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I just want to go home......

(42 Posts)
strugglinginsweden Thu 11-Aug-16 12:08:13

I just need a good old whine really. Advice/comments/sympathy/ welcome though.
I have been in Sweden for nearly 7 years now. I have never settled.
I have tried to love it, I have tried to like it, I have tried to even tolerate it but at the end of the day I don't like it. I don't want to be here, I want to go home ( emoji of baby throwing toys out of pramgrin)
At the beginning I tried to completely immerse myself in all things Swedish. I have learned the language, learned the customs.
Then I tried to live a half/half existence (English/Swedish)
Now I just don't want to try any more, I'm tired, fed up, disappointed. I just want to be somewhere I can be me. Where I don't have to try every bloody day to pretend that I understand this place. Is is too hard living here. I'm not going to bash the Swedes as they are who they are. I just find it really hard living here.
If it was only me then I would leave tomorrow and never look back, but I have a dh who has a good job, doesn't get wound-up as much as I do, children who enjoy their school and have only ever know this place as home.
I know I will have to stay here until the children finish their education at least, but today I want to go home.

CoolioAndTheGang Thu 11-Aug-16 12:19:03

Would a holiday to back home help? We have a good few friends who have moved here and settled down. Our friend's sil is from Sweden and there is cultural differences, even in the way they parent but they've learnt to meet halfways. It's hard being away from home but I'm sure there are good points too? Our other friend is married to an Australian and she travels home regularly too. They all feel homesick from time to time but the visits help. Would you speak with your Husband about potentially moving home in the future?

FinnegansCake Thu 11-Aug-16 12:19:31

That sounds tough, OP. As you have made the effort to learn the language etc I don't know what to suggest.

Is there something specific that you dislike, or is it just a general feeling that you can't live your life how you want to?

Is it Sweden in particular that you dislike, or would you feel the same wherever you lived if it wasn't the UK?

Ancienchateau Thu 11-Aug-16 12:46:38

Know exactly how you feel OP. It's grim. flowers for you and sympathy from a fellow homesickee. There are a few of us on this board.

strugglinginsweden Thu 11-Aug-16 12:48:39

I do go home regularly, which actually makes it harder as I have to Swedify myself again when I come back.
It is Sweden itself I can't adapt too,as I have spent most of my adult life living abroad.
It's funny as this is the closest country to the UK we have lived, but it is so culturally different I may as well be at the other side of the globe.
There are good points that I try and focus on but some days it's just harder than others.
There are a multitude of reasons I don't like it here, and unfortunately the longer I'm here the more intolerant I become.

bibbitybobbityyhat Thu 11-Aug-16 12:52:49

Sympathies op, that sounds miserable. Out of interest, what is so culturally different about Sweden? I find it hard to imagine.

KeyserSophie Thu 11-Aug-16 13:33:21

what is so culturally different about Sweden?

The Swedes are unsociable bastards grin. The ones you meet in London (who are always mega sociable) probably got deported for being too extrovert.

OP sympathies. Is there really no chance of an early exit?

strugglinginsweden Thu 11-Aug-16 16:03:56

KeyserSophie has a very valid reason. Before I moved here I had only met Swedes outside Sweden, they all came across as perfectly normal, socially.
When I moved here I was confused for a long time as to why I couldn't connect with anyone. i actually thought I had some major BO problem or Halitosis shock

emotionsecho Thu 11-Aug-16 17:34:15

My sympathies, OP. You have given it a really good try to adapt and it is unfair for you to have to stay there when you are clearly unhappy, can you not talk to your husband and make plans to leave, it won't happen overnight due to the logistics of jobs, etc., but if you could put some plans in motion then you can see an end date and would probably be able to bear it better.

Your children would adapt to another country, Sweden may be the only country they know so far but that doesn't mean it should be the only country they know growing up. I may be biased as I travelled, lived and went to school in several different countries growing up, it was never an issue and I believe it was extremely beneficial to me.

I do feel for you it must be very

strugglinginsweden Thu 11-Aug-16 19:38:18

Thanks Guys for the understanding. It is really hard to live a lie to everyone but yourself. I pretend it is all, or will be, fine.
I hope everyday things will get better then another years goes by and it's no better. I feel such a failure for not making this work, maybe if I did this, didn't do that.
I don't want to make the family move when they are perfectly happy in this country.
I have become more and more reclusive, I avoid things and people now, I was never that way but I have gone into survival mode I think.
I hate having to deal with the daily crap living here. People will avoid social contact at all costs here. Everything I know to be socially acceptable and normal (for me) doesn't happen here.
People are very distant, cold, indifferent, socially inept, repressed even. It is so passive aggressive I want to scream. angryconfusedsad

emotionsecho Thu 11-Aug-16 20:06:19

You are in no way, shape or form a failure for not making this work, it just doesn't work, you've tried your hardest.

Are you sure the family are perfectly happy?

Your husband surely wouldn't want his wife to be so reclusive and unhappy as in the long term that will have an impact on the family. You cant go on like this and you shouldn't be expected to, it will come to a head one way or another and that won't be good for any of you.

Please talk to your husband, there are other jobs and other countries, please start the process of looking for a different life in a different country, it will benefit all of you in the long run.

You, your happiness and your opinion is just as important and worth just as much as anyone else in the family.

Atenco Fri 12-Aug-16 02:36:12

That is hard, OP, I suppose it doesn't matter what country you are in or what you don't like about it, but I can particularly identify with not wanting to live in an unsociable country.

ErnesttheBavarian Fri 12-Aug-16 07:29:45

Maybe it would help to stop with all things Sweden if you haven't already?

When I left the UK I really immersed myself, avoided British people and things. Now I'd say most of my friends are British (a couple of Americans) and yes, a few Germans. My kids grew up here. We'll be staying probably forever, but I finally accepted no matter how much I love the place, people and culture I will always be an outsider and never be a German, even if I take German citizenship. The total immersion thing did not work at all.

So I have built a life based on international friendships (I go to an English speaking church and work in a bi-lingual school) so this seems to work best. I just seem to click better somehow with other British people. But actually, living away from your home country is very very hard. But now I've been away so long, Britain seems so different (to what it was, and to what I am used to now, that I don't think I could return).

CiderwithBuda Fri 12-Aug-16 07:40:51

Well I think if you have given it 7 years you have given it a good go.

I lived in four different countries as a expat and we moved back to the uk after six years in Budapest which was the only home that DS (then 10) knew. I'm not saying it was easy as he did struggle but he is fine now. DH would have stayed overseas but I wanted to live in a country where I felt normal. I loved my expat years and made fab friends who I miss dreadfully but it was the friends and social life that made the experience so good. If you don't have that it must be really hard.

Funnily enough our uk move was hardest for me as we moved to a new area and I found it hard as we didn't have friends or family nearby.

Are there any expat groups you can get involved with?

Although if I were you I would be talking seriously to your DH about a move. Sweden doesn't work for you as a family if one member is so unhappy.

strugglinginsweden Fri 12-Aug-16 10:11:17

Most of my friends are also ex-pats, so I tend to say around my own kind now. I just feel very sad that I'm not happier here. I want to feel some kind of connection to Sweden, so kind of emotional attachment I suppose.
When I go back home I feel at home, I connect to the place and people, I feel a belonging. When I come back here I feel nothing. Even after all this time I feel as alien as I did 7 years ago.

emotionsecho Fri 12-Aug-16 11:15:15

You say you don't want to make your family leave but if the situation were reversed and your dh was as unhappy as you are would you want to stay knowing how difficult it was for him?

strugglinginsweden Fri 12-Aug-16 12:24:18

Actually emotionsecho when you put it like that,if dh or any of the kids were really unhappy I would move without any hesitations . Dh and I have had the "Are we staying or not " conversation many times over the years and it's probably me who talks myself into trying to make the situation better. I suppose Im scared that I will be making myself happier at the expense of the rest of the family confused

CiderwithBuda Fri 12-Aug-16 12:31:38

Even living in cities where I was happy with friends etc I still never really felt much of an emotional connection to the country. But I'm first to admit I definitely lived in an expat bubble.

And I would say regarding worrying you would make yourself happier at th expense of the rest of your family, that if you are happier it will affect them positively too.

Hiw old are your DCs?

BikeRunSki Fri 12-Aug-16 12:38:17

Does your DH know OP?
How old are your DC? Are they still in primary school?
Could your DH find an equivalent job in the UK? (I'm assuming that the UK is "home")
Maybe it's time to start planning a exit strategy?
(2 out of 3 of my siblings live abroad and both are counting the days til their children finish high school to return to the UK, with or without their spouses)

My parents lived an expat lifestyle, and I'd been educated in 4 different countries by the time I was 10. DM was not happy. When I was 10 she put her foot down and we came back to the UK for secondary school
(Younger sister was only 7). I coped with chopping and changing primary schools, and actually found secondary easy because of the consistency.

TheWindInThePillows Fri 12-Aug-16 12:46:58

There is a phrase 'a mother is only as happy as her most unhappy child' and I think this applies to families 'a family is only as happy as it's least happy member'. I think now is the time for straight talking with your husband, to date you have said you will try/encourage him not to leave, so he can't really know how awful this is for you and how much you now want to plan to leave unless you tell him. I think children of that age can be moved (not always painlessly, but they will be happy elsewhere)- the big thing is your husband's feelings, possibility of job and so forth. Perhaps you could work as well when you moved? How long have the children got to go in education? If it is more than a year/two years, I would look to move, as you presumably don't want them going into HE there for years anyway.

cantshakeitoff Fri 12-Aug-16 12:48:20

Can we swap? I'm a swede living in the UK and am desperate to move back home, but can't as DC's father is British.

I sympathise with you though, I know us swedes can be an unfriendly bunch and not nearly as inviting, polite and friendly as Brits tend to be.

Swedes come across as rude to Brits, but we really don't mean to be. We are respecting other people's personal spaces and are careful to not force ourselves on to people. Once you get to know us, we can actually be quite nice.

My best advice to you is to keep being British, although we are reserved, we secretly love it when people approach is and invite us into their lives.

ApocalypseSlough Fri 12-Aug-16 12:50:16

Where are you? Any chance of moving to Stockholm? Sweden's great if you're Swedish imo!

ApocalypseSlough Fri 12-Aug-16 12:52:27

^^ cant makes a very good point- if you look Swedish it's easy to get ignored and just seem like a clunky Swede! The moment I asked for help it got a lot easier

Mejse Fri 12-Aug-16 13:12:41

I can completely sympathise with you OP. I have been living in Denmark for 3 years now and I feel like no matter what I do I will never be happy or fit in here. I think Swedish and danish culture are very similar. I have a big problem with the passive aggressiveness too!
The difference for me is that my husband is danish, as is my stepson who lives with us and sees his mum every other week, so we have no option to move.
I don't know about you but sometimes it's really silly little things that bother me, like never being able to eat my favourite foods or the fact there are no baths here only showers. My Danish in laws can also be a big struggle.
I really hope you can find a solution so that every member of your family can feel happy.

HouseworkIsASin10 Fri 12-Aug-16 13:13:08

Is there a chance your kids could grow up unsociable & reserved as it is the only culture they know?
I would start making plans to move back home, even a date way off would give you something to aim for.

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