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I am stuck on the other side of the world and my marriage is falling apart

(120 Posts)
Iris1789 Mon 16-Jun-14 05:01:02

I have posted before on 'living overseas' but think this is more of a relationship problem at the moment. I have made a terrible mistake and ruined my life and would appreciate any help as I can't see the situation clearly at the moment.
My DH is australian, I'm from the UK (though i have an australian mother and other strong family ties here). We married 4 years ago after meeting in the UK. About 2 months before our wedding he made it very clear that he wanted us to move to Australia in the next few years and if I did not do this we would need to call the wedding off. After a very stressful period I agreed (this is first big mistake). From that point on DH looked for work in Australia so we could move but had no luck...he had a very good job in UK (as did I) and I would not move without him finding work first. He became increasingly unhappy and we could not move on with our lives at all - he absolutely refused to buy a house or even rent a bigger flat as then we would be committed to stay for longer. He argue that he could not find a role as no company was interested when they couldn't meet with him etc. i was going mad living in limbo so agreed to go after we had our second child (so we would at least have my maternity leave to support us in the interim). I never wanted to go but felt that I had to as I promised this before we married. This was the second big mistake. We agreed that we would give it a go for a year and if things had not 'worked out' in that time (specifically, if he couldn't find a job and/or I was very unhappy) we would return.
So...over a year on and he has still not found a job. We live in a horrible house his parents usually rent out to students (at least it is free...) I am working in an ok job but not as good as the one I left. I miss my parents and friends horribly and feel terribly guilty they are missing out on the grandchildren. In all cases it hasn't worked out, but DH insists things will improve and effectively refuses to return. After a lot of arguing about this he has agreed to return by the end of the year if he still hasn't found a job, but I don't think he will honour this if it came down to it (there are practical problems too as he will not look for a job in the UK as he says he can't do that and job hunt in Australia ...)
The children are in childcare so all he does is look for work and drop them off/ pick them up. I work full time and do all the housework. He is very good with the children but our relationship is pretty poor at the moment. I don't think there's any option but to stay with him though is there? I feel completely trapped and isolated and bitter about what he's done to our lives.

BranchingOut Thu 19-Jun-14 17:28:13

I feel for the OP and my heart sinks a little these days whenever I hear of someone getting married before emigrating (which often seems like such as romantic prospect), as I think there are risks that people just might not consider.

kaykayblue Thu 19-Jun-14 17:58:08

branchingout - actually being married in this situation doesn't mean anything at all. Even if the parents aren't married Australia would still enforce their RIDICULOUS non relocation policies. Marriage isn't important, it's the presence of children.

I genuinely believe that they will be taken to international court at someone point. What they are doing is effectively holding people hostage. It breaches Article 8 of the ECHR (granted their not in the EU).

Iswallowedawatermelon Thu 19-Jun-14 19:28:49

I think op needs legal advice.

It has only been a year.

Hague convention seems to be rely on 'habitual residence', do you still have work connections here? I looked up your cloud wallaby posts, are you still on maternity leave?

The fact that you live in 'temporary' accommodation provided free by family and dh isn't settled at all and is still unemployed shows that he at least isn't settled into Australia yet.

Children being in preschool/childcare is not a good sign though, as this does show them as being settled somewhat. Also you working in australia is not good unfortunately, but on paper it only seems that you have' settled' and found work.

Hazchem Thu 19-Jun-14 23:18:02

Australia in particular gives the same rights to defacto couples as it does married people. For example if you split when married or defactor you are entitled to half of your spouses super or pension I think is the UK term.
The visa my partner is on is partner visa we looked at getting married before the application but on looking at they were more concerned that we had joint bank accounts and joint bills.

Eekaman Thu 19-Jun-14 23:49:28

I could write a Thesis on this topic. But here's a quick question to OP - who's more important, your parents or your kids? Or another way around, who's more important, your friends or your husband?

Answer those truthfully, and you'll know where you want to be, as I honestly don't think the location has a great deal to do with anything. Seems to me, you want to leave your hubby and come running back to Mummy and Daddy. Is that best for your kids? Where do they want to be? Where will they have the best opportunities?

And as for the job thing.... this I really do not get. We have some of the lowest unemployment figures in the world here in Aus, there are stacks of jobs, what does he do that can't get him a job here, Secretary General to the UN or something?

Hazchem Fri 20-Jun-14 01:40:41

Eekaman it might be low but it's still no great. My brother has been looking for work in melbourne for over 12 months. Since my partner and I have arrived there has been 6 jobs in his filed advertised where we live. Australia is not currently the land of milk and honey.

Iris1789 Fri 20-Jun-14 01:42:28

The kids are too young really to have a firm opinion on where they want to live (3 and 1), but they seem happy enough here, are settled at pre-school and obviously want to be with their Dad as well as me. In terms of which country offers the best opportunities for children, I think this is equal, personally. I agree that the deciding factor on where we should live should be what's best for them.
In the end then, this comes down to job opportunities for us. DH was in banking in the UK. He worked in a particular area which should have transferable skills across the industry, but no banks in Australia carry out the very specific thing that he did which is why I think his job opportunities may be better if he looks elsewhere (London being the obvious option). Clearly we might be back in the same position if we move back but I think he should at least be looking into this.

Glastokitty Fri 20-Jun-14 02:44:39

If there have only been six jobs advertised in your field, then you expand your field! Me and my husband both got jobs within weeks of looking here in Perth, not in our exact fields and we took pay cuts (comparitively speaking to Ireland). Within six months we both got big payrises and are now much better off than we were in Ireland where our wages had been frozen and cut for years. But you've got to go for it, drooping around on the dole for a year isn't going to cut it!
FWIW I think PiratePanda has it spot on, you need to separate the issues. I think if I was in your shoes I'd stay in Oz, as I don't think the Hague convention gives you much choice. I'd ditch the deadbeat husband though, he is just a drain on your life and resources.

Lweji Fri 20-Jun-14 03:10:09

It has been a year, he knows his skills are not that needed. Has he even done anything to retrain and acquire new skills?

Iris1789 Fri 20-Jun-14 03:23:17

Well he's been trying to meet with people from other industries and applying for different sorts of jobs...and he's had far more chances in the last 6 months than the first...been in the last three four times since on the one hand there''s some ''progress' but on the other still no job. It's not that he's lazy about finding a job (though he is about housework..)....I think it's more that he is not channelling his energies very effectively.

Hazchem Fri 20-Jun-14 04:09:20

OH is working out of his field with a huge cut in salary, while I am a SAHM/student so I can return to the work force with better qualifications. OH has been up skilling in his field via tafe and is about to start a diploma so he has an Australian qualification in his field.

The "there is plenty of work out there" line particularly in Vic is troublesome. Where do you think all the plant workers in geelong are going to go?

I'm not saying Iris husband shouldn't get a job but I find the there is plenty of work out there a bit rubbish. The lifter and leaner dichotomy is harming Australia which once was a place of championing our poor and disadvantaged.

iris has he thought of engaging a consutlant? A friend of mine after being made redundant had a session with a consultant and found it really helpful. The aussie job market has changed in the last 10 years and application process are both very different to the UK and how they were.

Hazchem Fri 20-Jun-14 04:12:19

If he wants Australia would he consider another area? i thought Sydney had more of banking industry. I hesitate to suggest that as I know in myself I don't want to leave where we are (although pregnancy has granted us at least anther 12 months here). I think after that then we will need to move for OH sanity.

Iris1789 Fri 20-Jun-14 04:39:38

Thanks hazchem. Yes, he has had some sessions with a consultant which he at least thought were useful. When we first moved over he did look at jobs in Sydney and we would move if a good opportunity came up, but it's harder now that I've been lucky enough to find a reasonably decent job and the children are happy in daycare (hard to get round where we are, particularly for under 3s.) I've also made a few friends and do really like the city - and I just find the thought if moving to yet another new place really hard.
When you talk about moving, do you mean back to the UK? Sorry if this is a mosey question!

Thumbwitch Fri 20-Jun-14 05:10:40

Moving again within Australia is something DH suggested (vaguely) to me. The job he got, very quickly the head honchos decided he was too good for and wanted him to move to HO in Melbourne. I refused point blank to consider it - I loathe change, it was an enormous thing for me to come out here in the first place and the main reason I agreed to it was because DH would be near his mother. It therefore made fuck all sense to me to move 12h drive away from her - plus I had made a reasonable life for myself here with playgroups and so on, have friends, and absolutely could not bear the thought of starting all over again in a different city, especially with no back up at all.

DH has now got a different promotion that has allowed him to stay where we are, he has to go to Sydney more often but we can cope with that. I still get the benefit of the support network I have here (incl. MIL) and that's ok.

Hazchem Fri 20-Jun-14 05:14:07

No probably to Melbourne. We would likely stay here and OH would start applying for work in Melbourne. I would prefer not to live in a big city and wonder if we would be better living in Ballarat but that is a pretty shit commute for OH and one of the things we like about living in Australia is not commuting.
We aren't in a position to afford to go back to the UK and my Visa has run out so would need to work out if I'm even allowed to go back. I could have applied for residency about 2 months before we left but the cost was just too much.
In someways I'd rather say move to a totally different country maybe somewhere in SE Asia then relocate in Australia but I am a bit crazy.

Hazchem Fri 20-Jun-14 05:15:40

That is sort of how I feel about moving from here to some where else in Australia thumbwitch I mean if I have to board a plane to visit my family might as well being somewhere really exciting.

Saminthemiddle Fri 20-Jun-14 07:14:30

I have had quite a few friends who have been trying to get a job in Melbourne, in all sorts of professions, plus gap year students who want any job and it has virtually been impossible. The only one who got a job was an accountant. Most young people there do two degrees, one after the other because of this. Salaries are high though when you eventually get one. Your DH must be feeling very disheartened OP.

AcrossthePond55 Fri 20-Jun-14 14:45:04

Does he have a degree? Would his employment chances improve if he furthered his education? After the banking collapse here I had quite a few friends who went back to school for a year (or 2) and got teaching credentials or certifications in other branches of finance or real estate. Most of them managed to find jobs they were satisfied with to begin building their careers back. A couple of them found that their degrees qualified them to obtain gov't jobs (secure and good benefits, if not glamourous).

Iris1789 Wed 25-Jun-14 00:13:55

He is very disheartened and I'm pretty sure he's depressed. He's been a 'successful' person all his life, found it easy to Iget good jobs etc and now doesn't. I feel unable to support him because I'm struggling so much myself and frankly I blame him for moving us here in the first place. If he were to retrain or take a much lower paid role than the one he did before I'd be fine with that but would want to do it in the UK where my job prospects are better. To be honest, I would want to see him explore opportunities in his current field in the UK before he did that.
I need to get formal legal advice but I strongly suspect my chances of taking the children back to the UK would be borderline at best - and I doubt they could give me a clear yes or no and then I'd need to spend all my savings and lots of stress in fighting the case. I think my best chance is to insist he keeps to his word to move back if he doesn't have a job by the end of the year. If he won't do that we will need to split up and I'll need to get on with my life here. But hopefully something will work out before then....

Hazchem Thu 26-Jun-14 09:58:33

What a shitty situation. He really needs to get himself some help. I know that isn't something you can do for him. I wish I could offer more.

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