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  #41  
Old 23.06.2008, 12:56
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Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

Well, thanks for your insights into my laundry problems post. Its not like I dont reply to all the questions as above from the caretaking lady. I just feel there is something wrong with her whole demeanor. I will try talk to some of the other neighbors (who are more friendly) just to get their side. I surely hope she is this way with most people not just me.
I lived in England I guess it was easier there due to language once and also coming from a culture in Africa where people are normally, well open and friendly....
Thanks anyhow will find ways to deal with the situation myself...
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  #42  
Old 26.06.2008, 17:29
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Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

One way I like to cope with the drama of a new life in a new country is to complain about all the annoying things to my friends at home. Which is fairly obvious and not necessarily very productive, but a lot of the time my friends see the wacky side of all the boring day-to-day difficulties I have, and how strange my problems are all of a sudden, and from their attitude of "wow, that's so different from anything that every happens here" reminds me of how shiny and new my life is. Not that it really makes everything better, but it's good to think that my disastrous faux pas and foreignness are at least good for entertaining my friends.
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  #43  
Old 26.06.2008, 17:43
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Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

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My tip would be to try to get your family and friends to use Instant Messaging. This tip is especially pertinent for the parents, many have a computers, but quite a few aren't aware of IM and how it works. (It took mine about 6 years to finally accept IM as a form of coommunication; before that they thought it was some kind of cult thing on the internet, that would lead to addiction and mess up their computer ).
Video skype is great. Costs nothing. Yet you can see your distant near-and-dear ones, and their environment.
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  #44  
Old 26.06.2008, 18:01
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Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

hi

i think this is a brilliant thread as you have all highlighted my anxieties about moving and giving up my "life". whilst the thought of the move excites me it also scares me and it is nice to know that many others here have felt the same.

so thank you everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!


(i would have thanked people personally but i have not quite worked out how to do it !! )
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  #45  
Old 26.06.2008, 18:11
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Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

It's good for you, and it probably also serves as food for Schadenfreude of the people back home who probably nursed jealousies of your Big Adventure.

Additionally it allows you to vent to someone other than your partner, which is important.

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One way I like to cope with the drama of a new life in a new country is to complain about all the annoying things to my friends at home.
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  #46  
Old 26.06.2008, 19:03
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Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

Well as a total newbie to the forum and the country (only here 10 days), I've decided that after a 14 year career, and 13 years as a stay-at-home mom, who was the PTA secretary, school music teacher, 8th grade class mother, lunch mother, etc....... that our move here to Switzerland has set up the perfect back drop to what I've been talking about for the last 7 years - "THE YEAR OF ME". A friend and I have both been talking about having the ability to utter a gentle "No" and not feel guilty when you are asked to do stuff that cuts into personal time.
I am hoping to use this beautiful country, smaller apartment, less to do, less commitments to indulge myself a little in walking, reading, playing my piano (yes we did have it transported here) and generally just trying to reconnect with myself.

Life at home sometimes seemed so hectic - tons of e-mail, phone ringing off the hook - lots of non-stop audio/visual stimulus and general running around. These past 10 days I didn't watch much TV, didn't talk on the phone and limited my computer time and surprisingly I felt very happy, much more relaxed and slept like a baby.

I think sometimes its easier to just try and go with a situation rather than fight it.....LOL anyway that's what I'm thinking now "The Year of Me" (and hopefully without any guilt) although I reserve in 2 months, after DS goes to school, to be back here re-reading this thread for ideas on what to do

Fraueli
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  #47  
Old 02.07.2008, 16:28
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Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

This is all great advice. I can add my two cents as a mother of two young children, having been here exactly a year now. I find that a balance of old and new works well for me--enough reminders of your old life that you do not feel totally cut off from the familiar, friends and family, your comfort zone, while reaching to make the most of your new life at the same time.

With the former, I find that keeing in touch with friends and family helps a lot. I have started a facebook page for the first time, and have heard from people I have not seen in 20 years! It is a great way for me to share pictures and anecdotes from our life here with folks back home.

Sometimes it takes a bit of familiar food or something like that--making chili, tacos, brownies--all comfortable tastes that remind me that home is whereever I choose it to be.

With the children, I find that while happy children do not necessarily make a happy parent, an unhappy child will guarantee an unhappy house. That means plan lots of activities, GET OUT OF THE HOUSE EVERY DAY if you can, and try to help your children make friends (which can, in turn, lead to friends of your own).

If possible, try to get to know your neighbors. There can be a wealth of information there, about the neighborhood, activities, the Hauswart, you name it. Being stopped on the way home to chat about the weather or the football game really makes you feel at home.

No matter what, even if you only learn a few words, try to pick up a bit of the language. Even strangers will appreciate the effort.

Finally, communicate CONSTRUCTIVELY with your spouse about how things are going--always remember to recognize the positive aspects of living here when you have this conversation. Perhaps there are things that the family could be doing together to help, such as proactively planning weekend outings, introducing you to other trailing spouses from the same company (although that can be a drag depending on how well you get on with them), taking care of the children for a few hours to give you some down time, etc.

There is other great advice already here. I have probably repeated a lot of what has been said, but I hope this can help someone.
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  #48  
Old 15.07.2008, 17:37
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Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

Hello,

This is a great thread. Thank you. I just came over from a Facebook group called: English Speaking Mums in Switzerland, which is linking to this site

I think its great that Forums and Facebook, etc. are helping us connect better. I've been in Bern for a year and have good days and bads when my partner disappears off on business travel!
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  #49  
Old 15.07.2008, 17:43
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Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

Hello there. Glad you find the ideas in the Thread useful. One of the great things in it from my point of view, is the variety of 'solutions'. Not everything works for everyone. Here you can take your pick!

Having sneaked in the back door as it were, instead of starting off with an introduction, you almost missed out on a Welcome.
Welcome to the Forum.
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  #50  
Old 19.07.2008, 00:09
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Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

Have patience! - with others, with family, and with yourself.

With a young family in tow, I took on the responsibility of managing our transition here over the first 4-6 months as a full-time gig...and it easily occupied my time. Been here now 3/4 of a year with many highs and lows along the way (with the highs outnumbering the lows as time passes and we become more acquainted and comfortable with our new surroundings). In the beginning, most of the lows came from situations where we tried to press to hard to make things work like they did from where we moved. For instance...leaving too little time to find a new address and then stressing when we are then late for that first appointment/meeting; becoming frustrated too quickly with someone on the other line whom is trying equally as hard to understand my broken German as I am in trying to understand their broken English; trying too hard to research and find the 'best deal' when making a time sensitive purchase/selection. Losing ones patience is not always avoidable, particularly with a family that includes young ones; however, stepping back to refocus based on our initial goals/objectives for making the move helped us to reset our expectations (and resulting with more positive outcomes).
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  #51  
Old 24.07.2008, 00:29
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Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

this is a great, great thread, and exactly what I was looking for. I'm moving to switzerland on september and already started to feel lonely and nostalgic... Now I can't wait to leave: reading your posts gave me some courage and lot of enthusiasm.
thank all of you, thank you longbyt

PS: I'm trying to discover how to "thank for the useful post", I've spent half an hour trying, pressed all the buttons but didn't find it. But please don't tell me! I HAVE to make it by myself... just feeling too awkward grrr
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  #52  
Old 24.07.2008, 10:13
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Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

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PS: I'm trying to discover how to "thank for the useful post", I've spent half an hour trying, pressed all the buttons but didn't find it. But please don't tell me! I HAVE to make it by myself... just feeling too awkward grrr
Delighted that the Thread has been a help. Don't worry about not finding the 'Thanks' option. It is just an evil plot to frustrate all Newbies. After you have posted a few times, the option is open to you too. Also the ability to give 'Reputation'.
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  #53  
Old 26.07.2008, 10:20
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Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

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To folk who say ‘I like to wash whenever I want to’ – do you really want to wash every day, or is it just a habit?
With a small daughter and likely to have clean fresh clothes we do wash most days.One of the major drawbacks of apartment living. Despite having noisy inconsiderate neighbours the one big plus in my apartment (its a converted house with 2 apartments and 1 office) is having an individual washing machine. I don't know how we will cope with a communal one. I hate to imagine just how much washing will accumulate in 14 days.
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  #54  
Old 26.07.2008, 10:26
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Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

For me I think one thing is treat it as an extended holiday! Mrs Tincrowdor doesn't like the attitude one bit though. I have resigned myself that I am unlikely to find work for 2 or 3 years. Having been the breadwinner for the past 4 years approx I now look forward to looking after my young daughter and seeing her grow up while my wife has the "pleasure" of working
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Old 27.07.2008, 10:08
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Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

I'll add one big tip that I forgot.

If you are not used to living in apartments get used to it before moving across to this country and the associated benefits and drawbacks
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  #56  
Old 28.07.2008, 10:42
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Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

I've spotted a problem with the thread.....it's sexist

In most cases I guess the spouse is female and the guy does the hunter gatherer thing. We are the other way round, and it's my wife who works and I'm a kept man....make that domestic tech' ....and it's tough.

We have three chocolate labs, who are officially 2 cm's shorter after moving here, and if I walk them much more I'll have the Swiss doggiepolice on my tail for cruelty. We don't want to leave them on there own to much until they settle in, but they are keepining me sane just now....although the Swiss neighbors are'nt so sure as they do look at me sideways as I go by chatting to a labrador.

One things for sure I wouldn't trade living here for going back to France for Kiera Knightleys phone number...but a decent methods of getting water marks off shiney floor tiles....maybe

Last edited by Papa Goose; 28.07.2008 at 10:57.
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Old 28.07.2008, 11:46
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Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

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I've spotted a problem with the thread.....it's sexist... In most cases I guess the spouse is female and the guy does the hunter gatherer thing. We are the other way round, and it's my wife who works and I'm a kept man....make that domestic tech' ....and it's tough.

You're right. Almost all the posters are women who have come to this country because of their husband's job. The men who 'follow' their wives are fewer in number and we obviously haven't managed to 'catch' them in this 'web of ideas'. You have at least two soul-mates though!
In fact, it would be great to hear from other male spouses, as added to the problems of integration, there are those of losing ones identity. However, some women who ‘had a career’ before coming here, have similar difficulties in this respect.
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I gave up my job to move here 5 years ago with boyfriend and three step-children! I found it soul destroying not working and i too dreaded it when people asked "And what do you do?" it used to make me cringe and still does at times.

If you, or anyone else in the Forum who is in the same situation, have any more thoughts on the subject, please post them here. The more comprehensive the range of 'tricks', the more newcomers can be helped at a very stressful time in their lives.
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Old 28.07.2008, 12:36
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Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

This really is a good thread and thank to Longbyt for starting it.

There are always coffee morning, expat group, take the kiddies to the park type meet & greets going on. However, they tend to be fairly established, and as I'm missing a couple of frontal appendages, I'm not sure how we I'd be recieved at those?

I'm not suffering any loss of identitiy issues as travelling was a regular event, the not having a job though is different, not in a devaluing myself way, but in a what am I going to do today way. I guess I get by thinking I'm in holiday mode, and I'm still ploughing through the apartment set up etc, but when thats over things may be quite different....we'll see.
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Old 28.07.2008, 13:25
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Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

For a second there, thought you sounded like a mad chocolate-developing scientist who works from home.

How appealing - not one, not two, but three choc labs! We hope to get a cheese-coloured one from the Seeing-Eye Guide Dog School to bring up for 12-16 months. We visited a model puppy playgroup yesterday near the Zurich airport -- very interesting and educational activities and playground equipment for pups of all ages and different breeds. Saw mostly liquorice-flavoured labs (only one choc lab) though. A chihuahua pup almost got lost in the long grass.


Try watered down vinegar for the floor tiles. Or anti-kalk liquid. Good luck!



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...

We have three chocolate labs, who are officially 2 cm's shorter after moving here, and if I walk them much more I'll have the Swiss doggiepolice on my tail for cruelty. We don't want to leave them on there own to much until they settle in, but they are keepining me sane just now....although the Swiss neighbors are'nt so sure as they do look at me sideways as I go by chatting to a labrador.

One things for sure I wouldn't trade living here for going back to France for Kiera Knightleys phone number...but a decent methods of getting water marks off shiney floor tiles....maybe
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Old 28.07.2008, 14:40
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Re: Tips for Trailing Spouses

No sadly not a scentist....space cadet certainly

I'll try the tip for the floor, my wife's convinced I do nothing but sit at the computer all day....I even ask about asian cooking lessons from some nice Malaysian person...yep that was me too.

I was considering using one of our dogs as a 'pat' dog, for therapy for older people and kids who fancy getting slobbered on... was ok in the UK and France, but here slobbering dogs are probably illegal so maybe not
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