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Stay in the Netherlands Vs weekly commute

Stay in the Netherlands Vs weekly commute

Old Jun 5th 2019, 6:00 pm
  #1  
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Default Stay in the Netherlands Vs weekly commute

Hey,
I could really do with some advice from you guys please.
So myself and partner moved to the Netherlands last year and we had our little baby boy earlier this year.
However, I am really struggling to be happy here and am really missing the UK. I suspect I need to give things more time, but my gut tells me I just need to be back home, around everything that is familiar.
We moved here due to my partner’s new job, which was an opportunity he really couldn’t turn down.
The position is likely to last 3-5 years, with the possibility of it becoming permanent.
Whilst I support his decision to move here, I really am struggling to accept that our life is here now and regret that we are not raising our son in the UK, around the support of my friends and family (Partner is Belgian).
What I would like to know is - has anyone lived in a separate country to their partner whilst having a LO.
NL really isn’t far to travel to/from the UK, and we could take it in turns to travel to see each other at weekends.
However, Am I being selfish to even consider this?
I have sacrificed my career, home, friends and family to make the move here, however I feel so guilty for wanting to move back home.
Any advice would be much appreciated! HB
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Old Jun 7th 2019, 7:08 pm
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Default Re: Stay in the Netherlands Vs weekly commute

We don't appear to have anyone who has either contemplated or lived apart from their husband for a period of 3 to 5 years, and met up at weekends/vacation time, because they wanted to be back in home country, 'around everything that is familiar'

What does your husband say about it?
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Old Jun 9th 2019, 5:28 pm
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Default Re: Stay in the Netherlands Vs weekly commute

Consider spending one or two weekends a month in the UK. Living apart full-time when it’s unnecessary sounds like the quickest way to end your relationship.
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Old Jun 9th 2019, 6:55 pm
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Default Re: Stay in the Netherlands Vs weekly commute

Originally Posted by BritInParis View Post
Consider spending one or two weekends a month in the UK. Living apart full-time when it’s unnecessary sounds like the quickest way to end your relationship.
+1

From experience I can say that this kind of commuting can become very wearing, starting with "I really just can't be bothered this weekend" & on to resentment "why are you making me do this"...
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Old Jun 9th 2019, 9:10 pm
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Default Re: Stay in the Netherlands Vs weekly commute

This is basically a case of 'normal' homesickness. You have had so many major changes in your life ,with nothing familiar to support you during them. I empathise completely with you as I did exactly this over 30 + years ago. Followed my OH to the Netherlands for what was supposed to be 2 yrs. It ended up being the above. I became that somewhat insulting term, A trialing spouse .
First off .. Are you saying that you do not love and support your partner ?,Don't put him first before anyone else ? Because thats what you seem to be saying. here.You are willing to let him struggle on by himself . This is not being in a strong partnership.Its tempting to run back 'home', but not very mature
Trying to flit between countries is expensive, exhausting, and generally fails in the end . You have to commit to the life you have chosen. By all means arrange a good holiday back home. We all do that. but also take steps to integrate more in the country you are in. I don't know where you live but check out if there is an International Club in your area. Take steps to learn the language .Look for mum and toddler groups .etc etc. The more you integrate , the more settled and happy you will feel. I do know that you have to be the one to go out there and find these things. they won't come to you...Good Luck

Last edited by GeniB; Jun 9th 2019 at 9:13 pm.
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Old Jun 9th 2019, 10:45 pm
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Default Re: Stay in the Netherlands Vs weekly commute

GeniB you seem to think that we are living back in the 1950s where women must sacrifice their mental health for the well being of their husband! And you've obviously never been to the Netherlands, where everyone speaks English, official business is often conducted in English and most official website are in English (that said, I am not saying she shouldn't learn the language, but I know people who have been there 20 years + and can't speak a word).

However, I do agree that living apart is not a long term solution. While it's only an hour flight at most NL <> UK, it's just not going to do your relationship any good, will get very tiring and expensive maintaining two homes and will be confusing for you LO.

Home Bird, I don't know where you live but there are so many British/Expat mums' groups and activities where you can meet and share your concerns and frustrations with others who are going through the same. In Amsterdam, I know there are international day cares and play groups (and there surely must be in the other big cities too).
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Old Jun 12th 2019, 4:07 pm
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Default Re: Stay in the Netherlands Vs weekly commute

Originally Posted by sherbert View Post
GeniB you seem to think that we are living back in the 1950s where women must sacrifice their mental health for the well being of their husband! And you've obviously never been to the Netherlands, where everyone speaks English, official business is often conducted in English and most official website are in English (that said, I am not saying she shouldn't learn the language, but I know people who have been there 20 years + and can't speak a word).

However, I do agree that living apart is not a long term solution. While it's only an hour flight at most NL <> UK, it's just not going to do your relationship any good, will get very tiring and expensive maintaining two homes and will be confusing for you LO.

Home Bird, I don't know where you live but there are so many British/Expat mums' groups and activities where you can meet and share your concerns and frustrations with others who are going through the same. In Amsterdam, I know there are international day cares and play groups (and there surely must be in the other big cities too).
\
Ummmm WOW ! your one angry lady aren't you.. Did you read my post ? I LIVED in the Netherlands for over 30 yrs. So I know all about the language problems along with everything else that being in a foreign country entails. I also find your tone offensive about the being back in the 50's Careing for, and supporting a partner in a difficult situation isn't related to a time in history. Are you saying that because it's 2019 you can behave how you like ? As to the speaking English How long have you lived there ? Maybe you can get away with it in Amsterdam .Or buried in a large ex-pat community.. But it sure as heck doesn't work for most ex-pats. You will be expected to speak Dutch after 18 months and they will ask you repeatedly how long you have been in the country. So if you don' want to learn. My advice is to keep saying 18 months.It took me three years to learn it. If you want to integrate I advise the PO to do that.
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Old Jun 12th 2019, 4:46 pm
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Default Re: Stay in the Netherlands Vs weekly commute

Not really angry and I apologise if you felt offended, I just object to this kind of phrasing: "Are you saying that you do not love and support your partner ?,Don't put him first before anyone else ?" which seems to imply that her partner's needs come first, above her own mental wellbeing.

I lived in NL for 15 years en ja, ik spreek vloeiend Nederlands.

When was the last time you were in NL? In Amsterdam, the Hague and to some extent Utrecht and Maastricht you can walk around the entire day and barely hear a word of Dutch. Things have really change in the last couple of years what with all the companies setting up their European HQs because of Brexit uncertainty. I'm pretty sure she's not out in the sticks. Perhaps she could let us know where she is located and we can point her in the direction of some resources.

And we totally agree on the language: just because everyone speaks English, doesn't mean she shouldn't learn. I never felt truly at ease in NL until I could understand and converse in Dutch. I was just saying that it's not hard to get around and do everything you need to do without speaking the language.

Anyway, back to the OP. Have you spoken to your partner? Does he know how unhappy you are?
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Old Jun 13th 2019, 8:45 am
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Default Re: Stay in the Netherlands Vs weekly commute

You did come across as pretty annoyed at my saying what I did. ( I was in Amsterdam two months ago btw) I apologise to the OP if it came across as a bit of a slap down. though , but I think I can say I saw it all in my 30+yrs of living there. I was president of a 300 strong International Club for three years at one point . With 65 nationalities . Many many women came to me with this same problem Especially American women who had been particularly used to running their own lives / business's and not having to consider learning another language etc. There were quite a few marriage / partnership splits in that group . Of those who chose the commute route. i can't think of one relationship that survived it. Funnily enough it was never the commute ,it was illness, or family pressure that did it in the end ( why I said what i did ,) because invariable allegiances will shift . I also was hinting at the fact that men in general are not too good at being on their own. I have seen plenty of that result too. Many women think it would never happen in their relationship, their guy isn't like that. Again it could come across as old fashioned thinking! but I have seen it in the most unlikely of relationships. Nothing has changed imo on that front ,you still have to work at it 24/7.
I totally agree with you that things have changed a lot in NL They were virtually closed to strangers when I moved there ,and totally insisting on you speaking Dutch by the time I left. However as a trading nation they adapt on a sixpence, and if the Brits have poured money and business's into their country ( which they have, 250 thus far ) they will speak English. The OP is very lucky to be there right now.,much more comfortable than when I was there.
I do hope she comes back and gives us an update on what she has decided to do
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Old Jun 13th 2019, 9:38 am
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Default Re: Stay in the Netherlands Vs weekly commute

Originally Posted by Home_Bird View Post
Hey,
I could really do with some advice from you guys please.
So myself and partner moved to the Netherlands last year and we had our little baby boy earlier this year.
However, I am really struggling to be happy here and am really missing the UK. I suspect I need to give things more time, but my gut tells me I just need to be back home, around everything that is familiar.
We moved here due to my partner’s new job, which was an opportunity he really couldn’t turn down.
The position is likely to last 3-5 years, with the possibility of it becoming permanent.
Whilst I support his decision to move here, I really am struggling to accept that our life is here now and regret that we are not raising our son in the UK, around the support of my friends and family (Partner is Belgian).
What I would like to know is - has anyone lived in a separate country to their partner whilst having a LO.
NL really isn’t far to travel to/from the UK, and we could take it in turns to travel to see each other at weekends.
However, Am I being selfish to even consider this?
I have sacrificed my career, home, friends and family to make the move here, however I feel so guilty for wanting to move back home.
Any advice would be much appreciated! HB
Hi, and welcome to the Forum, although I believe your post would be better in the European section where those on the spot could also give advice!
No one has picked up on the fact that you've had a baby recently - it seems to me that you're suffering from baby blues, stuck at home with no one to talk to, with your partner out working and maybe too tired to listen and help out when at home? Can some one from back home come and keep you company for a while, and babysit during the day while you're out looking for solutions? You don't say where you're living, but help is surely provided for young mothers in your situation, via your Doctor or Social Services at your Town Hall?
"Commuting" back and forth at alternate weekends with such a young baby wouldn't make for a stable life nor a long-lasting relationship.
Only you and your partner can make such a decision, but wait first, until you've gone out and looked for solutions. Your blues won't get better if you stay at home all day and you should seek medical advice from your G.P./Gynaecologist/Paediatrician, and get practical advice from the Town Hall (possibility of part-time daycare while you go to appointments?).
My OH was a workaholic when I had my first and came home late. I felt quite alone during the day, all the more so as I was working from home. I looked for local babysitters or left DD1 at the Municipal Daycare Centre when I had Doctor/Dentist appointments. There are solutions!
HTH. All the best!
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Old Jun 13th 2019, 9:41 am
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Default Re: Stay in the Netherlands Vs weekly commute

Commute is doomed to disaster.
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Old Jun 13th 2019, 7:05 pm
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Default Re: Stay in the Netherlands Vs weekly commute

Originally Posted by GeniB View Post
You did come across as pretty annoyed at my saying what I did.
Sorry about that: that's the tone one has to adopt on the US section of this forum to deal with the inordinate number of pompous ..... <censoring myself>.

For what it is worth, I would move back to NL instantly if I could persuade my OH (he has trouble with the weather). It is a fantastic place to live and work and to raise children and, as you say GeniB, even more so now. I remember my first trip to the supermarket in 1999...My. GOD. 96 varieties of appelmoes (apple sauce) and pindakaas (peanut butter) and not much else.

The OP has had an enormous amount of upheaval recently: new country, new baby, her own career on hold etc and I really implore her to give NL a chance. OP, check out https://amsterdam-mamas.nl/ even if you are not located in Amsterdam: there's a whole host of resources on there.
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