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Topic: I can't go on much longer like this - torn between two places constantly.  (Read 875 times)

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I'm sorry for the dramatic title, but I have been feeling so lost and in limbo for the last 5 years and I think I've reached a breaking point.

I'm the American, spouse is British. We married a little over 5 years ago and I moved to the UK - at the time, the plan was that my husband would finish up his master's degree,  and then we'd move back to the US.

Obviously that hasn't happened. We've always had a vague future plan of moving back to the US, but our deadlines kept getting pushed back for various reasons. Now, we've set another deadline for early next year, and are making plans to apply for his visa.

And I feel like I'm going to explode. I actually like living in the UK. I didn't think I would, but I've adjusted to life here. It feels familiar and comfortable. I have friends. I have a job I like. We're close to husband's family, which is important.

HOWEVER - I still feel as though part of me is being pulled to the US. I have a very small, very close family (only child, no cousins). A couple of very close family members are currently living with terminal illnesses, and I'm devastated that I'm not there to be with them while they're still healthy enough. I don't just want to be there "at the end." I miss my family terribly. My mother makes me feel so guilty for not being there, it's tearing me up inside.

Career wise, I'm at a standstill. Without going into specifics, where I am now (quite isolated part of the UK) there is literally zero progression possible for my career. I'm stuck in a rut and I want out. I'm 30 years old, and nowhere near where I thought I'd be a this point in my life. If we move back home, I'd have more opportunities for advancement.

Husband doesn't really want to go, I can tell. That was the original plan and he's "honoring" it, but he doesn't want to. He'll miss his family. That tears me up too. I can't stand the thought of him missing them, not watching his nieces grow up. It huts as much as me missing out on time with my family. How the hell do you cope with this? How do you make such a decision?

Everyone keeps saying "just do what's best for you and him/your lives/etc" but that doesn't seem to work in my real world. I don't know what's best. I want to be with my family. I want him to be with his. I want to live here without guilt. I want my family members to be healthy and not dying. I want to go home more than once per year. I want my family to visit ME (nobody can because of illnesses, it's always on me to go back to the US).

I want to advance in my career. I want a master's degree. But my particular degree/qualifications would not transfer internationally. How do I know which degree and qualification to get, if I don't know which country I'm going to be living in???

I'm so stuck and frazzled and sad and stressed and I feel like I've been in limbo the last 5 years - having this vague plan of moving back to America hanging over my head has meant that I never fully settled here. If I had, maybe I would've just gone to university here. Maybe I'd be further along in my career.

And what about kids? I'd rather raise children in the UK than in the US. I'd rather have the NHS. I'd want my kids to be close to husband's family, because they have little ones for them to play with. We have no children in my tiny family. But my mom tells me that if we had kids, it would "destroy her" because she'd be so far away. And I know that to be true, because family means everything to her. And I'm an only child, so she'd have no other grandchildren.

I'm sorry this is all over the place, this is how my head feels every day. I don't know what to do, I'm seriously not coping with this stress at all. Some days I wish I hadn't been such a dumbass 18 year old thinking that a transatlantic relationship could work, that once we were together everything would be easy.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2019, 12:19:03 PM by ABC12345 »

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Wow.  Big hugs my dear!

I'm nearly 10 years in here in the UK.  It does help that I moved for work and not "for someone" as it was 100% my decision.  I just didn't plan to get a life sentence.   ;)

I can relate to a LOT of what you've written.  We had a date night last weekend (celebrating 7 years of marriage) and my husband asked how I thought life might be different in another 7 years.  I said, "Who knows.  We might be in the USA or contemplating a move."  And that was one of my things... if we *do* think we will move to the USA, would we regret not moving earlier?  I don't want to show up just in time for my parents to get proper elderly and not be around - I 100% get it!

What *does* bother me about your post is the guilt your mother is putting on you.  That's really not fair.  My parents aren't perfect, of course.  None are.  But my mom has never guilted me about not having her grandchildren next door.  May I ask what type of illness is physically preventing your mother from being able to travel? 

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How are you doing, ABC12345?

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