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Moving back to the UK without my partner?

(27 Posts)
natty8839 Mon 20-Jul-15 02:12:15

Hi everyone,

I'm in a crisis so doing the obvious thing and turning to the internet for advice ;)

I met my partner over here in Australia. He is Australian and I am British and we live in Melbourne. I miss home terribly and am devastated about the possibility of a future without my family around us. This has only really hit me recently as we've been talking about having kids.

He will not come back to the UK with me. I won't go into the reasons but he's set on staying here so if I go, I go alone. I'm devastated and can't decide what to do. I love him enormously but am not sure if I can be happy here and feel nervous about a relationship where he won't compromise for me.

Am I crazy to give up a good relationship to be near my family and go back home? I'm very close with my brother and mum and finances mean that I could only see them once per year which doesn't feel like enough. I'm torn between starting my life all over again in the UK or staying here with a man that I do love and forever missing 'home'.

ltk Mon 20-Jul-15 02:24:23

What compromise are you proposing?

Smidge001 Mon 20-Jul-15 02:30:06

I think it depends a bit on his reasons for refusing to go to the UK with you. I am in a similar situation (but in Sydney). I miss England terribly - not even just my family and friends, but also England itself! I met my Australian husband out here and knew (for family reasons) that he wouldn't be able to move to the UK. I struggled massively with the decision but in the end thought that I'd be able to get a job with travel included, and improve on my once yearly visits home... Unfortunately that didn't happen. He promised that we would always ensure that I had one trip home per year, and promised a 2 year stint in England, which seemed reasonable to me... but our UK stint is coming up (we move next year) and I am just getting more and more scared that when the 2 years is over, I won't be able to come back to Australia with him. My parents are getting older and I hate not spending time with them. I have a young nephew and niece and hate missing them grow up.

It is really, really difficult - and I don't seem to have any answers myself, so can't advise! I've had a lot of English people over here keep telling me I will settle down and never want to go back home - but they are wrong. It's 5 years later and I'm counting down the days. So... all I can say really is that only you know your own mind - if once a year isn't going to be enough - and depending on your partner's reasons for refusing to move to UK, whether resentment will grow, then it will be easier to make the break now, than after marriage, etc. Once you have agreed to this situation, it is a lot harder to go back on it.

If you head back to England, is there no chance he will follow?

How long have you been in Melbourne? Could you find the homesickness goes away once you settle in more? (It didn't for me, but it does for a lot of people).

What age are you? If you are young then I don't think starting over again in the UK is a big deal really. I know it seems it, but you would have plenty of time to find someone more compatible with the future you picture for yourself.

For me, I was 34 when I made the decision, as I wanted marriage and to start a family and heading home again did seem a risk. As it happens, although our relationship is great, we've been unable to conceive, and now at 39 I wonder if I'd known this would be the outcome, whether I would have chosen to go back to England after all.

Even if his reasons for staying in Australia are understandable, it doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your own plans and happiness. And if they're not reasonable, then I would say walking away is a good idea, whether or not you leave the country!!

natty8839 Mon 20-Jul-15 02:39:25

Smidge001 - your situation sounds very hard! I'm sorry to hear you're struggling too.

I've been in Melbourne 7 years now, with my partner for 2. I'm almost 27 so yes still young but really felt this was it and that he was "the one" (to use a cliché).

His reasons are completely reasonable - the same as mine. He is very close with his family and couldn't bear to be apart from them. Plus he owns his house here and doesn't want to give that and a good job up. I suggested a 2 year stint as a compromise but that didn't fly.

ToastedOrFresh Mon 20-Jul-15 02:50:08

I can relate to what you are saying. I'm in New Zealand. I'm married to a New Zealander. We met and married in Britain a few years ago and arrived in NZ in 2011.

I wasn't particularly interested in moving to NZ as I think it's not so different from Britain. I mostly agreed with him to shut him up and teach him a lesson that NZ is not the promised land. It's the here and now not some daydream idea of NZ back when he was a young man at university in the eighties.

He's got relatives in NZ and he wanted to get to know his sister's kids whilst they were still young. His old mum isn't getting any younger either.

We are now on the same page regarding returning to Britain and I believe we will do it in the next couple of years. If push comes to shove, I'll go by myself and see if he follows me. However, no one likes being blackmailed do they ?

If you have a child with him, you will miss your mum all the more. If you have a child with him and still split up, you will be trapped in Australia just so you can keep or see the child.

Sorry, but you can get another boyfriend (difficult to imagine right now, I know) but you can't get another mum or siblings etc.

Good luck for the future.

SavoyCabbage Mon 20-Jul-15 02:54:41

I've been in Melbourne for seven years now. I have manufactured a great life for us all. However the need to live in Britain has never gone away and we are going home in a few months.

I can be fine for months and then BANG. For me it's the little things. The last time I cried about it all was overhearing a grandmother talking to her a little girl in the school holidays about what time her mum finished work. The time before that was an adult daughter asking her mother what she thought of a duvet cover.

Of course people can be happy as Larry here. And that's great for them. But my biggest pain comes from my dc only having three people who love them. I've lovely, lovely friends and they try to fill the gaps. They ask them about missing teeth and praise them for their sporting achievements but it's not the same.

The immigration law as in the UK changed last June and that has added further complication to our lives as you can't just take a non EU spouse over to the UK any more.

My dh doesn't want to go at all but he can see that I have given it everything I could here.

Smidge001 Mon 20-Jul-15 02:58:33

Gosh, that is hard though - his reasons are the same as yours so I do think there should be more compromise from him. The house thing is no excuse in my mind - it's a mere practicality, as he could rent it out easily enough. I'm sorry he wouldn't consider a 2 yr stint. What sort of work is he in? Could there be a chance of a transfer/secondment or something if he asked around? Some places will let you have a year's leave (without pay obviously) and have a role available on your return.

I guess I'd really just want him to take the discussion more seriously, and talk through what sort - if any - of compromises he might be willing to make. It seems very one-sided if he can't come up with any compromise at all, and would ring alarm bells for me. Is he aware how serious this issue is for you? at least in my situation I felt as if my husband understood the sacrifice I was making, and did try to come up with some sort of compromise from his side.

Smidge001 Mon 20-Jul-15 02:59:37

Sorry for the massive overuse of the word 'compromise'!!

natty8839 Mon 20-Jul-15 03:02:48

SavoyCabbage - yes, I completely understand what you're saying. I saw a girl discussing prams with her mum the other day and broke down. Visa laws make it all the more complicated too, don't they. We're still waiting on our partner visa here in Oz so if I go in the next few months, I GO and don't come back.

Toastedorfresh - yes, very difficult to imagine right now. I also do feel disconnected from UK culture and am nervous about the move and settling in back there. I have a life, a job and friends here not to mention my partner so to give all of that up for a bigger cause feels scary. Life, oh life.

ToastedOrFresh Mon 20-Jul-15 03:56:12

natty8839 - you've got the courage to see this through.

It's slightly easier for me as I have not made any friends here in small town NZ. Very cliquey.

People are civil, people are nice, but that's about as far as it goes. I have acquaintances but no friends. It doesn't take much for a New Zealander to have that, 'why are you talking to me ?' expression on their face. This is only from when I've recognised them from when I've been talking to them earlier.

I don't have a job and I'm actually quite resentful about the amount of turn downs I've had for jobs. Kiwi team mentality ? Who knows ? I still look for work via the usual channels. In fact I'm waiting on the outcome of a job I was interviewed for last week. More like bracing myself for the inevitable turn down, but still.

I seem to be only able to get short term temp jobs which have been few and far between. Even when I apply for permanent roles identical to the temp jobs I've had I still get turned down. Go figure !

I have a life here, such as it is, but it could do with improving. I'm to old to be this bored ! I do voluntary work so I can feel useful and it puts a reference on my cv, but it's no way to live.

This house is home, but then, so were the houses that we lived in before we sold up and came to NZ.

My husband is in full time employment and I'm glad he's enjoying his job but it's his salary that keeps a roof over our heads and food on the table. Our standard of living is the same as we had in Britain, which proves my point that there was no improvement to be made by moving here. Please don't read to much into that, I don't choose not to work.

He does have a relationship with his sister's kids which he would not have had if we weren't living here. Time means more than money in that instance. However, his nephew will be 16 this year and like all teenagers is pretty much bored of his relatives. His twin nieces will be ten in October and will follow their brother down the same path.

Good luck with your future plans.

ToastedOrFresh Mon 20-Jul-15 03:58:54

I don't fee particularly disconnected from the UK, but, more than five years away, which it will be next February and I assume it will get more difficult if we leave it much longer.

Although I understand there's people return to the UK from just about anywhere in the world after forty or more years away ! That's a generation or more. Blimey !

I sure as hell won't be here that long.

TheDowagerCuntess Mon 20-Jul-15 04:23:02

I would urge you to go. Living on the other side of the world - you just know, in your heart of hearts, if the new place is home, or if home will always be home.

You need to do this now, before you become more embroiled in the relationship, because this feeling won’t go. And if you have children, then they’ll be little Aussies, and you’ll be trapped and unable to leave. Better to do it now, while you’re young and unencumbered.

I broke up with my ex when I was living in the UK because he (totally understandably) wouldn’t consider moving back home with me. I then got together with DH and we did make the move back here, but it has been very hard for him, and he has sacrificed a great deal. He does want to move back to the UK, but my family situation is such that I simply cannot, at least not in the medium-term.

Seriously – go. As much as this man is lovely, you only have one Mum, one family and one home.

Oh, and Toasted - I totally know what you mean by the turn-down for jobs. We are fed this total lie that we need to go overseas and have that overseas experience and come back and be sooo much more employable, but if that experience is in an industry that doesn’t exist in NZ (and let’s face it, chances of that are relatively high), then potential employers could not be less interested.

ToastedOrFresh Mon 20-Jul-15 04:44:56

TheDowagerC - I work in admin. Just run of the mill office admin, any office, any organisation. There's been hundreds of those jobs advertised which I've applied for in the four years I've lived here but I've only got five temp jobs of a few months each time.

People new to NZ get told they need NZ experience or references from NZ employers. Maybe only by fellow ex-pats. That totally denies all this excitement about having overseas experience on your cv.

However, back on topic. Sorry OP.

natty8839 Mon 20-Jul-15 08:16:38

I can relate to everyone's experience of finding work difficult, too. When I first moved to melbourne I think I applied for 80 something jobs before getting a single interview!

Does anybody know any more about the laws surrounding moving back to the UK once you have kids? If I stayed, we had kids and the worst happened and we split up...what would it look like for me to have to move back by myself with children? I'm not sure I could do that to him.

I feel I should add that he really is a wonderful man and makes me very happy. This lack of compromise has been the first red flag in our relationship, really. But it feels like a big one. I don't want to give up on him for some ideal that I have in my head that may never eventuate but I don't want to regret not involving my family, properly, in my future children's lives either.

natty8839 Mon 20-Jul-15 08:21:50

ToastedOrFresh - how do you think you would feel if you had a great job and good friends? I'm sorry it's been so hard for you. Having a job has really boosted my happiness here - made me feel like I have more of a purpose - so I can relate to how out of place you must be feeling.

URGH!!! Part of me is scolding 19 year old me for coming out here and not listening to my mother all those years ago when she said it would be an "unsustainable move". Not that it's been all bad. It's been all good for the most part. Experience, I guess.

StonedGalah Mon 20-Jul-15 08:29:01

I'm in the UK with my Irish DH. We have been here 6 years and lived in Melbourne 3 years before that. We have accepted that we will probably be that family that ping pongs back and forward.

I go home every 2 years and skype my dp every week.

The thing with being with someone not from your country is someone is always going to be away from home.

Oh and regarding friends, the only friends we have are people we knew from home before moving here! People are just less friendly l think the older you get.

Good luck with your choice OP. It is tough.

juneau Mon 20-Jul-15 08:36:42

I you feel like this now it will only get worse if you marry, have kids and really commit yourself to living in Australia full-time.

I was in a relationship with an Australian for a time in my 20s and it was the whole Australia vs. UK thing that pulled us apart in the end. We both just wanted to live in our own countries and that was that. It broke my bloody heart, but having made a clean break and moved back to the UK I never doubted my decision. I would never have wanted to live in Australia. Its just too bloody far from home (and he felt the same).

OP you are 27. You know your own mind. It sounds like he does too. And, to be blunt, you're young enough to come back here, meet someone else and have your kids with your family and friends around you. I lived OS for years and years and made some wonderful friends, but you can't replace your parents, your siblings, people who've known you your whole life. Friends are great and fill the gap to an extent, but they can't replace the people you miss. Cut your losses and go now, before it gets any harder to disentangle yourself. My granny died when I was living OS and I couldn't even go to her funeral, because I'd only just got back from a visit to the UK the week before. Nothing is worth that. Nothing.

juneau Mon 20-Jul-15 08:48:21

Does anybody know any more about the laws surrounding moving back to the UK once you have kids? If I stayed, we had kids and the worst happened and we split up...what would it look like for me to have to move back by myself with children? I'm not sure I could do that to him.

As I understand it you would need his full blessing to do this. If he said 'no' then you'd be legally bound to remain in Australia to allow him full access to the DC and if you removed them without his permission then they would be taken from you and returned to Australia, their 'habitual place of residence'. So, in reality you'd be trapped in Australia until the DC were grown and flown and by then they'd be Australians who probably wouldn't want to leave, so you'd be 55-years-old and moving back to the UK to re-start your life while your kids stayed in Oz. By then your parents would quite possibly be no longer alive and all your old friends would have full lives that didn't include you. I moved back to the UK after six years away - that was hard enough - I can't imagine how people do it after 20 or 30 years.

natty8839 Mon 20-Jul-15 08:54:08

StonedGalah - what are the things that make it work for you? What helps each of you to combat the home sickness?

Juneau - I'm so sorry to hear about your experience. I was here in Melbourne when my granny died, too, and it broke my heart. Four years on and I still feel sad about not seeing her for an entire year before she died.

I don't have a big family in the UK - just my mum and brother really but they do mean the world to me. My mum has just, this evening, told me that she and my stepdad plan on moving to France for a couple of years soon so that's another consideration! I go back and she leaves!

LizzieBK Mon 20-Jul-15 08:57:16

Juneau is right - under The Hague Convention you would not be able to take your kids back to the UK if your partner disagreed. You'd be trapped.

And trust me, if you think the longing for home is bad now, it would be unbearable when you have kids! Speaking from bitter experience...hmm

natty8839 Mon 20-Jul-15 08:57:29

Juneau - I don't have any friends in the UK. How did you find the integration process? What worked for you in terms of moving back and getting set up again? Making friends as an adult is bloody hard.

StonedGalah Mon 20-Jul-15 09:13:48

natty the honest truth, what helps in combating homesickness is knowing that if it got too bad for me, there is a 'get out' clause, that my DH would happily sell up and move back to Aus.

When we had our dd I had a very bad time of it, I had no family here, the ILs were OK but not great with me and they still had to travel over from Ireland and I was obviously struggling with being a first time mum and not having a clue! My DH offered then for us to move but it wasn't the right time, we had just bought our house, he was studying and close to finishing his professional exams. I think that as my DH saw I put our family first and cracked on that when I say 'I need to go home' he'll know I really mean it.

If my DH was adamant that he wouldn't move then I'd feel trapped and likely resent him. Your DP is telling you now he isn't going to offer that to you and you need to believe him.

Look into the Hague convention so you are fully aware if you do intend to have DC in Aus. But I know a family who moved to Aus when the youngest was 10 and the DF stayed in the UK. The DM went to court and the judge took into consideration what the 10 year old wanted. But just remember you love him now but I'd suspect that if you are going to divorce the love will be gone and people can be nasty. So really think about that.

juneau Mon 20-Jul-15 09:43:09

Moving back and choosing where to live and restart your life will depend on two things 1) where your family live and 2) where you'll be working. If those two things are one and the same, great! If not, you'll need to make your choice of where to live taking those two things (and how you'll commute between the two), into account. But choose somewhere where you can put down roots and see yourself living for a long time and if you'll be working in London take a good look at the nice towns and small cities outside London.

In terms of settling back into life after years away, you just have to make an effort. Go out with your colleagues, join things, say 'yes' to any invitation you get, take up new hobbies, etc. If you move to London or a lively commuter town near London you'll find there will be lots of people like you i.e. people who want to get out and make friends, because they're new to the area too. I live in a commuter town near London and there are masses of us who've moved from London and/or lived overseas. Its nice, I feel these are 'my' people, and that's important - to have common ground. If you move to a small village in a rural area you won't find that, so think 'urban' or at least 'suburban'.

TBH, if you mum is moving to France for only a couple of years I wouldn't let that put you off, if this timing to come back is right for you. France is next door when you're here and there are masses of easy ways of getting there. You and your mum could easily see each other every three months (which is as often as I get to see my mum - and she only lives three counties away).

Duckdeamon Mon 20-Jul-15 09:50:48

In your shoes I would return to the UK because I would want to spend time with family. I would not want to be stuck living somewhere I didn't want to be on the other side of the world from family if we had DC and later split up.

I also don't believe in "the one". You are 27 and have plenty of time to meet someone else.

yallahabibi Tue 21-Jul-15 03:16:59

How long have you lived abroad OP ?

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