Rant over Dh and speaking German

(14 Posts)
heather1 Sat 15-Nov-14 17:44:46

3.5 years here. Dh works. I'm at home. I get it it's my job etc. but after all this time I asked him to get me some white yoghurt today. I'm ill, I can't go.
He couldn't find it, and won't ask in case the person doesn't speak English.
I'm so sick of it. It's a small thing I know. I truly know that in the big scheme of life not having plain yoghurt isn't important. He will get bread and chocolate like Maltesers because he can recognise them. But he won't ask for help.
But I can't carry on like this because he won't speak German because he's 'embarrassed' because he can't do it perfectly. So I do it. I don't speak German perfectly either. The number of times I've had people look at me like I'm an imbecile as I try to make myself understood is a lot.
It's clearly ok for me to look incompetent, ring up the insurance, deal with the hausewart who won't speak to me as I don't speak Swiss German.
I'm ill I'm feeling sorry for myself. But really just I cannot see the point. He is never going to change no matter how long we live here. This small thing just makes me so cross.
Rant over. I feel better for getting it off my chest.

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PigletJohn Sat 15-Nov-14 18:18:51

He will have to go to evening classes. His employers probably have a scheme, the municipality may as well..

It is quite common for schoolboys not to like speaking foreign because they think they sound silly. Adults should get over that once they have a few lessons.

LIZS Sat 15-Nov-14 18:22:01

If he works in an English speaking environment he has probably got away with it although most would fund some German lessons. Can you take a picture of what you need or write down what he needs to say ?

Kundry Sat 15-Nov-14 18:22:15

After 3.5 years he should be able to buy some yoghurt. Can he really not recognise it in a supermarket?

This would drive me mad as clearly you're overseas because of him but you are doing the compromising and he is not.

madwomanbackintheattic Sat 15-Nov-14 18:25:03

Really common in military circles as spouses have a lot more contact with locals than the serving person. (Not assuming this is the case, but it's similar I assume)
Are you there forever, or expecting to be posted home soon? I don't see him bothering to change after more than three years...

heather1 Sat 15-Nov-14 18:31:09

He had some German lessons, for about a year. He is really bad at languages, always has been and I've know him since school. Great at Math, terrible at languages, He works in a uk speaking office so really he could be anywhere in the world, just with better trains than the Uk!
Now with pressure of work and doing financial exams there just isn't enough time in the day.
I'm not the only wife I know here who has one this to deal. I'm sure it's something to do with always having to be correct in the job so cannot bear not to do the same when out and about.
Taking a picture is a good idea. I think I will try this in future.
I don't want to be here forever, a couple more years, 2 Max, and I've said we need to either return to Uk or go and live in another English speaking country.
Coming here has made us closer as a couple and more tight knit as a family but I can't stand this aspect. Onwards and upwards, deep breath and remembering it will all be worth it in the end.

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LIZS Sat 15-Nov-14 18:49:27

I know of someone who was there over 12 years and her dh was similar. Never put himself out to learn and use German, she had to manage it all.


PigletJohn Sat 15-Nov-14 19:09:38

When I was first sent to Germany, I couldn't even read road signs and timetables. I found this very awkward. After a month of classes and some other assistance, I could get by, and continued learning subsequently.

You have to want to do it.

cheminotte Sat 15-Nov-14 19:29:09

Agree with previousPigletJohn - he could learn if he wanted to. Dp's family claim to be 'bad at languages' and he had 1 year of lessons before we moved, made no progress. When we got there he told his colleagues to speak the local language to him, and we even spoke it together at the weekends!

holmessweetholmes Sat 15-Nov-14 20:18:38

I don't think it is a 'small thing' at all - abdicating responsibility like that. It is rubbish to be unable to function as part of the society he's living in, just because he's 'embarrassed'. Awkward teenagers find it embarrassing on a school exchange maybe - there's no excuse for an adult!

Wibblypiglikesbananas Mon 17-Nov-14 00:54:27

If it's any consolation, I'm an expat in the US and I still find myself doing all this stuff! It's as though since we moved and I gave up work (small children, probably wouldn't have worked in the UK either) I'm the one responsible for our social life, what we eat, sourcing things that are hard to get here (eg Xmas stuff from the UK). DH just has to focus on work. I don't know what the solution is but just wanted to say I totally get the frustration.

Baytree Mon 17-Nov-14 10:55:17

Coop ch has online shopping in English so you can look up what the product should look like.


But I think your just ranting-and I understand. Also living the Swiss experience

PigletJohn Mon 17-Nov-14 11:23:01

Outside the cities, I sometimes find Schweizerdeutsch pretend not to understand German, but are OK with French (or possibly Italian though I speak little).

heather1 Mon 17-Nov-14 12:46:31

We'll I've had two small triumphs today.
Two light bulbs went in the flat. One a very long time ago, probably because of Dh doing the light wiring in the flat, I couldn't find them in any of the DIY shops.
Today an English speaking handyman came round and fixed our vey dangerous wiring (Dh insisted in doing the lights, he will never be doing that again!) and told me special bulbs have to be brought from the electrical shop. So I'm off there later so see if they have them.
Thanks for taking my rant in your stride. Feeling better today.

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