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  #141  
Old 10.11.2010, 12:00
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Re: Have you made yourself and your husband miserable?

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Firstly I think this is a great post, not applicable to everyone but EF (even with opposing opinions, sarcasm and twisted logic at times) can be a great source of support. Just knowing I am not the only one going through this "stuff" (not necessarily related to this thread) makes me feel a little less isolated in the "perfect country" we live in.
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I had an epiphany this morning...
I have been making my husband unhappy.
The saying 'miserable wife, miserable life' most definitely has a ring of truth to it.
To have a realisation like this, means the problem is already half solved. Realisically in our former "corporate world" life, how many times did we all sit in meetings trying to get problems acknowledged (often unsuccessfully) knowing that until a problem is acknowledged it can not be fixed? True this is your personal life but similar rules apply.
My question is (for the OP or others) "Before you came to this realisation, your everloving, patient, sometimes frustrated, supportive (in his own way) husband knew you were making him miserable, how should he point this out to you in order that you come to this realisation earlier? Whilst probably a suicidal move (with an unhappy wife) is it technically possible without a huge fight or divorce?

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Hats off to you, I am in a similar situation and it is not easy.

Ladies, consider if the shoe was on the other foot, if you're partner had followed you here for you're career and he had to stay at home with the children. In Switzerland (moreso than elsewhere) a man is defined by his job/career, I was a stay at home dad for my first few years here and trust me, you really don't know isolation or alienation as much as a man. To receive strange looks and comments (politely in Swiss German) everytime you go to a playground or playgroup was damn tough, whilst language is a barrier at the start at least you are acceptable (being female) in these places. I now have a part time job which helps a lot but I used to earn in an hour what I now earn in a day, a pretty hard rock to suck for a man, but I am making a small contribution and have a happy/healthy family. I am not looking for sympathy just saying in any foreign land, the one without the career will face a new set of previously unimagined difficulties, regardless of sex.
Hi RTN
Well he told me what i already know,and also told me how much he would love to have free time on his hands,wich i understand but i think a too much of everything is not agood thing,in my case too much time and been here in not a superb situation as some peoples imagine,having debts from the US,thank god we sold our condo ,we made no money and had to pay the real estate agent comission but it was sold and no more double expenses for here and the US,the debts where not for fancy stuff,my hubby decide to take time off in the US to find another job,wich i advise him not to do ,but he didn t listen and we end up with four months of mortgages and expenses,i worked in the US for nearly 6 years and never own a car there,i was ridding the bus with many immigrants like me,i was not in NY but in a city in CT and no one i knew except immigrants like me ride the Bus,there was one bus an hour so if you miss it because a cliente keep you store open to buy nothing then bad luck next one is in one hour.
I realise very fast it was hard lost of imcome,lost of friends,the questions why don t you work in Switzerland? well can t tell the peoples we have
to pay things here and there,and then after all this bumpy ride my hubby lost his job here,and for 6 months no German courses,yeah internet book,help but this is not the same,had i try to do things and get involve yes i did,i try to volunteer but with no German no one want you and even pet shelteer to bring dog for walks told me we have to much volunteer.
Another sign i knew was every time i was buying something here ,i was feeling guilty,i was not doing hi lights so when i saw my familly i hear the oh your hair look terrible,not much support here instead of understand that it was hard for us and that we cut all the expenses.
I never had guest here in our appartment except for 3 American s friends,we haven t bought yet a dinner table and chairs,how do you think i feel at 41 years old living this way,of course it is 2000 better then living in many country i agree,but yes i do miss the fact to be able to work and make the peoples i love happy for Birthday and Christmas.
I think you have a lot of guts to be here and had gave up your work ,you had win the great role to be a home dad,but i can imagine how you feel when peoples in Park look at you like it should be a woman with the kids,well sorry this peoples are not with their time as there is more and more dad who take care of the kids,and i have more respect for a dad who go out with kids then a dad who will rather sit in the sofa and watch all day football and do not spend time with the kids,because it is the mom who has to do that.
I keep thinking that the day my German will be good i will get a job and things will be better.

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  #142  
Old 10.11.2010, 12:20
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Re: Have you made yourself and your husband miserable?

It was a long time ago now - but I remember those feelings so well. In a foreign country, away from my family with 2 little ones and a husband working all the hours of the day and often night.

Now I have a daughter in the UK who has just gone back to work after her 2nd child. She has a brilliant career, and so has her husband. She gets all the brain stimulation she needs + more, a good salary, good/intelligent conversation, kudos, etc, etc. She has a Nanny and a cleaner and lives in a nice part of the UK. But- there is a high price to pay (for the Nanny first! wow)- she is always running, commuting, trains, stress - by the week-end she and her husband are cream crackered- all the jobs to do around the house, garden, admin, and of course kid's clubs, etc, etc. By Sunday night, still cream crackered the roller coaster is grinding already - and of course no family there to help (would be on next plane or train in an emergency of coure). Sadly - it seems that too often it is a case of far toooo much or far toooo little. Wouldn't it be wonderful if a happy medium could be found. Bonne chance to all.
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  #143  
Old 10.11.2010, 14:58
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Re: Have you made yourself and your husband miserable?

this was an interesting read...i had always wondered about this - i was too scared to make the decision to stay at home and realized to my shock how much of my personality was locked into my business card - i felt ashamed, but didn't have the guts to jump - scared of the unknown financial and emotional reprecussions.
so i found a job - it was a miracle - and work 100% - my job is not my life - but i realize i need the people, on the other hand i have grown too ashamed to admit that i work since we moved - because the reaction has always been negative - from the teachers to colleagues wives...
i applaud all of you the guts to stay at home - i hope the next person i meet will allow me the choice of sending my son to krippe and working...i also look after the house, with 3h a week help from a cleaner and i am on fulltime all weekend and all night - we should all give each other a break - including ourselves...
my mom that retired end august feels the same as all of you wrote!
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  #144  
Old 10.11.2010, 20:33
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Re: Have you made yourself and your husband miserable?

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this was an interesting read...i had always wondered about this - i was too scared to make the decision to stay at home and realized to my shock how much of my personality was locked into my business card - i felt ashamed, but didn't have the guts to jump - scared of the unknown financial and emotional reprecussions.
so i found a job - it was a miracle - and work 100% - my job is not my life - but i realize i need the people, on the other hand i have grown too ashamed to admit that i work since we moved - because the reaction has always been negative - from the teachers to colleagues wives...
i applaud all of you the guts to stay at home - i hope the next person i meet will allow me the choice of sending my son to krippe and working...i also look after the house, with 3h a week help from a cleaner and i am on fulltime all weekend and all night - we should all give each other a break - including ourselves...
my mom that retired end august feels the same as all of you wrote!
Odile,
thank you for your post belive me i miss the busy life not having too much time,it was also great as it did keep my sanity when i lost my Mother and Grand Mother the same year.
I think when you work i know for myself i did apreciate so much my day off,also i know the feeling to be away with no familly members,this is the third time i live in a Foreign place country in the last ten Years.
Have a good week Sorry i put the post of Sandaleen i made a mistake i wanted to put the post of Odile
i am so bad with computer.

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  #145  
Old 10.11.2010, 21:02
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Re: Have you made yourself and your husband miserable?

Hey nic80, since it's your thread.... Happy Birthday
Many happy returns
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  #146  
Old 10.11.2010, 21:23
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Re: Have you made yourself and your husband miserable?

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An example: we bought tickets to the U2 concert way before our B permits were to be approved. There was always an uncertainty and possibility that we had to leave the country, but I rather get those tickets, sulk that I wont get to see them if we had to leave, rather than not buying them and banging my head against the wall if the B permit gets approved and we are still here but we didnt dare buy them. Well, a big finger up to the system - we are still here and saw U2!!
Hah... we bought tickets for U2 in Seattle for June 2010... and then Bono got hurt and they rescheduled for June 2011. We move to Switzerland (hopefully Nyon if we can find an apartment that meets our needs / budget) later this month - so we'll miss the concert.

My wife had her job relocated to Geneva after being laid off a couple times in the last few years... seeing her go through the layoffs was really hard for the both of us as each time it was a huge blow to her self confidence so when this opportunity came up I decided it was "my turn" to be unemployed. I am quitting my job to move to CH.

Its easy for me, when things get stressful with the move (like when her permit was denied the first time) to just get bitter about giving up a good job that paid much more than hers, a great house, friends etc to move around the globe for my wife's job - but I am confident its the right move in the long run. I've only read the first 3 pages of this thread since I am on my lunch break.. I can relate in some ways but in more ways its kind of a warning for me as a trailing spouse. I look forward to reading the rest after work. I think a good thing is to remember that you and your spouse are in it together. When things aren't pretty its so easy to say, or even just think, "its all your fault" but they are having their own struggles and I think are just way less likely to vocalize them becuase they know we'd just reply with something like "well we moved here for YOU", which is true... but not really fair.

For my situation, at first I was unhappy that my spouse work permit will not come till "around march" based on the relocation person's experience. But now I am thinking that is a good thing becuase pressure (pressure I would put on myself) is off on finding a job right away. I plan on working hard on learning french, skiing, and trying to get adjusted to life in switzerland. While the person who is moving for the job doesn't have that luxury - they have to hit the ground running. Its a bummer we will be apart for christmas (I'll be back here packing, dealing with the new renters of our house etc) but that little speed bump will be over before we know it.
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  #147  
Old 11.11.2010, 01:47
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Re: Have you made yourself and your husband miserable?

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Hey nic80, since it's your thread.... Happy Birthday
Many happy returns
Thank you

I'm loving all the wonderful responses! They're really helping me sort myself out. Every time I check the thread there are new and encouraging posts. Thank you. The knowledge that there are so many others experiencing the same thing has helped me readjust my thinking... its still a work in progress though

I thought I'd give you an update. Especially as recently I read a post from a lady experiencing something similar (husband forgetting anniversary I think?).

Today I awoke to my husband writing in a birthday card (I'd taken him to the papershop and waited outside whilst he bought it). He hadn't bought me a present but told me what it was (a watch) and advised that when we get home he'd take me out to buy it. Then he left for work.

He's been really busy and consumed with work and I do most of the organizing. So I wasn't overly surprised. At home I'd usually organise my own birthday celebrations and tell him what we're doing.

I waited until he walked out the door... and promptly burst into tears This is one of my 'big' birthdays (shhh i'm 30!) and due to time differences all the people who would normally be calling or catching up to celebrate were asleep. I was left sitting by myself in an empty hotel room.

After a few minutes feeling sorry for myself. My rear again attracted some booting and I reminded myself that I was spending my birthday in one of the worlds most interesting cities (San Francisco) and I should get out and enjoy it.

Thankfully I'd preempted this feeling of despair and asked a friend to help me find a good hairdresser and book a haircut at 11am (to get rid of the horrid bowl haircut I seem to keep getting in Switzerland; no matter how many times I ask for 'young' i get 'nana; )

I then received a text from a gorgeous friend who was recently in the same position as I (unemployed in a new country) telling me to get my butt to a spa for a manicure she'd organized and paid for.

I took myself out afterwards for a decadent alcoholic beverage and gluten free dessert.

My husband messaged me just as I was finishing to tell me he was leaving work early to take me out for dinner.

I've had an amazing day! I've chatted to a whole bunch of lovely people, experienced customer service again, been pampered and haven't wiped the smile from my face. And it all changed for the better as soon as I changed my attitude. I know life is difficult, dispiriting and annoying sometimes...

But on other days... wow!
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  #148  
Old 11.11.2010, 02:34
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Re: Have you made yourself and your husband miserable?

Bummer about your birthday but I am very happy that you turned it around and made it a good day! Thanks for the reminder... my wife's birthday is in a few days, and while I bought her a gift, I don't have anything planned. There is just so much "planning" going on right now its insane and the birthday gets shuffled to the bottom of the pile. I really need to get something planned even if its just small.

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Also as others have mentioned; spending my husbands money is hard. My pride took a beating for at least the first 6 months just using the money my husband earned on groceries. I'd supported myself from the age of 16 and undoing 14 years of being proudly self-sufficient to rely on another was hard. I still have trouble spending money on myself (one of the reasons my husbands wardrobe is currently much nicer than mine) and I feel a need to justify everything I spend. But at least I don't have to worry about my husband griping (like many other men I've heard) about how much I spend . My husband is awesome and doesn't begrudge me anything. He'd be happy for me to spend more of his hard earned money. But I still feel bad about it.
I have always been the provider, working when my wife was in school etc so this is going to be a very different experience for me. Did you experience that feeling right away or did it take a while? Hah hah I am hoping I can get a few ski days in before I start to feel guilty about spending money while my wife is working
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Old 11.11.2010, 05:16
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Re: Have you made yourself and your husband miserable?

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Bummer about your birthday but I am very happy that you turned it around and made it a good day! Thanks for the reminder... my wife's birthday is in a few days, and while I bought her a gift, I don't have anything planned. There is just so much "planning" going on right now its insane and the birthday gets shuffled to the bottom of the pile. I really need to get something planned even if its just small.



I have always been the provider, working when my wife was in school etc so this is going to be a very different experience for me. Did you experience that feeling right away or did it take a while? Hah hah I am hoping I can get a few ski days in before I start to feel guilty about spending money while my wife is working
Definitely try and find some time for you and your lovely wife to do something together for her birthday. She'll love you even more for it considering how busy you both are.

The guilt comes and goes. For me it kicked in before we'd even left the country... pretty much as soon as I was unemployed. But for the few men I've spoken to; they seemed to cope better in the beginning. The men seemed more pragmatic about it all. So if you use them as an example you should be safe for a few ski days
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Old 11.11.2010, 08:21
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Re: Have you made yourself and your husband miserable?

Its funny how being unemployed always sounds so fun to other people... around 10 yrs ago I was laid off from a job - I tried to relax but I really felt like I needed to be doing something... anything... productive. I ended up sanding and refinishing all our wood furniture by hand LOL. I'm looking forward to having some down time to explore switzerland but I know every time I spend money it will be an inner battle since money is going to be tight unless I get a job

Its not like that for everyone though, I have a friend who will every 4 or 5 yrs quit his job, relax for at least the summer, sometimes longer and then gets a new job. He just operates that way and it works for him.

Yes, I think just having an evening out where we have no commitments, don't talk about apartments or moving or ANY of that stuff would make her happy.. something as simple and mindless as going out to a movie sounds cliche but at this stage I am sure would be very welcome... and how'd you know she is lovely??
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Old 11.11.2010, 08:52
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Re: Have you made yourself and your husband miserable?

Nic80,
i am glad you had made a good day of your Birthday
you know when i feel a little low i do think about the
peoples that have it worst then me,when i see kids in Hospital
and i feel better.
Every year i have both my Mom and Grand Mother day when
they past away ,and it is a difficult day,i wish my hubby will remember
that as it is a rough day for me ,but he dosen t he tell me i live in the past
i do not love in the past ,but theses are day s i do not like,and i am by myself,worst is here as my cercle of Friends is small,but i buy flower for
my mom.
About Birthday well my dad is not the best to remmeber ,this year even my Grand Parent s forgot about it,what can i say i ws a littlr sad inside ,but at this time my Grand Mother was giving a tough time to my Grand Father,so when i went to see them in Oct this is what my Grand Father told me,for my Birthday this year i did ask to go to Savoie and my dad surprise me with a little $ so that was possible,but i do not know what hubby will plan,as i said he is very good at doing things for co workers Birthday,but not for his familly.
I am very happy i have my Uncle form CO who call me every 3 weeks to see how i am doing ,we are very close and it was very hard for me to move away from the US.
You did the right things,if hubby is busy with work well going out and doing things was the best,and look you where in SF this is already a nice Birthday destination.
take care
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Old 11.11.2010, 09:23
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Re: Have you made yourself and your husband miserable?

My wife is unwell, a medical condition that means she becomes angry very easily, making her difficult to live with. I am self employed/unemployed. With almost no work since summer of 2008 the beginning of the financial implosion, have applied for over 500 jobs since then. We have two young kids. Our lives have been in deep freeze in terms of future for more than 2 years now. At some point if things don't turn around we will run out of savings, and my marriage will likely implode too. My wife will take the kids far away where I may never see them again, in place that the world @ large considers the third world. I will left with nothing, no kids, no wife, no home, no money.

But hey, that a glass half empty.

I spend as much time as I can with the kids, very close to my daughter and my son. My daughter although she is starting to realise that Daddy doesn't have job is a issue, likes me being around. The dog likes me being around. I take my daughter and sometimes son (who is still a baby) for long walks. I often take her to the different sports we are able to afford she enjoys. I am enjoying watching the kids grow up; an opportunity many fathers simply miss. I continue to apply for jobs, and have become very good @ writing application letters,. I even had an interview the other week. My wife is receiving treatment which although long (2 years I think) is starting to make her better. We will last the course, I will find work, and we will be able to plan for the future again someday.

A glass half full.
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  #153  
Old 11.11.2010, 09:58
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Re: Have you made yourself and your husband miserable?

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I have always been the provider, working when my wife was in school etc so this is going to be a very different experience for me. Did you experience that feeling right away or did it take a while? Hah hah I am hoping I can get a few ski days in before I start to feel guilty about spending money while my wife is working
As I said earlier it is not easy being the male nonworking spouse and guilt about spending money is an issue. One way to overcome this is to have your own "pot" of money for your leisure toys/time, this requires some discussion with your wife but it worked for us. It was actually my wifes idea as she got fed up with me scrounging and not doing things (in one of the rare times in life when you actually have time) because of the associated guilt, it was not a lot but it meant a lot. It allowed me to do things here that I would not have ordinarily done, also buying presents for her with my money as opposed to our money does make a difference. Also remember she is a chick, so when she comes home to a clean house with a hot meal on the table it will be better than any present you can buy, they dig that stuff!!

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  #154  
Old 11.11.2010, 19:53
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Re: Have you made yourself and your husband miserable?

Markalex,
I hope you will find work very soon.
and you are able to spend time with your kids.
I hope that you wife health condition will improve.
Take Care
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Old 11.11.2010, 20:03
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Re: Have you made yourself and your husband miserable?

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My wife is unwell, a medical condition that means she becomes angry very easily, making her difficult to live with. I am self employed/unemployed. With almost no work since summer of 2008 the beginning of the financial implosion, have applied for over 500 jobs since then. We have two young kids. Our lives have been in deep freeze in terms of future for more than 2 years now. At some point if things don't turn around we will run out of savings, and my marriage will likely implode too. My wife will take the kids far away where I may never see them again, in place that the world @ large considers the third world. I will left with nothing, no kids, no wife, no home, no money.

But hey, that a glass half empty.

I spend as much time as I can with the kids, very close to my daughter and my son. My daughter although she is starting to realise that Daddy doesn't have job is a issue, likes me being around. The dog likes me being around. I take my daughter and sometimes son (who is still a baby) for long walks. I often take her to the different sports we are able to afford she enjoys. I am enjoying watching the kids grow up; an opportunity many fathers simply miss. I continue to apply for jobs, and have become very good @ writing application letters,. I even had an interview the other week. My wife is receiving treatment which although long (2 years I think) is starting to make her better. We will last the course, I will find work, and we will be able to plan for the future again someday.

A glass half full.
Markalex, something is going to give and this situation will not last. I'm really really sorry to read such a touching message. Surely there are ways to help you find a job.
Are you willing to work in different parts of the country, or relocate the family ?
I have the impression from what you have mentioned in other messages that you're very employable, specialized and speak several languages.
What kind of job are you looking for (if I'm not too indiscreet) ?
maybe there are job (agencies, headhunters etc) links you might not know that people can tell you about.

Sounds like you've got a lovely little family
do take care
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Old 11.11.2010, 20:30
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Re: Have you made yourself and your husband miserable?

Please, please, please guys, when you 'quote' and then delete part of the text, leave the square brackets and their contents at the beginning and end of the quote in place. Firstly, because then it looks like a quote and we can all see who said it and secondly because if you don't and someone quotes from it, it shows the second poster as the author of the first poster's words.

I hope that this Thread is now correct, but if you find mistakes, please PM me and I'll have another go. If a quote doesn't look right and you don't know how to correct it you can also report the post asking a Mod to see to it. The sooner it is done, the less likelihood of further 'damage'.
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Old 14.01.2011, 12:21
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Re: Have you made yourself and your husband miserable?

Hello all! I'm adding this post to my previous ones as it seems to have the same themes, even if it is about starting again

We've been in Switzerland for 14 months. My husbands office has started proceedings for our relocation to California sometime in the next 4 to 8 (or 24) months depending on the competence of people involved and how long it takes to negotiate contracts etc. And whilst a small part of me is doing a happy dance as we're moving to San Francisco and living in Lausanne has made it clear I'm a city girl, I'm also really pissed off. Lausanne has just started to feel comfortable, I love Europe, I've finally found my feet, we have a wonderful friends and aquaintences, the cold is almost bearable and I've managed to learn enough french to get through basic situations and have people give me a condescending/ amused smile rather than an angry 'she's not trying' face.

My head is full of questions that I don't know answers to (are we going to have to replace all our electrical appliances due to the 240/110 voltage issue? People keep telling me that Americans are really hard to make 'real' friends with, will I be able to do so? Is there an expat community is SF? Are people going to want to get to know us when we're only planning on staying for 5 years? How will I meet people when I don't have EF, ladies clubs, french lessons etc. etc etc)

I feel like throwing a tantrum. I know that thems the trials of a trailing spouse and a move to San Francisco has a lot of benefits for me too (eg. I can get into university without advanced french).

I now have all the same fears I had before we arrived here (and some, America seems even more scary for some reason). We haven't told any of our friends here about the pending move as nothing is concerete (the paperwork is yet to be signed) and I'm terrified of people cutting ties with us before we've left (this happened with some when we left Australia).

I'm feeling particularly emotional and frustrated today. The thought of having to start completely new again is making me want to cry and consume my body weight in chocolate (so far I'm standing firm and keeping to my New years resolution )

I'm in need of advice, support and probably a kick up the bum... anyone have some much needed words of wisdom?
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Old 14.01.2011, 12:25
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Re: Have you made yourself and your husband miserable?

Focus on the positives for that move. For starters, just think, with that language handicap out of the window - the world (well SF) is your oyster. The ease of being able to ask for what you want, understand everything on the news, able to read the papers without a dictionary....join a gym without wondering if there are classes in English, blah blah blah. I would love to move to an English speaking country at the drop of a hat.

Sorry, not really in love with this country today (some silly cow was being rude earlier this morning, but I didnt have a wide enough German vocabulary to articulate what was in my head) so I am all for moving out - but am really happy for you!
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Last edited by summerrain; 14.01.2011 at 12:46.
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  #159  
Old 14.01.2011, 12:32
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Re: Have you made yourself and your husband miserable?

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Focus on the positives for that move. For starters, just think, with that language handicap out of the window - the world (well SF) is your oyster. The ease of being able to ask for what you want, understand everything on the news, able to read the papers without a dictionary....join a gym without wondering if there are classes in English, blah blah blah. I would love to move to an English speaking country at the drop of a hat.

Sorry, not really in love with this country today (some silly cow was being rude earlier this morning, but I didnt have a wide enough German vocabulary to articulate what was in my head) but am really happy for you!
Thanks, the thought of being able to clearly and articulately convey my feelings in certain situations certainly helps change the color of my day
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Old 14.01.2011, 12:47
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Re: Have you made yourself and your husband miserable?

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People keep telling me that Americans are really hard to make 'real' friends with, will I be able to do so? Is there an expat community is SF? Are people going to want to get to know us when we're only planning on staying for 5 years? How will I meet people when I don't have EF, ladies clubs, french lessons etc. etc etc)
You're in luck - Californians are some of the easiest to get to know; New Englanders some of the hardest. (Loads of exceptions of course but those are the regional stereotypes.)

And 5 years in any college town is an eternity. I know you're not college aged, but still... you should have nooo trouble getting to know people. Maybe try joining a couple of Meetup groups like this one:
http://www.meetup.com/San-Francisco-...is-and-Saffas/
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