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  #181  
Old 29.03.2015, 00:35
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

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My company has a small office in the German part of Switzerland. I have been with them for a long time, as such they made an exception and agreed to allow me to continue with my job, as long as I am 3 days a week in the office. That means over 2 hours of driving - 4 hours a day. Due to my husbands permit we are told by lawyers that we have no choice but to live in the Canton of Vaud. On top of the 4 hrs a day commute comes the global travelling, which is required to perform the tasks of the position.
If you're unemployed, RAV considers a two-hour commute to be OK-ish.

That said, a two hour commute even "only" three days a week would drive me insane in about a month.
But that is easy to say because I'm used to move into biking-distance of my work-place.
You will have to find a new job, or, as cautioned in the article above (which is very well worth the time reading it IMO) "re-invent yourself".
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  #182  
Old 29.03.2015, 00:43
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

What's or who is RAV?
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  #183  
Old 29.03.2015, 04:45
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

I think there is pattern to adjusting to a foreign country. The first six months have a holiday or nest-building feel, then reality kicks in. 1-2 years brings frustration then anger, a refusal to accept reality. Then real grieving and sorrow sets in.

What happens after depends on resources. Money is a big factor, you have to not feel guilty about occasional indulgences in order to keep your sanity. Also, it helps to broaden one's perspectives. I talk to everyone, sure, many of them are not the type of people I would have initially befriended back home, but sometimes the situation (desperation?) provided an opportunity to get to learn things and people that I never would have learned before. I like being dropped in at the deep end, there are no halves, no relying on your old status, contacts, expectations or manners that got you by in the old environment.

You may not be in Switzerland for long, circumstances change, you have to open up and you will get hurt, but you may get to know yourself better than ever before.

It is really important to keep physical human contact, even if you are not that keen on what is available! Radio 4 always helps me to feel human again.

In the meantime, a little escapism wouldn't do any harm (below) : http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/2015...POL/story.html
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  #184  
Old 29.03.2015, 09:13
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

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What's or who is RAV?
It's the unemployment service in the German speaking part of Switzerland. It's called ORP or chômage in the French speaking part.

Depending on where you were working before you may be entitled to unemployment benefits which will be paid here and you may be able to get help with a French courses etc but the job search requirements are pretty stringent and time consuming.

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My company has a small office in the German part of Switzerland. I have been with them for a long time, as such they made an exception and agreed to allow me to continue with my job, as long as I am 3 days a week in the office. That means over 2 hours of driving - 4 hours a day. Due to my husbands permit we are told by lawyers that we have no choice but to live in the Canton of Vaud. On top of the 4 hrs a day commute comes the global travelling, which is required to perform the tasks of the position.
Take a look at the map. It shows the Swiss cantons. The light green areas are canton Vaud and as you can see it stretches a long way.
It's possible to live in Vaud but be very near to Bern/Fribourg/Valais which all have German speaking parts. Bern is mostly German speaking and the other two are bilingual so it depends which bit you're in.
You could probably reduce your commute significantly by living up nearer to the German soaking part although you husband would then also have a commute to consider.
Yverdon les Bains is a reasonably sized town in Vaud with good transport links to both Lausanne/Geneva and Bern/Zurich.

It may be something to consider. You may also want to look into whether you are actually allowed to work outside canton Vaud. If your husband's permit ties him to living and working in Vaud it is possible that yours will too.
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  #185  
Old 29.03.2015, 10:24
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Thanks Belgianmum. Very good points to consider. It is so nice that you actually took the time to think through all these. It makes me smile. The lawyers said I would be fine commuting to work there as long as we reside in Vaud. We initially looked at that region of Vaud and it does reduce my commute to 1.30 hours but still would mean significant quality of life reduction as my job comes also with 30-40% international travelling. The combination of commuting and travelling will make my kids life hell and maybe mine but I'm tougher.

What I could look at is to open my consulting company and look for clients or go back to school and do a MBA.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 30.03.2015 at 16:22. Reason: merging successive posts
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  #186  
Old 30.03.2015, 09:48
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

I think it's good to keep busy. If you're the sort of person who always has something to do, you'll cope better with the adjustment. You have kids so you'll be meeting people in the area. If you wake up thinking the most exciting thing you have to do today is the ironing, you will wonder why you bother getting up. But if you have things to do, it will motivate you.
Traveling that amount doesn't sound like a positive impact familywise.
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  #187  
Old 30.03.2015, 11:05
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

And think of all the things you have never had time to do before that you'd like to do now. You might find you're too busy anyway but on the other hand you might just enjoy the change of pace... not having to get up & rush off somewhere continually if you don't want to, spending time with your kids & their friends, maybe even going skiing on a weekday when the pistes are not overcrowded if that is something that you might enjoy or shopping when there are lots of pushy people in a hurry in big queues. Planning outings as there are lots of nice places to see in Switzerland.
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  #188  
Old 30.03.2015, 11:15
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

So true Neddy. I won't ever miss the morning rush to get out of the door with kids and have them clean the jam on their fingers with my biege suits! Lol. Good points. Thanks for listening and responding; I needed it off my chest and chatting with you made me feel lighter. I resigned today and am already feeling more positive about it. It will give me more time to settle in a new country, relearn French, and find new friends. I'll raise a glass of wine tonight to becoming a lady of leisure and to new adventures! may our new life in Switzerland be full of happiness instead of business
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  #189  
Old 17.04.2015, 21:30
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

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You actually have to talk about what you feel with him. Don't let him believe everything is fine.


I completely agree!!!! You are here because of him. He has to know how do you feel. I was in a similar situation when I came here (18 years ago). I have a degree in BA but no German by then. I took a job as babysitter for two years. After that, I felt more confident and found my first "real" administrative job.
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  #190  
Old 21.04.2015, 14:21
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

Hi ,
I wanted to share two things after reading the posts. How I have survived and my employment success. I arrived 6 months ago. I live in a village, have 2 little kids and a swiss husband who only spoke English for 20 years and never lived here as an adult. I have survived by finding a german school run by woman married to an expat (American) who has mums as teachers ( fully qualified) that will adapt the lesson to your needs. I arrived there with no appointment and cried for an hour 3 months ago. I have a teacher who takes me to the supermarket, bank, hairdresser, gynecologist, post office, McDonald's, cafes, library, restaurants, swimming pool, toy shops, basically anywhere she and I can think of to make appointments, talk about how to do things like buying tickets, cash machine, playground etiquette etc, . She helps me understand life here, tells me how to fit in during occasions ( finding fasnacht costumes, understanding the whole thing). We work out scripts for things like "does your mother know you are at my house", I want to sit and order at places with the kids and not feel like an idiot so we have scripts, we go through menus of local restaurants, village life, city life, swiss life, all while learning german at my pace and how I want to do it. My paranoia, anxiety and depression have lifted. I have realized the isolation breeds this. I go twice a week and stop in school holidays which suits her. Its 15 minutes from basel in liestal. My lifting depression made me go for a job.
here is my success story to give hope. Got the first one I applied for 6 weeks ago. All the news from the Swiss was you won't, can't, we won't help..... All negative, I thought I was going to professionally die here.. I decided to search for an expat of my own country and similar training and basically cold called her and pleaded for a lunch date. She agreed, focussed me on what was possible given this country , my language and my qualifications and bingo..... it is possible. P.s I sent a plain Aussie c.v in English even though the ad said fluent german required.........!
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  #191  
Old 21.04.2015, 14:35
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

I always apply even if they say German, because if they can't find someone with German they will look at the other CV's and select the best match. They don't re-post the job with English required.
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Old 26.04.2015, 21:31
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

Hi

I was also in the same situation as you, I was very proactive and doing all the right things but at the same time felt helpless. What got me out of that was going to a psychotherapist. She was at an English Expat Fair and I took her card, months later I finally made an appointment. She was worth every cent. She was someone who I could connect with on a deeper level about the frustrations of daily life and not having a job. She helped me to feel better about myself and decide what I really wanted. It was good to have someone objective so I could tell her everything. Since I've been seeing her I've got a good job in my field and I'm also able to communicate my feelings better to my husband so it has improved our relationship so much. I don't feel so trapped anymore because I made the decision myself to stay here. I still do feel lonely sometimes (I think that is normal in Switzerland as an Expat) but nowhere near as bad as before and overall I'm much happier.
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Old 27.04.2015, 05:09
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

After reading all theese, i start to doubt if "Swiss are the happiest people in the world" from the next thread

So lets take a look of your case: You are in:

1. A new place that dont know well
2. Without job
3. Without friends
4. Without a lot of money
5. Without knowing the language well

All theese are enough to make a difficult situation

I would start from the easiest to solve, and depends only on you, the language problem. I tend to believe that it is a reason that in his own causes depression.
Read German books. Every day. And speak as much as you can. That is my advise.
Then discover the place you live. Everyday, take a walk to a different place of town, take the train for a new area, go to a new village with your boyfriend in the weekend.
For 3, making friends, is a difficlut story, and a big problem of its own.
Days before i saw a sudden crying post on facebook, from a known person that lives in Sweded (maried with children, a good job and good money and house) that said:
"After 10 years here, i haven't made neither one real friend. That is a suficient reason to return home (Greece)".
You cant imagine what a waterflow of comments followed after that, in his wall, to dissuade him...
The other two big problems job and more money, will be solved more easily, when you will learn language better

Good luck, and if you want more sun in your life, simply........
VISIT GREECE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!: msngrin::msngr in:
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  #194  
Old 27.04.2015, 10:02
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

Read 20min or blick newspaper daily even if it only cr*p in there sometimes . Free copy in train station every morning. I always read it on my commute to my german course. There is always an up to date gossip/event/etc which I later discussed with my friends at the course break or with my CH neighbour (Auslander/Asyl seeker theme is somehow always hot to discussed with them. But stay neutral!).

After 3 months of german course, I registered myself to RAV and sent like 75-150 CV a month. It is like i applied to any job vacancy! I mean, if they called me for an interview, at least i can practice my german eventhough they wont hire me after .

The lady in RAV was so thrilled to see my effort (RAV paid nothing since i never work in CH before ). Sure i get a lot of rejects though. But 6 months after arriving here, i got myself 3 job offers at the same time!

Try and try again even if you get like 100 rejects a month . Dont give up and get depressed. You'll failed eventually if you think you cant do/understand anything. Just dont give up!
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  #195  
Old 29.04.2015, 14:07
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

Hello there.

I just read your post (from Nov 2014) and its resonated with things that I have been experiencing. I have been here in Zrh for 4 years now (I moved for love too). Im in my late 30's and it has been very difficult (almost impossible) to find a job...I have been on and off trying to learn German but its just not a language thats sticking to me! (I do understand basic hoch Deutsch now but can't seem to speak it and definitaly can't use it as a work language!)... My Uni studies were in Sociology and I had a career in the humanitarian/social development sector which unfortunately is just not what this side of CH needs or is impossible without fluent Deutsch. I look for jobs online still every week as I have been for 2 years but with no avail.

Your write up seemed to capture rather well what I have been going through... my partner tries his best to support me but he doesn't just doesnt really understand and is more focused on his company and making sure we "live" well. I had quite an adventurous life before this but was always missing love and partnership, so when I met him and he asked me to move here, I made the big leap to follow him... I knew it wasn't going to be easy but I didnt think it would be this hard and would go on for this long. We are very different people and have very different backgrounds and worldviews but I do love him, we are a family unit and so can't just pack up and leave. Also his company is here and I can't provide or assure a better/secure option elsewhere...(yes, the damn money is better here!:P)

I have a few friends I made here and do enjoy their company once in a while... but they are all occupied with their own lives (kids, work, etc)...and to some extent, can be quite dull. I don't drink and am not a party animal, so intoxicating my blues away is not really an option for me. I want to get sporty but after several attempts, have come to recognise that I'm such a team person that I need people to sustain any sporty activities...on my own I am able to do it once or twice but then lose momentum & motivation, but alas no one around me has the time to be sports partners.

Recently I contacted a few therapists/counselors (I narrowed my search to Logotherapy (Viktor Frankl) and contacted 6 therapists but can you believe that none of them replied my emails or calls?! It just reinforced my views on this very pretty but limiting place which always somehow magnifies my feelings of inadequacy, frustration & loneliness!

I use (am?) to be such a fun, dynamic and sociable person...but now I just prefer to stay at home, faithfully do my house chores and and cooking, and wonder about my life and worry my time away...and the emptiness & hopelessness seems to be increasing, and is resulting in apathy about everything.

I would like to ask whats happened to your situation? Have things turned around? Was there light at the end of the tunnel?
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  #196  
Old 29.04.2015, 16:18
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

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I use (am?) to be such a fun, dynamic and sociable person...but now I just prefer to stay at home, faithfully do my house chores and and cooking, and wonder about my life and worry my time away...and the emptiness & hopelessness seems to be increasing, and is resulting in apathy about everything.

You took the words right off my keyboard - and I have only been here a year.

Finding a perfect love and then moving to the country of my dreams has been predominantly wonderful. I have been floating on this bubble of happiness due to my cup half full attitude, however, I seem to be slowly deflating. All the energy I put into ensuring my partner and little girl are happy has enabled me to ignore anxieties and feelings of my own. Going from a full-time stressful job, juggling deadlines, child and maintaining a social existence with no time for pause to counting hours and thinking my brain is seeping away. I am finding the apathy the worst part at the moment as it really does prevent you from achieving anything - even when you try to overcome it and put your best foot forward eventually your motivation evaporates.
I have been fortunate to meet some lovely people from all different nationalities and everyone has been welcoming at my daughters school but I do find the cultural differences puzzling hence why I hold back - this is not like me at all. I feel embarrassed of my French, yet I'm telling my 5 year old to keep trying at school.

I think whatever ones circumstances the transition is a hard one, waving off ones partner every morning to a world you are not part of or can compare to leaves you looking at your stress free life (which we all fantasize about when commuting of a stuffed train to a job that runs you down) and wondering what happened to that part of yourself which could take on anything whilst doing 3 other things at the same time.

Hope things improve for you
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  #197  
Old 29.04.2015, 18:21
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

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Recently I contacted a few therapists/counselors (I narrowed my search to Logotherapy (Viktor Frankl) and contacted 6 therapists but can you believe that none of them replied my emails or calls?! It just reinforced my views on this very pretty but limiting place which always somehow magnifies my feelings of inadequacy, frustration & loneliness!
I was only able to get to a therapist through our family practice. Although I was a complete anxiety ridden mess at the time (self induced I think because I had too much time to think and become a hypochondriac) the doctors most certainly wanted to throw all sorts of medications into the mix...and I did so willingly. One of the medicines i took made sense since I was dealing with horribly strong anxiety attacks that more or less caused me to be home bound useless mass. At first I still had my head on my shoulders despite the attacks. Then, after more medical results came back (clear bill of health) to doctor prescribed something "for sleep". This is where things got worse.

The "for sleep" medicine was an old antidepressant and I swear that I reacted to it poorly within the first few hours. But, I stuck with it for the next 6-7 weeks or so until the side effects became so strong that I was even in worse shape then when I started. Needless to say my ability to help myself and my general state of motivation reached an all time low. In fact, the lowest I've felt in my life.

I had to make some deep deep deep introspection during this time. It turns out that it was not the move to a new country, the lack of work, few friends, sparse language skills that were the issue (certainly contributors) But, it was that I had a whole lot of time to deal with a whole lot of baggage and this is what crushed me: Having too much time to think...way too much. Its 100% possible to turn a pebble into a planet.

Since I hit that all time low I had to really make some decisions: shit or get of the toilet. I choose to shit. I dumped everything I had in me to my doctor, wife, mother and best friend. It was not until I started admitting that I had real issues that I started to improve.

The doctor saw clearly that i needed help and he help located several therapist options right then and there. Mind you this is after several weeks of medication too. I told him how these were making me feel and he said I could drop them...which I did promptly. Despite the fact that I was still dealing with near daily anxiety attacks...I began to fight them with compassion. I began to understand the sensations and the feelings that were allowing me to spiral out of control. This was a HUGE step. Also, not having the effects of the medications working against me, I could try (as best as I can) to really focus on solutions.

I'm still recovering but I do have some things to share just in case others have found themselves lost:
  • Be honest with what your issues really are. Although the stress of Swiss life does not help...it really was not the cause as much as it was a catalyst.
  • Seek help. Go to the doctor. Get counseling. Sort out what is lurking deep down.
  • Exercise...a lot. I mean...A LOT!!! I could not tell you why, but this depressed/anxiety state seems to really love exercise. Having experienced this first hand, I sincerely believe that most triathletes started their training while in a dark place. Run, yoga, walk, aerobics, training...all of it...everyday.
  • Drop habits that don't really help. Drinking, smoking, coffee are all fun and awesome...but, all work against you when you are down. Ween and move on.
  • Vitamins: these wont hurt a depressed person D3, B6, Mg, Omega-3. Also, drop gluten for week...you might be surprised if you magically start feeling a bit better (and this is coming from a person who is not gluten sensitive at all).
  • Herbs: turns out Swiss doctors do like plant based remedies...and they have some strong ones if you ask.
  • Exercise even more. Get more sun. Walk for no other reason than to experience what each step feels like. Take music along. Don't set goals. Just be there.
  • Practice mindfulness. The best way to quell rumination is to not allow it to start in the first place. Focus on the now. This is hard to accomplish when you are down...but once you feel the slightest relief from your own thoughts...you get it...and it becomes easier and easier to do and you will think less and less.
  • Sleep. If you are not getting enough...do so. Change everything to support this...but avoid things that given to you "for sleep". Last thing one needs when down is insomnia...did i mention...exercise?
  • Love yourself. This is the hardest thing to do in this list. I don't have any advice how to accomplish this easily. Just try to remember the best day you've ever had...and then try to think of the worst day. Realize that you were still the same person in both time frames and that your range of emotions is huge. Embrace that memory of feeling good. Allow yourself to accept that you have felt good before and really really make en effort to believe that you can do it again.
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Old 29.04.2015, 18:52
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

Wow, brave post, Ttamasle! Thank you!
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Old 29.04.2015, 19:05
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

You write well! Seems we are all part of a long list of people who float around in this perfect pond that doesnt go anywhere, and then u realise u are sinking! Im not severely depressed or having panic attacks or whatever...I'm just kinda lost and feel I don't belong (I just know I belong with my partner) and options to live out my interests and creativity are limited here not to forget also the cost of everything.

Im just seeing that the long term damage is lethargy and apathy... I am generally a strong happy funny person... Seems like I just have to keep counting that my "light" is stronger, that I am not the only one (strength in numbers!) and I got to find a way to get exercising/physically active...

Its a struggle coz my town isn't as "international", and I don't think wandering the streets of Zurich looking for meaningful connections is the way to go. And i also find though people can be awfully nice here, they don't really care and they aren't too keen on making actual "friends"...especially with foreigners, who doesn't speak enough German, and especially if one isn't white...

sigh...
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You took the words right off my keyboard - and I have only been here a year.

Finding a perfect love and then moving to the country of my dreams has been predominantly wonderful. I have been floating on this bubble of happiness due to my cup half full attitude, however, I seem to be slowly deflating. All the energy I put into ensuring my partner and little girl are happy has enabled me to ignore anxieties and feelings of my own. Going from a full-time stressful job, juggling deadlines, child and maintaining a social existence with no time for pause to counting hours and thinking my brain is seeping away. I am finding the apathy the worst part at the moment as it really does prevent you from achieving anything - even when you try to overcome it and put your best foot forward eventually your motivation evaporates.
I have been fortunate to meet some lovely people from all different nationalities and everyone has been welcoming at my daughters school but I do find the cultural differences puzzling hence why I hold back - this is not like me at all. I feel embarrassed of my French, yet I'm telling my 5 year old to keep trying at school.

I think whatever ones circumstances the transition is a hard one, waving off ones partner every morning to a world you are not part of or can compare to leaves you looking at your stress free life (which we all fantasize about when commuting of a stuffed train to a job that runs you down) and wondering what happened to that part of yourself which could take on anything whilst doing 3 other things at the same time.

Hope things improve for you
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Old 29.04.2015, 22:58
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Re: Stay-at-Home Spouses [unemployed, depressed, bored to tears]

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I have a few friends I made here and do enjoy their company once in a while... but they are all occupied with their own lives (kids, work, etc)...and to some extent, can be quite dull. I don't drink and am not a party animal, so intoxicating my blues away is not really an option for me. I want to get sporty but after several attempts, have come to recognise that I'm such a team person that I need people to sustain any sporty activities...on my own I am able to do it once or twice but then lose momentum & motivation, but alas no one around me has the time to be sports partners.

I've never really been in the situation you describe but I've been unemployed/self-employed with little/no customers and I sort-of know the feeling you get when you realize the world doesn't actually wait for you to enter the stage...

As pointed out, there's no way around learning the local language, if you want to have a social existence beyond this forum and without having a job.
People shouldn't have any illusions about that. If I would move to your home-country, I'd probably also be severely disadvantaged if I didn't speak the language - even if the results in my field of expertise would be exceptionally better compared to what "locals" can achieve (which is doubtful anyway).

Trying to learn German by going to a course three times a week is very difficult and requires a tremendous amount of self-discipline.
This works when you're a kid and learn a foreign language - and even then, you learn more in the four weeks you stay at the exchange-family than in the entire four years before at school...
Could I learn Malay by going to a course two or three times a week? Most certainly not.

So, you have to meet the locals.
Quartierverein, Frauenverein, Samaritervein, Frauenturnverein and probably a host of other stuff. And of course, the churches.
Ah, here it is:

http://stadt.winterthur.ch/treffpunk...is/uebersicht/

The clubs are (normally) always on the lookup for people who do the grunt-work (cleaning up, baking a cake or two, cooking, standing behind a bar) - if you do volunteer for this kind of stuff, people will remember your name and nobody will take issue with the fact that your German could use some improvement.


May I ask what kind of sports you fancy?
I would suggest you get a bike and start cycling - but then, it's the only sport I do and the only one where I don't completely suck at...
But cycling can be a very social sport (if you find likeminded people), it's very rewarding (you get to see different places) and last but not least, also quite motivating in that your shape improves rather quickly (if you exercise daily).
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