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Macho man

Moved back and confused!

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Hi everyone,

 

Currently in a bit of a pickle at the moment! I moved to Australia with my wife 10 years ago at a young age as her family had moved from the UK to Australia. This was a struggle at the start but I gave it a go, adapted and got on with things as it was hard being away from family.

 

After being there for 10 years, deep down it was never home and I could never imagine living there for the rest of my life away from my family. We always had the uncertainty which remained for me but not for my wife who settled in amongst her family. We decided to move back to the UK to see how it was. I also had a kid while we were there which meant taking her away from the grand parents (Wifes mum and dad). So we made the decision to return to the UK early last year.

 

Since returning, my wife is not enjoying it at all and has a completed negative mindset in relation to being back and everything is in comparison to Australia. First few months of being back was very stressful as I felt like I had put my wife into a situation she clearly did not want to be in but at the same time, I did not want to continue living my life in Australia as it wasn’t home. Eventually after a few months, things sort of started to fall into place, we got a nice house on rent, settled in and got on with things and my wife slowly started being herself again.

 

This was until her family came to England for a few weeks which was nice but again has completely unsettled things again for my wife so It is like I am back to square one and do not know what to do. Since being back, I have realised, there is not a lot I miss about Australia, The only reason we have been in Aus in my wifes family. If they were not there, we would not be in Australia. My wife’s parents have decided they will not be coming back to the UK which we thought may have been a possibility now their grandkid was here, but since returning, they have decided otherwise and they also have a son in aus which plays a factor in that a\s he is very well settled.

 

All of our families are in the UK. In Australia, we have my wife’s parents and sibling, that’s it. The way I see it is we are sacrificing the time with everyone in the UK just for 3 people in Australia. Australia itself was amazing while we were there, I made great friends and there are a lot of benefits to being there, but I have missed out on so much in 10 years, it has made me realise I am not sure if I’m prepared to go back. At the same time, I’m not sure my wife wants to stay as she is no pro Australia.

 

I understand the possibility of a better life in Australia, however I believe family is way more important than the additional benefits in Aus (Weather, lifestyle etc). We gre up in the uk and left at 16, but since returning, I feel like it is home and for my wife, England is not good enough (NHS, wages, work hours etc)

 

I am very confused and not too sure what is going happen this year! Anyone else been in a similar scenario?

 

Thanks

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I have been in a similar situation.  I'd moved to Sydney with my then partner and 2 year old daughter, but our relationship fell apart and she returned just 3 months in.  I was financially locked into my contract for another 12 months, so I stayed, going back to the UK every 6 weeks to see my daughter.  I met my future wife in Sydney in the interim and she moved back to the UK with me.  

She had a pretty rough time for a couple of years.  As the eldest child she had taken on a parental role from mid-teens when her father got sick and  subsequently passed, so she felt a huge responsibility to her family and she missed them and her friends very much.

She cried herself to sleep many a night.  It was pretty tough I have to say.

There wasn't an obvious turning point, it was more gradual than that and I'd say it was a collection of things:

  • getting a job and being challenged there
  • making some friends
  • a few years later we had children of our own - that really accelerated making friends
  • her family visiting - we've brought her mum out every year for the summer

The most important thing though is accepting that this is the life you've decided upon and really making an effort to try (by contrast, my ex made zero effort when we moved to Sydney and hated everything about it as a consequence).

She absolutely came to love it here, but at the end of our annual visit back to see her family, she would struggle and the first week or so back home would be tough. 

It's been 17 years and she prefers it here to Sydney - she loves her life here, though she is realistic about the pro's and con's of each place.  She still misses family terribly, especially with her mum getting older and some new nieces and nephews recently born, but with my eldest turning 21 this year and having a life of her own,  we are planning to move back there in a few years, at an appropriate stage in our children's education.   

To be honest, I've never wanted to go back and I prefer it here, but I've absolutely accepted that is what we are doing and I've begun planning our future, focusing on all the things I do like out there and imagining how I can extract the maximum value from those things and (to borrow a popular expression) "live my best life".  

If I could offer you a piece of advice, try asking her to commit to a certain number of years.  That's what I did.  It sets a light at the end of the tunnel during the difficult periods and it helps towards that 'acceptance' that I keep mentioning.  I think there's a different psychology between "I'm here forever" and "I'm here for 6 years until the kids are ready for secondary school".

 

Good luck!

 

Edited by FirstWorldProblems
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Posted (edited)

I don’t think there is a magic answer, sadly. Whenever you and your OH aren’t on the same page about where you want to be there are always going to be problems for one or other of you.  The only thing to do is to talk, talk, talk and try and reach a compromise. Unfortunately many relationships have bitten the dust in the process because one of you just can’t live where the other belongs. I know all about exogenous depression having been there and got the t shirt - never thought that would happen to pragmatic old me.

I’m in Australia at the moment, prior to moving back for good following the most wonderful 8 year break in U.K. (caring for nonagenarian parents!)  I wish we had moved back to U.K. years ago because then I think we would have stayed. As it is, it’s financially more sensible for us to be in Australia - them’s the breaks - and whilst I no longer vomit at the thought of living here I’m not looking forward to it, despite the facade I put on for the DH. He's the Australian who never wanted to live in UK ever again but he's enjoyed himself mainly because I had promised that we would return when we were no longer needed. Neither of us thought it would be this long but I've loved almost every minute. Being in Australia at the moment, must admit I'm struggling to see the "better Lifestyle" - nothing better about it at all as far as I can see (although I do look chic in a P2 mask!)

I do agree with FWP - reframing whichever decision into a “this isn’t forever, it’s a decision I am making to do xyz " and still giving yourself the illusion of being free to live where you want and move whether you want is key to surviving. As long as you are feeling trapped, it's like being in jail and nobody loves a prison.  That, and a sense of compromise, is key.

Edited by Quoll
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7 minutes ago, Quoll said:

(although I do look chic in a P2 mask!)

Taking positivity to the max!

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PR (100) planning to move to Perth by then end of 2019!

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Browse around these forums and you'll find many, many people who have been in the same situation and many, like Quoll, who still are. 

The best migrants are people who don't feel any particular attachment to the land of their birth and can happily live anywhere. I call them nomads.  However, such people are in the minority. 

The majority of people feel a deep-seated attachment to their homeland.  It's not logical.  It's not based on comparisons of which country is better, it's a visceral feeling that you can't explain, but it's very very real.  Unfortunately, people often aren't aware of it until they try to live in another country - and then they realise they feel a strange emptiness, and the only thing that fixes it is to go home.

So what happens is that a nomad will move their partner to a new country, and the nomad will be happy as Larry because the lifestyle is great - and can't understand why their partner isn't.  How could you not love this place?  he asks.  The partner feels silly - how can I say I miss home when logically, this new place is so much nicer?  So they start nitpicking faults with everything, to try to justify why they're feeling so awful. 

The thing is, they don't have to justify it. It's in their nature and there's nothing they can do to change it.  They can make up their mind to be happy in their new country, to please their partner, but there will always be that yearning in the background, every single day.   

You wouldn't think many people would choose a country over a partner, but that just goes to show how desperate that yearning can become. We've seen many marriage breakups on these forums because one partner simply can't bear living in a foreign country any longer.  

It's not clear from your posts whether one of you is suffering that yearning or whether it's just a case of different preferences. If it's just preferences, it's fixable but you probably need a counsellor to be the referee while you thrash it out.  Otherwise it's a tough call and unless you can afford to swap between countries every few years to take turns, one of you will have to accept that if you want to stay together, one of you will have to sacrifice their happiness.

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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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18 hours ago, Macho man said:

Hi everyone,

 

Currently in a bit of a pickle at the moment! I moved to Australia with my wife 10 years ago at a young age as her family had moved from the UK to Australia. This was a struggle at the start but I gave it a go, adapted and got on with things as it was hard being away from family.

 

After being there for 10 years, deep down it was never home and I could never imagine living there for the rest of my life away from my family. We always had the uncertainty which remained for me but not for my wife who settled in amongst her family. We decided to move back to the UK to see how it was. I also had a kid while we were there which meant taking her away from the grand parents (Wifes mum and dad). So we made the decision to return to the UK early last year.

 

Since returning, my wife is not enjoying it at all and has a completed negative mindset in relation to being back and everything is in comparison to Australia. First few months of being back was very stressful as I felt like I had put my wife into a situation she clearly did not want to be in but at the same time, I did not want to continue living my life in Australia as it wasn’t home. Eventually after a few months, things sort of started to fall into place, we got a nice house on rent, settled in and got on with things and my wife slowly started being herself again.

 

This was until her family came to England for a few weeks which was nice but again has completely unsettled things again for my wife so It is like I am back to square one and do not know what to do. Since being back, I have realised, there is not a lot I miss about Australia, The only reason we have been in Aus in my wifes family. If they were not there, we would not be in Australia. My wife’s parents have decided they will not be coming back to the UK which we thought may have been a possibility now their grandkid was here, but since returning, they have decided otherwise and they also have a son in aus which plays a factor in that a\s he is very well settled.

 

All of our families are in the UK. In Australia, we have my wife’s parents and sibling, that’s it. The way I see it is we are sacrificing the time with everyone in the UK just for 3 people in Australia. Australia itself was amazing while we were there, I made great friends and there are a lot of benefits to being there, but I have missed out on so much in 10 years, it has made me realise I am not sure if I’m prepared to go back. At the same time, I’m not sure my wife wants to stay as she is no pro Australia.

 

I understand the possibility of a better life in Australia, however I believe family is way more important than the additional benefits in Aus (Weather, lifestyle etc). We gre up in the uk and left at 16, but since returning, I feel like it is home and for my wife, England is not good enough (NHS, wages, work hours etc)

 

I am very confused and not too sure what is going happen this year! Anyone else been in a similar scenario?

 

Thanks

 

 

Hi Macho man, I can absolutely empathise with you, our situations sound very similar, only on opposite sides of the world, my wife loves it here in Australia with her parents and brother and you have guessed it I do not.

this has been an on going battle for me  since we came here some 8 and a half years ago, i have never settled and always missed home (UK),  i think I am coming to the end of that battle as I am in the final year of my degree (paramedic) and then I will qualify, i would probably find it hard to get a job here in Australia as the competition for paramedic vacancies is fierce, where as in the UK there is a shortage, this in some ways forces my hand,  However my wife will not return as she prefers Australia and is willing to end the marriage in order to stay .

I think Marisawright and Quoll who have posted above are spot on with their thoughts and advice and kind words, they have helped me rationalise my thoughts in the past.

My sticking points possibly like yours are that I have two children who I love without condition, leaving them would be for me the hardest thing I have ever done, but staying is wearing me out as well, sometimes you have to accept that you will lose no matter which choice you make.

I have recently returned from a trip to the UK with my 11yr old, we had the best time and it cemented for me where i would rather be.

I would say that it sounds like you are younger than me (i am in my 40's) so look at that as a bonus you have time on your side and you are by all accounts 'Macho' which must help 🙂

Anyhow I hope you can find a solution, there is no end of advice or similar situations on here, if nothing else it is a great place to vent, i can vouch for that

 

Take care and good luck 🙂

 

 

i think i may be a bit older (40's) so time is probably more on your side as it is mine

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15 minutes ago, bug family said:

Hi Macho man, I can absolutely empathise with you, our situations sound very similar, only on opposite sides of the world, my wife loves it here in Australia with her parents and brother and you have guessed it I do not.

this has been an on going battle for me  since we came here some 8 and a half years ago, i have never settled and always missed home (UK),  i think I am coming to the end of that battle as I am in the final year of my degree (paramedic) and then I will qualify, i would probably find it hard to get a job here in Australia as the competition for paramedic vacancies is fierce, where as in the UK there is a shortage, this in some ways forces my hand,  However my wife will not return as she prefers Australia and is willing to end the marriage in order to stay .

I think Marisawright and Quoll who have posted above are spot on with their thoughts and advice and kind words, they have helped me rationalise my thoughts in the past.

My sticking points possibly like yours are that I have two children who I love without condition, leaving them would be for me the hardest thing I have ever done, but staying is wearing me out as well, sometimes you have to accept that you will lose no matter which choice you make.

I have recently returned from a trip to the UK with my 11yr old, we had the best time and it cemented for me where i would rather be.

I would say that it sounds like you are younger than me (i am in my 40's) so look at that as a bonus you have time on your side and you are by all accounts 'Macho' which must help 🙂

Anyhow I hope you can find a solution, there is no end of advice or similar situations on here, if nothing else it is a great place to vent, i can vouch for that

 

Take care and good luck 🙂

 

 

i think i may be a bit older (40's) so time is probably more on your side as it is mine

You won't leave your kids for a job in the UK surely?  Paramedics seem to have it pretty tough in the UK.  


PR (100) planning to move to Perth by then end of 2019!

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8 minutes ago, Jon the Hat said:

You won't leave your kids for a job in the UK surely?  Paramedics seem to have it pretty tough in the UK.  

He's not leaving his kids for a job. He's leaving his kids because living in Australia makes him perpetually depressed.   If he's already depressed and then is sitting at home unemployed, that's not a healthy situation.  It is an awful situation to be in.

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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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5 minutes ago, Jon the Hat said:

You won't leave your kids for a job in the UK surely?  Paramedics seem to have it pretty tough in the UK.  

That my friend is the conundrum which i face ....🙄  you are correct paramedics in the UK have it tough, but then so do paramedics here in Australia in my opinion paramedics in the UK are better equipped and meth use is much lower in the UK, a lot of the violence towards paramedics here can be attributed to meth use...

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I’m in absolutely the same position as you, scarily similar,  and my husband and I are in the process of separating over it. It’s so awful and I offer my sympathy.

Im not saying that will happen, but it’s such a tough scenario where someone will always be losing out. I often get hit with the “Australia is a better and healthier life for children, you are denying our kids a better life and childhood because of your selfishness” which is a hard one to take.

 

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6 hours ago, Antipodista said:

I’m in absolutely the same position as you, scarily similar,  and my husband and I are in the process of separating over it. It’s so awful and I offer my sympathy.

Im not saying that will happen, but it’s such a tough scenario where someone will always be losing out. I often get hit with the “Australia is a better and healthier life for children, you are denying our kids a better life and childhood because of your selfishness” which is a hard one to take.

 

People say all sorts when they are angry or frustrated and the 'better childhood' argument is banded about a lot, even when people aren't arguing, but I'm not convinced it is true tbh. As first world countries both Australia and UK produce children who grow into happy well rounded adults.

Opportunities and experiences may differ, but different is not necessarily better or worse. My nephews learnt to body board in Australia while my own child did the same but with a wet suite in West Wales, and all of them have happy and treasured memories of that time. I think as adults we can get side tracked by what we think our children need but it's pretty simple for kids, they just need to feel loved and secure. To an extent the rest is window dressing and more about adult values than what a child needs to thrive. T x

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34 minutes ago, tea4too said:

People say all sorts when they are angry or frustrated and the 'better childhood' argument is banded about a lot, even when people aren't arguing, but I'm not convinced it is true tbh. As first world countries both Australia and UK produce children who grow into happy well rounded adults.

Opportunities and experiences may differ, but different is not necessarily better or worse. My nephews learnt to body board in Australia while my own child did the same but with a wet suite in West Wales, and all of them have happy and treasured memories of that time. I think as adults we can get side tracked by what we think our children need but it's pretty simple for kids, they just need to feel loved and secure. To an extent the rest is window dressing and more about adult values than what a child needs to thrive. T x

Well said!

I can directly compare Australian granddaughters with UK grandson and there's absolutely nothing better about Australia in the way that people think it will magically endow something wonderful on their kids. All my grandkids are having a great time and that's more to do with the parenting they're getting. You often hear the "lots of free things" in Australia - just as  many in UK if you look in the same way that you can spend a fortune in Australia on child activities (going to the Australian ballet next week with DGD1). The outdoor lifestyle is trotted out with regularity  - my Aussie granddaughters are rarely outside whereas my UK grandson is always out riding his bike or playing on the local rec - I guess that's more of a personality thing - he'd probably be outside on his bike here in Australia too. Kids are going to be just fine, entertained, stimulated, excited, in either place with engaged and interested loving  adults around them.

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2 hours ago, Quoll said:

Well said!

I can directly compare Australian granddaughters with UK grandson and there's absolutely nothing better about Australia in the way that people think it will magically endow something wonderful on their kids. All my grandkids are having a great time and that's more to do with the parenting they're getting. You often hear the "lots of free things" in Australia - just as  many in UK if you look in the same way that you can spend a fortune in Australia on child activities (going to the Australian ballet next week with DGD1). The outdoor lifestyle is trotted out with regularity  - my Aussie granddaughters are rarely outside whereas my UK grandson is always out riding his bike or playing on the local rec - I guess that's more of a personality thing - he'd probably be outside on his bike here in Australia too. Kids are going to be just fine, entertained, stimulated, excited, in either place with engaged and interested loving  adults around them.

I disagree a bit with this if im honest.eek sorry Quoll,,  In your opinion from what you have experienced it may be true but i have seen the opposite.One of reasons for moving was to give the kids a better upbringing. No where near us or within a few hours commute in the UK had the amount of outdoor activities and free adventure play parks like we have / got to use here (my kids are a bit old for parks now), our local estate alone has a free - water park, a bmx track, skate bowl , adventure park and 2 ''standard' play parks. so when i see comments saying its just the same in the UK i do understand why people say it isnt.

I also have an amazing nephew in the UK ,the same age as my daughter. The things they have done growing up is very different, i would say here they are more sheltered until their late teens and thats not a bad thing. My eldest is 21 ,his old UK primary school friend came over for 6 mths early last year, he was gobsmacked that my 16 yr old daughter isnt going out to pubs and clubs at weekends, walking the streets at night with her friends or hanging around the village centre etc (yes these happen to be things i did as ateen too, so not dissing teenagers) ,hence IMO it is a totally different way of life if you want it and look for it.

I totally understand there are 2 sides to every coin but it does ware thin when anyone who comes on here mentions moving for a better upbringing for their kids gets shot down. It is possible and it can be done, the UK and Aus are very different places.

 Cal x

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If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place...

If you get a chance,take it, If it changes your life,let it. Nobody said it would be easy they just said it would be worth it...

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You have a point Cal.  OH and I were out for our evening stroll last night, kids were playing in the two parks we passed, both with excellent facilities with clean toilets and water.  The local primary schools adventure play area was also open.  Can’t even recall such a thing in a UK school (too risk averse!).  Hubby said, what a great place to raise kids (no hint, we are in our late 50s and sons are pushing 30!).

Kids here do stay kids for a bit longer and that cannot be a bad thing.  They meet at the park or beach after school and seem more sociable face to face rather than just on social media, although that is getting a grip here too.  I see more people out at cafes and restaurants just on their phones and not speaking to their partner unless to show them something on the phone.  We still have a rule no tech at the table, unless we are FaceTiming a relative and they are joining in the conversation (a virtual place at the table so to speak).

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So many wineries ......so little time :yes:

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, calNgary said:

I disagree a bit with this if im honest.eek sorry Quoll,,  In your opinion from what you have experienced it may be true but i have seen the opposite.One of reasons for moving was to give the kids a better upbringing. No where near us or within a few hours commute in the UK had the amount of outdoor activities and free adventure play parks like we have / got to use here (my kids are a bit old for parks now), our local estate alone has a free - water park, a bmx track, skate bowl , adventure park and 2 ''standard' play parks. so when i see comments saying its just the same in the UK i do understand why people say it isnt.

I also have an amazing nephew in the UK ,the same age as my daughter. The things they have done growing up is very different, i would say here they are more sheltered until their late teens and thats not a bad thing. My eldest is 21 ,his old UK primary school friend came over for 6 mths early last year, he was gobsmacked that my 16 yr old daughter isnt going out to pubs and clubs at weekends, walking the streets at night with her friends or hanging around the village centre etc (yes these happen to be things i did as ateen too, so not dissing teenagers) ,hence IMO it is a totally different way of life if you want it and look for it.

I totally understand there are 2 sides to every coin but it does ware thin when anyone who comes on here mentions moving for a better upbringing for their kids gets shot down. It is possible and it can be done, the UK and Aus are very different places.

 Cal x

I think it depends on the parents too. OH and I are very outdoor types so our two sons were/are too.  We were lucky to live (when the lad were growing up) right next to a large reserve with a creek running through it.  The boys and their pals spent hours there building dens, climbing trees and mucking around in the creek.  Further along and adjoining the reserve was an area where they played cricket, baseball and basketball.  They were out in all weather.  The heat and the cold weather never seemed to worry them.  I have to add that when they went back to visit there Grandma in Scotland they also played outside in all sorts of weather.  It all depends on the child.  Some youngsters are happier indoors playing games etc.Coming to Australia isn't going to magically change them to outdoorsy types.  They were both members of PCYC (Police Citizens Youth Club) https://www.pcycnsw.org.au/north-sydney/  until after they finished high school and they both had jobs after school and Saturdays once they were 14.  All that kept them out of mischief.  😉

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Not true that it isn’t possible to excercise outdoors here either.  Apart from numerous sports teams, people walk, play tennis, swim, cycle etc.... Hubby gets out on his bike just as much as he did in the UK and in better weather too.  It amazes me that people migrate then moan about the heat!  Plenty of different climates here to suit most people though. We love the dry heat here in SA and the cooler evenings in the hills, but are not averse to humid tropical heat.  We fly north in the winter for the heat!

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So many wineries ......so little time :yes:

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2 hours ago, calNgary said:

I totally understand there are 2 sides to every coin but it does ware thin when anyone who comes on here mentions moving for a better upbringing for their kids gets shot down. It is possible and it can be done, the UK and Aus are very different places.

But surely it also depends where you are in each country.  Someone coming from a chav area in the UK to a bogan area of Australia would doubtless find teenagers in both places had much the same experience. 

What used to happen in the past was that migrants could afford to live in a better neighbourhood in Australia than they did in the UK.   Nowadays that isn't necessarily going to be true. 

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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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14 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

But surely it also depends where you are in each country.  Someone coming from a chav area in the UK to a bogan area of Australia would doubtless find teenagers in both places had much the same experience. 

What used to happen in the past was that migrants could afford to live in a better neighbourhood in Australia than they did in the UK.   Nowadays that isn't necessarily going to be true. 

Let's face it - a lot of it depends on the parents.  Here in Devonport I see grossly overweight parents with fat children wandering around not doing very much and on the other hand I also see fit parents out cycling/walking/swimming with their fit and healthy children.  There is a park run every Saturday morning here and dozens of locals do that with their children.  Some of them run pushing their baby in a stroller. 

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2 hours ago, Toots said:

Let's face it - a lot of it depends on the parents.  Here in Devonport I see grossly overweight parents with fat children wandering around not doing very much and on the other hand I also see fit parents out cycling/walking/swimming with their fit and healthy children.  There is a park run every Saturday morning here and dozens of locals do that with their children.  Some of them run pushing their baby in a stroller. 

I agree, I think it's largely down to the parenting - opportunities are there in both places - maybe different opportunities but plenty if you look for them. I see kids on every playground I pass in UK - here, In Canberra on my walks I pass a lot of playgrounds - loads of them - and since we've been here I can't say that I've noticed a single kid playing on any of them (may be a Canberra thing, they're all in the malls!). I've seen very few kids on bikes here despite walking on tracks that are very bike friendly, in Cambridge its really common for kids to ride their bikes to school and my own kids certainly did. I have noticed 4 or 5 houses with basket ball hoops  though - there was a period here where I didn't spot one! 

I'm not convinced about the "staying children for longer" thing either although it's always touted. I guess that may also be down to area and parenting, I've seen plenty of inappropriate behaviour across the board over the years, working in schools, which would make that very questionable. Maybe they're better at conning adults into thinking they're squeaky clean, I dunno. I do know that my son is very concerned about his eldest daughter's social cohort in Upper primary and all  that they're engaged with! He's got his finger on it but it doesn't surprise me in the least.

I'm also concerned by the level of mental health issues in adolescents here in Australia - hopefully all the work being  done  to reduce the youth suicide rate is paying off because at one stage our youth suicide rate and self harming rates were a national disgrace. 

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11 minutes ago, Quoll said:

I'm also concerned by the level of mental health issues in adolescents here in Australia

 

11 minutes ago, Quoll said:

youth suicide rate

I have tragically seen the results of this first hand and continue to do so, the amount of young people we see in the emergency department on a regular basis is both sad and shocking

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5 hours ago, calNgary said:

I disagree a bit with this if im honest.eek sorry Quoll,,  In your opinion from what you have experienced it may be true but i have seen the opposite.One of reasons for moving was to give the kids a better upbringing. No where near us or within a few hours commute in the UK had the amount of outdoor activities and free adventure play parks like we have / got to use here (my kids are a bit old for parks now), our local estate alone has a free - water park, a bmx track, skate bowl , adventure park and 2 ''standard' play parks. so when i see comments saying its just the same in the UK i do understand why people say it isnt.

I also have an amazing nephew in the UK ,the same age as my daughter. The things they have done growing up is very different, i would say here they are more sheltered until their late teens and thats not a bad thing. My eldest is 21 ,his old UK primary school friend came over for 6 mths early last year, he was gobsmacked that my 16 yr old daughter isnt going out to pubs and clubs at weekends, walking the streets at night with her friends or hanging around the village centre etc (yes these happen to be things i did as ateen too, so not dissing teenagers) ,hence IMO it is a totally different way of life if you want it and look for it.

I totally understand there are 2 sides to every coin but it does ware thin when anyone who comes on here mentions moving for a better upbringing for their kids gets shot down. It is possible and it can be done, the UK and Aus are very different places.

 Cal x

I don’t think we are disagreeing Cal - the two places are different, people are different. The issue I have is the naive assumption that a move to Australia is somehow magically “better”. If you have a kid who loves the outdoors in UK , likely that they will love the outdoors in Australia. If they’re a kid who prefers museums in U.K. then they’ll likely prefer museums in Australia. If they have a parent who isn’t engaged in U.K. then they’ll likely have the same unengaged parent in Australia. If a kid is lucky enough to have an engaged enthusiastic parent then it really doesn’t matter which first world country they’re in!
 

The subjectivity of “better” is complex - is it “better” to remove a kid from an environment where they have established friendships and extended family and move them to the other side of the world to a new school/community where (all depending on their age, skills and social connectivity) they could be like a fish out of water for some time. To a place where the only contact with people who’ve been integral in their lives to date is through the computer (I’ve yet to discover a hug friendly computer). I really struggle with that actually. It’s the one regret that both my sons have expressed over the years - their separation from extended family. Both are now adult and both have experienced partners with humongous extended family  and they’ve been a bit wistful that their family - albeit a very happy one - wasn’t like that. On the plus side though, both of them are incredibly self sufficient, self assured and not in the least bit needy (unlike both their partners, as it happens!)

Better to say they want to offer their kids different experiences, no problem with that  at all but, really, a 24 hour flight doesn’t confer anything magical on any child or parent (except a nasty dose of jet lag). 

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21 minutes ago, bug family said:

 

I have tragically seen the results of this first hand and continue to do so, the amount of young people we see in the emergency department on a regular basis is both sad and shocking

Not got much better then huh?

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Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, Quoll said:

I agree, I think it's largely down to the parenting - opportunities are there in both places - maybe different opportunities but plenty if you look for them. I see kids on every playground I pass in UK - here, In Canberra on my walks I pass a lot of playgrounds - loads of them - and since we've been here I can't say that I've noticed a single kid playing on any of them (may be a Canberra thing, they're all in the malls!). I've seen very few kids on bikes here despite walking on tracks that are very bike friendly, in Cambridge its really common for kids to ride their bikes to school and my own kids certainly did. I have noticed 4 or 5 houses with basket ball hoops  though - there was a period here where I didn't spot one! 

I'm not convinced about the "staying children for longer" thing either although it's always touted. I guess that may also be down to area and parenting, I've seen plenty of inappropriate behaviour across the board over the years, working in schools, which would make that very questionable. Maybe they're better at conning adults into thinking they're squeaky clean, I dunno. I do know that my son is very concerned about his eldest daughter's social cohort in Upper primary and all  that they're engaged with! He's got his finger on it but it doesn't surprise me in the least.

I'm also concerned by the level of mental health issues in adolescents here in Australia - hopefully all the work being  done  to reduce the youth suicide rate is paying off because at one stage our youth suicide rate and self harming rates were a national disgrace. 

I have been gobsmacked by the truly bad behaviour of some young teens here but that could happen anywhere.  Again lack of caring parents is probably to blame.  I could tell you a few stories of what I have personally seen and heard but it would bore you to tears.  They have absolutely no respect for anybody, are foul mouthed and have a couldn't give a toss attitude.  I come across it in the voluntary work I do.  Mind you the parents aren't any better.   Very sad.

I thank my lucky stars that our sons seemed to sail happily through the angst ridden teenage years BUT two boys they knew committed suicide and one of their best friends ended up ina psychiatric unit because of his drug taking.  That really scared them.  I'm afraid that is more common than we like to think.  I know that Scotland has the highest drug death rate in the EU and higher than in the USA.    

Edited by Toots
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16 hours ago, Antipodista said:

I’m in absolutely the same position as you, scarily similar,  and my husband and I are in the process of separating over it. It’s so awful and I offer my sympathy.

Im not saying that will happen, but it’s such a tough scenario where someone will always be losing out. I often get hit with the “Australia is a better and healthier life for children, you are denying our kids a better life and childhood because of your selfishness” which is a hard one to take.

 

Hi Antipodista, I am sorry to hear you are having the same tough time, I absolutely know where you are coming from on the 'Australia is better and healthier' quote, I truly think it can depend on:

(a) where you previously lived and where brought up previously in the UK,  if it was a say a run down or rough part or you had no social activates etc, then comparisons will be made and  lots of areas here must seem like paradise in comparison.

but

(b) if where you previously lived and where brought up  in the UK, was a lovely area and you had an active social life etc,  then lots of areas here must seem dull, lacking and possibly rough in comparison.

Maybe its the luck of the draw, I must admit i was naive when coming here and thought it would be a paradise,  just like neighbours etc and that the sort of lifestyle that was on offer, was right up my street, the reality as I now know is very different, its sort of shiny on the outside but dig a little and its very different.

Can I ask then are you  moving back to the UK?

Feel free to message me anytime for moral support,

 

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