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anyone battled with the o/h to get them to go?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by senlady, Mar 20, 2016.

  1. senlady

    senlady Senior commenter

    My husband has big reservations and wants answers to every minute detail while I am much more gut instinct 'let's do it, it'll be great, you can never plan every detail'. He has really decided NO but I desperately want to go. I am concerned about digging my heels in, dragging him (and kids) along and spending two yrs with him (potentially) miserable.

    So anyone dragged an unwilling other half who has then loved it?
  2. Roseea123

    Roseea123 New commenter

    No experience but what we've done is sat down and weighed up the options. Looked at pros and cons and it all steers towards going, if we don't then we haven't lost nor gained. If we go we can either come back to normality or love it and never regret it, maybe never return. Either way means we have to give it a go as there's nothing to lose. Especially as our home will not be let out until we are certain we want to stay for the duration.
  3. senlady

    senlady Senior commenter

    We have written list after list but lots of his cons are my pros and lots of others are impossible to ensure they will be resolved but I'm fairly certain they can be. Furthermore some of them (I feel) are so un predictable and even if we stayed here for 2 yrs we can't know for sure what that will bring.
  4. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    Hi. Sorry to hear that. We were fortunate in that we were both ready for the change. I have known couples where one party was very against the move and it was a mixed bag. In general, most people will see what they are looking for and so the unwilling/reluctant partner will see everything thorough a filter that confirms that it was a bad idea (because the alternative is that they would have to admit that they were wrong).

    I have known one or two cases where it turned out great and the reluctant one became they biggest convert to teaching abroad. Only you can know which seems more likely with your doubting thomas. It is a bit more muddled if you are going to be the breadwinner and he is going to be the trailing spouse.
  5. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    If you desperately want to go, then surely staying behind will make you miserable? Neither of you can dig your heels in over this; you will have to seek a compromise somehow.

    Could you go out there alone for a set amount of time and 'report back' on all the issues he is concerned about, so that he can make an informed judgement? I know of several teachers who have done this, although none with children (but perhaps that's because I don't know many teachers with children).

    Could you go out there together for a set amount of time, on the understanding that husband (and children) can leave before the two years is up, if they are really unhappy? Or you could agree to break contract after a year if your family are really unhappy?
  6. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    I can't recommend agreeing to a get out of jail free card. If he goes expecting to hate it, he will. And we all know about culture shock, which guarantees you will ALL hate it at certain points.

    I suggest you work together to identify the values underlying your different desires. Are you prioritizing the values of adventure and novelty, while he is valuing stability and predictability? If you can hone in on your respective values, you might then be able to identify alternate ways to achieve them. There's more than one way to achieve novelty, after all. Same with stability.
    Respect is very important here. What's more important, your marriage or an overseas adventure?
  7. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    I would agree that is not an easy situation either way. Most people who go overseas to teach are really excited about going and that enthusiasm/adventure lust can carry you through some rough spots. Even when the honeymoon period is over, some of that good vibe can carry over to the location/lifestyle. If you are starting out with no sense of excitement and no honeymooner warm feelings, then it is likely to end in tears for someone.

    As has been pointed out however, staying put when you have the yen to leave (and a good opportunity) is also tough to swallow without residual resentment/discontent. I have been places where I would have been happy to stay for another year but my spouse was ready to move on and even in that situation we could not be completely at peace with the situation. Eventually that did drive us to find the "perfect" situation for everyone so it turned out well in the end. Every day is not perfect but we are very happy with the big picture and so the small problems and annoyances don't really put us off very much.

    Keep trying to find common ground but it may end up being a longer term goal/plan then you would like. You can also keep searching for a different/better opportunity that may be less objectionable for him.
  8. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    Is he against going abroad totally or is it just this place in particular? I was the trailing 'spouse' coming here with my partner, and while I didn't regret it at all, I can see that if we were going somewhere that might be 'remote' I would've worried about what I would do there. I don't think it would have stopped me from going as I had itchy feet too but I would have had to think about it a bit before saying yes.

    Not knowing you personally or your husband, it's hard to know what advice to give. What do your kids think? Surely it's a decision you should all make together. I remember when my parents moved us from Cyprus to Syria without at least talking to us about it and I was so upset. I loved Syria in the end but I was so angry not to have been consulted.

    Sorry.... not sure any of that is helpful.

    IAMBOG New commenter

    The first time I brought it up was in a pub in 2006. We weren't even teachers (although we had taught ESL in Asia years before). Our lives were going nowhere fast, but she wasn't convinced we should get qualified and move back overseas. I had to do an extra year of uni before they would let me into the B.Ed. program, and she didn't agree to follow me into the program until I was halfway through it. She did it the year after me.

    We're moving to our third international school in August and there's no way we are ever going back. We are of the same mindset now, but there was plenty of debate / arguments when we started out on this track. I will say this though, I would not have moved overseas unless we were both teaching. It just would not have been worthwhile for us.
  10. migratingbird

    migratingbird Occasional commenter

    Is there a specific location/school? Will you both be working or only you? I agree with those above who say if he goes with a negative attitude, then he will see everything as negative. And he won't trust your judgement on things as he knows you will be gunning to stay. I'm thinking, would it be possible to set up a conversation for him with someone in the location where you would like to go who he could talk about practicalities with? A neutral party, who would be able to give him honest feedback about the good and the bad?
    ejclibrarian likes this.
  11. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

  12. senlady

    senlady Senior commenter

    Thanks all for your responses. It has been really useful to read them. I totally agree that if he was completely negative it would result in a negative time but he has been blowing VERY hot and then FREEZING cold over the whole thing. Partly over where we are going, partly over going anywhere and partly over him not having a job there. We have discussed and discussed and discussed and he concluded that many of his reservations are things we just cannot 'know' about and sometimes you just have to take a leap. He has lined up and interview but it is a bit of a wait and we are waiting to hear if the offer I have can remain open until he has been interviewed. If we both have work we are now a definite yes!
    ejclibrarian likes this.
  13. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    I'll keep my fingers crossed for the job for him! I do think you'll love it once you're there. Good luck and keep us updated!
    senlady likes this.
  14. senlady

    senlady Senior commenter

    I too feel sure we will love it, the fear of the 'unknown' will always be hard but I feel it will suit us very well. Thanks
    ejclibrarian likes this.
  15. walkingfred

    walkingfred Occasional commenter

    I have wanted to live in Asia since I read 'Memoirs of a Geisha' and 'Wild Swans' when I was about 17. I had kind of put it out of my mind once I started teaching, and had got a HoD post, but when we had a personal tragedy and I knew I just couldn't handle the stress of 'real life' anymore, I decided I was going, with or without OH.
    In the end, we went to Korea, because OH is not a qualified teacher, but he could work there with just a degree.
    Neither of us knew much about Korea. We were living just outside Seoul, and had an amazing time. It was the best year of my life. I made amazing friends, learnt so much about myself, got to travel around Asia, picked up some of the language, worked with some incredible kids: basically our quality of life was so much better over there, and as a result, we were both so much happier.
    We are now thinking about going again. OH is quite happy to be the 'trailing spouse', because he knows that I will not be working 15 hour days and that my stress levels will go down, and again, that our quality of life will be better.
    We have an exit plan, in that if he hates it or can't find work, he will come home. Terms are only 8-10 weeks long- we can see each other in holidays. That would still be more time than we spend together now!
    If he is still really apprehensive and unsure, get him to get in touch with people living in the area your job is in, and get them to help settle his anxieties. There are lots of Facebook groups. The more information he has, the more informed his decision will be, and he might feel more in control, rather than feeling 'dragged'.
    Good luck with it :)
  16. senlady

    senlady Senior commenter

    With smalls in the mix pulling the 'with or without you' card is really not fair. We can't have a trailing spouse, in order to afford it we both need work. We have an exit plan, I have checked we can break the contract if utterly miserable.

    With it being a very small community seeking opinions from those there is tricky as we will be 100% identifiable once there as potentially 'the ones who weren't sure about coming'!

    It's a minefield ;)

    As you may have seem in another post we have stepped forward a little bit in our limbo!
    kitkatscotia likes this.

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