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Binational relationship (British-German)

(17 Posts)
fidi Fri 07-Sep-07 09:16:06

Hello everyone!

Does anybody of you have had experiences with British-German relationships?

Espcecially culturell differences, education...

I live in Germany and have a brand new relationship with a Briton. Though he has lived here for 14 years there might be some useful hints...

Thank you very much in advance!!

glucose Fri 07-Sep-07 21:47:09

Hi if it's any help there are quite a number of British soldiers married to German ladies, living both here in the UK and in Garrison towns which are mainly in the NW of Germany. Their relationships on the whole seem to work just as well as any other, is your partner happy living in Germany? Personally I loved living there.

my daughter was born in a fantastic German hospital. I also visted a day nursery for her to potentially go to (we were posted b4 we needed it) they were doing the whole Steiner - Wardolf method which would cost thousands here. Where do you live?

kindersurprise Fri 07-Sep-07 22:07:09


I am British and DH is German, we have 2 DCs and live in Germany.

I would not say that there are significant cultural differences. I do think that the Brits are more laid back and informal than the Germans (partly because of the Du/Sie). I feel that the attitude towards families and children is better in UK, Germany can be quite child unfriendly.

Education is very different, British children go to school much earlier, from 4 years old in some areas.

Working mums are very common in UK, much more so than in Germany where you are made to feel like a Rabenmutter if you go back to work before the child goes to Kita.

fidi Mon 10-Sep-07 09:21:26

Thank you very much!! I think you totally right - Germany is rather unfriendly for children though it is said there are precious little amount of children being born...

And the Brits are more laid back indeed, though
as a foreigner you first have got to know them to discover. At first sight they seem to be rather closed but that only looks like. On on personal level they are not

Is he happy living in Germany...? He came here as a soldier 15 years ago and quit the service 2 years later.He likes it here but he also would like to go back home to the UK. I could imagine comig with him. I really love this country. But we have just started our relationship and I also have to think about my 6 year old son, who started school a few weeks ago. We will wait and see thing developping.

I live in Paderborn, North Rhine- Westphalia

Scootergrrrl Mon 10-Sep-07 09:23:33

I disagree about the children - we're in Germany down near Dusseldorf (Army, of course!) and everyone is lovely to the children. We can't go into the supermarket without them being given bread rolls or bits of ham or lollipops or whatever. And I think the restaurants are much more friendly to them too, but maybe that's just down here.

geekgirl Mon 10-Sep-07 09:28:11

hi fidi

I am German but have been living in the UK since I was 17 and am married to a Brit. I can't really think of particular differences (other than the obviously different education system) - everybody's an individual anyway.

I don't think Germany is less child-friendly than the UK - whenever we go to the butcher or baker in Germany my children come out with free goodies for them. grin They love it.

geekgirl Mon 10-Sep-07 09:29:22

scootergirl, glad you feel the same way. I think it's across Germany really. We usually go to Kiel where my parents live.

kindersurprise Mon 10-Sep-07 11:26:09

Yes, I agree that the children get goodies everywhere, but in everyday life I find it often difficult to go somewhere with my DCs. I have often been tutted at when they were too loud, have had doors shut in my face while trying to manouver a buggy, noone helps to lift a buggy down in the tram.

I also think that the general opinion here is against families. It is quite difficult to work and if you do go back to work before your children are 3, then you are branded a rabenmutter.

I have just decided to give up my job, which I love as I am just not making any money. By the time I cover my Krankenkasse, Rentenversicherung, taxes, costs and childcare then I am left with less than 100euros a month. Not enough for 8 -10 hours a week.

From what I have read, I do think that being a working mum is easier in UK and there is no stigma attached to it.

Sorry, bit of a rant, but am a bit pissed off at the moment, just had a talk with my tax advisor and was so upset to see how things stand.

Scootergrrrl Mon 10-Sep-07 12:44:29

I suppose we are, to all intents and prurposes, living in little England on an army base and can experience just the bits of Germany we want - no taxes, no beauracracy etc (although we do get Kindergeld!)
Q: What's a rabenmutter? Sounds very interesting!

kindersurprise Mon 10-Sep-07 12:53:45

A rabenmutter is a bad mother, one who neglects her children. Raben = Raven. Not sure why the ravens have a reputation of being bad mothers though.

My SIL was called a Rabenmutter by her mother when she put her DS in nursery (he was 18mths old).

I didn't know you get Kindergeld when living here with the British army. Where are you based, Scooter? In MG? That is just down the road from me << waves out the window >>

Scootergrrrl Mon 10-Sep-07 14:01:25

Waves back - we're at JHQ near Rhiendahlen... and it's raining... again...!
We get Kindergeld to top our British child allowance up to the German level so it's about 100 euros a month extra for my two.

And I'm also a ravenmummy - DS has been in nursery part-time since the day after he turned one. Flap those wings!

kindersurprise Tue 11-Sep-07 08:37:49

at least the sun is shining today!

Is that how much difference there is between Family allowance and Kindergeld? We might be moving back to UK next year. I read yesterday how much nurseries cost in UK and almost fell off my chair. Thankfully my DD is already school age, and DS will be next summer so we won't have long to pay nursery fees.

DH has a meeting with his boss this evening so we might know more then about whether we are moving or not.

Scootergrrrl Tue 11-Sep-07 08:49:28

There is quite a big difference but I think in the UK you can also get othet things like tax credits and stuff which make it a bit higher.
Where abouts will you end up in the UK if you have to go?

kindersurprise Tue 11-Sep-07 19:27:19

we might be moving to the north of London somewhere, perhaps towards Leicester. But it is very unsure at the moment, it could be somewhere completely different.

How are you enjoying Germany?

Scootergrrrl Wed 12-Sep-07 10:23:57

I really like it here, although I wish I could speak better German! Luckily DH has a degree in German so he's great at it.
Everyone drives so fast though!

Jeremyll33 Wed 20-Feb-08 16:31:26

I am a Brit male stay at home Dad married to a German, we have two small kids.

My MiL is anightmare - she made me clean the floor of the family weekend home the first week I stayed there.

Bring back Les Dawson and his mother in law jokes!

GemmaBear Wed 14-Nov-12 21:15:17

Jeremy, a few years down the line now, but how is the MiL? Are you still married?! Mine is vile too....

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