Need a little advice/help with my dilemma....please

(14 Posts)
RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Fri 12-Apr-13 03:51:04

I remember having a conversation with a friend along these lines

Me: So when did your parents get divorced?
Him: Huh? My parents arent divorced. Why did you think that?
Me: Um, because your dad lives in Bampf and your mum lives in Oxford
Him: ha ha- no, they're still together. My mum just doesnt like skiing and she's not retired yet and dad is. Dad comes back to the UK in the summer.
Me: So they live together in the summer then?
Him: Yes, well, apart from when mum's off on her digs in Turkey(she's an archeologist) for 2 months

I have to be honest and thought he was delusional and couldnt accept his parents had basically split up. I subsequently met them, and they do still get on very well and from what I can tell they still think of themselves as completely married, despite spending most of the year in different countries. i think they've kind of decided that having spent 25 years bringing up kids, that they want to pursue some personal interests that dont necessarily align for a few years before they get too old and decrepit. I cant decide if it's really modern or really old fashioned grin

MistyB Thu 11-Apr-13 16:24:54

A friend once said about living separate lives, if you plough your own furrows, there is a greater risk that the longer it goes on, they further they will diverge and when you get to the end of the field, you will no longer be ploughing on in the same direction. (or something like that... )

itshothere Thu 11-Apr-13 15:33:48

Thank you so much all of you for your replies. I don't have a bad marriage, he is a very good husband and always has been to be fair. The thing is, he has always been ambitious and hard working, read workaholic, qualities I found attractive in the beginning. I was busy with dc's and dipped in and out of work myself which always kept me busy (I'm a mw/nurse). He is also greatly involved in sport, he's a qualified football coach and does this (very time consuming) 'hobby' in his spare time.
When the youngest goes to uni she will not be in the same part of the uk as me and the extended family. She was pleased that I might at least be in the same country though, so she says...
My dh say's that he wants me to be happy even though he wasn't thrilled with the idea of living separately. I've never been a complainer and always adapted quite well. I suppose he's never had to deal with a situation like this one before and maybe he thinks he's saying the right things? I've never had any doubt of his fidelity before and likewise mine to him. It not something I have ever considered. But I totally see the dangers that some of you have highlighted about us simply drifting apart because we won't be sharing stuff day to day. I can honestly say that I wouldn't like that to be the case.
I like the suggestion from swavesey about trying things for a year, I may actually enjoy it here without dc's, I never tried it. I did a search today for courses and found one I may consider? Something new(ish) and challenging.
I also realize another heart to heart with dh is required. It's not only about MY happiness, maybe I've come across as selfish? I'm really not enjoying this phase of my life. I thought I would be happy when the kids grew up and ventured off into the big wide world.
Maybe I'm being spoilt by being given the choice? But dh has always tried to please me, a little aside, we've been together since teenagers.
Anyway, thank you all sincerely again. It has been interesting and thought provoking to hear different opinions, I really needed input xx
p.s going off in search of the empty nest threads now....

MistyB Thu 11-Apr-13 13:21:24

Have a look at the empty nest thread. Some of the thoughts on there might resonate with you.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Thu 11-Apr-13 12:22:10

I agree with what the above have said- the marriage probably wont survive in its current form. How would you feel about that? Is that more important to you that feeling fulfilled/ having friends etc (there is no wrong or right answer here btw). FWIW I do know a fair few couples in their fifties with grown kids where the marriage is fairly unconventional- separate houses (or at least the couple have more than one property and dont spend all their time at the same one), meet up as and when, but are still technically together/ still get on etc. Not sure it would be for me, but it seems to work for them.

I understand where you're coming from anyway

swavesey Thu 11-Apr-13 09:57:32

A few thoughts from me ... where do your older children live? If you come back to the UK are you leaving them in the same country as your husband?
Your youngest is coming back to the UK to embark a fresh new exciting stage of their life as a student - they will make new friends and create a life for themself. It wouldn't be right or fair for them to have to 'look out' for Mum at this stage in their life (unless they are asking you to come back with them?) Your youngest will be busy with studying/socialising so wouldn't have that much time for you - sorry I really don't mean this to sound harsh.
I have a neighbour whose husband works overseas and he comes home for 2 x 2 week holidays per year and that is pretty much all they see of each other. Might seem strange to some but they've done this for 10 years or so - so it must work for them (and I admire their 'who cares what the neighbours think' attitude).
The fear of the unexpected at this next stage in your life is common - I would look for a different job where you might meet new friends, join a group/club to start a bit of a social life for yourself, and give it a year with your husband - and then see how you feel.
Good luck x

Caterpillar2001 Wed 10-Apr-13 19:48:22

Instictively and probably based on what I saw going on around me whilst growing up as an expat brat I too would raise the same questions as laptopwieldingharpy and fear the type of outcome that Mosman describes.
Is there anyone you can speak to about this face to face; someone you can really confide in, who is not judgemental?

I wish you strength.

chloeb2002 Wed 10-Apr-13 10:28:39

I can only add from the point of being a child whose parents did this. My dad initially moved to the south if England with work while as a family we stayed in the north. The next move for him was to Bulgaria where my mother visited and he came home once a month.. It was the beginning of the end. After 25 years of marriage they were both living different lives having different experiences. They separated and divorced. Very sad for us kids even as teenagers.

I also think there is more to it.

Forgive me if am wrong but this is how I see it: you feel you have drifted apart and aspire to different things.

I've seen it happen before.
He is content in his successful life / you visualise a more fulfilling reality for yourself at home and maybe rightfully so.
I can totally understand how you might have become detached from your established expat lifestyle as your life feels like only a shadow of his now that the children have moved on.

Thing is you will surely drift apart even further. Is that what you really want?
It may be that you will be happier like that. Are you afraid that may happen to you or him? Do you feel prepared to move on if that's the case??

Am sorry to stir this up if its not the case, but I feel that's what underpins your post.

All I can see from what I've witnessed in a lifetime as an expat, is that there are more reasons for this to go wrong than to work out in the long run.

MarjorieAntrobus Tue 09-Apr-13 01:41:47

Interesting. I'll be in your position in a year, OP, and I've been wondering the same thing. Actually I've been thinking of a more watered-down version where I go back more often and for longer periods, not a permanent return. I'd like to be able to see the student DCs and my elderly parents more often.

I think the prospect of the empty nest thing is worse when the distances are large. Also, having a workaholic DH and being under-occupied oneself isn't ideal (despite voluntary work etc etc).

Yet we have tried the living-apart thing before, for a year, and felt that we were living divergent lives. The quality of the occasional reunions didn't make up for the quantity of time apart.

ripsishere Tue 09-Apr-13 01:22:30

We did it for a year. It wasn't ideal as DD was only 10 when we left DH. Our plan was to stay together in England once his contract had finished. Since DH was unable to get another UK based job, we are now all together in KL.
It sounds to me as if there is more to it than you missing your DC.

fussychica Mon 08-Apr-13 15:33:22

We moved back as a couple when DS when to Uni in the UK a couple of years ago (there were other reasons too). I would have stayed abroad with DH rather than come back alone. If you are coming back for your DC then I wouldn't do it. It was a good job we were in UK as DS was rushed into hospital in freshers week(!) but under normal circumstances we only see him at the end of each term so being in UK or abroad wouldn't make any difference.

However, if you are no longer happy where you are you need to agree a plan of action together. I can't see your plan of separation working in the long term.

Mosman Mon 08-Apr-13 15:14:01

I did it for 6 months and H was having an affair the whole time, I'm probably the wrong person to ask but in the counselling I've had since I realise I created the perfect storm. Married people need to be together looking through the same windows

itshothere Mon 08-Apr-13 14:14:54

My youngest child will be leaving for the uk this summer for uni. We have lived overseas for the past 10 years and have been happy. I feel really unsettled now and am seriously thinking that I would like to move back too. My DH really doesn't want to go back, he has a good job and busy social life, mostly involving sport.
I work part time here, not through necessity, more for something to do. I don't get a great deal of satisfaction from my job although I am doing what I'm trained to do. It has never compared to when I worked in the uk. I don't have a social life either, the couple of good friends I made here have left. It's not easy making new ones sad .
If I do move back I would do it alone, leaving DH here and probably get to see each other every few months or so.
Has anyone gone through this? Did you go home and live separate from your OH? What are your experiences of this?
Thanks for any input smile

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