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Starting afresh in Berliner Umland

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My wife and kids are moving back to be near her parents in the MOL area of Brandenburg.  We’ve yoyoed between the UK and DE already before, I’m from the UK and met my wife in the early 2000’s in the UK.  We moved to DE in 2007 and returned to UK in 2012 - whilst in DE before I worked in IT in Berlin in an English work environment.  I’d say my German is reasonable for day-to-day but not business or social settings capable.   The decision to move again after 6 years in the UK has been driven by my wife and has largely been as a result of some relationship issues, and for my wife, a desire to be back close to her family.  I’m planning on staying in the UK to sort out house stuff etc. but am now really struggling with the thought of following them back to DE and living my time out there.  The relationship issues compound things obviously, as do my kids, and I do question would whether I’d be so troubled over moving if things were rosier.

 

What I’m asking about here then is what prospects do I have outside of my family life to make a go of it in DE?

 

I am frustrated at my German language skills – I’d want to do some quality language training. My German is better than I probably believe but I’m hard on myself there and find it a big confidence issue.  I have a reasonable social life here, and the thoughts of even getting to grips with that in a German environment fill me with dread as I’m not a naturally outgoing person anyway, and to try that in German...

 

Employment – I have a job I really enjoy here in the UK that uses my skills well – and it’s not in IT.  What prospects are there for me to get a job in DE?  I seriously don’t want to go back to IT and the thought of an hour’s commute into Berlin is not my cup of tea in the slightest. Plus, I’m getting on – mid-40’s so I guess I may not be the best prospect for some? That’s before I start to worry about any Brexit effect.

 

We’d have a sizeable chunk of money from our house sale, so would look to buy a house – but prices aren’t what they were in DE anymore so I do worry about that too in terms of mortgage etc.

 

There are more thoughts swimming in my head at the moment but these are a starter for ten.  I'd appreciate any thoughts that folks may have...

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Can't your wife support you?  She's the one who wants to move back and the German, and women are a key part of the labour market here.    If she's going to move back anyway and with kids, how is she intending to provide?   The cost of you on top won't be that much more.   That's is surely the most obvious solution.  Specific prospects might depend on exactly where she intends.  There's a surprising number of people come here and set out this scenario - being expected to move here by a local who seems to have zero interest in how you will all manage here of to make any effort to tell you even the basics. (I did move here for a partner and he definitely knew how to set up a life for me, and how to earn a living).

 

I would say your prospects of employment here are not that great and, as you say, who needs the commute (although you may not even find Berlin that easy to enter anyway).   Do you still have contact?     You may though have alternatives.  I've moved back east of Berlin part time after a long time away.  I work for myself and I do international work, and so does my partner.   The basic tech is all I need.   Location independence is suddenly now here big time, and I expect a lot more people to make the most of that in the next decade.  In a strange way, it boosted my career.  Forced me out of the rat race and out of routine middle management that I can no longer fixer to a place routinely.  In the making the decision, I saw senior consultancy work (with travel or away assignments as needed) as by far my best option.   And it's worked.   I can go to  UK (or other) clients for projects and put the cost of  a hotel in the day rate.  Plus of course I did become bilingual etc which also helped. Perhaps that's an option?

 

The other thing I would say is that if we don't restrict ourselves to a house for a home, our options and financial prospects are often far better.    I'd have struggled (or made some collosal unpleasant compromise about location) if I had expected to buy a whole house (the land to myself).  Or possibly even buying?  Patterns are changing but many CEOs I worked for here have never owned property and never will.  Another thing to consider is it could be possible to build yourself, if not working.  That's how I've always got my property here.  It is effectively a way foreigners can use their time to earn money (and buying at lower price).  I knew when moving back to Berlin that building would more than pay back my time.

 

Can you really not consider Berlin itself, or adjoining Brandenberg locales?   On on the way to her parents?  Many of the outer districts are still a relative bargain.

 

Germany is an individualist nation as as such very good for those of us who are "not naturally outgoing", in my view.    It's a very good nation for the self-contained.   I just get on with being "less outgoing".  It's also probably helpful in that I prioritise my time to do what I want in my family, career and property (as above).   And nobody here cares if I am not at their party or event, or employed by them.   I'm really not that special.  They can manage without me.  While I get on managing the best life here for me and my family.

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I really hate to be the one to say this, but it's important you think about it. How bad are your relationship issues?

 

There are numerous stories on this forum (check out the Legal subforum) of men who have come here with/for their German partner, only to have their wife leave them.  The foreign spouse is then effectively stuck in Germany because of the kids. It would be much harder for her to leave if you were still in the UK. You could be left alone and even more unhappy, particularly if you don't want to go back into IT work.   

 

You love your job right now, why are you prepared to give that up? Is it worth the cost to you? Do you have to live out in the sticks? Living in Berlin would give you a comparatively better chance at a job and your wife is still much closer to her parents than if she was in England. I would only consider moving if you are actually happy to do so, as right now you don't seem to want to, and you being unhappy is not going to make those relationship problems go away, it is more likely to compound them.

 

I would think very very carefully about making a decision to move back to Germany, as I can see this potentially ending very unhappily for you.

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1 hour ago, Big_Bill said:

My wife and kids are moving back to be near her parents in the MOL area of Brandenburg. 

 

Why are you agreeing to let your wife move with your kids to the middle of nowhere. For some reason German women seem to want to run back to their parents if their marriage is on the rocks, which generally screws over their husband (it is unfortunately a common problem posted here).

 

Edit: @evildudette was quicker and more eloquent. 

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Depending on where you live in the UK, moving to the sticks could be a difficult transition for the kids, too. As the Berliners say, MOL is JWD (janz weit draussen).

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35 minutes ago, engelchen said:

 

Why are you agreeing to let your wife move with your kids to the middle of nowhere.

 

He doesn't mention the B***** word but it's clear from the usual sources (media, twitter etc) that some Germans aren't waiting around to lose EU freedoms and be marginalised, and are already moving back.   If I had a rocky marriage there and only 6 years time there, it'd hardly help persuade me my future (posssibly single) was in the UK.  Why would I? To do my ex a favour?

 

And, even with local family, the poster also needs to consider that moving here again will be different because of Brexit, especially if the relationship may not last.  Particularly if no deal (and possibly with), we are not hearing much positive about our transition to possibly being 3rd party nationals if we have fewe residency rights.  

 

Even after the great support I got,  that relationship I mentioned fell apart pretty fast :(.     But the lifestyle was good enough to draw me here too and it was easy to build a life pre-crash (good work, cheap property etc).     As I mentioned on the other thread though, the extent of the effort I had to make does make me question if it was worth it per se?   We need some sort of return for sure.  Family for OP I assume.  (New partner, property gains, prosperous locale riding tech boom allow me to have a rosy view). 

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