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Would you relocate overseas for your DH's job?

(30 Posts)
claraclott Sat 29-Mar-14 08:56:12

Appreciate some thoughts and experiences...

D is 60 this year (I am a year younger) but we are both 'young' for our age and people think we are at least 10 years younger. (!) His recent review at work raised the possibility of him being given a global role for a few years ( he can retire at 62 if he wants) either in Europe or long haul. There is no pressure on him to accept any offer but he partly would enjoy the challenge.

I don't feel the same. I've spent all our marriage 30 years living many hundreds of miles from my parents and they are now approaching their 90s. I am still a 5 hr drive away and want to see them more, not less. I know that even with air travel I could reach them faster but it doesn't feel the same.

We have 2 DCs now mid 20s and they live away but are still in touch a lot. I have a job- 2 in fact- running my own small businesses, which I have built up over the years. Each is part time but i enjoy what I do. One job could be done remotely using IT.

But I feel no desire to uproot and live somewhere else. DH would have an instant network with work colleagues but what would I have? Too old for the school gate clique and too young for the 'retired' brigade. I also don't want all the hassle of either renting out or our home or having it standing empty.

But- I feel I am being a bit selfish because overseas work was always an option and I said no in the past as I didn't want to uproot the kids- so I feel I am holding DH back.

LadyLapsang Sat 29-Mar-14 09:19:28

We are a little younger than you with one DS at university. While DS was growing up DH always travelled for work and lived abroad for a fairly short period. I have not usually travelled with him as I have always worked but I have managed some long weekends and a long holiday after his longer posting. Now we both work full-time and were he to be offered a post like this and wanted to take it I think I would be ok with it on the proviso we agreed what would happen if his elderly mum needed care. I would stay here in the UK and we could both travel to see each other - I'm sure if the company wanted him they would help make that work.

GreenerthanGrass Sat 29-Mar-14 09:20:39

I would - but i appreciate it is a very personal decision. We love travel and would love to live abroad. We've committed to staying here for the dc's education, but would go in a heartbeat if they were older and could travel / live independently. Especially if it was only for a couple of years and expenses etc were paid.

My parents did this when I was in my early 20s and it was a very positive experience for everyone. However, it sounds like you are not keen to go and if this is the case, it's a completely different story.
Not much help - sorry!

TeWiSavesTheDay Sat 29-Mar-14 09:24:57

I wouldn't unless I wanted to go to that place too.

Why should your career/social life/family come second to husbands career? You would be putting yourself and your happiness last and it's perfectly reasonable to not want to do that!

claraclott Sat 29-Mar-14 09:32:00

I suppose I have a history of a bit of resentment over this in that I moved from one area of the UK to another to be with DH ( and his job!) when we married - ( it was a LDR) and gave up my job and friends. When we had DCs I was mainly a SAHM - happy to do that- but it's only relatively recently that I have done work I really enjoy.
I know that even if we relocated overseas, he'd still be travelling a lot, and wonder how on earth I'd set about making friends in Germany or Switzerland, etc. I just don't have any real desire to live somewhere different. I'd be happy for him to go alone and we could see each other once a fortnight or whatever, sharing the trips, but he's not so keen on that.

Creamycoolerwithcream Sat 29-Mar-14 09:52:01

I am younger than you and have three times turned down the chance to relocate overseas to Singapore, New York and to Houston. Although I love travel and think the lifestyle and further travel opportunities would have been amazing ( particularly in Singapore) I wasn't willing to give up my life in the UK and think I would have relied to much on my DH emotionally. Plus the real biggie was we had the DC to consider. However now I am 45 and our DC are nearly grown up and on a recent holiday to Dubai I thought to myself if an opportunity did come up perhaps in about 5 years time I would take it as that could be a good time of life for a bit of adventure and risk taking.
OP if you feel no desire to relocate then just be firm and tell your DH you don't want to. My DH put the pressure on me and worked out we could have a maid live with us and this and that but I said to him no I like my life here. It's a very tricky situation to be in. I hooe you work it out.

claraclott Sat 29-Mar-14 10:05:02

Some interesting experiences here!
I think I feel resentful really. DH has worked for the same multinational for over 30 years and his life has been very predictable in that sense. However, I moved to be with him when we married and I've changed careers twice during our time together- am now self employed, working mainly from home. For the first time ever really in our marriage I feel somewhat content- the DCs have left home and I've got the time and energy to carry on with my own work , and have a reasonable work-life balance. I have no desire at all to go and live in a nice flat in Zurich or Frankfurt, and wouldn't contemplate OZ or the US ( other options.)

maleview70 Sat 29-Mar-14 10:08:04

Do you need to go? If it's only 2 years could you manage without him?

bragmatic Sat 29-Mar-14 10:14:08

We are much younger and lived apart from each other for 2 years. I'd consider staying put and him taking the job. I'm not suggesting 'conscious uncoupling' snigger, but living apart but still being together. Just for a couple of years.

Creamycoolerwithcream Sat 29-Mar-14 10:19:19

If you did go would it be a case of keeping you home here, perhaps rented out and then in a couple of years time move back? Do you think your DH would want to retire at 62 or do you think if took the overseas position he may want to make a real go of it for five to seven years? These are questions I would need to be answered before making a decision.

Twinklestein Sat 29-Mar-14 10:27:02

I am, as of this year. But I married a Frenchman and was always open to the possibility of living in Paris. However my children and my parents are younger. Paris is fine as my parents live in London so I will just nip back on the Eurostar.

It's very difficult if you have parents in their 90s and personally I would be concerned about leaving them.

Given your list of options I wouldn't particularly want to live in Germany, but then I speak French and Italian, and I'm not used to not being able to speak the language of the people around me. But I wouldn't turn down Italy or Southern France partly because the weather is so lovely. You could come back regularly to visit your parents.

Twinklestein Sat 29-Mar-14 10:28:22

^weather and lifestyle, I meant to say.

tribpot Sat 29-Mar-14 10:31:00

I would stay here and the two of you commute at weekends - you can share the commute and thus hopefully get the best of home life and nice-flat-in-Europe life.

claraclott Sat 29-Mar-14 11:51:28

Nothing is definite- he's just been asked if he would consider an overseas role.
My father is approaching 89 and my mum a year younger. I have a brother who lives near to them but that's not the point. DH has no parents alive.
Creamy I'd be reluctant to rent out our UK house- I am a bit OCD that way and don't want anyone living in it or using my bath etc! It would stand empty ready for us to come back to.
He def would not work to 67. The idea before yesterday's meeting was to consider retiring at 62-or possibly 63-64, final salary pension- and maybe work p/t contracting or consulting. I'd be happy to commute because he's away with work for a couple of nights most weeks anyway, so I could cope with being on my own.

TeWiSavesTheDay Sat 29-Mar-14 11:57:48

I know people who've done the commute and it worked well for them.

Twinklestein Sat 29-Mar-14 11:58:39

My husband's been commuting since he was offered the new job last year, too late to change the children's school for the coming year. It's been fine, but it's an easy commute. We're moving all our stuff at Easter, but the children will continue here until the end of the summer term.

What other European options are there other than Gernany?

dreamingbohemian Sat 29-Mar-14 12:10:12

I'm an expat myself. I think if you really don't want to go, you shouldn't talk yourself into it. It is a big move and you need genuine enthusiasm to muster the energy to do it.

You're not saying he can't do it, just that you don't want to go along. It's not really that difficult to come back every week or so from Frankfurt and obviously you could go there to visit as well. If he really wants to do it, I think he should consider going on his own, especially as it's only for two years.

That said, I'm not sure why you are so resentful of where you live in the UK. You made that decision 30 years ago -- surely you must come to terms with it and not let it fester, or if it was really so painful then you should have tried to move back years ago. I would try to separate that issue from your current decision.

claraclott Sat 29-Mar-14 12:36:03

dreaming I am not that resentful but I do feel I've made all the compromises re. work and location. When we met I had moved away from my parents ( to find work) - a move of 350 miles. I had friends and a career. When DH and I married, there was no question of his moving to me and my job ( now I sometimes wonder why) so I moved again, leaving behind my job and friends. He however has lived in the same town ( almost) since leaving uni. I've had to adapt my work around the DCs whereas he has carried on climbing the corporate ladder in the same company. I'm not unhappy where we live, but that's been down to me being adaptable whereas he's never had to do that at all.

This just feels like another potential uprooting with me giving up my life and him giving up nothing. I can see that there would be potential to make new friends and so on, but at 60 it would be hard work I think.

I've friends who have 'commuted'. One marriage went very well, the other two rumbled on and the men had affairs.

The only place I'd consider would be Italy, but the main options would probably be Zurich or Oz.

FR1 Sat 29-Mar-14 12:39:48

Europe is barely any commute at all. I would suggest he goes if he wants and you both take turns to visit each other.

tribpot Sat 29-Mar-14 13:13:25

I feel I am holding DH back

You mean because for the first time in your married life you're not putting his career ahead of almost all other considerations? (Accepting that you vetoed an overseas posting in the past because of your children's schooling, hardly the most selfish reason in the world).

There are plenty of reasons why your quality of life would suffer if you uprooted now. Not least of which is the fact you don't want to.

Creamycoolerwithcream Sat 29-Mar-14 13:21:50

Relocating doesn't sound the right decision for you OP and I don't living apart and seeing each other twice a month or whatever would be the answer.

Twinklestein Sat 29-Mar-14 13:36:38

They could potentially see each other every weekend if it's somewhere in Europe.

Creamycoolerwithcream Sat 29-Mar-14 13:40:03

Yes but that wouldn't leave much time to see elderly parents, DC and friends.

GilmoursPillow Sat 29-Mar-14 13:47:13

I think you've answered your own question and it's a No. I been an expat for 10 years as a 'trailing spouse' and brought my kids up overseas. (My eldest has had enough and went back to England to go to boarding school at the beginning of the year).

I moved because it's what I wanted but now I'm tired of it - as is he - and we're looking to sell up and buy somewhere we both want to be 'forever' which is his country of origin.

Living overseas is often billed and glamorous and exotic but we've turned down postings in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur (Aberdeen grin ) and Texas because after many years we can see through the expat bubble.

In a nutshell, if your heart's not in it don't do it.

lavenderhoney Sat 29-Mar-14 14:44:25

Can you run your business from there? And you don't have to rent out your house. You can leave it empty for yourself and dc to use and if you both hate it ( or you hate it) and want to come home.

He should go if he wants to though. All your reasons for staying are valid. If its only two years its do able, once you factor in holidays and visitors.

It will be easier to decide when you are know where you are going. It could be fun for two years. Will you miss him when he is gone, as if its oz you can't just pop over for a long weekend. Well, you can but it will be exhausting!

I missed my dm dying because of flight times and full flights. I regret that very much. I also missed my df dying as for once we stayed abroad for Christmas and he died Christmas Day. He never saw my dd.

Have you spoken to your parents at all? And your dc?

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