I don’t want to lose my husband

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Dear Judy,

I don’t want to lose my husband

I am feeling unable to find a solution for my situation where I am now and wonder if you can help. I arrived in this country two years ago from Greece, together with my husband and two children, my daughter of 19 years and son who is 14. I found a job very quickly in banking but my husband decided, after 18 months in this country, to go back home. He couldn’t find a job and was unable to cope with a new life here.

I had insisted to come here and it pushed him out of his comfort zone, as he never liked the idea of living in London. When he lost his job in Greece, it allowed me to convince him to make the move for us to explore new and bigger opportunities in a new country. Sadly it did not work out as hoped for my husband and now my concern is that I am on my own with my son, who isn’t happy and has said that he wants to return to Greece to be with his father. My daughter adapted to life in this country very well and is at university.

The dilemma I have is that I don’t want to be parted from my son but don’t want to leave this country.

I have a good job, which gives me a great opportunity for my career and my future, but I am feeling very insecure and scared with these circumstances. I don’t have anyone to confide in about my situation.

I don’t know what will happen with my marriage, I feel guilty for my husband and I find it difficult to be a single mother in what still feels like a new country. I don’t want to lose my husband but he wants to stay in Greece (as he finally found a job there) and I don’t want to lose my job, career opportunities, and the prospect of a better life here.

What advice could you give me with my dilemma?

P.P

The important thing for you and your husband to do now is to keep communicating because there could be many different solutions to your present difficulties.

JUDY-PIATKUSDear P.P.

It is always hard to make a new life when you choose to move to a different country, and especially when your children are in their teens. In your case, the challenge has been greater because you and your husband felt pressured to come to London for financial reasons.

It is important not to regret that decision because when you decided to live abroad, you felt you were doing the best you could for everyone in your family. It was the right decision at the time.

Moving to a new country changes people. Some people thrive in the new atmosphere and love the exploration of a different way of life. Others feel homesick, cut off from their supportive networks and do not enjoy the challenge of exploring new places, making new friends or learning new languages.

The important thing for you and your husband to do now is to keep communicating because there could be many different solutions to your present difficulties. No blame should be attached to either of you and no one is at fault. Your husband tried to live in England but could not settle here as he did not find work and missed Greece. You love this new way of life but do not wish to be a single parent here.

The political and financial situation in Greece remains unsettled. There are other places where you might both choose to live and work, now that all of you understand your needs better. Neither you nor your husband has to make a decision immediately about anything.

Keep talking whether on face-time, by phone or by Skype. Take advantage of cheap flights to be with each other as much as you can. Involve each other in daily decisions that you would normally discuss when living together. Try to stay united in the face of the enormity of this challenge to your marriage. Reassure your son that you both want what is best for him and that all of you – your daughter included – will work together as a family to try to make the best decision for everyone involved. Take each day as it comes and do not rush to make any decisions.

If you can let go of the need for control and for instant answers, there are many different ways in which this situation may resolve itself. When we can be patient and strong and allow ourselves to surrender to forces greater than ourselves, life has a habit of helping us resolve our difficulties. I wish you all well.

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