It’s like I woke up and I’m here, heartbroken and in fear

(29 Posts)
DasPepe Tue 06-Apr-21 03:29:26

We were worried about Brexit and as my partner received a job offer, we left UK over 3 years ago.

It’s like I woke up just now and I don’t know what I was thinking. I want to go back but we would struggle work wise / and I worry about the kids and I know everyone has moved on.

I don’t dislike where we live now - in that it’s safer and it’s ok for the kids. I just suddenly do not want to be here any longer.
I wish we hadn’t moved I can’t stop crying, I can’t look at photos from before. My kids have picked up on this as I have now cried in front of them.

I know we could go back but I worry that if we do something bad will happen and I will have regret even more.

It’s like death - I literally feel like someone has died
I don’t know what to do
I’m old and it feels like too much

I miss my family

OP’s posts: |
Tryingtryingandtrying Tue 06-Apr-21 03:33:49

Have you been home since? Could it be the inability to travel home for a holiday that's making you feel thst way? How old are your children? It's been a traumatic year in so many ways. Be kind to yourself. X

FortVictoria Tue 06-Apr-21 03:35:32

Did something else happen to set this off? It sounds like you were happy there, and probably would be again. But it also sounds like you are more unhappy than the usual bouts of homesickness and wish-I-didn’t-live-here that all expats have. Can you think of something seemingly unrelated that has kicked off this unhappiness and anxiety?

DasPepe Tue 06-Apr-21 03:36:40

I’m sure the year of lockdowns has contributed, yes. We have not travelled to UK for almost 2 years.
But I think it’s also that we are looking at (very late) som life insurance and pension options. And it made me realize how much I do not want to be here now let alone retire.

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DasPepe Tue 06-Apr-21 03:39:01

I just can’t stop crying. I’m not eating or sleeping.
I have these moment of terror when I think - what I was thinking back then.

My husband is not British

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KarenMarlow3 Tue 06-Apr-21 03:46:27

Are the children adults? Which country are you in?
You sound as though you are suffering from depression, which is not surprising after this year. I think you need to see a doctor. Do you keep in contact with your family and friends in the UK? Even video calls and phone calls are better than nothing.
Are you bored? ( I ask because I was in the same situation before we moved back to the UK).
Do you have friends in your new country? Is there anyone in real life that you can talk to?

DasPepe Tue 06-Apr-21 03:55:17

The children are small- one in school. One not yet. They picked up language ok.

I’m not so much bored as aimless. I want my family but I worry about long term stability and quality of life. I have a part time job ( though I am not happy with my career change(

I am afraid of the next move in case it turns out wrong

OP’s posts: |


GeorgieTheGorgeousGoat Tue 06-Apr-21 04:06:34

Are you in your husband’s hone country? Or a third country?

DasPepe Tue 06-Apr-21 04:12:36

We are in his home country.

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jessstan2 Tue 06-Apr-21 04:24:44

I'm so sorry you feel as you do, DasPepe. You could just be going through a phase and might find, if you came back to the UK, life is not much better. I agree the last year has made things very difficult. One good thing is that your children are settled.

(You say you are 'safer' there; why were you not safe here? I realise there are 'dodgy' areas with high crime rates, we see that on the media, but there are far more places in the UK where this is not the case and people feel safe. I do. I am sure it is the same in other countries.)

I hope you feel better soon.

KarenMarlow3 Tue 06-Apr-21 04:34:06

You say you are afraid of the next move. Do you mean, moving back to the UK?
Worrying about long term stability sounds, again, like a symptom of depression, along with the crying. Things will improve, even if you can't see it just now, but you need to seek treatment, to help you.
Has your husband helped you to integrate into his country? I am floundering here, as I'm not sure if you are speaking about a different country in Europe, or a different continent. Are there cultural issues going on?
In the short term, it's better if you can just think about what you are going to do tomorrow, rather than thinking about long term plans. Be kind to yourself and try to eat something, even if it's just a snack. Sending virtual hugs.

LudoTrouble Tue 06-Apr-21 04:49:15

I can more than relate to your feelings. My DH is so happy here but I feel like if we moved home it would be all on me to make it a success, and I would feel so guilty if things were worse for school, career, finances or family.

And who knows if you'd be any happier back home or if you're just feeling unsatisfied in general. It is a dilemma.

One thing does feel sure for me.. right now is not a great time to be making huge life changes because of the pandemic.

Would you consider counselling to help work through and clarify some of your feelings?

UntilYourNextHairBrainedScheme Tue 06-Apr-21 05:16:30

Even before the pandemic and Brexit double whammy made travel more difficult, emigrating was an intense emotional ebb and flow for at least five years. The very intense emotional waves can crash over you unexpectedly, with the tiniest provocation. Moving with a family amplifies this enormously because all the consequences are bigger and longer term. Contrary to what well meaning but clueless people who've never emigrated with a family will tell you (the worst culprets being those who "did a year or two abroad" and think this is the same) you're still in quite an early phase, 3 years in.

If you can weather it you'll probably feel at home almost all the time by ten years in - which of course doesn't mean happy all the time, but pragmatic, able to see both good and bad, and on an even keel as you'd expect in your home country.


SparklingSaskia Tue 06-Apr-21 05:37:14

Like others have said, moving to another country brings years of emotional turmoil. I have done it twice, and the second time is even harder. Wanting your old live back is completely normal, even more so in Covid times, when there is not much to look forward to. I’m sorry that I can’t offer much practical advice, just a virtual hug. flowers

DasPepe Tue 06-Apr-21 09:56:22

Thank you all for your replies.

To clarify the safety thing: it’s partly financial but also small things like cycling to primary school, crime etc. we would move to London (but outer).
I also worry that my break and subsequent unrelated job will hinder my work prospects.

I think everyone cal tell there are other issues as well. And so I just resent being here.

Thank you all

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Andante57 Tue 06-Apr-21 10:27:28

Op I’m sorry you are going through this.
What about your husband? Is he much happier in his own country or if Brexit isn’t as bad as you feared, would he think about moving back to UK?
Obviously everything is on hold at the moment but the pandemic won’t last forever and then maybe it will be possible to see a clearer future.
Also, I know on mn ex pats are supposed to instantly learn the language (maybe you already speak it) and make friends with locals, but are there any British people with whom you could meet for walks (not sure what the Covid rules where you are)?

Legoninjago1 Tue 06-Apr-21 10:36:13

You poor thing. Have you spoken to your husband about how you feel? Would he consider a move back? We did more than 3 years overseas and came back for the kids to go to school and just because I wanted to be home. We were also worried about getting back into our careers after a break but it's been absolutely fine. Kids adjusted straight away. You really do need to talk about it openly with him.

DasPepe Tue 06-Apr-21 15:52:23

We moved just before school- we had a place at a lovely school with my DD1 friends. We didn’t own property (and don’t now) but we were settled.

And we moved because my husband insisted that we would be in a better position to buy here. But we are not. And I feel cheated. And lost and so so guilty for taking my child away from her friends and leaving my mum behind.

I’m sorry I keep going on- but it’s hitting me quite bad and I really don’t know what to do.
The kids are settled already. It would be so unfair to uproot DD1 again

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Shampoosupernova Wed 07-Apr-21 00:34:53

So sorry for I understand how you feel. Sometimes being married to a local makes it more difficult for you to find new friends and adapt. I lived for 2 years and one month in my husbands part of the country. We are from the same country but from totally different regions, mine is 2 and a half hours flight from his, the weather, the landscape, the accent... Everything is totally different. I missed everything including the winter.
I had your same fears. But in the end we left, have been living in different countries, we are now settled in the uk. I love it here, it was easier for me to integrate here than to my husbands part of my own country.
If you are like me, then You need to go. You will hate the country more and more, will get worse, not better.
You need to talk to your husband. Get help for depression, probably an antidepressant will do, see your GP. Persuade your husband, and leave, with your family of course. Find a compromise with your husband, but make it clear that you are struggling, unhappy, etc. Do it for the sake of your family. Sometimes things don't work as expected, that's it.
Good luck.

Fere Sat 10-Apr-21 06:50:09

What jobs you both are doing?
I think the market is picking up. I work in IT and have had quite few agents contacting me even though I am not looking!
Maybe worth checking for jobs opportunities for both of you?
Is your husband talking about moving back to London?

workwoes123 Sun 18-Apr-21 07:47:43

What does your husband say about moving? Is he sympathetic to the idea?

I have to agree with pps that this is not the time to make big decisions. We’ve been in France for 13 years, completely integrated (kids especially) and have never felt so unsettled and out of place as we do just now. I’m sure it’s because we haven’t been able to return to the U.K. for over a year and haven’t seen our families. It’s making me homesick for a place I don’t even really want to live in!

DasPepe Thu 22-Apr-21 16:40:31

@Fere and @workwoes123

Thank you both for your comments, they illustrate the difficulty of my choice.

My DH thinks that Germany is better in the long term but we haven’t really settled properly yet - esp financially.
I want to spend more time with my family - I don’t want the odd Xhristmas and birthday anymore. It’s been 4 years. I want to do things with my mum now and not when she can hardly move or remember my name. I don’t know why I hadn’t considered this as much - I guess I was trying to be rational.

And to be honest I can hardly face H anymore anyway. I can’t imagine us retiring together - so perhaps I’m better off working back in the ok and actually paying into. Pension

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DasPepe Thu 22-Apr-21 16:44:21

Sorry I actually meant to say: thank you for your points. It’s so so difficult to untangle the COVID issues and any other issues we might have.

I’m not sleeping well, so also not thinking clearly.

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GrumpyHoonMain Thu 22-Apr-21 16:53:10

I think you need to see a doctor. Sounds like a depressive episode to me which could be making your feelings feel bigger than they are. Do you speak German? Do you have friends? All of that really helps.

Awomanwalksintoabar Thu 22-Apr-21 17:06:24

I write from a different perspective, because we have also been in Germany 3 years, but we are going back to the U.K. in the summer. My children are a bit older than yours, and one has settled very well, but the other never really did. Neither of us is German, although DH wishes he was, and speaks it very well. I don’t, and my career prospects are poor here. Even so, we would have liked to have stayed. But the separation from our families that COVID has brought, and the fact that I haven’t been able to get out there and look for work for the last year+, and that I don’t really know when things will get significantly better, has really made the decision for us.

In spite of all that, I do feel uncomfortable about making this decision under such difficult circumstances. It’s really not a time for big life decisions, and you need a cool head. I don’t know how this will help you really, but I just wanted to give you a perspective from the other side of the fence, and to encourage you to look at the whole family and decide based on that. It’s tricky.

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