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Old 19.01.2012, 21:56
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When did your 'honeymoon' period end?

Well, I've read about it quite a bit on this forum, and obviously I know about it from other points of life (although I've never been married). But, what I want to know is when did you start to feel that the 'honeymoon' period of moving to Switzerland had ended. Can you even pin point a period of time and if you can, what was it?

I was thinking about it on the train home tonight. I was watching the 'next stop' signs and kind of had this feeling of excitement that this was my new home. It's been about a year and a half since I've been here and every now and again I feel like I'm making breakthroughs.

For example, the first breakthrough I had was starting to use French in a meaningful way, I mean, I had to make a phonecall to do something for me. Then another point I can pinpoint was a feeling of normality. For me in this case was taking my child to childcare and not feeling nervous about taking her alone and what I would say.

The next would be after I found work, I started to have another purpose in my life to progress in my job and focus on something else - I guess I could say that I started to relax a bit, and enjoy my day to day life, instead of spending too much time thinking.

What I'm trying to get at here is... I want to know your experiences, did you notice your breakthrough steps... and if so, what about this 'honeymoon period'? Should I expect to have some kind of realisation soon?
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Old 19.01.2012, 22:27
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Re: When did your 'honeymoon' period end?

I don't think I've ever experienced any honeymoon period. But then the difference is that I didn't really want to come here in the first place.

I arrived here 14 (15 even?) years ago basically scared to death. I'd never even been on holiday abroad let alone lived there. I had no idea. I came only because my job was moved here and my parents and everyone else said I "should go" because "you would regret it if you don't" and "opportunities like these don't come up very often" etc. So as a 20-something I thought they knew better and I thought I should try it.

The first 3 months I spent terrified, confused and going home as much as possible.

Then I met a guy and moved in with him. Then followed 6 months of quite a lot of fun - lots of skiing, trips round the country. Good times. I suppose that could be seen as some kind of honeymoon period - it was when I explored Switzerland anyway - although it was all firmly within the expat bubble.

Then he dumped me and thereafter followed around 3 years of on-off (mostly off) relationship with him. A lot of crying, desperation, loneliness and horrible dark times. I never noticed really where I was living - I could have been in the UK or deepest Peru I think I wouldn't have noticed. Strangely I didn't go home - I think mostly because work was all I had and I clung onto my job.

Then I met my husband and things improved a lot - obviously! And had 2 kids.

So 14 years of being here and although my personal life is great, I still don't feel all that comfortable living in Switzerland. My German frankly sucks for someone who has been here that long. I have tried really hard but now I have got to the stage where I know that it will not improve and I have pretty much given up. I guess language is the main issue I have - I imagine if I was fluent then I would feel differently. I'm not unhappy, and I don't whine about living here - a lot of things I like - just that I don't feel "at home" here if that makes any sense.
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Old 19.01.2012, 22:31
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Re: When did your 'honeymoon' period end?

I do not think I had a honeymoon period either, I moved and tried to adapt, moving from the Netherlands helped as when I first moved to NL from Peru it was a real nightmare.
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Old 19.01.2012, 22:44
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I have been here for 3 years now and I am not sure if I am still in the "period" or not but I am definitely loving it here. Learning German is a painful process and one that will never really stop but it is a must and will help ease the integration process. There was a point in the beginning where I couldn't find work and all I had was the German classes on a daily basis to keep me busy, this was the depressing part of the whole move. But I would have to say once I started working and meeting new people, I also got more confident in my speaking which I think made me start to enjoy the country even more. I think I have a realization at least once a month especially when I hear people speaking Swiss German in a different dialect and can for the most part understand what they are saying. Hearing this especially at work all day is in my opinion a big help.

You only get out of it what you put into it!😁😁😁
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Old 19.01.2012, 22:45
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Re: When did your 'honeymoon' period end?

I definitely had a honeymoon period - it ended the day I had to walk, in the rain, uphill, having a medical "emergency", all alone, to my doctor's office and then be told by hubby when I called him at work to say I had to go to the hospital: "What do you expect me to do?" (Yes, it sounds like a "grandma" story about age-old hardships but unfortunately it's true.)

Even so, I try to stay positive about life. I have "honeymoon" days still - and I have days I'd happily board a plane and never look back.
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Old 19.01.2012, 22:50
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I definitely had a honeymoon period - it ended the day I had to walk, in the rain, uphill, having a medical "emergency", all alone, to my doctor's office and then be told by hubby when I called him at work to say I had to go to the hospital and his response was "What do you expect me to do?" (Yes, it sounds like a "grandma" story about age-old hardships but unfortunately it's true.)

Even so, I try to stay positive about life. I have "honeymoon" days still - and I have days I'd happily board a plane and never look back.
Sorry to hear that.
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Old 19.01.2012, 23:06
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Re: When did your 'honeymoon' period end?

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Sorry to hear that.
Thanks - sorry to be a downer. Broke my New Year's resolution to complain less already.

Sorry folks!

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Old 19.01.2012, 23:19
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Re: When did your 'honeymoon' period end?

...mine ended, mmhmm must have been when my kids started going to school ... Guess one can just search the numerous posts here on the Forum about the Swiss Schools/foreigner issues.

I am changing that (lived here 6 years) and in two months time..., we are out of here.
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Old 19.01.2012, 23:24
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Re: When did your 'honeymoon' period end?

Give yourself time Peg.

I didn't have an honeymoon either in Basel. It was more of a cultural shock. I was coming from Istanbul and well, if you have been there you can see where I am coming from...

My cultural shock from Canada to Istanbul wasn't as big as the one in Switzerland. It was also in a bad weather, very cold and an horrible summer. So I wasn't happy much.

It has been almost 9 months we are in Spain and I am still in the honeymoon. I looooove it here. I am alone with not many friends but when I go out, people are so chatty, I feel good and not too alone.
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Old 19.01.2012, 23:30
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Re: When did your 'honeymoon' period end?

I don't know if I ever had a honeymoon period... I came here one August, by October I was shattered and had to take several days off work, by November I was signed off work and going to the doctors over and over again for tests to try and uncover the cause of my fatigue... and by mid-December I was in a psychiatric ward. By January (still in hospital) I'd lost my job. Need I go on?

However, on the positive side, that was over two years ago and I can see that actually it was all for the best. Yes you could say that coming here pushed me over the edge of a cliff I'd been teetering on for the past three or four years at home... but on the other hand coming here, falling off that cliff and then finding myself at the bottom with no job or anything meant I finally could take the time to really deal with things rather than just 'bouncing back' as soon as I could because I needed to get back to work.

So in one sense my honeymoon period ended very, very quickly... in another sense I suppose you could say I'm still in the 'acclimatisation' phase because I haven't worked for two plus years and I don't think I'll really feel settled here until I'm paying my own way.
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Old 20.01.2012, 13:10
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Re: When did your 'honeymoon' period end?

6 years into Switzerland, my honeymoon period ended.

I had a routine surgery which went wrong - I was screaming during the local anaesthetic as the doctor "couldn't find my Vas".

I ended up having 4 full anaesthetics, 38 nights in hospital, 130 Spitex home visits and permanent physical damage.
I live with pain daily.

The SPO www.spo.ch did nothing
When I wrote to the original Doctor, asking for an explanation of what he'd done wrong, he charged me 35 CHF for his reply.
Utter c***.

There are problems and aresholes in every country, but IMO when something "routine" goes wrong in Switzerland, it is harder to get a satisfactory outcome.
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Old 20.01.2012, 13:16
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Re: When did your 'honeymoon' period end?

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But, what I want to know is when did you start to feel that the 'honeymoon' period of moving to Switzerland had ended.
It ended after just two weeks for me, when my new spouse proverbially beat me, pushed me down the stairs, called me a whore and an unfit parent.

Every now and again, when my Switzerland isn't getting drunk and yelling at the tv, farting in bed, not showering for a week, or leaving its dirty laundry on the coffee table, I still see inklings of reasons I fell in love with it in the first place.

But then it beats me, pushes me down the stairs, calls me a whore and unfit parent all over again, and I remember why I want to go home to mummy.
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Old 20.01.2012, 13:29
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Re: When did your 'honeymoon' period end?

I'm not sure that this was the end of the honeymoon period but....

I moved here in March of 2000. At the time the then future mrs.G took a week or two off of work but then came the Monday she had to go back to work and I was thrown in at the deep end.

with my then minimal french I had to learn to survive, find a job, all the fun things a newbie faces.
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Old 20.01.2012, 13:31
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Re: When did your 'honeymoon' period end?

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It ended after just two weeks for me, when my new spouse proverbially beat me, pushed me down the stairs, called me a whore and an unfit parent.

Every now and again, when my Switzerland isn't getting drunk and yelling at the tv, farting in bed, not showering for a week, or leaving its dirty laundry on the coffee table, I still see inklings of reasons I fell in love with it in the first place.

But then it beats me, pushes me down the stairs, calls me a whore and unfit parent all over again, and I remember why I want to go home to mummy.
wow... I really do hope you're talking "proverbially" not that you should stand for that either.

( well, except for the farting in bed, nothing wrong with that )
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Old 20.01.2012, 13:32
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Re: When did your 'honeymoon' period end?

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Thanks - sorry to be a downer. Broke my New Year's resolution to complain less already.

Sorry folks!

Peg, it's worse to keep it bottled up and festering as it eats at your soul. Perhaps change your resolution to be if you need to vent/get it out make sure you also speak about one positive point every time to help keep a perspective on it all
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Old 20.01.2012, 13:35
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Re: When did your 'honeymoon' period end?

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It ended after just two weeks for me, when my new spouse proverbially beat me, pushed me down the stairs, called me a whore and an unfit parent.

Every now and again, when my Switzerland isn't getting drunk and yelling at the tv, farting in bed, not showering for a week, or leaving its dirty laundry on the coffee table, I still see inklings of reasons I fell in love with it in the first place.

But then it beats me, pushes me down the stairs, calls me a whore and unfit parent all over again, and I remember why I want to go home to mummy.
Kein...if what you wrote is really happening, and I sure as hell hope it is not and it's instead your way of paraphrasing how you feel, get yourself a good lawyer and get the hell out of that situation any way that you can. No one I would call a man would ever treat their lady that way, those that do are scum and deserve to have a ton of misery dropped on them.
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Old 20.01.2012, 13:38
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Re: When did your 'honeymoon' period end?

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wow... I really do hope you're talking "proverbially" not that you should stand for that either.

( well, except for the farting in bed, nothing wrong with that )
yes, not to worry, it's a complete metaphore. But there's never an excuse for farting in bed.
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Old 20.01.2012, 13:39
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Re: When did your 'honeymoon' period end?

I think I had a honeymoon after 6 years of living here. When I left my swiss partner and discovered Switzerland on my own. But I do have to say that after the first 3 years of trying to find my place, despite being treated not very nicely and told repeatedly I'm not trying hard enough to assimilate (completely untrue) - I was sent on a month long trip to moscow. When I stepped out of the plane at Kloten I almost kissed the ground .
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Old 20.01.2012, 13:41
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Re: When did your 'honeymoon' period end?

My honeymoon ended after six months of structure, followed by an epic road trip, followed by ...*crickets* nothing.

I am still in that nothing period. Some days I feel like surely I must be about to break through the nothing to something, and then all the nothing will have been worth it. Other days I feel like the nothing is just about to suffocate me.
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Old 20.01.2012, 13:45
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Re: When did your 'honeymoon' period end?

My story's very much like Wattli's... Came here for work, scared out of my mind, in my 20's, with my parents telling me I'd regret it if I didn't etc. It was kind of exciting at first, but the feeling of isolation was always there and built as I got older and went through the inevitable relationship dramas along the way. Threw myself into work and for a long time (almost 5 years) I was working 18 hour days and driving home at 3 every morning - that ended when I had a burn out and lost my job.

I have a new job now and I'm married so things have improved enormously but I still miss the UK everyday and try to go back there whenever I can (about 4 times a year). Would love to go home, but I'm too far in here now - my husband's here, my horses are here, and - crucially - our massive negative equity position is here, so I guess I'm kind of resigned to staying (barring a big lottery win - in which case I'll be off like a shot!).

Happy to hear that OP's story is brighter. Guess it just depends on your personal circs how long the honeymoon period lasts... Who knows, maybe Wattli and I and the rest who didn't get much of a honeymoon have a "retirement period" on the horizon.
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