Is it always 'whats best for the whole family'

(10 Posts)
farflungfanny Mon 11-May-15 09:14:45

We have been here just over 5 years now. Dh's country.
Dh is happy, he has a good job, familiar with everything around him, obviously no language problems.
Kids are happy at school and thriving, have friends and activities.
We live in a nice house, in a nice area.
I, on the other hand, want to rip my hair out and scream the place down most days.
I have never really taken to the place, I feel no connection to the people or place and could quite happily leave tomorrow and never miss anything or anyone from here.
I have and still am trying to find the positive and ignore the negative and most days I can get by. Some days when I really think about it though I know I am not and never will be happy here.

How do you make a place work for you?

We have talked about returning to the UK, but getting back on the property ladder in our fifties, moving the kids from a fabulous school etc would be so scary. I haven't lived in the UK for 20 something years, so I don't even feel as though I would be going home

I have to make this work for every ones sake, I just don't know if I can.
Anyone else who feels they are not living in the place they want?????

jwpetal Mon 11-May-15 19:14:13

I felt that way when we lived in Scotland. I am American and my husband Scottish. We did not have kids at the time so that made it easier. I had a job and lovely friends, but I hated it. After 5 years, I finally broke down and said we had to move...I didn't care where. Everything felt claustrophobic. I never felt like myself.

We ended up in London and I love it. I still don't feel 100% myself as I am forever the foreigner, but so much than when I was in Scotland. I now have a family and often think about returning to my home country, but have my own fears/worries similar to yours plus health insurance!

If you are not happy where you are, then it is worth trying for a change. You say everyone is happy, but are they if you are not? I know my husband knew about how unhappy I was and he wanted to make the changes. This may be the same for your family.

change is always scary. It may help to decide what really is the issue. Could you bring the kids over for a long summer holiday to see how it feels? Put your feelers out for a job here? Could your husband or yourself get a transfer to the UK? yes, it would cause the children to leave their school, but a chance to live in the country that their mother came from may be an exciting adventure.

I don't know if this has helped as I have no magic pill. Good luck.

MyFriendsCallMeOh Tue 12-May-15 03:14:29

Op, it sounds like you have very little support network there. Do you have friends? Are there many expats around? Mnetters? Do you work? I find one of the quickest ways to settle is to work.....

Not sure about moving back. I moved back to the UK after 7 years away and it was the hardest move we ever made. Reverse culture shock is real and takes imho a couple of years to get over. We've been overseas for 7 years since then....

Hope something helps soon...

japaneseplum Tue 12-May-15 04:17:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

japaneseplum Tue 12-May-15 04:18:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SavoyCabbage Tue 12-May-15 05:02:49

I'm definitely not living in the place I want. My dh and my oldest dd just slipped straight back into their previous lives when we emigrated. Going to school and work. Leaving me at home with a toddler.

I'm the one holding everything together so that they can have a lovely life. Without me mKing relationships to replace our family ones and sacrificing my career so we can live here, we'd all be unhappy, instead of just me.

Our life here is lovely. As I have made it so. But I do not feel like I live here. Never in seven years have I felt at home. I hate being an immigrant. It's only 2pm and I have been asked twice today already how long I have lived here etc. Constantly justifying myself.

Nolim Tue 12-May-15 05:46:15

My situation is quite different op since i have no intention of returning to my "home" country. I have been a serial expat for several years ans so far i have liked the uk (where we live now), unlike the previous country we lived in, somehow that country and i never really clicked. My oh loved our previous country and didnt like the uk for quite a while, but now he is sort of ok. I dont know if we are going to spend the rest of our lives here but we will be here until we have a reason not to. So my advise may not apply to you but here it goes:

1) are you busy doing something you enjoy? work, voluntering, friends, etc? Being bored is a mood killer.
2) do you have expat colleagues or friends, even if not from your own country? Invariably the locals have a blind spot when it comes to their own country and culture and will insist that their country is better in onse sense or another. They will insist that their country is great, otherwise why did you move there?, if you dont like everything then just go home etc. It is good to be able to rant with other ppl who think otherwise.
3) you have been an expat for 20 years, have you liked other countries? Or have you never felt at home since you left te uk?
4) Someone upthread mentions hating being an immigrant, i love it, i think makes life interesting and allowed me to have a different perspective. But i hate the ridiculous antiimmigration talk and politics. Here and everywhere else there are ppl thinking immigrant = benefit thief who wants to change our culture and steal our women (i am only half joking here, the day after the election someone started a thread about her rights as a woman now that x party succeeded an the uk will be invaded by musilim immigrants). I dont know if that is the case where you live op but if so then just ingore and keep living.

farflungfanny Tue 12-May-15 12:37:24

I am the one who keeps everything running smoothly here too Savoy.
Dh works away a lot, so I am a SAHM (which I love and don't want to change)
I deal with all school issues, play dates, after-school activities etc. I try and keep a circle of friends going for myself as I am on my own a lot.
When I am in the expat bubble I have no issues with things, I am perfectly content. When I have to leave that bubble it always brings home how foreign I am.
I have lived in other countries (pre children) and never had any problems, could always see myself being there for a long period of time.
It is definitely that I just don't click here Nolim 5 years in and my feelings haven't changed.
We decided to stay for the children s education, and they do have a gentler way here with kids. All the positive reasons are really positive, unfortunately all the negatives are really negative.
Like you jwpetal I feel I am not myself here. I put on a smile and go about my business, but I may as well have 3 heads and a tail I feel so different from everyone else.
Maybe it's exactly that Savoy I just don't want to be the foreigner any more

MyFriendsCallMeOh Tue 12-May-15 23:37:28

I agree with Nolim, being bored is the worst thing ever, it can make you focus on differences and it really is a killer. What are you doing for you? What fulfils you as a person (not counting your family!)? What would you be doing for yourself in your own country?

farflungfanny Wed 13-May-15 10:06:41

jw,can I ask what the difference was when you moved from Scotland to London. It's the same country, same language, same people......
We have thought of moving to a bigger, more cosmopolitan place rather than the provincial village we are in now. Did moving within the Uk, make the difference?? Obviously a move within a country is much easier than an international move after all.
Oh I would be doing exactly the same thing no matter what country we lived in. Our family dynamics would stay the same. I do do a lot. Most of the things I'm involved in are within the expat community, which I love but also makes me feel like an outsider, when I'm not in that environment. I found it very hard to connect with the locals, even after 5 years + so have leaned more and more on the expat community.
To be honest I'd rather not live in the expat bubble and blend into the community more, unfortunately that isn't the way it works here.
The move to a larger city is probably on the cards before we make the huge decision of moving country. Maybe I just have to accept that being here means living this life rather than the one I envisioned....

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