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Topic: Sad.  (Read 1306 times)

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Sad.
« on: September 27, 2017, 07:11:29 PM »
I have the opposite problem to most people on here -- I'm an American who misses my UK family. UK citizen DH and I were on course to move back to the UK together early next year, but due to a recent job offer, our plans have been back-burnered and suddenly we're staying in the States for the foreseeable future. We both still want to move to the UK, but it's gone from "right now" back to being "someday" again. Like it always was. :(

My in-laws were thrilled when we announced we were officially moving back, and we were too, after living away from them over a decade. (He has a big family and we are all close.) Now, everything has suddenly changed and we don't know when we'll even be able to visit them again. Our next trip will need to be strictly limited by holidays/school vacations, barely enough time to get over jet lag. Once a year for two weeks max is not enough!

Sadly, they don't visit us for various reasons, so it's all on us to do the visiting, which is hard/pricey with young children. So we have gone from thinking we'll be seeing them all the time soon, to barely ever seeing them again.

After losing one of my parents suddenly, I know just how precious time with people you love is and I fear I'm losing out on so many happy memories. Nobody is getting any younger, and we could get a terrifying phone call any day. (I've been forced to think morbidly about these things.) I might live in the US because it makes a lot so much more sense right now, but my heart is definitely in the UK with my DH's family. We like our life here, but we are happiest when we are with them.

How do I remain feeling close to them during these very long stretches of time apart? Skype once a week is not enough. (That's about as often as they come on, if that.) Only a couple of them are on social media so that's not enough. Letters? Cards? I'm just so sad things haven't worked out as I thought they would.
UK 2003 --> US 2006 --> UK 2018ish
21-jun-17 - applied for kids' UK passports
06-jul-17 - received kids' UK passports


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Re: Sad.
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2017, 07:27:21 PM »
I'm so sorry, MC.

It can be tough keeping in touch with family. We get on better with my family and we know we're missing seeing our nephew growing up.

We send packages every few months. Biscuits and sweets from the UK that my family loves, colouring books or stickers for nephew and wherever else we find. It's one way of staying in touch (it does get a bit pricey, though, but it's cheaper than a flight).

Do you have WhatsApp? I don't use it, but it sounds like it can be a good way to keep in touch with friends and family. If they're not up for that, do you have a phone plan that allows for international texts? It's easier than a phone call and a way to be in touch on a whim.

We send nephew postcards once in a while and he loves it. If you've got younger family member here, maybe you could have a postcard swap. Getting post is cool, especially as a kid.

If they can't or won't visit you in the US, could you plan a get together in a third country? Iceland is a good middle point. Having an experience outside of either countries could make some great memories.

I feel for you, MC. Being away from family is rough, especially when you like them. ;)
July 2012 - Fiancée Visa | Nov 2012 - Married
Dec 2012 - FLR | Nov 2014 - ILR | Dec 2015 - UK Citizen


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Re: Sad.
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2017, 07:34:17 PM »
Big hugs!

We use Whatsapp which is great.  You can do group texts too which is fun.

Do they have smartphones?  I only ask as it seems like they don't like Skype.  We all have Apple products so we do iCloud Photo Sharing.  Our families love it!  It's much more intimate than social media and no need to worry about security settings.

And I'm going to ask... is staying in the US really the right choice? 


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Re: Sad.
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2017, 02:21:38 PM »


And I'm going to ask... is staying in the US really the right choice?

Was going to ask this as well...Sounds like it might be something worth re-evaluating :(

Is there no way for you both to get job offers that will at least do the job as a starting point back in the UK?
My, how time flies....


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Re: Sad.
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2017, 11:54:42 PM »
Missing family can really suck, but I have to wonder if your happiness is really worth the job for which you'd be staying in the US. I had a traumatic incident in my life where I had to watch a man die at my old job (mind you, I didn't know he'd die at the moment, but did when he was at the hospital less than an hour later), but after that, I evaluate everything in my life based on this one event. Time is SO precious, like you said. Every moment in life is precious, and some of us take it for granted. I'd say, do what makes YOU and your family the happiest. I know it can be the harder choice, the choice that doesn't seem to make sense in your mind, but it makes sense in your heart. That man didn't know when he was eating breakfast with his family that morning that that would be the last time.
Met online: 2000
Met in real life: 2006
Married: 2010
Oct 13, 2017: Husband left for UK


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Re: Sad.
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2018, 03:33:18 PM »
It's a few months later and guess what? I still feel the exact same way. I know how to stay content in my life here for the most part, I'm busy and I have hobbies. But I'm still missing my UK people almost constantly.

I have to say you people get it like nobody else does, thank you all. I like the suggestion of WhatsApp. Now if only I could actually convince a few more of them to actually make use of their phones, haha. That's one of my problems, they aren't very reachable on a regular basis. I loved Christmas because it was an excuse to write to them more, send and receive cards and packages, but now that's already over. I do send cards with photos every so often and they do write back. It's better than nothing for now, but sadly it makes me miss them even more.

It's so hard to feel so separated from your people. The usual response from people who don't quite get it is just to "create my own family" of people here. But that's a little hard to do from scratch in my 30s. People aren't replaceable. Nobody I just met now could possibly make me miss my UK family less.

My heart is still saying we need to be where we feel at home, which is the UK. It would be amazing to have a big, trusted support network of family and friends around us again. To have happy holiday family get togethers, instead of just DH and me sitting by ourselves alone in the house, skyping people year after year.

Of course there's that usual worry about uprooting our settled life here, leaving schools and jobs and house and cars etc. A lot of people would say I'd be crazy for doing that because we have a fairly unstressful life. And even though I've lived in the UK before and know exactly what to expect down to the tiniest details, there's also that worry that I'll just be creating new problems for myself. (Homesickness I didn't expect, regrets, etc.) But aren't people the most important thing of all in life? Doesn't having the support of loving people around make up for just about anything? I am severely lacking that, even while on the surface everything seems pretty fine.

My DH is thankfully still completely open to doing whatever makes sense. We both think we have it pretty good here, but he agrees it's lonely as hell. I think we'll have a better idea what to do in the spring. Right now I'm leaning toward the "you only live once" option. I'm so lucky I even have the opportunity to live in the UK and I know I would be devastated if I never took advantage of that. We've put in a decade here, maybe it's time to take a few risks and try it out over there finally. (At least we'll have the support system in place for our adjustment period.)
UK 2003 --> US 2006 --> UK 2018ish
21-jun-17 - applied for kids' UK passports
06-jul-17 - received kids' UK passports


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Re: Sad.
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2018, 12:47:47 AM »
Morecoffee - I can completely relate to what you are feeling. I met my husband when I moved to the UK on a work Visa in 1998. I immediately bonded with his entire family and made lifelong friends. All my major life milestones occurred over the seven years that we lived there: marriage, first house, children and to me the UK has always felt like my true home. We came back to the States in 2005. My husband wanted a change and I was hoping that my kids could have a closer relationship with my mom (wishful thinking as it ends up!). I didn't really want to come back to the States, but we did it and to this day I wish that we hadn't or at least that we had gone back sooner.

In the past 12 years we have only been able to go back 3 times - once was for my FIL funeral so not the greatest visit. There have been visits from family members but I miss seeing them on a regular basis.

I facetime and call my friends and there's Facebook, but I miss my close knit circle of girlfriends in the UK.  We all had our babies together (met through Parent Craft) and I have missed them terribly!

I guess what I'm trying to say is that you should really consider what your heart is telling you. If we had listened to my heart, we may not have left the UK in the first place and certainly would have come back within the 2 year limit ( I had an ILR at the time we left but didn't know it would become null and void after 2 years outside the UK  :()

We sort of felt stuck in the US - both my husband and I were working full time and making decent money, the kids were entrenched in school (although not particularly happy). We visited last summer for my MIL 70th birthday and it was an amazing trip. That is when I sat my family down and said "we have got to move back to the UK". They all agreed and so we have been planning ever since with the hope that we will all be back in Summer 2018. 

I guess what I'm saying in a really long winded way is - follow your heart. When I read your last post it was like reading my own thoughts. So many times I regret our move back to the States. I feel like we ripped the kids away from a very loving and involved support system of friends and family and plopped them into a no mans land here in California. My brothers and sisters live all over the world and I have a very strained relationship with my mom. I thought that could be remedied when we came back, but after 12 years that hasn't happened and it never will (she is 82 after all!). I almost feel guilty for taking my kids away from my husband's parents because they loved my kids so much.

My son is already living with my MIL in the UK and attending school. He is 14 years old and in Year 9.  He is loving it - made tons of friends and is thoroughly enjoying school.  He's even preparing for the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Medal challenge, doing 2.5k Park Runs and 20 mile bike rides every weekend.  This is a kid who hated school in Cali and spent most of his time on a computer.  Anyway, to say I can't wait to get back to the UK is an understatement.  It's been a year in the planning and my husband is going there in April to follow up on some job leads. I am crossing my fingers that he comes back with a job offer so I can apply for my Spouse Visa upon his return.

Is starting over scary? Yes! But it is so totally worth it when you have love and support. I hope that everything works out for you. Follow your heart and best of luck!
Moved from Cali to UK 1998
Married to UK Citizen 2000
ILR granted in 2002
Moved back to Cali 2005
Starting from scratch with Spousal VISA for move back to UK Summer 2018


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Re: Sad.
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2018, 04:16:24 PM »
Wow.  I'm reading these posts and am sitting here nodding in agreement whilst I read.

I haven't been on this forum for a while, as I try to keep myself focused on our life here in the US and not get caught up in thinking about moving back to the UK.  But I completely identify with these posts.

DH is back in the UK for a family funeral.  It completely brings it home to me how precious our time is and how there are no guarantees.   I couldn't join him on this trip for several reasons - time off work, $$ for tickets, responsibilities here - and it's been torture not being able to be with him for support.  I'm also missing out on the family getting together; there's extended family attending that he hasn't seen in +20 years and I've never met.  I'm simply gutted not to be there.

Quick recap: I'm USC, we met in 2004 online and in 2005 he proposed.  We originally planned for him to move to the US but back then the Visa to get married in the UK was far quicker and cheaper so I moved to the UK and we were married there whilst we planned our move to the US.  We ended up staying a couple of years before moving to the US.  By then I had fallen in love with the UK and didn't want to go, but DH had his heart set on living here.  We moved as it was only fair that he have the chance to try life here.  I have always wanted to move back but have understood that he was happy here (at first) Then it became us wanting to get him USC so he could have dual citizenship.  Now he has that. 

We've only been back twice but both times we returned wanting to move back to the UK.  The first time we simply couldn't afford to move.  The last time was September and we started making a 10-year plan to move.  Not fast enough for me, but hubby wants to move back with a large amount of savings so we can buy outright. Plus we have a business here and it isn't so easy to just pick up and leave.  If we wait 10 years and save we can retire early.  If we move now, it means finding work and deciding if we want to re-start our business from scratch there.  Starting over at 50 is a very scary thought.

His parents visit us every other Christmas and sometimes in between.  I really cherish those visits but know as they get older it's more difficult for them to travel so much.  I'm really scared about their health and us not being there for them.  We've watched his nieces and nephews grow up on Facebook.  His brother's partner has MS and has severely deteriorated since our last visit in 2009. 

We've missed SO MUCH. 

There's no easy answers and it's all very specific to each situation what the right choices are, but it's just so refreshing to hear others voicing the same feelings.  We do not have a close circle of friends here.  But we are still constantly in touch with friends from the UK, and when we were visiting this fall it was so nice to have that instant sense of belonging.  Just sitting in friends' living room chatting about nonsense felt so comfortable and right.

I don't know if this time with his family will make him want to bring forward our eventual move back.  I hope so; as I've told him many times I would live in a caravan with him as long as we're together.  Material things don't matter.  Even he agrees that the house, cars, etc here don't make us happy.  But actually taking the plunge and selling up here to move is scary.  At least in the UK we would have a better safety net.

I guess I'm just rambling, but I can't express how happy I am to know that I'm not alone in this conflict.

Keep Calm And Carry On


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