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  #21  
Old 12.02.2012, 16:55
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Re: Peeve: Swiss Spouse = Lucky You

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I think the challenges are probably different, rather than easier or harder,
Perfectly said.
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Old 12.02.2012, 17:04
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Re: Peeve: Swiss Spouse = Lucky You

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I think it depends on the Swiss though. We've had several threads on here from desperate aliens whose Swiss OH didn't seem particularly helpful in resolving official matters for his/her partner.
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That is rare though. Most of the time you are a winner with a local.
I have no idea of your background danny, but I wonder how you can be so very sure of this. Maybe the ones who have difficulty are those you've never met.

Perhaps as Odile already said, your best bet is a Swiss who has had to cope with all the difficulties of living in another country, and still remembers what it was like.
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Old 12.02.2012, 17:54
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Re: Peeve: Swiss Spouse = Lucky You

Two essential books for newbies and not so new people,

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Living-Worki...ref=pd_sim_b_1
(Try to buy a new edition, the laws change over time)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Swiss-Watchi...9061745&sr=1-1
(Diccon Bewes knows Switzerland better than many Swiss people)
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  #24  
Old 12.02.2012, 19:25
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Re: Peeve: Swiss Spouse = Lucky You

I partially agree with PegA. Having a Swiss (German) husband didn't help me with the language at all. We speak English at home and that's that. I do use him as a dictionary though.
But, and I think it's a big but, he already had a circle of friends, and I fitted in nicely from the begining. Since we all know how difficult it can be to make friends in Switzerland, that was a big help.
I would say it makes life easier. I'm thinking about paying bills, oficial paperwork and such. And customs. They already know the customs, so you don't have to make a fool of yourself in certain situations.
As usual, it has pros and cons. In my case, more pros, I must say.
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Old 12.02.2012, 20:01
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Re: Peeve: Swiss Spouse = Lucky You

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if your Swiss partner has to take on the role of dealing with everything because they're the local one, I can imagine that this can't be good for the other person's self esteem and independence. It must be very easy to become reliant on your partner and to leave everything to them
Hah!

My wife's the local one, but I'm the one that deals with everything, as I understand how this place works better than she!

Tom
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  #26  
Old 12.02.2012, 20:12
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Re: Peeve: Swiss Spouse = Lucky You

I think this is not a Swiss problem, but an attitude problem. In Swiss German we have a lovely expression for people who make others go out of their way to fit in / help rather than doing so themselves and who generally prefer things to be easier, we say "er isch halt z bequäm" or "er isch halt en Bequäme". It translates to "he/she is to comfortable/lazy" and it's not something I would want people to say about me. This type of person will only do the minimum required and make sure that others don't require much.

If I had a foreign partner, I would have looked up all the info before even going further into the relationship, simply because at that point you can still get your head to pull the handbrake and I don't want to end up in an unpleasant situation that could have been avoided. I'm super disorganised for my own stuff but I don't slack off when it comes to someone else's well-being when they rely on me.
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Old 12.02.2012, 20:29
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Re: Peeve: Swiss Spouse = Lucky You

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This is exactly the problem I have. Hubby not so motivated to help, some of the things I now know I only know because I found them out either from this forum or from direct contact with other non-Swiss.

So far as "network" goes, I've only started to become close to my brother-in-law the past few months, when I've gone out of my way to involve myself directly, despite hubby's constant desire for a peaceful day off doing nothing. Hubby has no particular interest in spending time with anyone - not even his mother, so anything social is totally on me, forget about actual help from "network.".



Can relate to the above entirely. I've been here for 11 years - and having a Swiss husband has definitely not in any way, shape or form given me a network or any kind of support with childcare.

Also sometimes with a Swiss spouse - it can be more difficult to do things with English speaking couples you meet, especially if the man wants peace and quiet on his weekends and sees socializing especially with new people, in English, as hard work
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Old 13.02.2012, 16:14
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Re: Peeve: Swiss Spouse = Lucky You

One thing I forgot in my posts is that I came here without a job. A friend of Mr L had a brother and the brother had a girlfriend and the girlfriend had too much work to do. I turned up at just the right moment, already had experience in the right field of work, got on fine with the girl-friend, got the job and we have all been friends ever since.

So the Swiss partner's contacts can indeed come in very handy!
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Old 13.02.2012, 16:25
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Re: Peeve: Swiss Spouse = Lucky You

My partner is Swiss and she´s just well.....Swiss. No to good to man nor beast in the help department
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Old 13.02.2012, 18:16
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Re: Peeve: Swiss Spouse = Lucky You

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My French husband wouldn't speak to me in French, ever. I wanted to shoot people who were like "oh your husband taught you French"...no I busted my *ss sitting in classrooms for ten years..
I think it's like the old saying that "the husband will not teach the wife to drive...(even though most of the time he's a very experienced, sophisticated driver) .., we, as wives, all know the reason why in 'their heads' anyway, I'm in same situation as you in the language exchange so i know what you mean....

Last edited by muffin; 13.02.2012 at 19:02.
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Old 13.02.2012, 18:23
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Re: Peeve: Swiss Spouse = Lucky You

Another point that one of my friend's brought up, is that in some ways it is harder if your partner is Swiss, if you happen to be struggling or not like it here. It's not like when you're both foreign, and can just choose to leave or openly acknowledge "I don't like that", the "that" in this case becomes the culture and home of your OH. I could see how that *could* lead to resentment, or a sense of being trapped if the OH is blind to those challenges or dislikes.
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  #32  
Old 13.02.2012, 18:33
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Re: Peeve: Swiss Spouse = Lucky You

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I think it's like the old saying that "the husband will not teach the wife the drive...(even though most of the time he's a very experienced, sophisticated driver) .., we, as wives, all know the reason why in 'their heads' anyway, I'm in same situation as you in the language exchange so i know what you mean....
However, I'm currently teaching my wife to ride motorcycles, and my younger daughter to both drive a car and ride a motorcycle, having already successfully taught to do both (passed her practical first time around).

I think my mother may have taught my father to drive, though.

Anyway, I'd be happy to teach my wife English, but she's not interested in learning it.

Tom
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Old 13.02.2012, 18:35
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Re: Peeve: Swiss Spouse = Lucky You

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Another point that one of my friend's brought up, is that in some ways it is harder if your partner is Swiss, if you happen to be struggling or not like it here. It's not like when you're both foreign, and can just choose to leave or openly acknowledge "I don't like that", the "that" in this case becomes the culture and home of your OH. I could see how that *could* lead to resentment, or a sense of being trapped if the OH is blind to those challenges or dislikes.
Another reason that when I started dating again, I mainly only dated Swiss.

Tom
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Old 13.02.2012, 19:04
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Re: Peeve: Swiss Spouse = Lucky You

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Language may not be an issue but the question is whether the Swiss spouse is interested or willing to search for the information.
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Some people are more helpful than others, I'm afraid. ..
I think both well said. Nothing to do with being local or not, one can come here to a foreign partner who has been here for a while, and still have to do all the integration work solo (work, language, social life, etc).

At the end of the day, though, makes one a lot stronger than expect to be helped or, rely on your partner to be willing or interested. Take it for what it is: info about your partner. I wouldn't waste time being upset about it nor use it as an excuse to not do all the leg work yourself.

Sign up for classes, get your independent social circles working, push your partner speak the language no matter what, get work on your own, start scheduling nice meet ups with friends..You won't have time to be sad about unhelpful partner. It will get him thinking, that's for sure.

It is so doable. But it is ok to be a crybaby every now and then.
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  #35  
Old 13.02.2012, 19:13
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Re: Peeve: Swiss Spouse = Lucky You

I agree, that in basic life stuff - a swiss partner may not help much, even sometimes nonswiss can give better advices.

Despit the belief I have about Swiss, that they are very low context and they don't spend much effort on thinking about best offers - they just get the easiest infront of them (sorry if this looks offending) however I see a great thing in having a local partner, which is then you will have a second family.

The feeling that a single person can have (or possibly a married one to non local) may stay always as if he/she is a visitor - a guest here, ofcourse this differs from one character to another - but I believe this guest feeling may slightly change in an easier way when you have a way to visit and socialize more with your partner's family.

It is just my personal feeling, and ofcourse this might not work if the partner's family is not as nice to you as you may expect, then you may hate the day that you had this partnership or you will get isolated from them and loose this advantage.
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Old 13.02.2012, 19:34
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Re: Peeve: Swiss Spouse = Lucky You

what are these significant disadvantages? surely anything they can't help you with, you can do on your own, which will put you in the same position as someone who doesn't have a swiss spouse.

as zymogen said, one of the biggest advantages is maybe having the swiss network, someone who understands the local mindset and how things are done, and someone who can speak to the neighbours to smooth over mis-understandings etc.
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  #37  
Old 13.02.2012, 22:11
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Re: Peeve: Swiss Spouse = Lucky You

I have moved on my own before, granted it was within my home country but it was to an area significantly different in many ways to the places I'd lived before.

BECAUSE I could do what I want, when I wanted, without regard to (1) having to "share" money, (2) having to notify regarding particulars of where, when and who, (3) I didn't have someone whispering in my ear, reinforcing all the "what if something goes wrong" that we all hear sometimes... Yes, it was easier.

Thinking myself and being told over and over, how someone "should" be helping, and doesn't, how lucky I am to have someone who can help me (but again, doesn't), that is actually counter to making things smooth here. My spouse SHOULD be who he is, feeling the need to justify lack of help to others who say he "should" help makes it worse, not better. It makes me remember how easy it was to move someplace and take care of paperwork and simply get on with it - on my own.


Yes, the potential advantages are real and there. However, the potential disadvantages are real and there as well.
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Old 13.02.2012, 22:34
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Re: Peeve: Swiss Spouse = Lucky You

Well, it's up to you to decide what he should be doing and then to make him do it. If you are unhappy with how things are and voice this, people will offer their opinions, so either accept those opinions or keep stumm. The latter can be lonely, so probably not an option. Judging from other things you have said, you have someone 'bequäm' at home and either you accept this and just learn to do everything yourself or you explain what you want and make a stand.
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Old 13.02.2012, 22:41
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Re: Peeve: Swiss Spouse = Lucky You

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Well, it's up to you to decide what he should be doing and then to make him do it. If you are unhappy with how things are and voice this, people will offer their opinions, so either accept those opinions or keep stumm. The latter can be lonely, so probably not an option. Judging from other things you have said, you have someone 'bequäm' at home and either you accept this and just learn to do everything yourself or you explain what you want and make a stand.
Thank you Kittster, I appreciate your input, I have been thinking this over for a while but, as I said before, I hadn't wanted to make this post about my relationship specifically, but rather to help folks here see, that just because someone has a Swiss spouse, that doesn't automatically mean that things will be easy for them.

Hopefully it will help others who come to be with Swiss sweeties and may have trouble themselves if they know they're not the only ones who had a hard time.

Finally, hopefully it will also help others who are wont to say "You're lucky, your Swiss sweetie can help you with everything" to understand that that is not necessarily true, and be open to the idea that these people too may need some help.
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Old 13.02.2012, 23:50
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Re: Peeve: Swiss Spouse = Lucky You

From the point of view of the swiss spouse I must agree it's not always easy for both sides...
Should I help my SO with a phone call or shall I let him figure it out himself so he will learn it?
Shall we have Fondue or a Roast for dinner when we invited our (swiss) friends to come over?
How can I get him to watch german telly?
Lovely discussions about how stuff should be done, where stuff can be found and how to behave in certain cases. (we're even here because he knows more about swiss foreign stuff and I know more about swiss swiss stuff)

Sometimes I wish I could come home and talk the way I speak swissgerman. Then although I grew up with english, I never lived the language and so I don't feel as comfortable with it as with my lovely zürischnurre... I can't express myself the way I'd like to and I can't wait for the time where he can understand me...
And no, I don't speak german with him, because I forget most of the time...

No it's not always easy but mostly it's fun...
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