DH wants to move back to UK

(41 Posts)
Londresdemain Tue 27-Feb-18 05:55:12

We moved to mainland Europe 12 years ago for DH work. I found a job similar to what I did in the UK and have made the best of it. I dont earn what I could have in the UK but I do enjoy it. There are aspects of my job that are 500 times better over here. My employers/ colleagues have been so supportive during 3 maternity leaves and its generaly a good work situation (though not well paid).

DH has a well paid job. We have a beautiful home. Our children are happy and have a dream life in the sunshine where they can play outdoors most days and speak 2 languages.

DH has not enjoyed his job for a long time now. It depresses him, and its becoming so bad that his moods are ruining our family time. He's now decided he wants to change career and return to the UK.

Fair enough, I dont want anyone to be miserable. Ive been looking for jobs and again I can see some opportunities for me. They are not that well paid but I could just about manage. The houses I could afford are nothing like our beautiful home here and my children would have to get used to life without a garden. The youngest of my children would loose their billingualism.

DH believes we should rent a more expensive home, taking into account his earnings. I dont think I can. I dont think I can trust him not to change his mind again. I wont want to uproot my children again. I need to know that their childhoods are secure and next time he doesnt like his job, it doesnt impact us all terribly.

He thinks its ridiculous that I would force us all to live on my lesser salary. I know it seems stubborn but I cant loose my home and my life again.

Does anyone else have any experience of this?

And if you returned to the UK, how did your kids handle it?

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isthismylifenow Tue 27-Feb-18 06:05:46

Londre, there are lots of I's in your post.

Cauliflowersqueeze Tue 27-Feb-18 06:10:19

Sounds really tough.

Would there be any option of him working in UK mon-fri and flying back at the weekend or is it too far.

Londresdemain Tue 27-Feb-18 06:19:10

isthismylife yes there are. Its about bloody time after 12 years of modifying my life to suit DH, to suit DC. So yes, this time I will comsider myself and hopefully nobody can pull the rug out from under me and the DC again.

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Londresdemain Tue 27-Feb-18 06:20:33

Cauliflower we wont be able to afford that. Its a move. And i can deal with that, I just need to know the kids wont go through this again.

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HopelesslydevotedtoGu Tue 27-Feb-18 06:25:27

What has changed about dh's job, or DH, that it depresses him so much now?

In what ways would a job in the UK be different?

What changes can he make in your current country to change his work, or himself? Has he seen a doctor to see if he is depressed, engaged in therapy and mindfulness, exercise, hobbies?

I'd worry that you'd all uproot yourselves and find the situation no better and maybe worse in the UK. Moving country is a big source of stress, even a welcome move back to your native country, and the change in living standards could be stressful too. I'd be reluctant to move back unless you're fairly confident it's going to help him.

TheKitchenWitch Tue 27-Feb-18 06:31:02

Is looking for another job where you are not an option for your dh? That should be the first thing to consider I think.


Arapaima Tue 27-Feb-18 06:31:02

Sorry, I don’t quite understand.

These cheaper places you’ve found are back in the UK, yes? But they’re based on your salary alone with no allowance for any earnings from DH. So you would all move back together and he would look for a job, but you would refuse to let him contribute financially so that if he changes his mind and wants to move again you’ll be able to afford to stay there without him? Is that right??

Sorry, but this does sound a little weird. I do get that you left the UK because DH wanted to and now DH wants to move back and you feel it’s all his choice and not yours. I think you’re entitled to put your foot down and insist you stay abroad if that’s what you want, with or without DH (is that an option?).

But if you do move back to the UK together as a family, I think you need to whole hearted about it. Moving into a home together and not allowing DH to be a full partner seems bound to lead to resentment and unhappiness further down the line. I think you should decide now whether you want to split or stay together, not some weird hybrid of the two.

Londresdemain Tue 27-Feb-18 06:36:53

Thanks Hopelesslydevoted nothing has changed. Its more of a single young guys game and as DH grows older I think he feels it more.

I dont know if it will be like this in the UK. Either does DH. He misses being able to speak English all the time too ( he hasnt learned the language well).

I worry we will uproot ourselves and he will still be unhappy. Im quite tough, I'll be fine and I'll make the best of it for the kids but Im not sure about DH.

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Londresdemain Tue 27-Feb-18 06:40:38

Arapaima youre right. But what about when he still isn't happy? And then I cant make the rent on the house? My kids will have just given up their home. I can't do it to them twice.

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Londresdemain Tue 27-Feb-18 06:44:22

Thanks everyone, Ive just realised that the real issue is that I think he will change his mind again once we get to England and that Im worried about this impacting the kids.

I've got to think about it some more. Thanks for all your responses- its been helpful.

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TheKitchenWitch Tue 27-Feb-18 06:44:44

Also, if the op’s dh wants to change career he diesnt actually know what his earnings will be, esp if he might be retraining etc so it sounds very sensible to not count on that imo.

isthismylifenow Tue 27-Feb-18 06:51:05

Londre, I just needed to clarify the I part to make the post clearer.

in summary.....So your dh has itchy feet now as he isn't really happy. But you and the dc are happy there. You will find a job in UK easier than he will, but your income will be much reduced.

I think he sounds a bit selfish. But what is the route of his unhappiness? Wouldn't a job change in the existing country be a better option for the whole family? Getting help for it if need be.

However, I can relate... we moved countries (twice) because my now exdh was similar. I call it itchy feet, but also known as thinking the grass is greener on the other side. We moved once with dc, yes it did uproot everything for them..... it took them a while to settle.

Low and behold, just got told a few months back that ex is now moving countries again...... nothing here for him, better opportunities elsewhere etc etc (never mind the fact he has two dc that will stay in this country with me). Of course the grass is greener where he is going. But for how long this time?

Uprooting three children is a big thing. Have they returned to the UK since your move?

I think your dh has to consider everyone here, seems a little like my ex who thought of number one first, then expect the rest to just follow.

Not putting that he may be depressed to the side here though, but perhaps sorting out the route of the problem might be a better issue for him to consider first.

jkl0311 Tue 27-Feb-18 06:53:31

What is the DH occupation? We can then give some feedback of the current job market in that sector back home

isthismylifenow Tue 27-Feb-18 06:55:52

Cross posted with you regarding language barrier being an issue....

Arapaima Tue 27-Feb-18 06:57:36

I guess I don’t see potentially moving houses in future (within the UK) as that big a deal. (Moving countries is, of course.) But I do agree with TheKitchenWitch that your approach is prudent if DH is likely to take a while to find a job or may need to retrain.

ovenchips Tue 27-Feb-18 07:08:55

Hi OP. It sounds as if life abroad has worked out spectacularly well for you with your job, lovely house and happy bilingual children. You really, really don't want to move. Does your husband know this first of all? Is he aware, apart from his job unhappiness (which does matter don't get me wrong) things are wonderful for the rest of you?

Second of all, it sounds as if life abroad hasn't worked out spectacularly well for your husband. You have been there for 12 years and he has been deeply unhappy in his job for a long time, unhappy at home because of it and wants to return to UK.

I think you both need to do some serious talking together about solutions to his unhappiness, exploring all the ways in which your husband could feel happy again and then inevitably come to compromises about what action to take.

I don't think it should be taken as fact that you all uproot and move. There are 5 of you to consider. But equally importantly if you do move back to UK you can't punish him for it (which sounds like you are already thinking about it like that) because it needs to be a joint decision made by the two of you without scapegoating one.

And by saying 'But you can't uproot us again!' you make it sound as if that is his continual pattern, but if you've been there 12 years, one move after 12 years is fairly stable tbh. Or is there something we are missing?

It's not obvious from what you write what the best solution is, but I feel you need an awful lot more talking and exploring between the two of you about possible options first. Then when you do make a decision it will be one you have both taken responsibility for and are going to make the best of.

Arapaima Tue 27-Feb-18 07:18:10

Good post ovenchips. This is what I was trying to say but you have said it much better!

Evelynismycatsformerspyname Tue 27-Feb-18 07:21:22

Has he ever uprooted the children before, or are they all under 12? It's hardly constantly changing if you last moved 12 years ago as a childless couple!

We moved almost 11 years ago and a lot of circumstances are similar, except that we arrived with a toddler and had 2 more here, and are not thinking of moving.

I started an entirely new career here and am retraining in a language I speak and write imperfectly. Why can't your DH career change where you are?

I do think uprooting the kids is selfish unless it is the only option - have you talked it all through? Including career changing where you are. Bilingualism is also no small thing to deprive your youngest of.

If you do move deliberately choosing a frugal existence sounds a bit like punishing kids who will already be unsettled. If it's for practical reasons it may be unavoidable, but it sounds slightly as though you want to show your DH he's feckless and spite him...

I think you both need to look at ways to compromise so the entire family can be content, but if possible I'd be staying put and supporting DH in a career change but not a move to the UK.

ForgivenessIsDivine Tue 27-Feb-18 07:23:51

It's difficult to really read too much into this from the information you have posted but it does sound like you husband is unhappy. It also sounds like you are content in your life right now and want it to stay stable for you.

In attempting to reconcile these two positions, you have come up with the unfeasible solution that you take on 100% of the family burden and your husband can do whatever he likes because in your mind, that is what he has done so far.

If you want to keep your marriage together, you will have to find a solution. If you don't, whether you stay or go, you will have to make enormous changes.

I do not envy your position (I am an expat trailing spouse) and I think many people find themselves in marriages that might otherwise have failed earlier if they were not living abroad because splitting up across countries is so muh worse than splitting up when you can live close by.

I think the psychological impact on the trailing spouse is huge and your feelings are understandable. I remember someone saying it's like being on a speedboat where your husband is driving having a whale of a time and you are holding on to a rope at the back waving to get him to stop and he thinks you are waving to say what a great time you are having.

Are there any anglophone counsellors who specialise in expat issues? They might be able to guide you through this... I wish you the very best.

Flomy Tue 27-Feb-18 07:24:24

I would suggest to him to consider retraining or look at different jobs there?

Has he got family here in U.K?

Londresdemain Tue 27-Feb-18 07:28:29

Its not out of spite but out of fear I would be living a frugal existance. I have a house here to pay for and then a house in England too - so much to loose if things don't go to plan.

He's never uprooted the kids before and he is justified in his dislike of his career. However, I am worried that the same career in England will bring the same problems.

He has a hotel based career. He will get a job no problem in England but I fear it will have the same problems.

He knows how I feel. He's trying, but yes I think we will need a move.

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swivelchair Tue 27-Feb-18 07:37:58

It feels like he hasn't really thought it through, that he thinks that going back to the UK will magically fix anything in an undefinable way.

I do get it being nice to go back to a place where everyone speaks English - but actually that can be stressful - I know that my DP hates going to shopping centres in the UK because he's used to being able to tune everyone out as he walks around, but in the UK they're all speaking English so he can't.

You and the children are settled and happy with a great life. Can he articulate exactly what he thinks will be different in the UK? Is there some compromise to be reached? What do your kids think (mine are very open with their opinions on a country, and when they're ready to move again - but we move a lot, so it's a common family discussion)

expatinscotland Tue 27-Feb-18 07:43:14

Who goes to live abroad and 'doesn't learn the language well'? How about he come over here first and try it out?

Londresdemain Tue 27-Feb-18 07:52:40

Expat I used to think that too but learning a language well wasn't as easy for him as he hoped! He can put his point across. It just doesn't flow well.

You are all really helpful. Thanks. Maybe we are just moving too fast. I wish there was a way to try it for a year!

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