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proud preston

How to get shut of regret and remorse?!

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Posted too many times before. Been here nearly 16 years. Homesick all the time but still live a decent life and not battling any depression. Talk to mother in law each week and have such a deep regret and remorse that we took our children /her grand children - then aged 5 and 3 away from all their cousins, aunts/uncles and grandparents. So sad. I hear of my children’s cousins regularly seeing their nanna ( my mother in law) and feel so sad that my children didn’t have that. Also.....husband kept saying ‘ move to Australia for a better life for the kids’ (?!) I see all our nephews and nieces are doing very well in the UK. Uni, travel, good jobs etc How on earth do you ever shake off remorse and regret?! Seems so silly to be a little family of four ( I know I have said this before ) when there is a big extended family back in the UK. 

(Going back for 4 weeks next month and looking at pictures from Air BnB site and marvelling at how pretty England looks!) 

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I may be way off the mark here, but your post seems full of sadness for a life that 'might have been' and regret for opportunities missed. But at some point you took your courage in both hands and set off for an adventure in the hope of a good life with different opportunities, and from what you write it seems you may have achieved that. Had you not emigrated perhaps you would still have wondered what might have been, only from a different perspective?

Spending time with UK family will hopefully help to recharge batteries and ease some of the regret - life may have taken a different path but, as you reflect in your post, different is not necessarily better or worse. Have a wonderful holiday and fingers crossed for some decent summer weather while you are here 🙂. Take care. Tx 

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17 hours ago, proud preston said:

Posted too many times before. Been here nearly 16 years. Homesick all the time but still live a decent life and not battling any depression. Talk to mother in law each week and have such a deep regret and remorse that we took our children /her grand children - then aged 5 and 3 away from all their cousins, aunts/uncles and grandparents. So sad. I hear of my children’s cousins regularly seeing their nanna ( my mother in law) and feel so sad that my children didn’t have that. Also.....husband kept saying ‘ move to Australia for a better life for the kids’ (?!) I see all our nephews and nieces are doing very well in the UK. Uni, travel, good jobs etc How on earth do you ever shake off remorse and regret?! Seems so silly to be a little family of four ( I know I have said this before ) when there is a big extended family back in the UK. 

(Going back for 4 weeks next month and looking at pictures from Air BnB site and marvelling at how pretty England looks!) 

I am so sorry that you feel this way. Just a couple of thoughts about your situation. As the above poster said, do you think that if you hadnt been brave and made the move then you would have similar remorse and regret about not taking a chance? I know several people who thought about going to Aus but never did and live with deep regret.

As for the regret about cousins etc, without sounding harsh, as children get older the relationships with cousins and aunties etc often drift anyway and they end up being like extended family/aquaintainces in a lot of cases. Grandparents are obviously different, but what about the strong relationships your kids have made in Aus that they wouldnt have had otherwise.

As for the feeling that everyone is doing great in the UK-well hopefully they are, but clearly your MIL is only going to give you the positives and whilst on paper going to uni and travel is a great success, are they all completely happy with no problems? are there issues you arent hearing about as usually people dont discuss the bad stuff in families. As a healthcare professional I know that there is a mental health epidemic amongst young ppl in the UK at the moment. And at the same time do you not think that people look at your life with envy and think how lucky you all are without realizing the sadness you feel.

As for the air bnbs - of course they are going to post pictures of the pretty bits - same as Aus bnbs would post pics of the beach or the bush, but I can promise you that a lot of the UK is run down, litter strewn and decaying. I think you are looking at it through rose tinted glasses perhaps?

At the end of the day, only you know how you feel and maybe it really was the wrong choice to move to Aus but alternatively, do you think the issue could be internal dissatisfaction maybe.. are there courses or career moves youd love to take, trips youd love to do or maybe even some therapy to give some personal sense of wellbeing and satisfaction?

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Posted (edited)

Worth rationalising what all the regret is achieving. Nothing positive as you cannot change the past.

I think you have said before your family are happy and have no desire of moving to the UK so it is not wise to feel sorry on their behalf.

You should focus on enjoying your holidays when you are there and then come back and make the best of your life with your family.

If your MIL is perpetuating your feeling of misery then it might be best to cut back on those contacts as they are not helpful.

Edited by Parley

Buy a man eat fish. The Day, Teach Man, to lifetime.      - Joe Biden.

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Thanks all. Wise words. @Parley- my MIL is the most sweetest person and it really is just ‘news from the other side’ - as we talk each week and there’s only so much to talk about- certainly no agenda etc - It is me that the problem emanates from and my stupid comparisons. As corny and cliche as it is - I need to really appreciate what we do have at present. 

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I expect most of us have some regrets and would maybe make different choices if we had our time again.   Hard as it is, we have no choice but to leave them in the past.  Nothing to gain by beating yourself up over something that can’t be undone.   I’m sure your families kids in the UK are doing very well and I’m sure your kids in Australia are also doing very well.  Try thinking about all the wonderful choices and things you have done for your immediate family and be kind to yourself for anything ‘you’ feel has gone a little wrong/has negatives.  Have a lovely holiday. 

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I hear you, hindsight is perfect vision and there is bugger all we can do about the past. No point in entertaining regret, remorse or guilt, it just drains your soul. Only thing you can do is to look forward and make things the best you can with what you’ve got. Not easy but if you reframe it into that it’s your life and you make the choices about what to do with it then it makes the feelings of hopelessness dissipate a bit.  
Remember that if you go through life looking backwards you are more likely to fall into the holes when moving forward. 
Enjoy your sanity hit! (It’s about time I organised my next one!)

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Thanks all. Heartening to read the responses. I know that  sometimes responses from people I don’t know on Poms is really helpful as I feel a pain still whingeing to friends and family. 

You’re right @Quoll “entertaining regret....” serves no good purpose and is draining. It is a hard job though trying to keep yourself from not looking back.  Hoping you do get back soon for a visit. 

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45 minutes ago, proud preston said:

Thanks all. Heartening to read the responses. I know that  sometimes responses from people I don’t know on Poms is really helpful as I feel a pain still whingeing to friends and family. 

You’re right @Quoll “entertaining regret....” serves no good purpose and is draining. It is a hard job though trying to keep yourself from not looking back.  Hoping you do get back soon for a visit. 

I think we all wonder ‘what if’ if we are honest. All of the African side of my family has moved to Australia, had children and grandchildren so made Australia the new family home, The older ones Still miss Africa, because Africa is always in your heart if you have lived there, but the younger generation are happily Australians.

Should I have gone to Zambia in my 20’s?  met my future husband there, left a long term boyfriend behind, would I have been happier?  No complaints by the way, 

Should we have left our 3 children in UK when the only real work option was as an expat?

Should we have moved to Australia when we retired?

The list could go on and on. The reality is that we make decisions with  no knowledge of how it will work out or what life might have been had we stayed, we only know the present and only you can decide the future from now. Who or what is the most important in your life, what you have, or what you might have.

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This resonates with me massively. I'm a bit earlier in my journey and moved to Australia 6 years ago with my wife. I now have a 2 year old and another due in December. I worry about them not having a relationship with their family so have decided to rent the house out for 6 months and take an extended maternity/paternity leave back to the UK next May. 

I know we have a better life in Australia and can see it all mapped out for us but something is just missing for me. 

Hopefully the trip will help work this out. 

I don't think there is ever a right or wrong decision as there are so many angles to look at this from. I think as long as you have happy and healthy kids you have done right by them. It sounds like you have done a fantastic job and should be proud! 

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4 hours ago, Chris Gordon said:

This resonates with me massively. I'm a bit earlier in my journey and moved to Australia 6 years ago with my wife. I now have a 2 year old and another due in December. I worry about them not having a relationship with their family so have decided to rent the house out for 6 months and take an extended maternity/paternity leave back to the UK next May. 

I know we have a better life in Australia and can see it all mapped out for us but something is just missing for me. 

Hopefully the trip will help work this out. 

I don't think there is ever a right or wrong decision as there are so many angles to look at this from. I think as long as you have happy and healthy kids you have done right by them. It sounds like you have done a fantastic job and should be proud! 

It's interesting because both my sons in adulthood have said that they regretted not being around their extended family as kids. Both married women with huge tight family circles and I think at that point they felt a bit like a third wheel as we were a small self sufficient family. However both have also indicated that they are frustrated that their partners lack self reliance  and are far too dependent on those extended family networks so maybe time has cured them of their initial regret. 

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These last three posts from @Quoll, @Chris Gordon and @ramot make the point really well - that it's natural to wonder about the 'what-if' scenarios in life and even to beat yourself up about them.  The probability is that if you'd chosen that other path, then some things would have been better and some would have been worse.  Much of life is about finding a workable compromise isn't it?  Often weighing up a dozen different factors at once in that compromise.

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British  | Lived in Australia 2001-02 on 457   | Married Aussie wife & moved back to UK | Plan to return to Sydney 2026 when all kids have finished school

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I think all the people who say you have to "get over" remorse are forgetting the concept of hiraeth, which @bug family told us about.  

 

286677665_510626800789936_6516243235607283634_n.jpg

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

My new novel, A Dance With Danger, due out August 2022

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38 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

I think all the people who say you have to "get over" remorse are forgetting the concept of hiraeth, which @bug family told us about.  

 

286677665_510626800789936_6516243235607283634_n.jpg

I'd say most of us on this forum have the choice about where we choose to live.  For thousands of other people there is no choice.  

A very emotive sculpture.

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49 minutes ago, Toots said:

I'd say most of us on this forum have the choice about where we choose to live. 

True for most, but not for all.  However as we know, some think they have the choice, then find the choice has been taken away from them due to family or finances. 

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

My new novel, A Dance With Danger, due out August 2022

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@Toots- absolutely right and I think that’s why many can feel a little embarrassed when we whinge about being home sick (I know I do) as no one forced us to move. We are very privileged to be able to choose to live either in 2 or even 3 countries. However ......more often that not its one person in the relationship that is driving the move and the other is swept along with the premise that ‘ it’ll just be two years until we get our citizenship’ One half of the couple wanting the other life whether the decision was made to live here or remain in the UK. 

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