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Topic: UK Husband Hates the South  (Read 3980 times)

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UK Husband Hates the South
« on: November 27, 2015, 01:41:01 AM »
Hello and Happy Thanksgiving,

My husband (UKC) and I (USC) just moved back to the US after living for three years in the UK.  I absolutely love living in the UK and I never wanted to leave.  The main reason why we left is because my husband has been habitually unemployed and we thought he would have a better chance at work in the US.  Plus, we thought it would be useful for him to get US citizenship now that I have UK citizenship (from 3 years living there).

Although I am originally from  north-west Florida (near Alabama), I have never felt at home here.  We moved back to Florida because it is the only place where we can stay with family to get started and we had no job offers before we moved.

Anyway, my point is that my UK husband was well-aware that he would be living with my family and have to subscribe to the "Bible-belt, republican" ways of the South (at least my area of the South...I don't want to generalise here).  He agreed to this and was the main one who wanted to leave the UK. I told him he doesn't have to agree with what people say, but he just can't be combative with his views (an apparently impossible task for him).  My views match my husband's and not my family's, but (as the odd one out) I choose to take the path of least-resistance and simply not broadcast my "controversial" views.  I expect my husband to do the same and he was well-aware of that.

Now, he is getting annoyed that the culture is so different here and he is losing optimism with job opportunities.  Meanwhile, I have already set up quite a few opportunities for myself (I am more highly-qualified and ambitious than my husband).

I am not sure what to do...  We left our life in the UK behind so my husband could have an American experience, but now it seems like he would be happier to hop on the next plane back to London or he will just be miserable.  However, we would just be going from America where we are jobless and living with family to the UK where we would also be jobless and living with family.  Plus, we already sold our car that we loved in the UK.  We left the UK because my husband had bad luck with jobs, but now he is thinking that he would like to go back to the UK to go to grad school.  Why this was not an option or an idea BEFORE we moved to the US I will never understand.

My husband and I normally have a good relationship, but I am becoming increasingly annoyed by his flippant attitude and lack of motivation when I have already rearranged EVERYTHING in my life and ours to make this happen for him.

Thanksgiving is always difficult with family, but he had an argument with one of my family members today about how more people should not have children to decrease the population.  Hello????  On what planet does he think that is a good topic to bring up around my very conservative, religious family.  It's like he wants the situation to implode, so we will have to go back to the UK.

Like I said, I never wanted to come to the US, but now that we have spent all of this money and time to get here, I'm not sure what to do.  Plus, I have already put out applications and gotten the ball rolling for my career by reestablishing connections and networking.  Btw, last week I gave him an excellent opportunity to do substitute teaching in south Florida to get away from living with family, but he turned it down, so he really has no excuses.

Sorry for the rant.  If anyone out there has had a similar experience or has gone to the US and then left soon after, please I would be so so grateful for any advice.

Thank you so much...


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Re: UK Husband Hates the South
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2015, 08:50:15 AM »
I am from your neck of the woods......there is no way you could have prepared him for it. Not to bang on about it, but try and remember that immigration can be much, much harder than it seems.

I think being British in NW Florida will be even more difficult for him, even if I think it can be an advantage elsewhere in the US. If he doesn't believe in God....and a very specific God...and is under the illusion that in NW Florida he can hold a rational discussion with the natives....he will struggle even more.

I would suggest that the only way he can approach the Bible-thumpers is from an anthropological stance....looking on in amazement. It is hard because Christian fundamentalists are arrogant in their ignorance....which makes it tough.   

I bet he is wondering what planet he has landed on....

/am a Christian. Believe fundamentalism has poisoned/corrupted the faith.
I just hope that more people will ignore the fatalism of the argument that we are beyond repair. We are not beyond repair. We are never beyond repair. - AOC


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Re: UK Husband Hates the South
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2015, 01:43:34 PM »
Thank you so much for your reply.  It makes me feel better for someone out there to understand what it can be like in the South.  I really appreciate your words of advice.

I completely agree with you about fundamentalism corrupting Christianity.  Unfortunately, my family is very traditional / fundamentalist and it has been a problem I have dealt with my whole life.

I like your idea of an anthropological stance... it might help my husband just sit and observe rather than try to change people.  You couldn't have been more right about it being difficult to have a "rational" discussion.  I think that is his main struggle because in London you can discuss hot button issues without it escalating into an argument.

You are right that immigration is hard.  I do remember I had a tough time adjusting to the UK, but that was so many years ago, I think I have forgotten what it feels like.  I will really try to be more sensitive.  I'm just finding it difficult to cope with the fact that I want to support him, but supporting him on certain issues in front of my family would literally end in disaster.  I wish he could understand that.

I will definitely share your post with him.  Hopefully, if he hears it from another NW Florida native, maybe he will start to believe me.

Thank you again for your reply.


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Re: UK Husband Hates the South
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2015, 04:52:46 PM »
Perhaps the trouble is within your husband and he doesn't want to get a job and be happy like you expect.  If he can't find a job AT ALL in the UK, it's unlikely to be that different in the US.   You said he has already turned down a job, that's what makes me think this .

Seems to me that unhappiness with living situation and Florida Bible thumpers is really just a symptom of the bigger problem.  I hate Florida, but I could enjoy living there if I had to and were otherwise happy.  He doesn't sound otherwise happy.

I can't guess what the bigger problem is, but I can see that it is there. 

Good luck


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UK Husband Hates the South
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2015, 04:56:23 PM »
Also, moving back to England won't solve that problem .  Neither will Grad school.  To what end?  You say you will never understand and you are right.  Unless he can say exactly what job this will give him, it's just more excuses.




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« Last Edit: November 27, 2015, 05:03:11 PM by jimbocz »


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Re: UK Husband Hates the South
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2015, 05:13:18 PM »
My husband is USC and I am UKC, we met in Saudi Arabia where we were both working and married in Bahrain in 1989. When Desert Storm began we moved to the USA, I never wanted to  go, it was never my plan to marry an American, but we were in Virginia (the South yes) and I had to make the best of it. I am also opinionated, and left wing....which does not go  down well in that part of the country as you can imagine. Over time I left my career in nursing and started my own pet sitting business (huge dog and cat lover) that was the only time I was truly happy living in the USA. I hated working in a large employee environment where I was always the odd one out because of my Scottish accent and typical British way of looking at life. Now I'm retired and am back in the UK, waiting for my husband to get his Visa which is why I love this message board community so much. The only thing I can say is perhaps another State is the answer?  I know I could not have lived any further South than Virginia.......they would have thrown me out LOL. Good luck to you and your husband.
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Re: UK Husband Hates the South
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2015, 05:25:49 PM »
I know I could not have lived any further South than Virginia

Well a little south of Ocala, Florida, it flips and turns into the north again....
I just hope that more people will ignore the fatalism of the argument that we are beyond repair. We are not beyond repair. We are never beyond repair. - AOC


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Re: UK Husband Hates the South
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2015, 05:32:06 PM »
Well a little south of Ocala, Florida, it flips and turns into the north again....

Hee hee.  Yup, I'm from Clearwater which is most definitely NOT the south!

I'm sorry you guys are having a tough time.  It's early days.  Though I couldn't live with my own parents, let alone my inlaws.  Are you guys looking for work in a more suitable location?  I wonder if there are any British expat groups within reach for your husband to get involved in?


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Re: UK Husband Hates the South
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2015, 11:56:21 PM »
Thank you all so much for sharing.  I like the ideas to move to another state or to find a British expat group in the area.

You are all right that there is a bigger issue - living with in-laws and unemployment.  I guess we are trying to fix those issues in the best way possible, but it just is taking longer to work out than what we thought.

We had thought about moving to Orlando and had an opportunity, but my husband gets really hot and I get really sunburned, so we figured it wouldn't work out.  We would ideally like to move to the Pacific Northwest, but it's just jobs and money.

Thank you all for commenting.  I really appreciate your stories and words of advice.  I have no idea what to do or how to fix things.  I'm just not sure if it's worth it to stick it out for three years to get him citizenship or just leave and know that he might not be able to come back.  He was denied a B2 visa once, so he is ineligible for VWP, which is pretty much the main reason why we decided to do this.

In hindsight, we should have just waited until we could "prove ties to the UK" and tried again for a B2.  Boy do I feel like we have made a big ol' mess of things.  Now that he's had a green card, I'm not sure how well a B2 application would go down...


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Re: UK Husband Hates the South
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2015, 10:26:50 PM »
I'm from Georgia.  When we were dating DH would say that he'd be willing to move there.  Now he entertains no such illusions.  The South of the US baffles, confuses and angers him immensely which he manages to hold back for roughly 3 days when he visits there.  Please don't underestimate how shocking parts of the SE can be.

That said, I don't get how your husband cannot find a job, any job in either of the areas where you've lived so far.  It sounds like he's trying to run away from his lack of finding job rather trying to fix it, and he's trying to take you with him.  As a new immigrant it can be about taking any job rather than a dream job.  I have no recommendations.  We struggled and DH had a job when I moved here but it was dead-end and low-paying.  It eventually lead to so many problems that we lived apart while we worked it out.  Having me there made him too lazy and things too easy.  Supporting himself meant he got off his ars*, looked for something else that met our financial and location needs.

Do keep us updated.  It sounds like you're very frustrated and I hope that shared stories and having a safe place to speak freely is helpful.


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Re: UK Husband Hates the South
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2015, 08:10:57 AM »
I'm from Georgia.  When we were dating DH would say that he'd be willing to move there.  Now he entertains no such illusions.  The South of the US baffles, confuses and angers him immensely which he manages to hold back for roughly 3 days when he visits there.  Please don't underestimate how shocking parts of the SE can be.

That said, I don't get how your husband cannot find a job, any job in either of the areas where you've lived so far.  It sounds like he's trying to run away from his lack of finding job rather trying to fix it, and he's trying to take you with him.  As a new immigrant it can be about taking any job rather than a dream job.  I have no recommendations.  We struggled and DH had a job when I moved here but it was dead-end and low-paying.  It eventually lead to so many problems that we lived apart while we worked it out.  Having me there made him too lazy and things too easy.  Supporting himself meant he got off his ars*, looked for something else that met our financial and location needs.

Do keep us updated.  It sounds like you're very frustrated and I hope that shared stories and having a safe place to speak freely is helpful.

Maybe you have a spare bootstrap you can send over?
I just hope that more people will ignore the fatalism of the argument that we are beyond repair. We are not beyond repair. We are never beyond repair. - AOC


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Re: UK Husband Hates the South
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2015, 03:26:34 PM »
Maybe you have a spare bootstrap you can send over?

Not at all.  Please don't take what I said the wrong way.  The OP's husband was offered a job and turned it down.  That does indicate that perhaps there are bigger issues, such as holding out for a different job, better paying job, etc, at play.  To not be able to find anything for 3 years, even though a job was offered to him, and to move back and forth between countries always thinking the other will be better is a problem.  This is not about pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, far from it, but about not taking the opportunity that was offered and the frustrations that is causing in both the marriage and greater family relationships.  We just about ruined our relationship with our expectations and whether it's the case or not for the OP I see some of us in what she's posted.

« Last Edit: December 01, 2015, 03:29:30 PM by Larissa »


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UK Husband Hates the South
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2015, 06:22:31 PM »
Larissa sees the same thing I do, the husband is not looking for a job.  Nothing is going to work until that is sorted out.  It's been several days since this was posted, if I were living with my in laws I would have a job by now.  Even in McDonald's if that's what it takes to pay my own rent.

Why not move to San Francisco?  If he's not happy there then it's not going to ever happen. 

If you are an adult , you don't have to live with your parents.

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« Last Edit: December 02, 2015, 06:23:55 PM by jimbocz »


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Re: UK Husband Hates the South
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2015, 08:39:22 AM »
Why not move to San Francisco?  If he's not happy there then it's not going to ever happen. 

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San Francisco (and the surrounding area) is a wonderful place to live, I have spent most of my life in the area and can't praise it too highly.  However, it is a very costly place to live and people coming from other parts of the country often find they aren't able to afford to live in a manner they're accustomed to.

I am not making a comment on the OP's specific situation, I only suggest anyone planning to move to the San Francisco Bay Area do their homework first.
Here 2 years as of Oct. 1, 2016.


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Re: UK Husband Hates the South
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2015, 09:01:15 AM »
Larissa sees the same thing I do, the husband is not looking for a job.  Nothing is going to work until that is sorted out.  It's been several days since this was posted, if I were living with my in laws I would have a job by now.  Even in McDonald's if that's what it takes to pay my own rent.

Why not move to San Francisco?  If he's not happy there then it's not going to ever happen. 

If you are an adult , you don't have to live with your parents.

I held off making any judgements about Kathryn's husband because I've never met him, and have no way of knowing the full circumstances. I do know an awful lot about NW Florida's culture so I chose to comment on that part of her post.

Specifically, I would question the ideology of any group who disregarded over-population as a modern concern (For the record I actually think that the real problem is the terribly wasteful western lifestyle, but am open to discussion*). And while I usually just keep quiet about hot-topic issues when I am a guest in someone else's home...and in a lot of social settings, more importantly, I personally would never, ever make a guest in my home uncomfortable by foisting my views, especially some of my more irrational ones, on them. 

Too, it is very telling when people use McDonalds and catering in general as the low-water mark for employment. It shows an unsavoury disdain for those the speaker thinks less of. There is nothing wrong with catering, and it is my opinion that people smirk at it because our society has labelled catering, and food preparation, as women's work - and thus de-valued (in real and societal terms) women and the hard, essential work that historically they have been stuck with.

Don't get angry with me Jimbo, but you took a personal kick at this guy. 

*http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/02/worlds-richest-10-produce-half-of-global-carbon-emissions-says-oxfam
I just hope that more people will ignore the fatalism of the argument that we are beyond repair. We are not beyond repair. We are never beyond repair. - AOC


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