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Austaff

Partner wants to go back, I don't!

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Hey all, 

I'm sure this isn't an unusual situation so I'm posting asking for your experiences and advice.

We have been living in Australia 13 years and I am completely settled. We have two Australian born children (too young to have started school), but unfortunately my partner has never really settled here and wants to return to the uk. He says family is the pull to return home and now his nan is getting old and sick, he's really putting the pressure on. 

He keeps showing me houses we could buy in the uk with the equity we have in our current home (we could be mortgage free if we returned) and says how this would free us financially and how wonderful it would be to have our family around etc etc. Unfortunately the houses he is showing me just make me depressed! The houses in the U.K. are no comparison to what we can afford here & moving back to a tiny house, far from the beach with a crap garden is not exactly appealing to me. I love where we live, have great friends here and the local schools for our children are great and so I find his wanting to return puzzling. I get the family pull but for me that doesn't overcome the opportunities our children will have here and the excellent weather and lifestyle.

I feel bad refusing to move & feel it is selfish of me to refuse him spending the last few months/ years with his nan before she passes, but I simply don't want to move. I'm worried we will go back and I will feel it is a huge mistake and resent him for dragging me back, but then be stuck there forever thinking of what I would be doing had we stayed. 

IAnyone else in this position and how did handle it? Did you go back and adjust or hate it? Im so confused as to what is the right step for our family 

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There are so many similar posts - you're not alone.  I can't offer words of advice but wonder if regular trips back to the UK for our hubby?


I just want PIO to be a happy place where people are nice to each other and unicorns poop rainbows

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Try marriage counseling, the pair of you have to find a compromise situation or your relationship is probably doomed. What are you prepared to compromise on and what is he prepared to compromise on?

There are loads of us - I was on the other side, desperate to leave but with a husband who wouldn't. He relented and we have had 7 glorious years here now. Your kids would be just fine in UK, having a loving extended family, along with all the first world benefits you find in Australia, could actually be a real benefit for them. My boys, now grown men, have both said they regret the isolation from extended family and the relationships they've missed.

Your DH is probably depressed - a lot of us have/had situational depression and is a very real beast that will eventually drain your soul especially if the resentment seeps in. Only solution is to remove from the situation. Sadly we see many relationships ending because of the inability of partners to accommodate the needs of each other.

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Some people are born to be nomads and can live anywhere.   You are probably a nomad, like me.  But a surprising number of people feel an enormously strong attachment to their homeland.  They can't explain it, and there's nothing they can do about it.  It's not just their family they miss, it's something elemental about the need to be where they belong.  If your husband feels like that, he will never change.  In fact, the feeling will just get worse and worse, the longer he is away from home.  It's called situational depression and the only cure is to go back to where you belong.

It's something I struggled to understand for a long time and I really thought people were exaggerating, but I've seen enough examples now that I understand how real it is.

It's understandable that you want to stay, because you can see all the "quality of life" advantages - but for him, those mean nothing compared to the emptiness and sense of dislocation he feels.   There's no way to change that, except to put him on anti-depressants and/or send him to therapy.  So you've got a tough decision to make, and it's got to involve compromise of some kind.

Perhaps you agree to go back, but instead of trying to be mortgage free,  buy a house that you could be happy in, or move to a different part of the country which is more affordable?  Perhaps you could agree to stay in Australia until the children are ready to start secondary school?  Good luck with it.

Edited by Marisawright
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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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8 hours ago, ali said:

There are so many similar posts - you're not alone.  I can't offer words of advice but wonder if regular trips back to the UK for our hubby?

Unfortunately that's not really practical although It would be a good compromise. Our children are really too young to go on an aircraft for the sake of a few weeks holiday & the expense and annual leave situation would mean we could only go every few years which I don't think would be enough for him to quell the longing to return. If only the uk wasn't so far away! 

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7 hours ago, Marisawright said:

Some people are born to be nomads and can live anywhere.   You are probably a nomad, like me.  But a surprising number of people feel an enormously strong attachment to their homeland.  They can't explain it, and there's nothing they can do about it.  It's not just their family they miss, it's something elemental about the need to be where they belong.  If your husband feels like that, he will never change.  In fact, the feeling will just get worse and worse, the longer he is away from home.  It's called situational depression and the only cure is to go back to where you belong.

It's something I struggled to understand for a long time and I really thought people were exaggerating, but I've seen enough examples now that I understand how real it is.

It's understandable that you want to stay, because you can see all the "quality of life" advantages - but for him, those mean nothing compared to the emptiness and sense of dislocation he feels.   There's no way to change that, except to put him on anti-depressants and/or send him to therapy.  So you've got a tough decision to make, and it's got to involve compromise of some kind.

Perhaps you agree to go back, but instead of trying to be mortgage free,  buy a house that you could be happy in, or move to a different part of the country which is more affordable?  Perhaps you could agree to stay in Australia until the children are ready to start secondary school?  Good luck with it.

Thanks for your reply, and also yours Quoll. They have helped me have a better understanding of what he is feeling and that unfortunately it probably won't go away despite my hope that he will finally settle. I have been thinking that he is being pretty selfish trying to drag us all away from our home, friends and life we've had for the last 13 years to go back to a country which I'm sure isn't the same place as we'd left all those years ago, to live a quality of life that seems less that what we have here.

Your right in that I think I'm a nomad person & could probably make the most of living anywhere. I also think because my mother passed away when I was little, the family pull isn't as strong for me & so perhaps it should be me to compromise. Although the thought of the expense and effort to do it all (which will probably end up on me) is exhausting & thinking about what kind of life my children would miss out on saddens me. 

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Life in a family unit is always a compromise . The hopes dreams of all not always the same .if your the one to compromise your dreams , do so with a happy heart look for how you can enjoy the option , to not do so often leads to discontent and resentment, .We don’t always get what we want in life ,it’s being strong enough to accept and throw ourselves wholeheartedly into what suits the situation that will help bring happiness . The most important in life is your family unit and the happiness of all , best of luck wherever you bide .

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34 minutes ago, Austaff said:

Thanks for your reply, and also yours Quoll. They have helped me have a better understanding of what he is feeling and that unfortunately it probably won't go away despite my hope that he will finally settle. I have been thinking that he is being pretty selfish trying to drag us all away from our home, friends and life we've had for the last 13 years to go back to a country which I'm sure isn't the same place as we'd left all those years ago, to live a quality of life that seems less that what we have here.

Your right in that I think I'm a nomad person & could probably make the most of living anywhere. I also think because my mother passed away when I was little, the family pull isn't as strong for me & so perhaps it should be me to compromise. Although the thought of the expense and effort to do it all (which will probably end up on me) is exhausting & thinking about what kind of life my children would miss out on saddens me. 

I cannot offer any first hand experience as, fortunately, we are both settled and happy here in Queensland.  What I would say though is that you should not project your own preference onto your children.  They are very young and will not ‘suffer’ by living in the UK, nor will they be bereft of opportunity.

If you haven’t already done so you should both get citizenship before leaving though as you never know what the future holds.  For instance your future adult children, who are birth citizens, may decide to emigrate to Australia and, in retirement, you may wish to both follow them.

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Timeline: 309/100 Sent 7/8/13, Money Taken 9/8/13, CO appointed 3/9/13. Med 3/12/13. Police check 4/12/13. VISA GRANTED 8/4/14, Subclass100. Recce August 2014. Arrived 30 July 2015.

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You're in a terrible situation as if you stay your husband will resent you and if you go you will resent him. Either way could also actually end a relationship, it happens. I would agree with you to a point that he is being a tad selfish expecting you to uproot the life you have had for many years. I say to a point because he cannot help how he feels, he sounds very unhappy and with that in mind you have a decision to make. When people emigrate they have to be a tad selfish. Nothing wrong with that but he knew when he left that his nan would get old and sadly many old people get sick so it's not a sudden surprise. He knew but still left so it's hard to use that one really. I know some have returned to care for elderly parents and there's nothing wrong with that, totally understanding and it must be hard if there is no one else to look after them but that's unlikely to be the case with his nan. The truth is and there's nothing wrong with this is he is unhappy, he now misses family and wants to return.  I feel for both of you as there isn't a right or wrong answer. The kids will thrive in either country and they are never too young to go on an aircraft for a few weeks holiday.  From tiny babies onwards they will be fine flying (hassle for you but that's part of having kids),  they have to fit in with you, if you want to fly they go too. I agree it's not practical to have many trips back unless you have countless money and holiday time but taking kids of any age isn't a stopper. I wish you luck and hope you can work something out 

Edited by Tulip1
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3 hours ago, Austaff said:

Unfortunately that's not really practical although It would be a good compromise. Our children are really too young to go on an aircraft for the sake of a few weeks holiday & the expense and annual leave situation would mean we could only go every few years which I don't think would be enough for him to quell the longing to return. If only the uk wasn't so far away! 

It's really difficult for you, because as your husband feels now is potentially how you'll feel going back.  Could a move back be a temporary one?  I have to say, that if this situation occurred for me, then i'd be feeling the same as you.

 


I just want PIO to be a happy place where people are nice to each other and unicorns poop rainbows

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4 hours ago, Gbye grey sky said:

I cannot offer any first hand experience as, fortunately, we are both settled and happy here in Queensland.  What I would say though is that you should not project your own preference onto your children.  They are very young and will not ‘suffer’ by living in the UK, nor will they be bereft of opportunity.

If you haven’t already done so you should both get citizenship before leaving though as you never know what the future holds.  For instance your future adult children, who are birth citizens, may decide to emigrate to Australia and, in retirement, you may wish to both follow them.

Thanks for your reply & I think understand what your saying, but the only way I can consider what is best for my children is to look at it from my perspective? Ie I feel that they will have less opportunities living in the UK & would prefer an outdoor childhood for them in a place I know has good schools, over spending time with extended family who we may not see that often anyway and move somewhere I don't really know anymore. Obviously they are too young to give me a well thought out opinion of their own either way so I don't know how else to decide what's best for them without projecting my own opinions on their situation? 

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1 hour ago, ali said:

It's really difficult for you, because as your husband feels now is potentially how you'll feel going back.  Could a move back be a temporary one?  I have to say, that if this situation occurred for me, then i'd be feeling the same as you.

 

He says if we move back he will never return, but he's never settled anywhere and wants to move house/ jobs every few years. I am worried we will move back and he won't settle there either and want to keep moving around! At some point we have to settle for the kids and I'm sick of moving around the area, let alone countries but perhaps the only chance I have of him ever being content is if we go back. I think I could be happy living in the Uk but will always feel it is a second best place to live compared to our home here. 

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1 hour ago, Austaff said:

Thanks for your reply & I think understand what your saying, but the only way I can consider what is best for my children is to look at it from my perspective?

That's true - but I also think you're thinking of now, not of the future.   There are pros and cons to both countries.   Right now they'll have a lovely outdoor life in Australia which they might not get in the UK, depending where you end up.  But when they get older, they will have far less choice of further education in Australia compared to the UK.  Their career prospects will be more limited in Australia, especially if they go into business, because so many companies are moving their head offices out of Australia to Asia.   Australia was lucky to escape the GFC that hit everywhere else, but the economy is now on the decline, so things are going to get worse not better, and you can't assume they'll be financially any better off here than there.  

Edited by Marisawright
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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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1 hour ago, Austaff said:

He says if we move back he will never return, but he's never settled anywhere and wants to move house/ jobs every few years. I am worried we will move back and he won't settle there either and want to keep moving around! At some point we have to settle for the kids and I'm sick of moving around the area, let alone countries but perhaps the only chance I have of him ever being content is if we go back. I think I could be happy living in the Uk but will always feel it is a second best place to live compared to our home here. 

The constant moving around isn't typical of the "homebody" with a strong connection to home/family.  Unless he was moving around because you were already some distance from his family in the UK and subconsciously, he wasn't comfortable with that?  It does sound as though counselling is essential, because you really need to sit down and raise all these issues with him, and it sounds like you can't make him do that alone.  


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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2 hours ago, Marisawright said:

The constant moving around isn't typical of the "homebody" with a strong connection to home/family.  Unless he was moving around because you were already some distance from his family in the UK and subconsciously, he wasn't comfortable with that?  It does sound as though counselling is essential, because you really need to sit down and raise all these issues with him, and it sounds like you can't make him do that alone.  

I'm not sure why he constantly wants to move, it's been 11 times in the last 14 years so we do it quite a lot! 9 of the moves have been since we've lived in oz so perhaps he's never settled whilst being here and that's been his way of coping, although I'm not convinced he will want to stop if we get to the uk. I've always thought he is easily bored & likes the newness as he changes his cars & job frequently too. Through the years I've been happy to go along if it makes him happy, but now we have the kids I'm not prepared to keep doing it. It's not fair on them hence why we are now at loggerheads 

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12 minutes ago, Austaff said:

I'm not sure why he constantly wants to move, it's been 11 times in the last 14 years so we do it quite a lot! 9 of the moves have been since we've lived in oz so perhaps he's never settled whilst being here and that's been his way of coping, although I'm not convinced he will want to stop if we get to the uk. I've always thought he is easily bored & likes the newness as he changes his cars & job frequently too. Through the years I've been happy to go along if it makes him happy, but now we have the kids I'm not prepared to keep doing it. It's not fair on them hence why we are now at loggerheads 

You need to get to the bottom of it by the sounds of things.  Professional help is the only way to do that IMO


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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Hi Austaff

Im so sorry to hear your dilemma. I am in a similar one which seems to never end! One thing I would say is that I note you have spoken about the children missing out on an outdoor life in the UK...I thought that before we came back here but it just isn’t true. Yes there are times when it is too cold to go out...but there are times in Aus when it is too hot to go out and play, too. I am outside with my kids all the time - if it’s cold, we stick a coat on and go. I feel (just my opinion) that the variance to weather here makes kids (or at least mine) less dependent on sunshine for their mood - we have fun whatever the weather. I have a husband who is totally in love with Australia and think my kids are being deprived not being there so we are in the opposite situation to you, but honestly kids can have a wonderful childhood here or there. Christmas and Halloween are a bit more fun and magical here, too 😊 And the access to Europe where they can see so many different sights and hear different languages is wonderful for kids. there are pros and cons to both - I feel getting over here for a recce visit is crucial for both of you.

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It doesn’t sound as though he will stop moving does it. I would say some professional help to get him to verbalise this state of constant motion might be helpful. 

I agree that now you have children you want stability and to stay in one place, particularly once they start school. Just be aware that if your relationship hits the skids the children will be staying in whichever country they are resident in at that time. If you move back to the UK and the marriage fails you won’t be able to move the children back to Australia without his consent, just a thought. Don’t mean to be killing off your relationship so easily but you need to consider this.

There is no right answer and I feel for you. I am a little bit restless by nature as well so understand the changing of jobs and cars etc. I think it is the idea that “this isn’t perfect so I’ll try something new to see if that is better”. I tend to look over the fence and see that green grass.......only to move and find that the greener grass is actually situated over a septic tank......so on I go.

But even I settled long enough for my son to finish school because that was the right thing to do. 

I wish you luck as this is a very hard situation.

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It sounds like he may not be happy even if he moves to the UK and get itchy feet again.  I would certainly look at some couple counselling to get to the bottom of it - as you say, with the children it's not something you keep wanting to do.

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I just want PIO to be a happy place where people are nice to each other and unicorns poop rainbows

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Thanks for your input everyone, it has all been helpful. Now I've got a lot of thinking and some big decisions to make x 

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Austaff,

(I'm writing from the point of view of a never married 50+ Englishman in Australia)

I'd say your relationship should be your upmost concern.

If you are fully settled in Oz then you must be the nomadic type and thus you are also able to accommodate living back in the UK.

I migrated to Oz 25 years ago and have been back to the UK at least 30 times, even to work for a year or so. Ive lived in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Neither country is better than the other - they are just different in so many ways.

But Ive found the things that niggled me about Australiain the beginning (heat, humidity, culture, lousy tv, distance, Australians ;) get worse with time/age and I for one cant see myself getting much older here and end up in some old persons home with people I have little in common with.

Your main focus should be on your relationship - if its the most important thing for you then the solution is follow him home.

 If its not THAT important to you - try being single here asap with a trial period apart.

You both need to weigh up your priorities fast.

Either way one solution could be to let him go back alone so you can both weigh things up at the same time)

Andy

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