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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a married mother of 4 in the US. We live in Washington state. My husband is Swedish- he's been in the US for over 10 years now, so he's very used to it.

A little history:
He and I met over the internet in '98. After him spending some time here and me spending some time there we mutually decided we would start out our lives together in the US. I had 2 small kids from my first marriage and we just seemed to think it would be easier for us to make a go of it here. We said from the very start that someday we would live in Sweden.

This is where the mention of my husband being very used to it here comes into play. He grew up in a very small town- he and his family are very timid, introverted and "unexposed"- knowing what I know now about him I have to wonder how on earth he got up the nerve to move from Sweden to here! Anyway, that aside, he does not want to move. We *just* moved from Colorado to WA state and just that took years and years on my part of trying daily to get it through to him. Originally it was the desire to 'move to Sweden'- but I got no where with him on that and I knew I needed to move so after much trying and frustration and being let down I decided moving to WA state would be the best bet.

Well now that we're here, I hate it. I mean I love the privacy, I love the lack of people and traffic, I like our house- but that's just about where the enjoyment ends. I loathe the rain, I feel it zapping the life out of me. We live in a very rural area and that is very isolating. I feel like I am in heaven when it is a sunny day and we are at the beach, but those days are very few and far between and I really don't want to live my life hoping for a sunny day so I can crawl out of the dark hole I get pulled into most days.

To try to make a long story a little shorter I will get to the point. I am at a crossroads in my life. My kids are all in school now- I don't have a job and have never had a career. I am unhappy. I know I am much more unhappy here than I was in Colorado. But I also know it was me who pushed so hard to make the move out of there.

My whole life I have had a desire to live overseas. I have always known that was for me. I am trapped. My husband is my chain holding me back. I love him, I really do, but we are so different and obviously want very different things. He is content just staying put- forever- he is far to analytical and won't hear me on my needs to make a change. Every time I bring it up he shuts down, he thinks a move abroad would be "terrible for the kids", "way too difficult" "a financial disaster" and on and on.

I don't know what to do. I know I need to live overseas. I know that much. But where, how, etc is beyond me. And to top that off I don't have my husband's support at all in the matter.

I know couples counseling is in order and I am planning on it.

But I also have a need to do this for myself. I want to research, decide on a place, find a way (job?) and make it possible and then tell him this is what I'm doing. If he can't find anything to argue about in the matter then I think he would be on board. I know to most (all?) people that seems really cruel and such a life move needs to have all involved on board, but he won't even talk to me about it. He won't help me see if it might be a possibility, he won't even consider it. And I can't live my life not doing something I know I need to be doing just because my other half is not all for it:(

Anyone out there been through something similar? Any tips or ideas? How do I even go about deciding where to live and how to do that? I don't know of many international companies- how can I go about researching that?

53,641 Posts
Without going into too much detail, it sounds very much like you're married to a fairly typical northern-European male. I've been through something similar - though kind of in reverse. After moving here to France to get married, I had a very rough time of things and often didn't think I was getting much support from my DH because he tends to be the "strong, silent" type.

OK, you have to decide what it is you want. And you have to acknowledge the very real possibility that, even if you do manage to move to another country, you may wind up hating it there even more than where you are now.

Why not start by taking a few vacations by yourself to go check out some of the places you think you'd be interested in? You need some first hand experience in being in a foreign country, not knowing the language (or attempting to use a language you learned in school) and finding out how it is to be a "stranger in a strange land." If money is what's stopping you, then get a job where you are and use your money to fund your fact-finding expeditions.

There are a number of potential "gotchas" in your post - can you get permission from the kids' father to remove them from the country? do you speak any languages? what job training or experience do you have? what line of work is your husband in? are those lines of work transferable overseas? (not all are), etc, etc.

Do some traveling on your own before you uproot your family for what could be another disappointing experience. It might convince you that your situation isn't as bad as you think it is.

What convinced me to make the best of where I was turned out to be my periodic trips back to the US, where it was clear to me I didn't want to live. It could very likely be that way for your husband. He's acculturated so well to the US that he couldn't bear living back in Sweden now. You need to do some travel on your own to see that the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

2,041 Posts
1st, there are lots of wonderful places in the US and internationally to live but this a very personal decision. As you have probably found with your recent move, one person's heaven is another's hell. You really need to travel to see what you like and don't like. As stated, you also have to address some realities such as independence financial and personnel, work and
I traveled extensively through Europe and Asia during business life and lived in both Beijing and Singapore. I loved it, but my ex-wife didn't. Also, we could only really make it work for us when sponsored by a company. Most countries make it difficult for expats to just show up and compete for local jobs. Many also have restrictions on attending public schools even if language not a problem.
You didn't say what your husband did for work or how transferrable that might be.
You also didn't say you were close or a long way to retirement.
When I retired at the millenium, my opportunities exploded and restrictions reduced. If you don't have a lot of freedom the next few years, you might concentrate on the US and do traveling for the future.
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