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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 Obviously they pay for it, but those services are being withdrawn or are already unavailable in Ireland.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.

JustinBsMum Sun 30-Jun-13 22:24:51

cjel said *Just want to say that depression is quite often internalised anger. It may be that she is not 'ill' just not being listened to and feeling very out of control. decisions have been made around her and now she is being made to feel bad by not putting her own needs down to satisfy his. I wouldn't say that the depression is leading her decision. I would argue that her life situation has made her depressed and he is underestimating the control he has over her.
It also doesn't matter about the economy in any country, if she is not being listened to and feels she has not got control over what happens to her being rich, poor, broke or not she is living a life she doesn't want, and that is the worst feeling in the world*

And I agree 100% with it. I've been overseas for years and finally flipped and it's the long term not being in control of your own life/decisions/happiness/needs etc etc etc that eventually drags you down - trying to reason with someone in the pit of this type of misery is pointless. Brow beating her and guilt tripping by lecturing on what is best for the family, DH or DCs is only making her more depressed, she will feel as if everyone matters except her.

I would send SIL home immediately, probably if DCs primary school age their education won't be messed up. Then she can breath and relax and decide what she really wants. Surely DB can be on his own for say, 6 months?? By then SIL will have had time to decide what she DOES want, perhaps she wants a new career? perhaps she doesn't want to stay married to DB, perhaps she will realise that OZ for a few more years is bearable. But until she gets that opportunity to make her own decisions things will not improve.

Mosman Tue 02-Jul-13 00:15:35

PR makes no difference he can stop her leaving with the children now. I think they should get PR if nothing else but to give the children options when they are older.
The lady here might be in for a shock if all her kids want to live in Australia.

nooka Tue 02-Jul-13 03:01:37

PR isn't permanent, you need citizenship for permanency/options later. Having PR just unties you from work sponsorship, so if you lose your job you don't have to leave the country. I don't know what the citizenship requirements are for Australia but you probably need anything from 2-5 years of PR before you can apply for citizenship.

I feel for the OP's B and SIL. My sister is in the SIL's position, and coming home this summer after four years of being miserable. She's not depressed, just incredibly homesick. BIL is Australian, and hated living in London, so it's a lose lose situation for them. She said she'd come home without him, we worried hugely that she might as a result lose her children, but they are both coming back. I doubt that their relationship will last, and expect he will return at some point. She worked very hard to get established in Australia, got jobs, made friends etc, but it hasn't worked.

Emigration is very hard on people, it's a very difficult transition, and if you move because you have to, and not because you wanted to I suspect the chances of being happy are fairly small.

I'm 100% behind my sister returning, but I do hope that she manages to re-establish in the UK. Sadly it can be just as hard coming back as going.

glastocat Tue 02-Jul-13 06:14:26

This is a dreadful situation that touches a lot of buttons for me. I have emigrated from Ireland to Oz, fortunately I love it here as the country really is ruined financially, and will be for a long time, our childrens' children will still be paying the debt. I have also suffered from depression in the past, both PND and reactive, so I do sympathise a lot with the wife, and can see no easy solution to this. If the children like Oz ( and my son has said from week one he never wants to go back to Ireland, he loves it here!) then I think it unfair to bring them back to a country with little hope or prospects, appalling health services and little future prospects. It's also unfair to expect the mother to stay where she is unhappy, and unfair to expect the husband to work away, either in Oz or ME. So, there will be no happy ending. Above all IMO it is completely unfair of the wife to refuse to discuss the issue, this affects the entire family, she does not get to make a unilateral decision!

So, as no one will 'win', barring discussion ( which is of course preferable) I would advise the Ops brother to decide what the best outcome is for the majority of the family and tailor his actions accordingly.

glastocat Tue 02-Jul-13 06:16:54

Oh and you need to have PR for four years of residency before qualifying for citizenship, so it's 2017 for me ( husband and son are already citizens). I don't underestimate the stress of living on a 457, I have friends who have had all kinds of problems and you really have no security, it is an uncertain way to live.

Mosman Tue 02-Jul-13 06:41:34

I completely agree the 457 situation with a family is stress nobody needs in their lives.

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