Moving for significant other

82 posts in this topic

Posted

I was wondering, who here has moved to Germany (or anywhere) for their spouse/partner? How did you feel about the move? Did you have any interest in Germany prior to the move? Did you have to give up a good career or job? Do you hold any animosity over the move?

I ask because I may have to choose between staying in Germany, where I moved solely because of my own personal goals, and leaving Germany for another country to be with a girl I fell in love with (of course, she knows this! ;) ). It's still very up in the air, but I have a feeling that if I want to be with them, I will not be in Germany in one year.

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Posted

I met my current wife in Japan. We dated 4.5yr, then I moved to a job in the UK. We married straight and she followed me, she had to leave family, job, friends, country. She had never been abroad before and her English was very limited. We would have married anyway, but actually without marriage she would have not been entitled to visa.

Now I'm changing job and moving from UK to DE, wife and daughter coming with me. We are a family of three, with three different native languages, and none of us know any German.

Moving is hard, I know it better than anyone else.

Good luck, you have my sympathy.

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Posted

These are some awesome stories, thanks guys.

Just to expand, my story is a bit similar to these. I met her while I was job scouting/holidaying in Germany/Austria and she was on a 20-month world travel adventure. It was on one of those touristy beer hall tours in Munich and managed to meet up again in Vienna for a few days. We've kept in touch ever since then and traveled more together after I moved to Germany. She's now gone back to Australia three months ago and I'm gonna go for a 3 week visit in May. It'll be a year since we met and we'll probably have to make a decision who moves to where (possibly both of us to a 3rd country).

I don't mind moving for her. She makes the worst days great and the good days unforgettable. It's a question of admitting that I might have to cut short my goals in Germany/Europe and start fresh. For once, I'd be doing something that doesn't guarantee it will be beneficial to my career. I worry, after how much my German family helped me so much and how I previously intended to make Germany my home. I worry its a bit of backpedaling.

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Posted

Gemini - as someone who moved here 2 years ago, with crap German and few job opportunities (newly qualified lawyer), your post put a smile on my face. When it's worth it, it's worth it, even with the cultural isolation, less-than-perfect career opportunities, and everything else that comes with moving to Germany for love.

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Posted

I came here for a year in 2005 on an expat contract from my London office.

Extended for a year to experience the WM2006 live.

Met my now wife that summer, extended another year to stay with her.

After three years I needed to 'go local' or go home. I decided to go local, again to stay with my love.

The reason we finally decided to stay here was baby#1. Wife was offered a job in London about the same time we found out she was pregnant. We decided it was better for her to have her baby here rather than in London plus as a place to bring up our family, the Rhein-Main area is better in many respects to commuter-belt London, plus family (hers) are here.

So, I guess I stayed here for love, rather than moved here for love.

When I think of my career I sometimes wonder about the better opportunities I would have had in London, but then I have to consider that I would not be moving there alone. :)

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Posted

I didn't move for my wife, but I stayed here for my wife. Well, actually I stayed for the beer, the wife was a bonus.

Same here. I moved here because that's how things worked out job-wise, I'm staying because of the GerMan.

Beer doesn't enter into the equation, but a good Fränkische Weißwein... that's another story. ;)

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Posted

I've recently moved to Freising to attempt a life with a lady here, and so far I like the place but I'm in need of work to continue life here. Hopefully all will go well, but I would also like to meet English speaking ex pats in the area to socialise with and learn more about life for an ex pat in Germany. I came across this site by pure accident, so I will cross my fingers that I'll meet some nice folk here and find out some good info to be able to make some positive moves here. At the very least, it would be nice to make new friends I can connect with.

Cheers all.

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Posted

I am in my 4th country with MrD, none of which I ever expected to live in. Always wanted to go somewhere Spanish speaking - have not managed it yet. Have, however, enjoyed all of our adventures. Miss having had a career of my choice, but have stumbled across other opportunities and projects along the way which have variously been, enthralling, infuriating, well paying, non paying and soul destroying. I don't regret it.

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Met my wife while she was Erasmus and I was doing my Masters' in Norway. Been here now 2,5 years. Careerwise I don't think I'd be much worse or much better if I were home, socially things are getting better with time (the first couple of years were sh... in this sense), and of course I miss my family and friends. However, I am very happy with my German wife. I wouldn't change it!

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L O V E puts a rose tint on ones worldview, my advice- approach it with both Heart and Head ie if this person is THE ONE for you and they feel the same, that's the heart part sorted. As for hard part (head) - look at all the facts to make an informed decision.

I'm Australian, met my German partner in China (both on work assignments there) and moved to Germany as I could rent my house out FF(Real Estate agent takes care of everything) and got a 3 year leave without pay from my university and flexible Superannuation (pension) plan. Fact checking showed Germany was booming and desperately needed skilled professionals, English native speaker a bonus. Didn't speak a word of German either but had 5 other languages under my belt. Did a CELTA (English Teaching) course as a safety net.

My partner is an Industrial Engineer in Auto Industry, spoke limited English. - Aust has limited opportunties and most importantly MIL lives alone and needs our support.

Rude awakening in Germany: cold weather, even colder people, limited (low pay) opportunities for overseas qualified not to mention a Democracy and Civil Service which would have seemed antiquated 100 years ago )admittedly by my standards.

4yrs later am still here, speak German to C1, found some of the warm people in the populus, have held a senior management role with EMEA responsibilities, worse off in career and finance but still madly in love and happy.

Enough of my 5 million and 0.02c, her are some things to consider:

Visa/Citizenship - Oz: very difficult but clear cut and transparent. De: dependent on the state, mood of the beamter and resources to engage a good immigration lawyer. easy to impossible

Career- What quals, skills including leadership & language you have. check out monster.de or seek.com.au to determine demand and pay scales.

Finances- Apart from pay vs cost of living (Oz is expensive Au$3.65 for 1L milk, rent, eating out, etc but pay rates are very good), health insurance (Oz: free public universal cover, private gives you a tax break), superannuation/pension, hobbies, school/university (you and future children , etc, etc

Lifestyle - Oz: 300+ days of warm sunshine in Qld + give or take a few cyclones or floods. De: what can i say

Oz: Easy going laid back lifestyle and (work) culture.

Culture: Gruen Tranfer or Wetten Das?

Leisure activities:wind surfing or winter skiing? Food: Schnitzel or Asian Fusion, Weissbier or Antipodean Red.

Holidays 4wks annual leave vs 6 weeks but in Oz possible to save up for a 10 wk block of holiday or leave without pay.

De: almost impossible to get a block of more than 2 wks off. Career break for study/travel unheard of.

East Asia or South Pacific for short breaks vs Paris, Amsterdam, Firenze, London,etc

Alps or beaches, rainforest, new world or old world arts and history, etc, etc.

Family- existing relations and future family life if kids come along. Devils advocate - what if things go pear shaped in the future.

I'm sure family and friends and other TTers can offer more suggestions. I wish you both all the very best of luck. At the end of the day you and yours should teogether decide what's important for you in life and love

Thanks for your insight into Australia. I've never been there, and I'm only slightly worried that when I do visit her and the family, I might not like it (however unlikely that sounds!). I'm not picky about where I live... it's just the worry of the decision being further complicated if I have to choose her despite location and career.

The good news is, I doubt I'll dislike it by any means. I'm actually quite a bit more mobile than her career-wise, but she's as equally willing to move for me as I am for her. It's a matter of practicality. I'm an engineer and I feel quite confident I can find work anywhere. She works with the Oz gov't and she isn't too mobile, but might be if she switches careers or returns to school (as currently in planning). Visa-wise, the problem is likely the short term. Long term, if things go well, visas are quite simple. I'm a dual Canadian-German citizen and she's Australian, so that's a lot of countries we can work in. Short term, it looks as though Australia stopped their skilled worker visas for the time being, so it might not be super easy for me to get in. There's also the option of returning to Canada, which would thrill my family.

Anyway, I'm glad that this is common enough and some of you share the same thoughts I have. Bit relieved no one is passing judgement! This is an entirely new situation for me.

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Posted

I moved here for my boyfriend-now-husband. I did not speak German or have any preconceived notions about Germans or Germany. The most I knew (or even cared to know) about this country was vaguely where to find it on a map.

My husband is a wonderfully caring, loving and affectionate person, without whose support I don't think I would/could have stuck it out here otherwise. First because Germany wouldn't have mattered to me on its own, and second, because like MrsD I always fantasized about living somewhere else (preferably French-speaking, but Spanish or British English would have also done in a pinch). I'd STILL prefer to live among a different people (I more or less tolerate most Germans even on a good day :o ), but I've also found my place in a great town. I think, if you like the place in which you live and the one you're with, you'll be OK. Try to live in a city you enjoy--I don't think I would have stayed this long had we lived in a small, conservative town somewhere.

One thing is for sure: I would never, ever, do it again for another person. You're about the age I was when I moved here, I think (I had just turned 25, and had made the decision to come while I was still 24) and so it's OK to do once when you're young, or maybe once when you've lived a nice full life doing all the things you want to do. But the amount of compromise and adjustment required would be far too exhausting for me to do anytime again in the next 30 years or so I think. Just saying--go for it, but maybe be a bit sure about it, because it can take a lot out of you.

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Posted

Great post, bethk, very honest. I've been in your shoes. I had the chance to say no to the move to Germany, but I deferred to my husband's career... Luckily for me, we made it back to the States.

Anyway, my advice to you [based on certain red flags in your post which were in my marriage] is not to have any more kids. ;)

mutual disrespect of certain aspects of our respective countries.

At some point, this needs to stop. For us, it took counseling!

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Thanks for your insight into Australia. I've never been there, and I'm only slightly worried that when I do visit her and the family, I might not like it (however unlikely that sounds!). I'm not picky about where I live... it's just the worry of the decision being further complicated if I have to choose her despite location and career. The good news is, I doubt I'll dislike it by any means. I'm actually quite a bit more mobile than her career-wise, but she's as equally willing to move for me as I am for her. It's a matter of practicality. I'm an engineer and I feel quite confident I can find work anywhere. She works with the Oz gov't and she isn't too mobile, but might be if she switches careers or returns to school (as currently in planning). Visa-wise, the problem is likely the short term. Long term, if things go well, visas are quite simple. I'm a dual Canadian-German citizen and she's Australian, so that's a lot of countries we can work in. Short term, it looks as though Australia stopped their skilled worker visas for the time being, so it might not be super easy for me to get in. There's also the option of returning to Canada, which would thrill my family. Anyway, I'm glad that this is common enough and some of you share the same thoughts I have. Bit relieved no one is passing judgement! This is an entirely new situation for me.

Hi Truemana, no worries mate! That's Aussie for nichts zu danken :)

Just a thought: if she's a civil servant, she may be able to take study leave and attend uni in Germany for a fraction of the cost in Australia. At the same time if you focussed on a career with a German company that has a presence in Australia (Siemens, DB Schenker, Dräger, etc) you may be able to move to Aust. as an expat at the end of her studies. Gives both of you a lot of options with the benefit of "on the ground" experience in both countries.

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Posted

I moved here for my boyfriend-now-husband. I did not speak German or have any preconceived notions about Germans or Germany. The most I knew (or even cared to know) about this country was vaguely where to find it on a map.

My husband is a wonderfully caring, loving and affectionate person, without whose support I don't think I would/could have stuck it out here otherwise. First because Germany wouldn't have mattered to me on its own, and second, because like MrsD I always fantasized about living somewhere else (preferably French-speaking, but Spanish or British English would have also done in a pinch). I'd STILL prefer to live among a different people (I more or less tolerate most Germans even on a good day ), but I've also found my place in a great town. I think, if you like the place in which you live and the one you're with, you'll be OK. Try to live in a city you enjoy--I don't think I would have stayed this long had we lived in a small, conservative town somewhere.

One thing is for sure: I would never, ever, do it again for another person. You're about the age I was when I moved here, I think (I had just turned 25, and had made the decision to come while I was still 24) and so it's OK to do once when you're young, or maybe once when you've lived a nice full life doing all the things you want to do. But the amount of compromise and adjustment required would be far too exhausting for me to do anytime again in the next 30 years or so I think. Just saying--go for it, but maybe be a bit sure about it, because it can take a lot out of you.

Cheers, Dessa.

As much as I moved to Germany in the most favourable of conditions (single, no kids, bit of cash, German passport, German family, desire to live here), I have to admit it was far from easy. I can totally understand how much more different it would be if it had been even slightly different, let alone to a place I wasn't completely enthusiastic to move to or if kids were involved.

I still have a lot I want to do and accomplish while I'm young, mostly involving travel and living/working in different places. Fortunately, one of the biggest reasons I've even considered this is because she's quite like me in our approaches to new things, culture, and travel. I don't have to stop traveling because of her; she'd be a great addition to the ride (or me to hers).

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There's also the enormous amount of energy we waste on "cultural misunderstanding" and mutual disrespect of certain aspects of our respective countries. He doesn't get all my jokes or my pop culture references. Sometimes I can't understand what my oldest is saying (my German is pretty good, but he's a true native). These little things eat at me.

We've been quite lucky in that way, in that I was here 5 years before the kids arrived, so with that extra time I could understand them just fine - after 20 years now I don't feel like I'm missing anything much. Also my husband doesn't have any gripes against the UK whatsoever or feel the need to defend his own country when I moan about it (which is increasingly rare anyway). He usually just takes it as a sign that I might appreciate a cup of tea. His pleasant nature means I'd look like an evil witch if I kept moaning all the time, a thought which encourages me to use a little more self-restraint than might come naturally :-)

I just don't believe there is one right person for everyone. When the magic and the romance fades, and you're left with the real situation you got yourself in (even if you still love the other person!) and the reality of it can leave you feeling a little stupid.

I said something very similar the other day - that 'duuuh' feeling! People change over time and you don't know what your partner might turn out to be like in another ten years. Mine turns out to be a really good catch, but it was only later that I appreciated what a risk I was taking, and how lucky I'd been. And even though I feel lucky I still feel stupid for not having realised what I was giving up.

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