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Old 10-30-2014, 12:21 AM
2 posts, read 1,348 times
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Hi there, we need some help deciding something that has plagued our marriage, and was unfortunately never even considered in our "Pre-marital counselling" course of 6 weeks!
My husband and I are from Australia and NZ. We have citizenship in both as do our young children. We met in Australia, returning to my home in NZ - in my view to begin a family/marriage. We lived there for many years, throughout which time my husband felt that he was still "travelling" and never settled. His parents constantly harassed us to move to Australia. This increased in intensity with the birth of our children and the higher salaries (offset by living costs) led to me agreeing to move back to Australia away from my own family and support with two young children.
We have now been in Australia three years. We have earnt more but the cost of living is higher, so overall the financial gain hasn't been great as I have primarily been a stay at home mum.
We are at a point now that there has been a fairly big recession in my husband's area of work and he has struggled to find a job all year. I on the other hand have been working part time with an enormous earning potential here in Australia. Much much higher (at least 5x if not more) than in NZ)
There has been an ongoing pull to return to NZ for me but now with financial ties here in Australia with a mortgage, the much higher rate of income I can earn it feels like we have to stay. My husband is possibly going to have a job offer in NZ soon via his contacts, and I would feel so much happier with him working and me working part time and able to be at home for my children. Along with being in my home country I guess. Even if he doesn't get a job offer, he wonders if we should just move back soon anyway (for the school year starting in late Jan) and I could potentially fly back and forth for 1day per week which would mean we could afford this. We are very concerned about starting school with the school year and the impact a move would have on the kids as well.
It is so hard to know what to do. One of us is going to miss out on being "at home". I am not sure long term how my husband will feel about the significantly lowered financial income in the long run. He has been telling me that he is happy to move back for some time but I am not entirely sure I believe him after hearing about him wanting to return to Australia for years and years. Is it wrong to make a decision to move knowing we will be significantly worse off financially and potentially at risk if my husband were to be made redundant again? Then of course there is the issue of where it is best for the kids to be long term-Australia def has more opportunities I suppose but it isn't NZ.
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Old 10-30-2014, 01:58 AM
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
10,488 posts, read 8,693,750 times
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I have a bit of experience as a consultant in both countries and your post intrigued me. I am curious to know how much of your husband's "angst" (and perhaps yours?) is due to homesickness and how much due to culture shock. Superficially - to Americans - i suspect the choice is between Tweedledum and Tweedledee, culturally (only). But the character of the white inhabitants of these two countries struck me as very different, with the Australians being more open and daring. Maybe, for us, it's a bit like moving from Providence, RI to Boise, ID, than from New York to Chicago.

Of course one can experience homesickness in either case, although in the modern world people show it less and adjust more quickly, at least in the US where so much emphasis is placed on income.

Why don't you do both, one at a time: live first in NZ and then Australia if you both can find jobs. Or will this make one of you always on the top and the other on the bottom?
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Old 10-30-2014, 02:39 AM
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Thanks for your response...we don't want to move the children from one to the other and really need to just settle down and live life without constantly considering where we are. It has caused quite a lot of financial indecision as we don't know if we should commit.

As to the difference in cultures, I don't know that it is a major factor. There are so many kiwis in Australia, but there is definitely a feeling that the kiwis are somehow "bludging" off the system (certainly not the case for us). Or perhaps "taking jobs". For my husband he finds kiwis more conservative which is a change but overall not a huge deal.

It is a 3h flight between the two - I don't think it is much different to people moving within the states really. Australia and NZ are different countries but intrinsically linked at the end of the day. I had very mixed feelings at a recent All Blacks vs Wallabies test match seeing all the families wearing colours supporting different teams!! We are certainly not the only ones.
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Old 10-30-2014, 08:59 AM
Location: Dallas, TX and Las Vegas, NV
5,659 posts, read 4,361,283 times
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I used to be responsible for relocation services and learned that kids usually engage more easily when they move mid-year than at the beginning of the school term because at the beginning everyone is settling in. Mid-year, newbies get more individual attention from school staff and other students. I mention this because you are creating pressure in your decision making that -- I strongly believe -- should not be such a compelling factor. Your kids will do fine if you take the time needed to make the decision once you know if your husband actually has a job in Au.
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