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i want to return, US hubby doesn't. Crisis point.

i want to return, US hubby doesn't. Crisis point.

Old Nov 16th 2017, 4:05 am
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Default Re: i want to return, US hubby doesn't. Crisis point.

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
I'm not sure the OP needs to leave the USA - she needs to find a circle of friends that are more like her and less like her husband perhaps. Get a job? Get a different job?

Separate from her OH for a bit to see how she feels. Perhaps ask him to move out of the family home and into a nearby apartment. Being around someone who seems to care so little for what she wants has to be absolutely soul destroying. Go to marriage counselling, Talk to a lawyer. Get a lover! How European are you??? Le cinq a sept has prolonged many a marriage in france....Google second saturday divorce workshops for a start and find out information.
But if you read post #1, it sounds like the dissatisfaction with her marriage started with her dislike of America and Americans. I really don't see that leaving the marital home but not America is going to help.
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Old Nov 16th 2017, 11:10 pm
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Default Re: i want to return, US hubby doesn't. Crisis point.

I wonder if there is some middle ground. Two things pop out at me.

First of all, it does sound like the two of you have become very polarized. He has his position, you have yours, and it is a form of marital brinksmanship. I have been in a similar situation and it is easy to forget what you *do* like/value about the other person under these circumstances. In this case some counseling might help. Or maybe take a longish holiday without the kids or your husband and think things through.

The other thing is, I am an American and have lived all over this country (and in other parts of the world). I don't associate with, or really know anyone, who eats nothing but macaroni and cheese and/or eats with their hands, does not know basic etiquette...I know they exist, but they are thin on the ground where I live and even if they weren't I would not seek them out. Every society has their version of this, by the way. You can point to the most advanced cultures and still find boorish people. And yeah, while the US has launched some amazing technology, etc. it is not the end all and be all, I agree. But we have our moments. However, I can think of plenty of places in the US that are very cosmopolitan, where people are more European if you will, that are culturally very diverse. I have a friend, a woman of middle years, that has followed her lawyer husband around the world who now lives in a neat suburb of NYC and the kids all go to an international school where, in their case, the primary language is French. I know another couple from CA that lived abroad for over a dozen years, took early retirement, who returned reluctantly but found an amazing community of like minded, multi-lingual people, in a little mountain town in western North Carolina. There are all kinds of communities around this country offering varying degrees of culture and sophistication and if your husband is a professional (you say he can work until he doesn't want to, which implies something like that), I would suggest as an interim move you check out other parts of the country, and see if you can't find one to your liking. Maybe he can work remotely (and that includes abroad) or find another job in the US in an area that is more to your liking.

Maybe, and I say maybe, if you met each other halfway your husband would not feel so compelled to take opposite sides with you where it concerns friends, etc. And maybe, if you were getting your needs met, it would not be so important anyway. My husband and I don't cultivate the same kinds of friends or share all the same activities. I don't begrudge him his relationships nor vice versa. We are very compatible people in many ways, and respect and admire one another, but in no way do we want nor feel the need to be joined at the hip. When we are together we really enjoy one another's company. And for me, that is the bedrock of a good relationship.

At the end of a day, I don't know if a change of venue will really help your marriage. So, I would figure out first if I even want to be married. If he packed his bags and left with you tomorrow to the country of your choice, would that solve everything? Are the things that brought you together in the first place still valid? If there is still a glimmer of hope on that end, I would explore other options as far as living arrangement--a new locale in the US, spending part of the year abroad, or any of a number of scenarios. Otherwise, maybe it is time to part.
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Old Nov 20th 2017, 6:18 pm
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Default Re: i want to return, US hubby doesn't. Crisis point.

Originally Posted by pannacotta View Post
but.. now.. after 30 years outside Europe (20 US + 10 elsewhere) I'm desperate to return. I don't and have never been interested in getting US citizenship, (have green card), I cry half the plane ride back to the US after the couple of months I spend there in the summer with the kids so that they can continue to be bilingual.
I'm sorry you are having a tough time - I'm not able to type a long reply at the moment but I just wanted to address the above. Please re-consider getting US citizenship. The future seems hard for you to predict at the moment, but the advice often given here is to make sure you have the same citizenship as your children, so you always have the choice of living where they do.
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Old Nov 20th 2017, 7:29 pm
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Default Re: i want to return, US hubby doesn't. Crisis point.

Originally Posted by yellowroom View Post
I'm sorry you are having a tough time - I'm not able to type a long reply at the moment but I just wanted to address the above. Please re-consider getting US citizenship. The future seems hard for you to predict at the moment, but the advice often given here is to make sure you have the same citizenship as your children, so you always have the choice of living where they do.


I would strongly concur.
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Old Nov 20th 2017, 9:51 pm
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Default Re: i want to return, US hubby doesn't. Crisis point.

Originally Posted by yellowroom View Post
I'm sorry you are having a tough time - I'm not able to type a long reply at the moment but I just wanted to address the above. Please re-consider getting US citizenship. The future seems hard for you to predict at the moment, but the advice often given here is to make sure you have the same citizenship as your children, so you always have the choice of living where they do.
This is very, very true!
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Old Nov 28th 2017, 1:13 am
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Default Re: i want to return, US hubby doesn't. Crisis point.

Originally Posted by pannacotta View Post
I'm an EU national, 20+ years in the US, grew up in the UK (all schools, uni etc so consider myself British as well as from my country, parents still in the UK) . Hubby American and his job is very tied to US and he loves it.

Me.. I gave up work to look after kids, spend the summers in Europe (I know people in real life who read this forum and don't want them to figure out it's me.. hence the vague details)

but.. now.. after 30 years outside Europe (20 US + 10 elsewhere) I'm desperate to return. I don't and have never been interested in getting US citizenship, (have green card), I cry half the plane ride back to the US after the couple of months I spend there in the summer with the kids so that they can continue to be bilingual.

I have these disjointed relationships with American friends where I can't talk about certain things or reveal an interest in X because they don't understand it (very nice people, but very different) or their kids don't eat anything but mac n cheese or pasta plain boiled and like a glob of gluey yuk, or feeling can exhale and be myself with the expats from my country who are here too, but knowing hubby doesn't get it. He considers the USA the best country in the world and everywhere else fine to visit but 'inferior' for work or education (!)

We are fighting more and more, and when I say I've been here 20 yrs, and really don't want to remain.. I also have to say I understand his point of view. He's in a job he loves, and from which you don't 'retire' (you work till you are incapable of working). Do I ask him to give it up?

But our kids are preteen and I'm desperate to make them feel more European and have their hearts and identity be there because the thought of them growing up and marrying am American and staying here and me torn between seeing my kids or being finally in my country.. is a bitch.

I am crying every day about this. I don't know what to do. I've lived in 9 countries, am super adaptable, speak a bunch of languages, did a bunch of jobs at high level but as I get older (mid 50s) I miss Europe every single day and feel he doesn't understand this. He tells me to quit complaining. That work is impossible for him there. That he'd rather get divorced than move. That if I want to go then I go.

The kids.. they'd move to Europe. But at the cost of the marriage what's left of it?

And yet how can you ask me to just suck it up and continue living here when I'm so desperately unhappy and feeling I can't even talk about it with him.

"stop complaining about this, you have a nice house, car, spend the summer in Europe, it's not as advanced as America (yeah right)."

I feel he doesn't want to look at really looking for a job there, only find fault with anything European. Every time I intro him to someone, even a super accomplished person, if that person i European he will immediately find fault with them. But not Americans. We have friends who can't even hold a knife and fork correctly, who let their kids eat with their hands (and only mac and cheese..), who don't even know where Paris is.. and yet he loves to spend time with them.

I might add that what drew me to him is that he's culturally international too- meaning his parents were immigrants (I'm an expat not an immigrant and that's a very important difference. I moved here temporarily for work, then met him and stayed, but at no point did I intend nor do I intend to become American by nationality. It's just a country I happen to live in for now) and that I thought he understood what it's like to have a foot in 2 places.

But he doesn't. He doesn't speak the language of his parents, he's not interested in learning my language nor has he learnt more than a few words in 19 years of marriage. (He's not naturally talented at languages.. but he also doesn't want to learn)

So what do I do, beyond feeling miserable. I'm not even asking him to return to my country, but anywhere in Europe would be better for me. UK is fine too - same language so he (and I once I sort the kids out) can work.

I sympathize with your situation, and understand your desire for your children to get more exposure to European culture, education and lifestyle- life in the USA can seem quite apart from the world. Maybe a counsellor who can help with a calm analysis of the pros and cons could help towards a resolution. As far as the people you mentioned he likes to spend time with who don't know where Paris, that probably applies to most or a significant amount of Americans I would think.

I guess his attachment to America, and the belief that America is number one in everything ( against all objective evidence) is as strong as your desire to return to Europe or the UK. I remember living in Italy and Americans actually missed food form home, I never did understand that.

Good luck with a challenging situation !
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Old Nov 29th 2017, 11:24 pm
  #22  
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Default Re: i want to return, US hubby doesn't. Crisis point.

Originally Posted by pannacotta View Post
I also have to say I understand his point of view. He's in a job he loves, and from which you don't 'retire' (you work till you are incapable of working). Do I ask him to give it up?

...He tells me to quit complaining. That work is impossible for him there. That he'd rather get divorced than move. That if I want to go then I go.
Tough one this. Does his job actually require him to be in the US with no possibility of staying in this line of work elsewhere? I mean if he works in that big, black, glass building in Maryland with all those fibre-optic cables running through it then I could understand that asking him to leave would be equivalent to asking him to quit his job completely and look for a new line of work.

But if there is mobility there then would a move to a more cosmopolitan location in the US help in any way? Or if he's in finance then maybe an international destination like Singapore or Hong Kong would give you the much-needed opportunity to reboot and start afresh - to have an exciting and new experience whilst still being able to jet to Europe for a few months each summer?
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Old Nov 30th 2017, 12:54 am
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Default Re: i want to return, US hubby doesn't. Crisis point.

Originally Posted by astera View Post
Tough one this. Does his job actually require him to be in the US with no possibility of staying in this line of work elsewhere? I mean if he works in that big, black, glass building in Maryland with all those fibre-optic cables running through it then I could understand that asking him to leave would be equivalent to asking him to quit his job completely and look for a new line of work.

But if there is mobility there then would a move to a more cosmopolitan location in the US help in any way? Or if he's in finance then maybe an international destination like Singapore or Hong Kong would give you the much-needed opportunity to reboot and start afresh - to have an exciting and new experience whilst still being able to jet to Europe for a few months each summer?
Sounds like good advice, maybe just an initial compromise that he at least looks for potential work elsewhere may be a step to reduce the tension- though I tend to have impression it may not just be the work issue. Guess depends a lot on type of work.
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Old Dec 2nd 2018, 11:34 pm
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Default Update-Re: i want to return, US hubby doesn't. Crisis point.

I’m the original OP. Have been away from the forum trying to make things work out. Everyone’s answers have been really supportive and I’m making some changes based on things some of you said.

However the problem hasn’t changed and he isn’t interested in making any changes. His reponse is ‘my job here is good. I can keep doing it until I am able (he’s an academic) and Europe is “backwards” in my field.’ People in his uni work until they go senile. There is no ‘retirement age’. Hence in his mind there is never a time when he’d stop working and we’d move. That means I would be looking at NEVER going back, married, to Europe.

He speaks no other language but English. I have therefore reluctantly given up my dream of returning (married) to my home country, as there is no way he could learn enough of the language to help if I were unable to. (just had to deal with family members in 2 countries and 2 health care systems, neither in English. It would have been impossible if I didn’t speak the languages). That leaves countries that are English- friendly or have more expats ? Switzerland, Scandinavia, or even England (the weather isn’t my fav but hey I could live with it!)

On top of this I’ve had a hellacious year because of some awful things that happened with my family back in Europe. I wasn’t there for a parent’s death, and the other parent is now alone and am managing the care from here. I went to Europe 5 x this year, alone, as well as with the kids in the summer so they can keep up the language, and I cry all the way back on the plane. The current political situation in the US and multiple shootings make me feel even more that I don’t want to be here. Granted, things in the UK aren’t great (Brexit anyone?) nor in most European countries, but I still feel so much happier and at peace in Europe, the environment, food, buildings, a commonality of culture.

Because I have lived in so many countries (for job reasons) since university, he dismisses my desire to MOVE as ‘running away’. (gaslighting?), and because I haven’t lived in my home country for years (as a result of an international job that required moving around) he says ‘what is your country anyway, you haven’t lived there for years’ as though that should mean ‘I don’t have a country and so should not want to return there’

I think deep down he is afraid of living overseas- he’s never done it. I get that. I am empathetic.

He hasn’t always been an academic and yes it’s stable and a job for life (tenure) but there are also ways to spend a few years overseas without giving up the tenured position and many of his colleagues in the same field do. He has for years maintained that his uni won’t let him, but just last week I found online the rules that govern this and he can absolutely move away then return. I would prefer we just leave and not come back but would be so much happier if we even went for a few years several times.

I talked to him about it and his response was that because in Europe his field is undeveloped it would be a waste of time. Yes he could hired by another industry (easy for him) but that would mean giving up the tenure and a job that he really likes .
It would put a nail in the coffin in our marriage if he moved to something he doesn’t like obviously. I remind him I didn’t want to move to this city in the US but caved as it was a good job offer for him. It meant in my field I was moving to a career- killing city and I have worked a lot less.

My kids are now in a European school that does the IB. That is a good change and one he reluctantly Ok’d, having first spent months disparaging the school. He’s happy about it now. My hope is they will gravitate towards Europe when they are older but they are free to make their own choices.

Today we had another big fight. He just doesn’t even want to look into temporary positions overseas, academic swaps, visiting lecturer or anything. Just no. ‘I’m not interested’

I have been crying most of the day. His usual MO is to ignore me and then I inevitably get busy with kids and work and forget about the issue for a few days. The something triggers it again- a friend saying she is relocating, a job offer I get overseas etc and then I get so angry and so sad.

The kids know what’s going on and they would have to chose me or him if we get divorced. I grew up in a broken home and don’t want to hurt them, but does it not hurt them to see me miserable and does it not hurt me if I crush my pain.

To the person who pointed out my hissy fit about kids eating mac and cheese etc- yes you’re right - it’s not as though all Europeans eat everything ! I was pissed off and stereotyped- mea culpa.

So.. what do I do..

We could try marriage counselling but I am reluctant to do it because I just don’t see him accepting any suggestions that he explore being in Europe for a while. In the past, when well meaning friends have suggested this or colleagues have gone overseas themselves, he’s disparaged them ‘he’s wasting his time’ ‘I just don’t get why he’d do this, his wife must have forced him’

We also have a friend who moved here, not speaking English and the sole breadwinner with a business that is 100% back in my home country. He did it because his wife missed the US and wanted to be close to her elderly parents . The husband goes back home every couple of months to attend to his biz, and keeps up the reat of the time with Skype.

My husband can’t wrap his head around this ‘what kind of man would do that’ To me that comment is sexist too.

Sorry this is so long




Last edited by pannacotta; Dec 2nd 2018 at 11:38 pm. Reason: typos!
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Old Dec 2nd 2018, 11:53 pm
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Default Re: i want to return, US hubby doesn't. Crisis point.

You mention a return to ‘Europe’. It’s a big place. Did you have anywhere particular in mind?
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Old Dec 3rd 2018, 1:34 am
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Default Re: i want to return, US hubby doesn't. Crisis point.

Sorry OP but why are you still with him? He clearly only cares about himself and his job and has no interest in your happiness. You have very different plans for the future, seems pretty obvious what you need to do.

I would move anywhere in the world if it meant it would make my girlfriend happy. Not just because I love travelling but because her being happy makes me happy.

A job is just a job, it's not a life. The fact he doesn't even want to look at possible options says it all. You know what you need to do to be happy. Cut him loose.
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Old Dec 3rd 2018, 2:04 am
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Default Re: i want to return, US hubby doesn't. Crisis point.

Hi all

It’a not really important which country and I have fam members who read this website so let’s just say it’s southern Europe- France Spain or Italy.

Yea am beginning to think he is just selfish. But what about the kids. There’s no easy solution
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Old Dec 3rd 2018, 12:21 pm
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Default Re: Update-Re: i want to return, US hubby doesn't. Crisis point.

Originally Posted by pannacotta View Post
I’m the original OP. Have been away from the forum trying to make things work out. Everyone’s answers have been really supportive and I’m making some changes based on things some of you said.

However the problem hasn’t changed and he isn’t interested in making any changes. His reponse is ‘my job here is good. I can keep doing it until I am able (he’s an academic) and Europe is “backwards” in my field.’ People in his uni work until they go senile. There is no ‘retirement age’. Hence in his mind there is never a time when he’d stop working and we’d move. That means I would be looking at NEVER going back, married, to Europe.

He speaks no other language but English. I have therefore reluctantly given up my dream of returning (married) to my home country, as there is no way he could learn enough of the language to help if I were unable to. (just had to deal with family members in 2 countries and 2 health care systems, neither in English. It would have been impossible if I didn’t speak the languages). That leaves countries that are English- friendly or have more expats ? Switzerland, Scandinavia, or even England (the weather isn’t my fav but hey I could live with it!)

On top of this I’ve had a hellacious year because of some awful things that happened with my family back in Europe. I wasn’t there for a parent’s death, and the other parent is now alone and am managing the care from here. I went to Europe 5 x this year, alone, as well as with the kids in the summer so they can keep up the language, and I cry all the way back on the plane. The current political situation in the US and multiple shootings make me feel even more that I don’t want to be here. Granted, things in the UK aren’t great (Brexit anyone?) nor in most European countries, but I still feel so much happier and at peace in Europe, the environment, food, buildings, a commonality of culture.

Because I have lived in so many countries (for job reasons) since university, he dismisses my desire to MOVE as ‘running away’. (gaslighting?), and because I haven’t lived in my home country for years (as a result of an international job that required moving around) he says ‘what is your country anyway, you haven’t lived there for years’ as though that should mean ‘I don’t have a country and so should not want to return there’

I think deep down he is afraid of living overseas- he’s never done it. I get that. I am empathetic.

He hasn’t always been an academic and yes it’s stable and a job for life (tenure) but there are also ways to spend a few years overseas without giving up the tenured position and many of his colleagues in the same field do. He has for years maintained that his uni won’t let him, but just last week I found online the rules that govern this and he can absolutely move away then return. I would prefer we just leave and not come back but would be so much happier if we even went for a few years several times.

I talked to him about it and his response was that because in Europe his field is undeveloped it would be a waste of time. Yes he could hired by another industry (easy for him) but that would mean giving up the tenure and a job that he really likes .
It would put a nail in the coffin in our marriage if he moved to something he doesn’t like obviously. I remind him I didn’t want to move to this city in the US but caved as it was a good job offer for him. It meant in my field I was moving to a career- killing city and I have worked a lot less.

My kids are now in a European school that does the IB. That is a good change and one he reluctantly Ok’d, having first spent months disparaging the school. He’s happy about it now. My hope is they will gravitate towards Europe when they are older but they are free to make their own choices.

Today we had another big fight. He just doesn’t even want to look into temporary positions overseas, academic swaps, visiting lecturer or anything. Just no. ‘I’m not interested’

I have been crying most of the day. His usual MO is to ignore me and then I inevitably get busy with kids and work and forget about the issue for a few days. The something triggers it again- a friend saying she is relocating, a job offer I get overseas etc and then I get so angry and so sad.

The kids know what’s going on and they would have to chose me or him if we get divorced. I grew up in a broken home and don’t want to hurt them, but does it not hurt them to see me miserable and does it not hurt me if I crush my pain.

To the person who pointed out my hissy fit about kids eating mac and cheese etc- yes you’re right - it’s not as though all Europeans eat everything ! I was pissed off and stereotyped- mea culpa.

So.. what do I do..

We could try marriage counselling but I am reluctant to do it because I just don’t see him accepting any suggestions that he explore being in Europe for a while. In the past, when well meaning friends have suggested this or colleagues have gone overseas themselves, he’s disparaged them ‘he’s wasting his time’ ‘I just don’t get why he’d do this, his wife must have forced him’

We also have a friend who moved here, not speaking English and the sole breadwinner with a business that is 100% back in my home country. He did it because his wife missed the US and wanted to be close to her elderly parents . The husband goes back home every couple of months to attend to his biz, and keeps up the reat of the time with Skype.

My husband can’t wrap his head around this ‘what kind of man would do that’ To me that comment is sexist too.

Sorry this is so long



Sorry you are going through all this, and I sympathize as within my family there have been issues which country to be in, and since you have children of course their
benefit should come first in my opinion.

I cant see how counselling could hurt, and may help.

People often have their priorities confused, and it is not uncommon for many men, and some women, to put their work ahead of concerns for the family, or children in particular.

Perhaps though your husband simply not considering the whole picture. There are any universities in Europe that are increasingly having courses taught in English in particular at higher levels. As far as English-speaking doctors and medical staff, or in general, even in places without a lot of Expats knowledge of English -especially in professionals or with university-education is perhaps more widespread than appreciated.

Perhaps an 'in-between' step : spend summers in Europe with the children, and have him visit on holiday.Perhaps being alone for 2 months a year may make him appreciate you more, or visiting Europe he gets a bit more used to at least the idea. If nothing else would be a break for you, making it easier to put with the situation back at home the rest of the year.
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Old Dec 3rd 2018, 12:41 pm
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Default Re: Update-Re: i want to return, US hubby doesn't. Crisis point.

Originally Posted by pannacotta View Post
I’m the original OP. Have been away from the forum trying to make things work out. Everyone’s answers have been really supportive and I’m making some changes based on things some of you said.

However the problem hasn’t changed and he isn’t interested in making any changes. His reponse is ‘my job here is good. I can keep doing it until I am able (he’s an academic) and Europe is “backwards” in my field.’ People in his uni work until they go senile. There is no ‘retirement age’. Hence in his mind there is never a time when he’d stop working and we’d move. That means I would be looking at NEVER going back, married, to Europe.

He speaks no other language but English. I have therefore reluctantly given up my dream of returning (married) to my home country, as there is no way he could learn enough of the language to help if I were unable to. (just had to deal with family members in 2 countries and 2 health care systems, neither in English. It would have been impossible if I didn’t speak the languages). That leaves countries that are English- friendly or have more expats ? Switzerland, Scandinavia, or even England (the weather isn’t my fav but hey I could live with it!)

On top of this I’ve had a hellacious year because of some awful things that happened with my family back in Europe. I wasn’t there for a parent’s death, and the other parent is now alone and am managing the care from here. I went to Europe 5 x this year, alone, as well as with the kids in the summer so they can keep up the language, and I cry all the way back on the plane. The current political situation in the US and multiple shootings make me feel even more that I don’t want to be here. Granted, things in the UK aren’t great (Brexit anyone?) nor in most European countries, but I still feel so much happier and at peace in Europe, the environment, food, buildings, a commonality of culture.

Because I have lived in so many countries (for job reasons) since university, he dismisses my desire to MOVE as ‘running away’. (gaslighting?), and because I haven’t lived in my home country for years (as a result of an international job that required moving around) he says ‘what is your country anyway, you haven’t lived there for years’ as though that should mean ‘I don’t have a country and so should not want to return there’

I think deep down he is afraid of living overseas- he’s never done it. I get that. I am empathetic.

He hasn’t always been an academic and yes it’s stable and a job for life (tenure) but there are also ways to spend a few years overseas without giving up the tenured position and many of his colleagues in the same field do. He has for years maintained that his uni won’t let him, but just last week I found online the rules that govern this and he can absolutely move away then return. I would prefer we just leave and not come back but would be so much happier if we even went for a few years several times.

I talked to him about it and his response was that because in Europe his field is undeveloped it would be a waste of time. Yes he could hired by another industry (easy for him) but that would mean giving up the tenure and a job that he really likes .
It would put a nail in the coffin in our marriage if he moved to something he doesn’t like obviously. I remind him I didn’t want to move to this city in the US but caved as it was a good job offer for him. It meant in my field I was moving to a career- killing city and I have worked a lot less.

My kids are now in a European school that does the IB. That is a good change and one he reluctantly Ok’d, having first spent months disparaging the school. He’s happy about it now. My hope is they will gravitate towards Europe when they are older but they are free to make their own choices.

Today we had another big fight. He just doesn’t even want to look into temporary positions overseas, academic swaps, visiting lecturer or anything. Just no. ‘I’m not interested’

I have been crying most of the day. His usual MO is to ignore me and then I inevitably get busy with kids and work and forget about the issue for a few days. The something triggers it again- a friend saying she is relocating, a job offer I get overseas etc and then I get so angry and so sad.

The kids know what’s going on and they would have to chose me or him if we get divorced. I grew up in a broken home and don’t want to hurt them, but does it not hurt them to see me miserable and does it not hurt me if I crush my pain.

To the person who pointed out my hissy fit about kids eating mac and cheese etc- yes you’re right - it’s not as though all Europeans eat everything ! I was pissed off and stereotyped- mea culpa.

So.. what do I do..

We could try marriage counselling but I am reluctant to do it because I just don’t see him accepting any suggestions that he explore being in Europe for a while. In the past, when well meaning friends have suggested this or colleagues have gone overseas themselves, he’s disparaged them ‘he’s wasting his time’ ‘I just don’t get why he’d do this, his wife must have forced him’

We also have a friend who moved here, not speaking English and the sole breadwinner with a business that is 100% back in my home country. He did it because his wife missed the US and wanted to be close to her elderly parents . The husband goes back home every couple of months to attend to his biz, and keeps up the reat of the time with Skype.

My husband can’t wrap his head around this ‘what kind of man would do that’ To me that comment is sexist too.

Sorry this is so long



Just re-read your original post, seems you are already spending time in Europe, maybe add Christmas vacation as well.

One area of Europe where as a university professor many classes in English, and in many disciplines attractive opportunities for teaching and research, is in Scandinavia and the Baltics.

I have a friend also very American whose wife is English and was very unhappy in America. He was like your husband, very American but finally he agreed to move so his wife would be happy and simply give their children more experience growing up, with vacations in Spain or Switzerland etc. He still misses America, thanksgiving and American cereals for example. He isn't completely happy in the UK, but his priority he finally realized was his wife and children.

I dont know what field he is in but in many fields there are opportunities in European universities.

I think it is admirable you are trying to keep your family together in light of such difficulties.
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Old Dec 3rd 2018, 5:13 pm
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Default Re: i want to return, US hubby doesn't. Crisis point.

Stepping back, one way of thinking about a successful marriage is when each spouse is putting the other spouse's needs and wants first - and then working through the compromises necessary. It seems that you have put the wants & needs of your husband (and children) first for a very long time - what has your husband done for you? Has he made similar sized sacrifices to ensure your happiness?

I am crying every day about this. I don't know what to do. .... He tells me to quit complaining. ... That he'd rather get divorced than move. That if I want to go then I go.
He is telling you who he is and what he thinks. You need to listen to this, and accept it. As you describe him, he sounds like a homebody who does not want or value any experiences out of his home state, let alone country. You will never get him to agree to move abroad. I think you should stop trying to get him to understand your point of view - he's your husband and "understanding you" should not be a chore!

Start accepting that if you move, you will do so on your own and start planning for it, even if it is a long-term plan. The focus of your discussions with your husband then become about whether this is a separation or a marriage where you live independently for part of the year. The children will be the other main focus - your kids will be fine in the long run as long as they have two parents who love them, and put their needs first. If you are so unhappy then they will know - don't let them think that part of your unhappiness is somehow their fault.
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