a situation where DH had rights to be in Oz, I didn't and I was therefore dependent on DH's 'permission' to leave the country with our children (children are considered to be ordinarily resident in Oz even on 457 visa). Whilst Dh knew I was unhappy, he didn't realise how badly I felt and I know all his colleagues thought I was just being miserable, but I genuinely could not see a future for myself there.

Luckily Dh agreed to move back to the UK, and a few months later we returned to Oz where I had a completely different experience.

ShamelessHussey Tue 11-Jun-13 12:32:12

Thanks again for your comments.

I dont know exactly what is going to happen. I assure you he is listening to her.
I've spoken to him this morning, and came off the phone almost in tears myself.
There is no compromise as far as SIL is concerned, all she wants is to go home. She wont listen to any suggestions of moving anywhere else, even somewhere nearer so she could get home more often.
She wants to make a plan to go home next year, she doesnt want to wait another 2 yrs (and if thats how it goes, he is not going to stop her) so that will leave him on his own for a year, without the kids while he works out his contract.

There won't be any work in Ireland, so where ever he goes, he will be living in a different country to the kids. And he wants and needs to support the family. And he also wants to be with the kids. God knows what this will do to their relationship, but I suspect they won't have one if he doesnt go with what she needs.

I'm going to drop out of this thread now.
Thanks again for all the perspectives.

cjel Tue 11-Jun-13 12:34:49

hope it all works out for themxx

SquinkiesRule Thu 13-Jun-13 04:28:06

Poor woman, I doubt I'd want PR if I was her either, once they get it, he can stop her taking the kids to Ireland and thus making her stay in her depression, it's very hard being so far from your support network.
I am only 5000 miles away but with no way of visiting it may as well be OZ. I was in that deep hole once, it feel hopeless and so awful, I felt like I was wasting my childrens childhood moping about. I had to pull it together and enjoy them.
We are moving home, but I told Dh I was going once the boys finished high school with or without him (he's coming) I would rather a tiny flat and low income than a big shiney house in the California sunshine so I could live at home. He needs to let her go home before he damages his marriage forever.

SavoyCabbage Fri 14-Jun-13 09:22:45

I don't blame her either. It's just another step in the direction of staying here forever, which she doesn't want to do.

Like Scone, my dh wants to be here and I don't. And also like Scone I'm going to go back to England without him.

Everything just seems to be so pointless when you are living a life that you feel that you shouldn't be living. You don't necessarily want to go out. I too have a great social circle, as I've worked at it. But none of them know who Bagpuss is. We don't have a shared history or culture. It is easy to feel left out of things when you are an immigrant and that can be exhausting.

It is likely that she doesn't feel like its a better life and just wants to get back to her own life. Or maybe that's just me!

mummytime Fri 14-Jun-13 09:54:50

Sorry OP but if it was your SIL posting in Relationships then everyone would be suggesting she get herself and her children back home ASAP.

She went to Oz with a promise they would return home after a set time/if she was unhappy.
She is unhappy and wants to go home.
He is now putting pressure on her to apply for 457, ignoring that she doesn't want to stay.
If she applies for 457 then they split, the children will almost certainly have to stay in Oz. So she will be trapped there.
When she says no, he starts to bring up her past PND. He doesn't listen but starts to say she isn't making sense. He tells everyone "he is worried she is getting ill again". That could well be gaslighting by the way, and if not his refusal to listen to her could be the cause of her getting ill.
He then suggests she make a trip home without the children.

To be honest I would be encouraging her to take the kids and go home ASAP. She has a better chance of doing this now when they are all on a temporary visa. She could well recover in once she gets home.

I know you are the sister, but you don't know what is really going on, and even you admit "I am sure my DB isn't that easy to live with".

mummytime Fri 14-Jun-13 09:57:21

Why can't your DB retrain for some job there is in Ireland?

SconeInSixtySeconds Fri 14-Jun-13 10:27:54

Savoy I can't tell you how lovely it is to be back - even with all the crap around our relationship - being home is like putting on your favourite slippers and curling up under a familiar blanket.

I have been back nearly six months and still get a feeling of euphoria when I go to the next town for a walk down the high street. Seeing bumblebees made me cry (in a good way)!

Dh is still surprised I don't miss Australia. I miss some of the people I met, but not the place. This is my home.

Longdistance Fri 14-Jun-13 12:49:54

I'm so jealous of you Scone envy

Shamless I'm like your sil, and it's fucking lonely and miserable place to be. We are on a 457 visa, and on a 'see how we go' basis. I hate it, dh likes it. It is stressful too.

My dh is putting pressure on me constantly. He put pressure on me to move, with decisions made for me like cjel has already pointed out I could kiss her for being right My car was even chosen for me ffs!!! I'm driving a car I hate, no one has ever chosen a car for me.

I can tell dh til I'm blue in the face that I hate it here. He still doesn't listen.

I gave up my job of 15 years for this move, and pressure, and I resent my dh immensely. My ife s going nowhere here.

The only thing keeping me going is knowing that I am planning to leave with or without him!

yetanotherworry Fri 14-Jun-13 13:02:19

Justa quick warning to people planning on separating whilst on a 457. If this happens, if you are the secondary applicant you are legally obliged to inform DIAC and leave the country. However, because your children are also secondary applicants but still linked to the primary applicant they do not have to leave the country. I had a friend this happened to - she ended up getting permission to remain with her children but had to apply for PR. She is still there 3 years later and still very unhappy about being forced to live in a country where she doesn't want to be. Its a very difficult situation.

cjel Fri 14-Jun-13 22:37:33

long distance so sorry to hear you are in that situation. How soon are you able to leave?

Longdistance Fri 14-Jun-13 23:27:36

When my broken leg is fixed. I'm not allowed to fly at the minute as I've had surgery on it, and need some physio.
Don't think I'll be able to do the flights back alone with dds 2 and 4. I did last year, but need to get back on my feet so's to speak.
Having an accident and very little help and support has brought it back to me, that really, I haven't a fucking clue why I'm here?????

cjel Fri 14-Jun-13 23:56:51

Hope your healing goes smoothly and you get back as soon as you

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sat 15-Jun-13 09:11:50

This is one of these situations where both outcomes are equally likely to be miserable for all concerned. It's not fair of him to expect her to stay in Australia against her wishes but at the same time it's not fair of her to expect him to live on his own in the Middle East so she can move back to an economically ruined Ireland and be financially supported by him. If I were him I'd probably take a hard look at whether the marriage could survive the move back. If not, I'd probably stay and let her move back. Her comments re him living in the Middle East suggest she doesn't really expect the relationship to last.

cjel Sat 15-Jun-13 10:34:45

I wouldn't say they suggest that, I'd say they suggest she is so desperate that she will do anything to change it. she has told him , he isn't understanding her desperation, he keeps using financial reasons to stay so she is at least trying to come up with a financial situation for him.

Vitvale Tue 18-Jun-13 15:22:52

This thread sums up my problem. I am just like the OP's SIL. Glad I'm not alone. Go home or stay? I am the only one who wants to go. I am not unaware of the economic problems back home and how difficult moving will be. I have given it 11 years but I don't see a future here for me or our kids. Plus the economy in this Mediterranean country is worse than the one at home. confused. DP mostly refuses to discuss it or if he does he agrees to going home but then does nothing to find a job and a few weeks later talks about buying a place here and generally talking like we are staying here for ever......should I post this in Relationships?

cjel Tue 18-Jun-13 20:21:38

yes i'd move it!

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Wed 19-Jun-13 06:13:55

Cjel I understand that, but the issue is that stay or go, the relationship most probably won't survive, so if I were him, that is how I would assess it. Option 1: She'll be back in Ireland, looking after 3+ (not sure qite how many) kids, including one with SN, on her own, seeing him around once a month. Very few people weekly commute from the ME, especially as the weekends dont line up (Thurs/Fri or Fri/Sat vs. Sat/Sun). Option 2: they're all back in Ireland living on benefits. Neither is conducive to the survival of an already rocky relationship.

cjel Wed 19-Jun-13 09:36:25

whats the point of having money if you are living like you are dead? if they can't make the realationship work whatever their situation then why should she waste her life(this is not a dress rehersal) on being that miserable, not seeing her friends and family just so her dh has the life he wants?

HappyAsASandboy Wed 19-Jun-13 09:56:58

I think I would advise your brother to separate the PR issue and the 'stay or go' issue.

If they apply for PR, then they will always have the option of living in Australia (either separately or together). Would their children also get that right? If so, it would seem daft to me not to get them that possibility for their future if it is just a case of applying for it.

The 'stay or go' issue is separate IMO. A miserable mum is no basis for a happy family, so if she's sure she wants to leave Austrailia then I think your Brother has to work on that with her. Is it Australia she doesn't like? Or the fact it's not Ireland? Or the distance from her family? If its the distance, then how far would be too far?

I agree that moving from an indepedant life with own house, job and family to living in his MIL spare room with no job, no house and fitting in with someone else's family would be a BIG pill for your brother to swallow. Particularly because with no job, he won't have a way to ever get out of there! I wouldn't make such a move.

echt Wed 19-Jun-13 20:06:45

Sorry you're going to leave, Savoy, I remember you coming to Australia on Living Overseas. I hope it turns out well for you. Happy

lisianthus Thu 20-Jun-13 13:04:11

Why are they assuming that the children can't stay with him, though? It sounds as if the children are in a great place for them, with really good SN provision and so on. Why is it your DB that has to lose his family if it is your SIL that wants to leave? It sounds from the OP's last post that she won't even entertain a solution that allows him to be within a relatively short commute of the children. That's really unfair. (Clearly your SIL is in a terrible situation herself and there isn't going to be a solution which makes everyone happy, but the children shouldn't have to lose out as well, which from what SummerRain is saying re cuts in services, they will.)

What I am getting at here is that they don't even seem to have considered having the children live with their father - why not?

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Fri 21-Jun-13 11:26:15

cjel I'm not saying she should stay. He should stay in Oz. She should go home. There's no point in him going home to Ireland because it's bankrupt. However, I do think the fact that she wont entertain anything other than Ireland is rather short sighted when she considers her children's futures. It's all very well saying money isnt important, but it is. Most people who are poor are miserable. Having money wont make you happy but it does remove something that makes many people very stressed and miserable.

cjel Fri 21-Jun-13 21:15:13

I don't think she will be in a fit state to choose anything other than home. when she has a bit of control back over her life who knows what she will choose?

yetanotherworry Fri 21-Jun-13 22:14:52

RichMan, when I was in this situation I did not think rationally. All I knew was that I had to get back home again with my kids. Money didn't matter! I remember my PIL coming to visit and them asking what was wrong with me because I am normally one of the most rational laid-back people possible.
I was back home for about 3 months before I could think clearly again and we did end up going back to Oz again.

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