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I want to come back to the UK

(95 Posts)
abitlostandconfused Sun 25-Apr-10 01:29:20

But can't seem to put my reasons into words to explain to a husband that is happy here (Australia).

I am just not settled.

We're here on temp visas until October 2011 when we can apply for PR but the thought of staying beyond then fills me with dread.

I feel that if I pressurise him into coming back to the UK it will finish my marriage but at the moment I just can't find the words to explain why I don't want to stay. He asks me too and then just says I need to make more friends here! Christmas was bloody horrendous. We were with his family (they are amazing) but it was their Christmas and not ours. DSs 2nd birthday is probably going to be the same. If it was the UK our garden would be full of family, loads of friends and a bouncy castle. It just doesn't happen that way here.

The pull of family and friends is just too strong.

I am going back for a visit in September.

See what I mean? I just can't explain why this doesn't feel right to me.

Has anyone felt like this before?

What did you do?

ClaudiaSchiffer Sun 25-Apr-10 02:16:11

I know exactly how you feel. My first few Christmases/birthdays etc here were awful. So lonely.

How long have you been in Australia? I've been here nearly 4 yrs now and the crippling homesickness has got a lot better. It's still very painful when I think about my lovely family so far away but day to day my life is easier and happier than before.

Does your dh want to stay indefinately? I do think men feel the absence of family and close friends far less keenly than women do.

ClaudiaSchiffer Sun 25-Apr-10 02:21:34

I think it's all about roots, man. For some of us it is an almost physical pain to be uprooted. And I think it's almost like grief to see my dds growing up not having the life I wanted them to have - close family etc.

BUT the longer I am here I see that they have a fantastic life here - sure they miss out on a lot but it doesn't mean that it is a bad life for them.

It's very hard. I would say it took me a good year to really start to feel settled here. Now as the years roll on I have made better friends and am finding my feet here.

I would still move back to the UK though, given the chance. DH wouldn't.

brightongirldownunder Sun 25-Apr-10 02:27:21

Abitlost - I posted the same message on here a year ago. What you have done moving to the other side of the world is incredibly brave and you should be proud of yourself for achieving such a feat. I've been here for 2 1/2 years now and although I now have some amazing friends have told DH that this is my last year. Its actually a tough decision to make now, compared to last year as I finally feel settled but my parents mean too much to me and haven't been that well.
When did you move over? Was it a mutual decision or did you do it for your DH?
It takes a long time to make friends when you're starting from scratch - but are you going to playgroups/music groups etc? Its such a good way to find that soul mate. I can count my really close friends on one hand but they have been fantastically supportive, as we came over knowing nobody.
I also found that going to parks and striking up conversations with other parents gave me a new found confidence.
Don't think more than a year ahead. Your best bet is to aim at small achievements first - travel as much as possible, go to different parks, museums etc with DS, try and begin to enjoy the area you live in. That in itself is a positive.
Where are you? If you're anywhere near Sydney, we could meet. There's a great support network on here for Melbourne and WA as well.
Stay in touch - it will get better, I promise, just remind yourself that you're giving DS an amazing start in life and if it doesn't work out, you and DH will be able to work it out.

brightongirldownunder Sun 25-Apr-10 02:28:53

<<Raises a glass of Sauv blanc to Claudia>>

ClaudiaSchiffer Sun 25-Apr-10 02:50:42

Hi there Brighton grin.

Would your dh move back with you Brighton?

I am missing home today, my dds are being, um, demanding and dh is in a foul mood grump. If i was in the UK i'd head back to my mum and dads for a couple of nights, so we'd all get a break. Here we have NOWHERE to go and it's bloody annoying.

And it's a sodding long weekend and everyone is off doing family stuff and we are just squabbling. <sigh>

ClaudiaSchiffer Sun 25-Apr-10 02:56:02

And thanks for the wine darling.

brightongirldownunder Sun 25-Apr-10 03:10:47

Claudia - sorry your weekend's not going well. DH is in Perth for a week so I'm under pressure to entertain 24/7 this weekend.... gah....so far this morning DD has watched 4 episodes of Playschool and smeared herself in marmite....

I've told DH that he can make that choice. The way I see it, in order to live here permanently you have to have the most incredible bond with your DH to see you through the rough times. You have to be able to support each other, especially when you're missing loved ones. In my case its been terribly one sided and my greatest advice to abitlost is that she makes sure she is doing this for herself too. Its important to give it a go and I'm so glad I have, but I've lost the spark I used to have in Brighton - it could well be to do with living in Sydney, which really isn't my "thing", a shame as its a stunning city. I'm heading back to France to see my folks for a few months and mull over our future.For the first time though, regardless of the outcome, I'm feeling positive...

savoycabbage Sun 25-Apr-10 04:26:41

I was already crying when I started reading this thread. I have been here a year and four months now. I have made lots of friends as I was lucky that my dd started prep at the start, when nobody else really knew each other. I really like my friends here, but I don't want to live here. I am doing it day-by-day rather than year by year.

Every day I think that my dc are having the life I wanted for them. Nobody gives a toss about them other than us. Nobody watched my dd at Tumble Tots or is proud when they get a swimming certificate. We went to a farm this week and the sheepdog was called Olive and my dd called it Grape. Hilarious...but nobody to tell when I got home.

I really see how it is better here. Really. We live in a massive house and we go to the park every night. My dh is surfing right now. But I miss my friends and my family so much. I am sick of explaining myself to people. How long I have been here, why I am here if I like it. Which of course you have to say you do. I have been slagged of here on MN because I am always moaning about Australia, so now I don't do that either. I can't tell my friends at home, I can't tell my family, I can't tell my friends here and my dh doesn't get it at all.

He doesn't want to go back to the UK at all, but I do, I have to. How can my children have a happy life here or anywhere when I am so unhappy and empty inside? I'm so lonely.

tadjennyp Sun 25-Apr-10 04:40:35

That's an awful way to feel savoy. Sending you unMN hugs. You do need to talk to someone about this as it is your life and you deserve to be happy too. It sounds like the root cause of your problems isn't Australia, it's the distance from your friends and family. Can you go back for a visit any time soon? I recently went back to the UK for a visit (live in the US) and felt much better for it. You know, friends, family, familiar shops and shared cultural experience. I love living where I do but I can't shake the feeling that my dcs are missing out on the rest of their family, either. You are not wrong to feel this way, but you do have to talk about it with someone you can trust.

ninedragons Sun 25-Apr-10 05:25:37

You poor thing. It's one of those hideous questions like a second/third DC - there's just no compromise. One party is going to get what they want and one party isn't.

I thank my lucky stars that DH has no attachment to his home country. We met in Hong Kong, which he loved, but if he'd insisted on staying in China it would probably have been the end for us. I was just too desperate to come home.

Remember that just because you apply for PR or indeed citizenship, Australia is not one of the countries that makes you relinquish your original citizenship.

A year isn't that long to feel settled. If you give it longer, it may happen and it may not (eg Brighty).

Probably not a bad idea to open a dialogue with your DH about it, though. Personally, most of my friends are expats (overwhelming majority still in HK) and I think one of the big keys to making it work long-term is lots and lots of money. Enough that you can fly home on a whim and don't have to miss the events like weddings and (sadly) funerals, because you can't afford to go. If you and your DH don't make a bundle, it might be worth discussing if you can step up or change your careers so you do.

<Waves to Aussie friends>

abitlostandconfused Sun 25-Apr-10 07:09:43

Well, thank goodness I am not the only one!

We're in Perth and it was me who wanted to move more that DH. We'd been here so many times before on holiday 9 x 6 week visits in 9 years! I loved the place but holidays and living are very different.

We've got to stay in Perth until our temp visas are up.

DH did ask last night if I'd be happier in another State but I can't answer that. I do know that Perth isn't what I want. I went food shopping last night as there isn't anything open again until Tuesday! Even then, Woolies shut at 5.30!

Once you've done the beach and margaret river a few times, there isn't much else to do in Perth except spend time with friends.

I've been to toddler groups and they are so cliquey and closed off I stopped going. Instead we go to another couple of clubs at the swimming pool which is a bit better but once a week for half an hour isn't going to make me friends.

I've been recommended to go to another toddlers which I will call about on Tuesday once the public holiday is over.

We've been here almost a year and I am committed to October 2011 (I think!) but I am unhappy - end of story. I can't see myself being here if that continues.

DH has all of his family here as they emigrated 15 years ago. We see them lots and lots but big age differences mean different likes and dislikes.

I have a part-time job and have a few nights out planned so hopefully that will help.

We're off to Brisbane and the Gold Coast in a few weeks time for a break. We can't really afford it but I HAVE to get away.

Thank you everyone for listening. I still can't put it into words though but it is good to know others feel the same.

differentnameforthis Sun 25-Apr-10 07:45:28

Savoy...I think I may have been one of those on another thread that upset you, I didn't understand how you were feeling then, but I do now....because my dh confessed to me not long ago, that he needs to go back to the UK too.

I am very very sorry. sad

I don't know what to do, because I am very happy here. His family are all here & they are wonderful support for me & all of us really. First time I have felt like I matter & part of a family. I would be devastated to leave & do not know what is best any more. Part of me needs to be here with friends I have made, and for dd1's school, my girls to see their family, because my family in the UK didn't/don't seem to give a damn. But I hate knowing that dh is so unhappy here.

ben5 Sun 25-Apr-10 08:18:53

abitlostandconfused where abouts in perth are you? we are near rockingham. i have 2 ds. one is 6 the other is 4. we've only been here since june 09 but so far i love it. my parents have been over and there stay was far to long ( 4 weeks!!). we speak to family all the time back in the uk on skype and the kids get to show of there school certificates etc.
as for shops iga is open today and tomorrow

abitlostandconfused Sun 25-Apr-10 09:20:14

Hey Ben5. We're North, not far from Joondalup. I find speaking to people on Skype makes things much harder and I am full of tears when we end the video call. Back to email for me!

The thing is I don't have any immediate family left in the UK. I have a cousin and an Aunt I am very close to but mainly friends. I bloody miss ASDA!

I just need to keep plodding away for the timbeing.

echt Sun 25-Apr-10 09:40:47

Hello, savoy. Sorry you're unhappy, but you can get in touch with me and sound off whenever you like. When I came here more 4 years ago, someone said: "The first ten years are the worst". And I laughed. I kind of see what they mean, though.

kitbit Sun 25-Apr-10 09:44:36

Couldn't let your post go without answering.
I know EXACTLY how you feel. We lived in a european country until last June. On paper (and we frequently did the pros and cons list to try and get to the bottom of what didn't feel right...) it was great, exactly the life we'd hoped for.
However when we looked with our hearts something was missing, and it was friends. Had lovely friends there too, but the old and dear friends over here seemed very far away (email and skype just doesn't replace energy, vibe and the feeling inclusion that you get from being nearby). Added to that were the little differences that we thought we could handle (small cultural differences, little ways of doing things that just grated after a while) and where we lived it was very cliquey too, and although many people were welcoming we never truly fitted in despite speaking the language and making a monumental effort to be a part of things there.

Came to head last February, and I was lucky that dh felt the same. Or rather, he wasn't as strong about it as me but he accepted that I wasn't happy. I guess that's the bit for you that's the hardest - I felt we were dealing with it as a unified team which really helped. dh's family are over there, but he was happy to move back to be with the rest of the family here and our dear friends.

Maybe that's the thing - the two of you need to agree on a solution as a team, whatever that solution is. If you really are poles apart then a compromise is needed otherwise one or the other will always be unhappy.

But it's possible. And you CAN hang in there and keep the faith. As one bonkers old relative used to say "It'll be all right in the end. If it isn't all right yet, it isn't the end."

Chin up chuck, you can sort it! xx

ben5 Sun 25-Apr-10 12:36:24

how old are your children? ds1 has just got into joeys and i find most weekends are taken up with doing things with him! drove past Joondalup last week on way to Juirien Bay and thats abit far! do you get something like a weekend courier? it normally has things that are going on that are free over the weekend. it's been my life line! go to there website if not. also try www.playgroupwa.com.au
hope you find something soon and if you ever want to meet in perth for coffee give us a shout( often have to go to PMH so seem to be up there often!)

redflipflops Sun 25-Apr-10 16:26:49

Just wanted to say I totally understand the loneliness and missing UK. I moved to America 4 months ago and feel very unhappy.... get into cycle of self pity and cry all day

It's hard to put into words. The cultural differences, missing friends & family, feeling like a square peg in round hole!

We moved when DH job was transferred (so was never my dream). Friends in UK imagine we have amazing life, sunshine, big house etc... But none of that makes you happy IMO

I spend all my time fixating on how we can go back...

SuSylvester Sun 25-Apr-10 16:29:04

oh this is so SAD> i feel all weepy too.
iam a keen homebird, I like being in my own country and culture. I moved a lot as a kid and i am sure this affected it.

smithylovesme Tue 27-Apr-10 15:53:32

redflipflops i am in the same postion as you, we are in the US and i'm miserable really want to go back to England.
We have been here 10 months now and don't know how long i can stay sadDH's family are all here however they aren't that great to be honest and had a few problems on the way.
Have you spoken to DH about how your feeling?
My DH regularly comes home to me in tears, we had a good talk last night ad think we are going to work towards moving back.

greenday Tue 27-Apr-10 16:06:44

I lived in UK for 8 years (my DH from UK) ... and yet I felt soo at home there, that I too am the one who is pushing for a return to UK when we complete our contract here (in Thailand) .. even though my DH and DC love it here. For me, that says a lot about a country.

bringonthetrumpets Tue 27-Apr-10 16:14:02

I have been in your exact shoes, abitlost. I moved to the UK from the States to be with DH whilst his green card process was underway. I was a new mum and did not have any friends that weren't DH's family.

I also tried to make friends through toddler groups, meeting people at the park.... and I found it very hard. People were very friendly, but you can't make best friends overnight and I found the friendships to be a bit superficial-just because it seemed the people I met only had one thing in common with me... kids. I felt so incredibly lonely and got very depressed with the situation that I was in. I have to admit in retrospect, I was feeling very sorry for myself and it wasn't a good mindset to be in.

But,the best thing I could recommend, is talking with a therapist. I finally got to the point where I made an appointment with a GP (who was the most vile person I think I could have met here and she actually told me that I was being daft for getting depressed and to just "get over it") who eventually referred me to the counselor they had at that clinic. It was the best thing that I did-for me and my family. I only met with her once a week for 6 weeks, but at the end I felt so much more at peace with myself. I think a big part of my feelings were that I hated my situation and I was closing myself off to the prospect that I could make friends that I would eventually get close to, and she helped me to come to that realisation. I know it doesn't sound like the easiest or quickest fix to how you're feeling at the moment, but talking with someone can help you find ways to speak to your DH... and I know just being able to talk to another person about exactly how you're feeling can help you get through the week.

I hope you start to feel a bit better. It's hard, it's such a challenge when you can't even get out to the flipp'n grocery store when you need something and to think "this isn't the way it would be at home" but... I promise things will start to look up for you!

howdoo Tue 27-Apr-10 16:35:11

Gosh this thread really is sad! I am also now feeling weepy. We have been in the US two years now, DH is American and his lovely family are nearby. We have a lovely house and the children and DH are happy. BUT I just miss my friends - I feel so hopeless for not having made any really good friends here. And UK friends seem to think out of sight out of mind, and never seem to ring. So I just end up feeling like I'm not important to anyone IYSWIM.
I am very lucky in that DH lived in the UK for 10 years with me, so he totally understands the long term loneliness of it all. I think it's key to be able to talk about it, and esp hard if your OH doesn't want to hear it.
I often feel really jealous of people who get to come here for a few years with a job - they get to go home eventually. I am here permanently.
Maybe Trumpets is right about talking to a therapist - I know that I am not giving off particularly friendly vibes because I am wary of being rejected/misunderstood etc.
Ho hum! I can say that the awful misery of the first few months/year DOES get better and you have good and bad days!

tadjennyp Tue 27-Apr-10 17:01:30

Whereabouts are you in the States, howdoo? I've lived abroad before (Germany and Cyprus) and loved it, but I've always gone home after a couple of years. I've been here (Oregon) for almost 2 years now too and I know I haven't had enough yet, but as I probably can't resurrect my career here, I can imagine wanting to go back in the next 3 years or so. I know what you mean about missing friends. We've set up a skype conference call about once a month so we can chat together - it's great!

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