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Advice when deciding where to live

(10 Posts)
tornintwoagain Mon 12-Jan-15 09:39:24

I'm going to try to be as succinct as possible....

DH from country A, me from country B. DC born and raised in country A (DH's) until age 10 and 8 then we moved to country B (mine). We've now lived in country B - England - for 2 years.

We're trying to decide whether to remain in England or return to country A where DH/DC born.

In country A we had a bigger house but quite remote. In England we can't buy a house in the area we live (still own a house in country A that is rented out) for the foreseeable future so we'll continue to rent long term.

In country A we had a higher income but much greater expenses and less amenities. Probably evens out in the end.

In country A education is very good but DC1 is in a super-selective grammar school here with excellent results and wants to be a doctor. DC2 may not get a place in the same school but the other schools here are very good.

DH hates his job here and his old employer in country A would welcome him back with open arms!

My life is tons better here - I never felt truly accepted in country A, or rather in the area we lived. The availability of amenities and better service has a huge impact on my day to day life here.

In country A and B we are not near our families - both 1.5 hours journey away.

DC are not unhappy here - lots of friends, activities etc. - and have never outright asked to go back to country A but say they miss their home and the countryside. What is bringing this matter to a head is that both have expressed that they feel that there's something that doesn't quite click here, although they feel welcomed and happy day to day.... and DH loathing his job here.

I feel that there are better opportunities for DC in England both in terms of education and future careers etc and amenities are so much better where we live now. But the trade off is less space and not being able to buy a house/DC not feeling like it is their real home.

Hmmm sorry for the length but I didn't want to drip feed and would be SO so grateful if anyone has faced similar and could advise how they approached such a decision.

scottswede Mon 12-Jan-15 10:09:05

I think it is the classic' torn' syndrome that a lot of people who are in global relationships.
I know a lot of people who, like myself, and you have lived in different countries and are always second guessing if 'this country' is the right one.
Unfortunately and naturally we compare..
Better schools and prospects here, but a better house there. Much more to do there, but never feeling part of the place.
There is a trade off I'm afraid.
I struggled, and still do on whether we have made the right decision to stay in dh's country or return to mine. At the moment we are staying, but tomorrow I may want to move.
I have prioritized education for now, I couldn't justify taking the children out of a great school here, for a whole load of uncertainties at 'home'
It is a really hard decision, and no matter what you decide I think you will always second guess yourself.
Sorry I haven't given you the 'magic' answer, I'm afraid there isn't one sad

PortoVino Mon 12-Jan-15 10:41:50

No advice here, just some empathy smile Same as previous reply, there is no answer. I am in a similar situation (we added country C & D to the mix to try and find some neutral ground!) I just want to give UK a go, but with kids getting bigger (eldest now 9) we also have to consider their cultural identity (at the moment they don't have one). Sometimes its all just a little too complicated sad

Thumbwitch Mon 12-Jan-15 10:46:02

Lots of empathy here too. My DSs are both too small to think about it, and currently I have no plan to move back to the UK, because the school system here is working far better for us than the UK one would (my house in the UK is in a very high-population area, so we'd be subject to all the school "lottery" thing for places etc.) Here, DS1 is in a small school, in a class of ~20 children, and all the teachers know all the children - it's lovely.

I do think that prioritising education is a good thing to do though. Can your DH not find a better job in the UK? At least until your DC have finished school?

juneau Mon 12-Jan-15 10:58:01

I suppose the obvious question is: Could your DH change jobs? It sounds like he'd be much happier if he did and that might tip things back into balance here. After all, you're happy and settled and don't want to move, so is it just the job that's making him restless?

As for the kids - well IMO the adults get to make these choice of where the family lives and that's that. Over time I suspect they will settle in here more too. Of course, its crap not being able to afford to buy a house and you have my sympathy as DH and I didn't own a home until two years ago, but it sounds like your quality of life is good otherwise and you do own property in your DH's country, so you have that investment. Plus, you have the good schools here.

I found, when I lived in my DH's country (the USA), it took me five years to feel properly at home, so I guess I'd probably say just give it some more time and if your DH to get away from his job he loathes, all the better.

dreamingbohemian Mon 12-Jan-15 11:10:16

I think I would stick with England for now, is there some reason your DH can't get a different job? Your DC will feel more at home as time goes by too.

If you do move back to A perhaps you could live less rurally so you have more services/amenities and perhaps feel more accepted.

I think sometimes the differences are not so great between countries but between city/rural life wherever you live. If you move from London to Berlin it is not really such a leap, but if you move to a tiny village anywhere (even in the UK) from London, it can be a big culture shock.

castlesintheair Mon 12-Jan-15 14:36:25

I totally agree with dreamingbohemian about rural v city. It takes SO much longer to adjust (if ever) to rural life coming from a city. I also agree with pps about prioritising. When you have DCs it usually comes down to their needs and education in particular. We have put our childrens' education first which is why we are moving back to UK. Thankfully this also suits my/our desire to live there and not here!

Can your DH commute to country A depending on how far it is from your current home? This is what we will be doing for a while.

I sympathise with you. It is a difficult situation to be in and one I have had (and continue to) many agonies over.

tornintwoagain Tue 13-Jan-15 09:11:26

Thank you so much for all of your replies - I'm so touched and I feel better just knowing that there are people facing the same issues, it's not just me! I don't know anyone in real life in the same circumstances so you've really helped me (although I'm sorry you're all affected by the same dilemmas too!)

We are going to discuss all of this over the coming days and your input will be very useful, thank you flowers

knightofswords Tue 13-Jan-15 13:31:26

"My life is tons better here" - there is your answer. Take it from someone whose life was also tons better in the UK but because 2 other members of the family disagreed, is now having to live in country OMG.
The DCs can build their lives when they leave home and live wherever they want. Your DH can find another job. You are so right to prioritise their education.

kiwidreamer Tue 13-Jan-15 21:16:24

We are another family stuck in this same never ending quandary, DH and I both from NZ, live in the UK, kids are essentially 70% English / 30% NZ culturally, huge family pull to NZ but life is nice here, expensive there, massively afraid of making the wrong decision... financially / emotionally... don't have an effing clue what i REALLY want anymore.. sucks sad

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