- 7 years ago
- Wedding: April 2012
1. When you give up your entire freaking life to move somewhere to be with someone, they have to make some concessions, too. Like putting the giant tapestry from the ex into storage. Or taking it to their office. Whatever. It’s going to be your home too. It doesn’t sound like he understands that at all.
2. Taking credit for the flowers someone else sent is just completely weird. Like he thought you wouldn’t find out? What?
If that little voice is telling you there’s something weird, it could just be the weirdness and misunderstandings that arise because of distance. But maybe not.
The first bit just sounds like selfishness; he expects you to come to him, you to make all the sacrifices and adjustment. And I think before you set foot on a plane, you need to come to an understanding with him that you are already making a huge sacrifice, just by being the one that moves, and you expect the place you live to be your home too. Maybe that’s something you can talk out, maybe he just doesn’t realize. But if he really is that selfish…
The second bit… I can’t come up with any reason behind that except plain old dishonesty.
When sister moved to a foreign country to be with her long-distance boyfriend, she asked for my advice (been there, done that) and this (below) is what I told her.
I’ve seen what can happen to women when they put their trust in the wrong person and wind up in a vulnerable situation in a foreign country. People aren’t always who we think they are, even at home, where we have our families and friends around us to help us and we understand the laws that protect us. (She got really mad at me for even suggesting that everything might turn out not to be a bed of roses, but I’m one of those hope-for-the-best, plan-for-the-worst people. Making sure you and your children are prepared in the event that the worst happens doesn’t mean you don’t love your fiance. It makes you smart and responsible.)
Before you even leave your home country, know what the resources are in your new country that can help women in bad relationships: shelters, organizations, support groups. Make sure you understand what the local laws and attitudes are; you didn’t say what country you’re moving to, but there are still places in the world where spousal rape, for instance, is not a crime, and where a blind eye is turned to domestic violence.
When you go to be with your fiance, make sure you and your children have round trip tickets with the return date three to six months out. (I actually found it was cheaper to buy round trip anyway and just not use the return portion.) And make sure you don’t give up control of your travel documents, passports, etc. There’s this weird idea that, because you love someone, you should put yourself completely at their mercy, and that leaving yourself options in case it doesn’t work out is somehow tantamount to declaring you don’t trust the person you are with. Which is ridiculous. If you didn’t trust them, you wouldn’t be getting on a plane and leaving your entire life behind to be with them. It’s just an acknowledgement that things don’t always work out the way we intended.
When you arrive, register your presence with you local consular office. (This is also important in case there’s some sort of disaster or emergency; for your home country to be able to help you at all, they need to know you are there.) And get out there and start meeting people and building your own social circle and network. If it’s a country with a foreign language, start learning it with your children before you go. (There are a lot of free language resources on the net.)
And if you feel like something isn’t right, don’t put yourself in that situation. Every bad choice I’ve made in my adult life could’ve been avoided if I listened to my own internal warning system.
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