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Converting your husbands to move back to your country of origin?

(14 Posts)
xlng Fri 09-Oct-09 21:26:48

Dear all,

I am originally from Malaysia. I have lived in UK for 11 years, since 1st year in university. Since having my eldest daughter, I have always been excessively homesick. I do try to make the most of the time in uk, but I don't want to live here for the rest of my life.

Ideally, I would want to move back to Malaysia because I would want my children to go to Chinese school, get to know their roots, spend important celebration days with my parents and family. The hardest bit now is to persuade my husband to make the move.

Has anyone ever succesfully converted their husbands to make a move?

beatiebow Fri 09-Oct-09 22:26:31

Has he been there to visit? Can he get a job there?

castille Fri 09-Oct-09 22:39:36

Is your DH the main breadwinner? If so, are there any advantages in it for him?

This was crucial for us. DH agreed to give it a try, mainly because it was advantageous to his career.

xlng Sat 10-Oct-09 16:28:12

Thanks for the replies

My husband is also originally from Malaysia. He has been in UK for 15 years. We go back once every year to visit our families.

He can get a job, but that means he will have to agree to a pay cut. He is the main breadwinner. He is now aiming to pay off our mortgage as soon as can.

Castille, where are you originally from? So, are you back in your country of origin now?

blueshoes Sat 10-Oct-09 16:39:51

xlng, how old is your eldest daughter? Is she already settled in school in UK or just starting.

If your dh is originally from Malaysia, he must have a good idea what it is like to move back. This could either help or hinder your persuading him to move back, depending on how he feels about his country of origin vis-a-vis UK.

I don't think the pay cut issue is significant because the cost of living in Malaysia should be lower than here.

What reasons has he given for staying in UK, or for not moving back?

xlng Sat 10-Oct-09 22:12:59

My eldest daughter has just turned 2. She doesn't go to nursery. My husband babysits her when I go to work for 1-2 days a week. I am not even bothered to check out UK pre-schools for her. She was borned in September, so I have given myself 3 years deadline to persuade my husband. The persuasion has to be done gently without him knowing that I have got this big plan in store. I have tried nagging him when I have had a bad day but that obviously made matter worse.

Unlike women, men are less emotionally attached to their homes and families. So, he could never understand why I want to live closer to my family.

He does have some ideas about living and working in Malaysia, but they are all negative hearsay from his relatives. The reasons he gave for staying in uk are: better pay (you won't believe how money-minded he is, he is a GP by the way), better healthcare system, safer (which I disagree), better education system (which I disagree again).

I think the main barrier I need to overcome is to let him realize that money is not everything. Isn't it a wife's duty to correct her husband's wrong attitude and presumption? Nagging is no good. How can I demonstrate this theory in a more practical way?

blueshoes Sun 11-Oct-09 11:55:31

xlng, I am from Singapore but have lived in UK for more than a decade.

Funnily, my brother is a GP in UK, having spent many years training in the UK in various hospitals around the country. He is not particularly focused on the money but he shares your dh's views about the NHS. My brother spent some time contemplating whether to go back to Singapore. As for the education system, again hearsay, I know people who had their daughter spend reception and year 1 in UK go back to Singapore to say how pressurised it is in Singapore and less fun it makes learning.

But you are talking about Malaysia, so not much of what I say is particularly relevant.

I don't think either you or your dh is right or wrong. It is just you prioritise different things. Once your dd becomes schoolgoing age, this issue of schooling becomes a lot more pressing, and might swing the balance in your favour.

You and dh need to do more research, ideally together. The next time you go back to Malaysia, can you meet people who know the Malaysian healthcare or schooling system, for a casual meal. Ideally, they should have some experience of the UK system as well to compare and contrast. Same for people you know in the UK with experience of the Malaysian system - though it is more likely that people who are in the UK would prefer the UK over Malaysia.

This is to deepen your research and takes it out of hearsay to just your dh.

You can dress it up as a fact finding mission ahead of your dd's schooling. And not try to pressure your dh either way so that his shutters don't come down.

Just prep work that keeps this issue ticking over and gives it time to sink into your dh's mind.

xlng Sun 11-Oct-09 14:31:07

Thanks you blueshoes for your support

I don't know whether you have heard about the teaching of dizigui. It is based on Confucius study and teaches students (adults and children alike) to be responsible, courteous, understanding, thankful etc. All the good virtues you can ever think of.

In the last few years, this method of teaching has been rolled out to many schools in Malaysia as well as Singapore. It is very attractive to me. I am also aware that dizigui pre-school classes are available for children as young as 3. I am planning for a trip back to Malaysia in March 2010. I plan to take my eldest daughter with me to attend the class. DH will see a difference. The dizigui teaching is not a one-off class, it's an ongoing experience for parents and children.

By the way, blueshoes, where do you live? Do you have school-aged children? I live in Portsmouth.

blueshoes Sun 11-Oct-09 20:32:05

Hi xlng, I live in Greenwich, SE London. My children are 6 (Year 1) and 3.

I have not heard of dizigui but it sounds good. It would be one of the benefits which might appeal to your dh.

Having been educated in Singapore and checking with dh (who is from UK) as well as my limited experience with the education system here, schools in UK don't tend to explicitly push moral values in the way that schools in Singapore do.

Even 3 decades ago, I remember having moral education classes in Singapore which taught respect for elders, etc.

Another difference between schools in UK and Singapore is in Singapore that students have to pass an academic test every year, failing which they are held back. There are a lot of assessment books in Singapore geared towards passing those academic tests. In UK, there is no such thing and children are promoted year after year even if they don't have basic skills.

How good are the schools in Portsmouth?

There are lots of debates that can be had about the general differences between the education in Singapore (and Malaysia) and the UK wink.

castille Sun 11-Oct-09 20:55:54

xlng - my DH is French and our experiment only lasted 3 years - he wasn't happy, mainly because felt stressed and uncomfortable working in another language (he is a medical man like your DH) despite his English being excellent, so we came back to France.

But if your DH is Malaysian too this wouldn't be a problem for him!

Good luck with persuading him. It sounds like you have some very good arguments...

womblemeister Mon 12-Oct-09 02:32:42

xlng - yes, I have just convinced DH to move back to the UK. It has taken me 4 years though.

How? erm...threatened to leave blush, but there were several other issues as well, none of which seem to apply in your situation thankfully. It was a very complex process, this was what worked for me (tried to keep it short):

- you need to be asking him some pretty tough questions - first establish what his values are and what he wants to be transmitting to his kids. If money /material things are high on his list then question whether he really believes that these are really the most important things or whether your children would actually benefit from a larger/happier family.
- make Malaysia seem like paradise compared to the UK, without making it obvious. your trip in March will be an excellent start. Organise family events, meet-ups with friends, trips etc. etc.
- try to visit people you know who have successfully made the switch. This is a potential deal-maker, if you can find a success story.
- stress the cultural/language aspect. Unless your children spend some of their formative years in Malaysia, it will always be alien to them. Tell him this makes you very sad.
- point out the many advantages of having a bilingual education.
- tell him you feel that, in the country you are currently living in, you cannot give of your best to your children, and this also makes you very sad.

You need to sit him down and have a real heart to heart, or five. Unfortunately if one partner is not happy about the country of residence, the problem will just bigger and will eat away at what was probably a very good relationship initially. It has to be addressed. The fact you have started investigating schools shows that you have your heart set on the move - that's exactly what I have been doing for the past couple of years.

I wish you the best of luck!

Snotmonster Mon 12-Oct-09 05:45:03

xlng we're from the UK now living in Singapore. DH has been using recent stories in the UK press to persuade me that he doesn't want to go back there. Mainly about how much worse off we'd be financially. Might be worth adding to your list of reasons - particularly on increased taxes, cost of living on things such as electricity/gas/water etc.

Blueshoes I agree too much pressure on kids here in Singapore a friend of mine took her son out of local school and put him into an international one as he was finding it too tough. Also I find my contemporaries are very 'book learned' IYKWIM - possibly as you have mentioned because they had to sit an exam every year but when it comes to work it means they very much stick to what it says in black and white and are not very flexible or able to think around the subject.

flyingcloud Mon 12-Oct-09 09:23:33

My only advice on this is that make sure you are both happy with the decision. I have seen many couples become unhappy because one felt pressurised to move when the other was happy or had a progressing career that stalled once they moved.

Changing financial circumstances put a huge strain on a couple as well so you have to take into account any extra pressure or strain that your husband may face transferring his career home.

Obviously you have some pretty persuasive arguments, and as you both come from Malaysia it should be less of an upheaval. Good luck!

xlng Mon 12-Oct-09 14:58:13

A big thank you to all who gave me the much-needed advice and support.

Sometimes, although you might know what you want, you need others to look at things from a different angle. All of you have prompted some essential questions I need to think through, which I believe will contribute to my future success at persuading DH to make the move.

My aim is not to pressurise him to move along with me, but to return to our home country together and stay there happily without comtemplating all the time whether he has actually made the right decision.

Thanks again

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