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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have gone onto the Tasca site as I think more long time contributors use this.
I would really appreciate some advice over my situation. My wife and son and myself moved to Spain last october. The move was essentially an attempt to help save my marriage which had not been going well in the UK. My wife who is not British lived there with me for 12 years. Prior to that we had lived in Spain and Sweden. My wife began to feel uncomfortable in the UK and we had many years arguing about what to do. Eventually I capitulated and some degree allowed myself to believe Spain would be a good opportunity for us all. We bought a nice apartment here and rented our house in the UK. My wife found a job and has adapted well into Spanish life ( being a fluent Spanish speaker). I have found some work as an English language teacher which was my profession in the UK where I had a well paid college job. The work here though is not sufficient to live off and is topped up with the rent we receive from the UK property. Anyway 3 weeks ago my wife as me to leave as she says she needs more space and time to think about the marriage. I have since had to find a flat to rent nearby. I don't know anyone here and although I speak some Spanish it is not really enough to allow me to do all the things I need to do to live independently. My real issue though is our son. He has completed a year in quinto and managed ( due to a lot of work himself and with my wife's assistance) to pass the year without having to repeat. However he is terribly upset at the idea of returning and had become anxious about having to do so much work to pass the tests. He constantly talks about his school and friends in the UK and asks when he could return. My wife will not consider moving back to the UK and insists that he will manage the coming year. The problem I have is what should I do? I feel totally isolated and frozen out of my home and estranged from the people I love and trusted the most and would dearly like to just get back to family and friends in the UK but already my wife is suggesting that such a move would be detrimental to my son and that I have to remain in Spain and build a new life for myself here. I should add that I am not young (57) and I find it hard to think I have all this to do when I thought I was heading for a less stressful life!!. I know that there really is no definitive answer but would appreciate any advice from people who might have had similar problems.
 

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I have gone onto the Tasca site as I think more long time contributors use this.
I would really appreciate some advice over my situation. My wife and son and myself moved to Spain last october. The move was essentially an attempt to help save my marriage which had not been going well in the UK. My wife who is not British lived there with me for 12 years. Prior to that we had lived in Spain and Sweden. My wife began to feel uncomfortable in the UK and we had many years arguing about what to do. Eventually I capitulated and some degree allowed myself to believe Spain would be a good opportunity for us all. We bought a nice apartment here and rented our house in the UK. My wife found a job and has adapted well into Spanish life ( being a fluent Spanish speaker). I have found some work as an English language teacher which was my profession in the UK where I had a well paid college job. The work here though is not sufficient to live off and is topped up with the rent we receive from the UK property. Anyway 3 weeks ago my wife as me to leave as she says she needs more space and time to think about the marriage. I have since had to find a flat to rent nearby. I don't know anyone here and although I speak some Spanish it is not really enough to allow me to do all the things I need to do to live independently. My real issue though is our son. He has completed a year in quinto and managed ( due to a lot of work himself and with my wife's assistance) to pass the year without having to repeat. However he is terribly upset at the idea of returning and had become anxious about having to do so much work to pass the tests. He constantly talks about his school and friends in the UK and asks when he could return. My wife will not consider moving back to the UK and insists that he will manage the coming year. The problem I have is what should I do? I feel totally isolated and frozen out of my home and estranged from the people I love and trusted the most and would dearly like to just get back to family and friends in the UK but already my wife is suggesting that such a move would be detrimental to my son and that I have to remain in Spain and build a new life for myself here. I should add that I am not young (57) and I find it hard to think I have all this to do when I thought I was heading for a less stressful life!!. I know that there really is no definitive answer but would appreciate any advice from people who might have had similar problems.
Difficult situation with no right or wrong answers, as you already know.
Just wanted to clear something up. When you say...
However he is terribly upset at the idea of returning
you mean that your son is upset at the idea of returning to school here in Spain??
What kind of school was he in and how old is he?

Starting with him, realistically it's a bit late in the day to go back and start him in a UK school isn't it, given that we are at the end of August?

Another thing that is clear is that as an English teacher you will be unlikely to cover your living costs, so what are the chances of getting more employment/ different employment here? Not very likely I would imagine, which may mean that you have to leave Spain. What would you do about your son?

But the real problem area obviously is the marriage so perhaps it's time to decide if it's over or not once and for all. Easier said than done I know, but you have your son to consider and the economic viability too
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Difficult situation with no right or wrong answers, as you already know.
Just wanted to clear something up. When you say...

you mean that your son is upset at the idea of returning to school here in Spain??
What kind of school was he in and how old is he?

Starting with him, realistically it's a bit late in the day to go back and start him in a UK school isn't it, given that we are at the end of August?

Another thing that is clear is that as an English teacher you will be unlikely to cover your living costs, so what are the chances of getting more employment/ different employment here? Not very likely I would imagine, which may mean that you have to leave Spain. What would you do about your son?

But the real problem area obviously is the marriage so perhaps it's time to decide if it's over or not once and for all. Easier said than done I know, but you have your son to consider and the economic viability too

He is upset about returning to his Spanish school. It is a state school. He is 11. I don't think at this moment I could consider moving him back to the UK with me as his mother would never agree to that. You seem to be asking me questions that I can't answer which is why I think I am looking for advice. As for the marriage who knows. I would love to make it work. I thought we were doing well together here in Spain but my wife has grown more resentful toward the UK and English people ( I know illogical) and obviously toward me . She doesn't like my son using his computer stuff in English or talking to his friends in the UK on his Xbox. He doesn't really have any Spanish friends as it is hard for him with the language to be himself. Thanks for your reply
 

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He is upset about returning to his Spanish school. It is a state school. He is 11. I don't think at this moment I could consider moving him back to the UK with me as his mother would never agree to that. You seem to be asking me questions that I can't answer which is why I think I am looking for advice. As for the marriage who knows. I would love to make it work. I thought we were doing well together here in Spain but my wife has grown more resentful toward the UK and English people ( I know illogical) and obviously toward me . She doesn't like my son using his computer stuff in English or talking to his friends in the UK on his Xbox. He doesn't really have any Spanish friends as it is hard for him with the language to be himself. Thanks for your reply
Well, I am sorry to hear that you're going through this on your own, but honestly there is little advice that can be given really.

If your wife doesn't like things from the UK and you are from the UK, well, where is this going?

It looks like you've answered your own question about what you should do. You say you can't take your son to England, so that's not going to happen.

Are you trying to decide whether to stay here or go back? If you stay here it looks like you're going to need more money. Can you do any online work for your old place of work in the UK? Can you try to get company classes which potentially pay better? (You'd have to go self employed probably). Can you get some groups up for private classes? Could you combine academy work in the evening with lunch time classes in schools? Could you persuade your wife that living separately isn't going to solve anything, only make it worse??
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes. Provided my wife holds onto her job I could increase my work load which would at least allow me to pay for my rent and pay for their needs but I don't think my wife will be happy without a car ( don't need it for work or school) or money for eating out, gyms etc which she likes. But it could be done but it all a huge sacrifice I have to take on with little support here and I wonder how I will cope.
 

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This is a tricky situation, it seems to me that no one can give you the answers you are looking for to be honest. If your wife doesn't want to move to the UK, then you may need to consider actually sitting down and have the talk because this is a serious matter. Especially if your son is in the middle of this. Good luck!
 

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What an uncomfortable situation to be in…
Thankfully I cannot comment on separations involving children, but I, like most people have close Friends that have gone through the “worst case”.

In your position, I am afraid to say that I would be preparing for the “worst” in a realistic way.
I guess that in our hearts we all know that if you do separate, the shared custody can only work if you live close by, and if you don’t, it is probably more likely that your wife would get custody. So really, your dilemma is down to how to go about maintaining yourself in Spain on your own.

This is just a suggestion, so please don’t flame me for it, but it seems to me that if you play the “nice guy” and go along with your wife’s suggestions, you will be in this “limbo” situation (you living in your flat while she enjoys having your son and home and car etc. at her disposition, for potentially a long time: Why don’t you put your cards on the table is this way; explain to your wife that, in order for you to stay in Spain you need to have your share of the assets liquidated. This may “force” her to really come to a decision on the future of your marriage, and keep this situation to its minimum duration.
 

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Your son will be picking up the tension between you and your wife, and that will be making him unhappy with the rest of the things going on in his life, even if he doesn't acknowledge it. So it really is in his best interest for you and your wife to work out a compromise, which probably involves living separately but close enough for him to spend time with both of you.

You will both have to make sacrifices, and it's easy to lose your resolve when you are having the discussion as your wife may dig her heels in, try and make you feel guilty, etc etc. Try and start the discussion by agreeing the end point - that is, the best solution for the boy - and work backwards to the practical details. Then if she starts digressing, remind her what the end point is. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What an uncomfortable situation to be in…
Thankfully I cannot comment on separations involving children, but I, like most people have close Friends that have gone through the “worst case”.

In your position, I am afraid to say that I would be preparing for the “worst” in a realistic way.
I guess that in our hearts we all know that if you do separate, the shared custody can only work if you live close by, and if you don’t, it is probably more likely that your wife would get custody. So really, your dilemma is down to how to go about maintaining yourself in Spain on your own.

This is just a suggestion, so please don’t flame me for it, but it seems to me that if you play the “nice guy” and go along with your wife’s suggestions, you will be in this “limbo” situation (you living in your flat while she enjoys having your son and home and car etc. at her disposition, for potentially a long time: Why don’t you put your cards on the table is this way; explain to your wife that, in order for you to stay in Spain you need to have your share of the assets liquidated. This may “force” her to really come to a decision on the future of your marriage, and keep this situation to its minimum duration.
To be honest I agree with you. I would love to be able to get some kind of agreement between us involving finances but for my wife this is one of those slam the phone down things. The truth is my wife has never really worked until now and has been supported wholly by me. That is not to say that she isn't entitled to money from me. She stayed at home and brought up our child and looked after the home and I appreciate this is also work and a sacrifice many women make. However our child is old enough now to require less of that attention and so she has taken up employment. Many of our arguments were about money as my wife simply didn't have any when we married. In fact she only had debts that I have paid off ( nearly) after 19 years. I had money when we met and always put her name of any deeds we had. Legally i realise that she has a claim to half my assests which guiles me but that is the law. The situation would be a lot better if I could have financial independence as it would give me some control over my own life. Because my wife never has to look at any statements etc she is oblivious to the costs of things and money is wasted. She thinks I a mean but I feel I am being prudent. You can never win but at least if we were independent financially this would not matter. Anyway that isn't what I want to talk about. It is what will be best for my son given this is our situation .
 

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Given that your son is the focal point of things and it seems he will have no choice other than go to school here it's best that he knows that and realizes that that's the situation as soon as possible. Then put in the support he needs to study, learn the language and make friends. September is sign up month for almost all activities run by the town hall, school (well activities at school are usually run by outside companies) or other so be prepared. Find out what he'd be interested in doing, how much it might cost. make sure you and he are "empadronados"
 

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Seems to me that your wife would have had a much more difficult and stressful life without your ongoing financial and emotional support. Now she has earned some money, knows her way around in Spain ad thinks she can strike out on her own with your son.
I wonder.
Maybe it's time to think about your needs and future too. You say your wife has never had to deal with money matters, paying bills, budgeting and so on. Well, she's about to start on a sharp learning curve without you by her side.
You speak of getting control over your own life. Take it. It sounds as if you have put your needs in second place throughout your marriage. Yes, bringing up a family is work, hard work but many women have to combine that and a job. Many also have to do both alone with no support.
I did that when I took my son and left my husband decades ago. There was no loss of affection or any animosity between us but it was the right thing for both of us. I went to live with another woman as, eventually, did he. One thing we made a priority was that our son should not lose out or suffer in any way because his parents thought it best not to go on living together.
It's important not to give any sense that there are 'sides' in this ad that you both fully cooperate in whatever decisions you make about your son's future. Remember too that the responsibility for taking the best decision as to that future lies with you, the parents. My son was nine when we split up, it was agreed he lived with me and saw Dad most weekends and holidays. He grew up to be a normal adolescent and man and is now happily married with his own family. My ex, his wife, my partner and I are good friends.
It's what civilised people do.
If your wife finds herself unable to view the whole situation objectively and cannot make sensible decisions for the good of all concerned, you are frankly better off without her. You aren't young but you're not yet ready to push up the daisies. I left the UK and started a new life abroad when I retired.
Sorry to sound brutal but life itself is unforgiving and sometimes, if we don't take control, it moves on it ways that benefit no-one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks mrypg9. You've cleary reflected alot and your comments are what I need to hear. I do feel that I have to try and control the hurt child in me and accept what has happened and do what is right for my child and I right for me. Thanks
 

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I'm so sorry to hear about your situation - but sadly I've known so many couples split up within a couple of years of coming to live here. Sometimes it's just that one settles & the other doesn't - often the financial strain is too much.


If the worst came to the worst & you couldn't support yourself - & help support your wife & had to return to the UK - where is your wife from? Would she legally be allowed to stay without you?

If not - maybe that reality might make her more amenable to negotiation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I don't think our splitting up is to do with Spain other than her having lived here before when she was younger and being fluent in Spanish clearly gives her an advantage. She is an EU citizen so can stay
 

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Thanks mrypg9. You've cleary reflected alot and your comments are what I need to hear. I do feel that I have to try and control the hurt child in me and accept what has happened and do what is right for my child and I right for me. Thanks
I don't see you as a hurt child, kaipa. From your posts you come across to me as an extremely unselfish, sensitive person who may even have put your own wishes and desires on hold for the sake of your wife who again reading between the lines, seems a rather self-centred person.
You have every right for your own feelings, wishes and needs to be shown some respect and consideration.
Think what YOU feel is the best in this situation and show your wife that you are not her doormat. The decision about your son's future shouldn't be placed on your son either. It's not fair to put such burden on children who aren't experienced at seeing futures. Anyway, when children grow up, they lead ther wn lives independent of their parents - or should.

You should statistically have another thirty r so years ahead of you still. Make the most you can out of them.
Cant think of any more to say, all the bestx
 
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