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  #41  
Old 28.07.2016, 11:16
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Re: Is Switzerland a Golden Cage?

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I find it strange that people feel guilty for not being happy in Switzerland. Same could be said about leaving one's homeland - you had food on your table, a loving family, friends you knew from kindergarten, all the common places no-one would understand here and a language to sink into. Why did you leave?
I'm not saying we cannot (or aren't) be happy here, well, happiness is a relative notion like anything else, but if I personally would feel guilty for something it won't be that.

OP,
Before taking any decision try to live a few months back home. Maybe you changed and will realise you want back to Switzerland. Maybe not, but you can't be sure of anything right now. I hope you'll find your way. Hugs.
I think it is first-world guilt.

If you are unhappy, you beat yourself up about it because you feel that you have no right to be unhappy given that:

- you are living in the first world
- you are not starving
- you have shelter
- you have all your basic needs satisfied
- you earn good money
- you can buy pretty much what you want
- you can travel and holiday as you please
- you have a good job
- you are unhappy in a country other people would kill to be able to live in
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  #42  
Old 28.07.2016, 11:44
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Re: Is Switzerland a Golden Cage?

We all have different tastes and needs. So it stands to reason that Switzerland is not for everyone. I think most people on here have at one point or other wanted to leave. Some then do and it's the right thing for them. Where to live and what you need out of life are personal decisions that only the individual themselves can make.

It is also a common thing for women to wish to return to the "family fold" when they become mothers. Not all women! But some do then feel a greater need to be closer to their own mothers.

Having said all of that, I do wish to point out that the OP's boyfriend's reluctance is very understandable. He is a father to a young child (baby?) and it therefore stands to reason, that he is doing his best to provide and be as good a father as he can. The suggestion of upping sticks and moving somewhere else without a definite job or secure income is scary at the best of times, but when you're trying to provide for your child, I'd imagine it would be even more intimidating. To then have your partner suggest you add yet another risk to the plan by setting up your own business.. well, that would have many a pragmatic individual dig their heels in.

OP if you seriously want to move with your BF then might I suggest you research possible employment opportunities for him? Actually show that aside from your (again very understandable) emotional desire to leave Switzerland, it's not just a dream but has, as they say here "hands and feet". In other words, still allows him to provide for his family.
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  #43  
Old 28.07.2016, 18:32
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Re: Is Switzerland a Golden Cage?

Have you actually counted the things you miss from home? and considered the things you won't have if you go to your country of origin to live?
I've said before on here though, that one cannot put back the clock.
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And even if you do go back prepared for the culture shock, when you get there you may find you can't 'feed your roots' which have got a bit shrivelled up anyway as they've built a motorway where your memories were. Concerning personal contacts, the inpats (as opposed to expats) don't speak the same language as you did when you lived there and certainly not the same language as you speak now. Sometimes one can feel 'lonelier' in one's homeland than when one is here, hankering after it.
Even if you go regularly for weekends, it will not really show you what it would be like living there. My sister lived abroad for years and each time she was on holiday in England, she met up with loads of old friends who went out of their way to spend time with her, inviting her for meals etc. When she had to return to live there, the situation was very different indeed. The others had, in the twelve years she had been away, formed new 'everyday' lives and new friendships. She still met them from time to time but they didn't need her anything like as much as she needed them.

I hope you find a good solution but I have the feeling at least one of the people involved is going to go through a very rough time before things are sorted out.
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  #44  
Old 28.07.2016, 22:27
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Re: Is Switzerland a Golden Cage?

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Perhaps I am a nut job, perhaps I have no idea about what life is really about.

My experience is that the greatest happiness. and also the deepest darkness, is that which I find in my own soul.

One of the advantages of this is that since I always have my soul with me, it doesn't much matter where my body happens to be.

Perhaps our souls are different.
Switzerland can be a golden cage, no doubt. And what golden cages do is take your energy. You guys can go home ..... this is my home While I'm still planing in the back of my mind to some day emigrate to a sunny, relaxed country I learnt very early in life that I can create my own Switzerland by surrounding myself with international friends, work in international enviroments, have my own ideas, opinions and my own way of life. Most Swiss think I'm weird and most other people bitch about the Swiss and then add "but you're different" (which I find a bit weird because if I'm "different" I'm sure they could find at least an other 100K or so different ones in this country if they bothered to look for them).

@Jag <<My experience is that the greatest happiness. and also the deepest darkness, is that which I find in my own soul.>> Yep, absolutely. Mine too.

After all, what defines a golden cage to be one? When an unsatisfying life is too comfi to leave. Happened to me with jobs, when you realize it's no fun anymore, been there, worn the t-shirt, watched the video ..... but money is darn good and you "do it left-handed" as we say here (=with little effort). It's not easy and takes guts to up and leave it and start a completly new carreer/start all over in a new field. But it's called living I suspose and it's great fun - did it four times already in my life.

Switzerland is great on paper? Utopia? Yeah, probably (it is definitely somewhat unreal, at least that's how I sometimes feel about it) but fact is that a country/enviroment is only a canvas to paint your life on. If one wants a ready made picture/life one will probably move all around the world, constantly unsatisfied.
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  #45  
Old 28.07.2016, 22:33
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Re: Is Switzerland a Golden Cage?

The most tragic thing about threads like this is cleary the OP hasn't talked to her boyfriend about how she really feels, and has instead allowed herself to get increasingly miserable over the course of years while allowing herself to be palmed off with lame excuses when these supposed "deadlines" come.

I'm not sure you can sympathise so much with that, as it is completely avoidable and self-inflicted.
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Old 29.07.2016, 01:20
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Re: Is Switzerland a Golden Cage?

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I'm not sure you can sympathise so much with that, as it is completely avoidable and self-inflicted.
That's a bizarre conclusion. I suppose that falling in love can indeed be described as "completely avoidable and self-inflicted", but show me someone who hasn't tripped and fallen into that big pit while they were looking the other way.
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  #47  
Old 29.07.2016, 16:05
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Re: Is Switzerland a Golden Cage?

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That's a bizarre conclusion. I suppose that falling in love can indeed be described as "completely avoidable and self-inflicted", but show me someone who hasn't tripped and fallen into that big pit while they were looking the other way.
She is living in which seems to be a miserable life. Richdog is right on target, it has nothing to do with "love" but to that fact that she doesn't open her mouth to her partner!

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  #48  
Old 29.07.2016, 17:03
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Re: Is Switzerland a Golden Cage?

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That's a bizarre conclusion. I suppose that falling in love can indeed be described as "completely avoidable and self-inflicted", but show me someone who hasn't tripped and fallen into that big pit while they were looking the other way.
How is it in fairy land, nice weather this time of year?
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  #49  
Old 29.07.2016, 20:40
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Re: Is Switzerland a Golden Cage?

@Libellula
Many posters have suggested that you go home, and try it out for a while, and if that doesn’t suit you, then simply return. Some have suggested that your partner do the same.

What about your permit status? Do you and he (and your child) have nationalities and permits which would allow you, or you and him (and your child) to leave Switzerland, and then freely return? In many cases permits are related to jobs, and if a person leaves, they cannot be sure to be able to return at all. Please – before you take any decision: check the legal position of your 3 permits.

You say you’ve lived here for 8 years. How long has your partner been here?
Can he get Swiss citizenship? Can you hang in there for long enough to get your Swiss citizenship, too? Having that red passport can be hugely liberating, in that one can, then, truly leave and try life out in another country, knowing that one will always be permitted to return.

I think Serk’s suggestion of writing yourself a loooong, heart-outpouring letter is excellent advice. Don’t hold back, but type up all those things you’ve been keeping bottled up. When you go back, you could use the “search” function to choose words, e.g. your partner’s name, or typical issues around living in Switzerland, such as : laundry, German, post, neighbours, rental, transport, shopping, and also the things you remember from home, e.g. Mom, sister, favourite foods, what made you laugh there, etc.

You’re 37 now and have been here for 8 years. That means you arrived just at the start of your adult life. If you went to university, then relatively soon after graduation. As JagWaugh has pointed out, many people at around the age of 37 pause to assess their lives. The buzz of being a kid is over, the stimulation of university life, too, and there’s something sobering and potentially depressing about the mundane matters of paying the bills, preparing the meals, doing the laundry, understanding the tax form, etc. As a student, it is so much easier to avoid these things, or cram them into some crazy time-slot like 3 a.m. the night before an exam. Many of these issues can feel much more of a burden as soon as one has a child, because the last thing you want is your child to suffer, and so you just have to do that grocery shopping. Many folk, at this point, ask: “Is this all there is to life?” And the way out of this low is to re-assess your needs, to face those changed priorities full on, and then to figure out which troublesome aspects to eliminate as far as possible, and which things are essential so that you can breathe.

A bit later, you might also invite your partner to write such a letter, too. Depending on his personality, he may or may not take up the invitation. However, once you’ve evaluated your own long letter – and before taking any big decision – you could offer to listen to him explain how he sees things. What does he dream of doing, himself, and with you and your child? What are his hopes, professionally? Where does he hope you will all be in 5 years' time? What hobbies interest him, that he hasn't yet tried? What does he feel is working out completely fine, right now? What part of his life annoys him most or drains his energy? Is he homesick for anything or anyone in his country of origin?

If he will talk to you about those things (perhaps after having a few days’ advance warning), you can promise to just listen, without contradicting him or defending your point of view, or trying to persuade him of anything. Just set yourself the goal to listen, so that he knows you want to understand, to truly hear, what he is trying to say. That might go a long way towards seeing whether or not you have a joint future.

As I read your posts, your partner seems to want to be together with you. After all, you say that his motivation to withhold financial support of you if you went “home” is his hope that that will encourage you to return to him.

Last edited by doropfiz; 29.07.2016 at 21:11. Reason: typo
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  #50  
Old 01.08.2016, 20:33
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Re: Is Switzerland a Golden Cage?

I agree with a lot of posts that this is about having a common vision of shared values objectives and a commitment to them.

Feel the same about staying here as a couple if you are not fully committed to making it work you will always feel uncertain over the future and it will inevitably impact how you feel about making this place your home.

Its something I suspect many people struggle with and often end up going home, if you both don't commit to that it probably wont work either, so in common with many of the other people suggestions my suggestion is that the only way to resolve this is to talk it through in a brutally honest way to each other to yourselves.
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  #51  
Old 01.08.2016, 22:16
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Re: Is Switzerland a Golden Cage?

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What I can tell you is my blood pressure was elevated for the last 10 years I was living in Switzerland, however having moved away my blood pressure is now on the lower side of normal.

Whilst Switzerland is on paper the best place in Europe to live as salaries are high even relative to cost of living, whilst taxes are generally quite modest.

There is a cost of the curtain twitching neighbours & everyone wanting to stick their noses in your business.

I don't think you can put a price on freedom, that comes with leaving Switzerland. I would not consider returning for less than 500k a year, almost 5 times what I was earning on average over 20 years.

You can't buy happiness at any price.
Switzerland is an unique place in the world, and they take pride of it.

It comes to two things

1) Personality
2) Expectations

My experience.

I moved from Paris to Luxembourg to Geneva. I am originally from a small town in Southern Europe.

Paris is a lovely city (sorry it is the most beautiful city in the world with the sexiest people) but in a way so many people, so much caos killed my energy even if there are so many wonderful things to do. In a way, it was not my place. I had many ups and downs.

I moved to Luxembourg for work. Luxembourg is boring as hell and I couldn't wait to leave that SH. However I got to appreciate that in Luxembourg things work in a way things do not work in Paris. If there is noise in the street, you can call the police and 5 minutes later they are there and they take it seriously. I secretly loved that and made me calmer and more confortable.

And then Geneva. And it is heaven with rules for anything, even if I find GE quite disorganised, I would rather stick to SG or some isolated German canton (yet I speak bad German). And better weather, bigger, better connected, and even more organised and structured.

I suspect I have some OCD (my father indeed has it) and maybe some very light Asperger signs, so Switzerland is heaven.

But is it heaven? And there is where expectations come.

I notice many expats think Switzerland is perfect and everything needs to be perfect. Is it? Of course not. I can think a thousand things that are better in many other countries in Europe: women status in the work place, discrimination of elderly people (i.e. cost of insurance), LGBT rights... even many of those things I come to appreciate due my isolated nature can be quite bad (i.e. a lot of people is alone in Switzerland).

So Switzerland is far from perfect but it is the best fit for me. I feel much more confortable and healthier in this uber-organised society that I would ever feel in the "chaos" of France or any other country in Europe.

And that ultimately is the question, personality and expectations. Is Switzerland the best fit for you?
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Old 02.08.2016, 22:09
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Re: Is Switzerland a Golden Cage?

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What I can tell you is my blood pressure was elevated for the last 10 years I was living in Switzerland, however having moved away my blood pressure is now on the lower side of normal.

Whilst Switzerland is on paper the best place in Europe to live as salaries are high even relative to cost of living, whilst taxes are generally quite modest.

There is a cost of the curtain twitching neighbours & everyone wanting to stick their noses in your business.

I don't think you can put a price on freedom, that comes with leaving Switzerland. I would not consider returning for less than 500k a year, almost 5 times what I was earning on average over 20 years.

You can't buy happiness at any price.

there definitely were some good answers but your comment is the best. at least i relate to it a lot!
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Old 02.08.2016, 22:30
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Re: Is Switzerland a Golden Cage?

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I think it is first-world guilt.

If you are unhappy, you beat yourself up about it because you feel that you have no right to be unhappy given that:

- you are living in the first world
- you are not starving
- you have shelter
- you have all your basic needs satisfied
- you earn good money
- you can buy pretty much what you want
- you can travel and holiday as you please
- you have a good job
- you are unhappy in a country other people would kill to be able to live in
Indeed, but my point was that there is no such a thing as "the right to be unhappy"....one just is unhappy.


OP,

Are you OK? I hope you'll discuss everything you wrote here with your bf and decide together what to do next. I wish you the strength to take a decision. Courage!

There's a lot of trolling on EF but this thread seems so genuine and I noticed there are many expats who can relate to it. Hope each of them can help you put some order in your thoughts and give you that little impulse you need to move things forward.

Last edited by greenmount; 02.08.2016 at 22:50.
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Old 05.08.2016, 13:15
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Re: Is Switzerland a Golden Cage?

For some perspective on this topic...

From today's SwissInfo, 'Escaping the Golden Cage'


"Switzerland is beautiful, affluent, safe and convenient, yet many Swiss move on. Some find it dull or even claustrophobic. Here are the stories of seven Swiss people who’ve decided to try their luck elsewhere in the world. They are people who’ve “escaped the golden cage” – or at least given up on some of the comforts of Switzerland to pursue new adventures."

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/longform/swissabroad
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Old 05.08.2016, 13:46
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Re: Is Switzerland a Golden Cage?

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For some perspective on this topic...

From today's SwissInfo, 'Escaping the Golden Cage'


"Switzerland is beautiful, affluent, safe and convenient, yet many Swiss move on. Some find it dull or even claustrophobic. Here are the stories of seven Swiss people who’ve decided to try their luck elsewhere in the world. They are people who’ve “escaped the golden cage” – or at least given up on some of the comforts of Switzerland to pursue new adventures."

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/longform/swissabroad
I know many Swiss that live abroad but most of them are family-rich. When you really don't need to work for a living, it is fancy to live in San Francisco or Paris.

Ultimately I think that the fact that Switzerland is so affluent is the fact that it allows them to take risks and "adventures" in far-away places.
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Old 05.08.2016, 13:55
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Re: Is Switzerland a Golden Cage?

I've lived here for 43 years.

Where am i supposed to go when i feel a bit sad?!!
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Old 09.08.2016, 18:10
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Re: Is Switzerland a Golden Cage?

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Second this suggestion - and don't let him talk you out of it! It's obvious that no matter what you are not going to be happy living here. If he really cares for you he'll at least try the move, after all he can always move back can't he. The main problem I see is that you set a date, he procrastinates and you let him. Well, simply don't. Tell him you're going on such and such a date, you'd love him to come with you and try and make it work, but if not then you're going anyway and will arrange to meet with him once you've settled in back home. Your indecision isn't helping you, only tearing you in two.
A tough situation. But I really agree with this. Only in very, very rare situations should you sacrifice what you want for the wants of others.
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Old 10.08.2016, 19:51
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Re: Is Switzerland a Golden Cage?

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I've lived here for 43 years.

Where am i supposed to go when i feel a bit sad?!!
...maybe to the English Forum?
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Old 10.08.2016, 20:18
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Re: Is Switzerland a Golden Cage?

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I know many Swiss that live abroad but most of them are family-rich. When you really don't need to work for a living, it is fancy to live in San Francisco or Paris.

Ultimately I think that the fact that Switzerland is so affluent is the fact that it allows them to take risks and "adventures" in far-away places.
That's true, or at the very least they have some other minimal source income, so that even if they come back without money or job they can live without eroding their savings until they figure out what to do next, which means basically no risk. A property house with multiple apartments is enough.
Other people who could do this are the ones with zero savings, since they could rely on welfare until they find a job, but they often don't have the education/motivation and the starting money necessary to go abroad in the first place (I say this because savings often go up with education and it's not only related to income but mentality as well).
All the rest have way too much to lose imho, risking years of savings for something uncertain is very unswiss indeed.
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Old 10.08.2016, 20:20
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Re: Is Switzerland a Golden Cage?

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I've lived here for 43 years.

Where am i supposed to go when i feel a bit sad?!!
Try the laundry room. I always feel better after I come back out of there.
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