Lost and Lonely writes:
I am in a very troubled relationship with my husband. I was born 1/16/63, he was born 11/11/69. We got married last year and moved to Quebec afterwards, per a corporate transfer. We had hopes of a new, exciting life but instead our relationship became very troubled almost immediately upon arrival. The stress of moving and adapting to a new culture was very difficult for me. I do not speak French and I have been living in a province that only speaks French, so my life has been extremely difficult here and I feel very isolated.
Although I previously worked my whole adult life, I have not been able to work since living here, due to the language barrier. Whenever I attempted to discuss this with him, I did not feel that he expressed any sympathy for my plight here. This has caused great distress for me in our relationship, as I do not feel that my feelings were validated and this resulted in many arguments regarding me wanting us to leave Quebec. The last couple of months we have been fighting continuously. I feel that we both went too far at times and now we are in a constant battle of assassinating each other’s character whenever we argue. I have threatened to leave several times because this relationship has become toxic.
And, I don’t think he will ever move back to the USA, so I have decided that I need to initiate a move. The thing that has stopped me is that I have no place to live if I leave him and also the fact that it is the holiday season. I could temporarily stay with family/friends but quite honestly, that is easier said than done and I don’t want to intrude upon people during the holiday season and plus all of my furniture, etc. is in Canada so this is not an easy move. (In retrospect, I would have never left the USA if I knew I would be stranded here and not able to work, etc. but I never imagined things would not work out up here because our relationship was so good prior to moving.
I basically went from being a free spirited, empowered woman to being totally disempowered. I moved with him to support him in his career but ended up giving up my own opportunities for not only my career but my life. Despite all this madness, he does not want to divorce! I do not see the relationship improving but strangely enough, I still love the man because I still remember the great times (I thought he was the love of my life!). But sadly, I think that the good times are far and few between us now and I think we would be better off breaking up. Leaving will not be easy and I’ll probably go into further financial ruin than I’m already in, as I’ll have to live in a hotel until I find housing. Do you see any hope or improvement for this relationship at all, specifically if we move to the USA? I am at the end of the road! Thank you for your consideration.
Dear Lost and Lonely,
You have some troubles on your plate, but I’m not seeing anything that can’t be worked through. Specifically the problems in your marriage.
It is true that you are suffering culture shock, and are pretty isolated from people and things that used to give you a sense of purpose and strength. This certainly adds a level of loneliness and misery to your life, and your moods, which have cascaded into your relationship with your husband. While you agreed to this transition to support him and his career, you totally were not prepared for the reality.
You can, of course, pack your bags and leave your marriage. But you’re right, you aren’t financially prepared for such a step, and chaos will ensue. So, you will be without your husband, head-over-heels in debt, and not receiving the support from friends and family that you feel will be your due. So, what you will end up with is a different kind of misery, but at least you will be in familiar territory and able to understand the language. It’s a bad plan, one that I strongly suggest you re-think.
You are still in love with your husband, and he is still in love with you. He strongly believes that you will adapt and the marriage will improve. You believe the only way the marriage will improve is if he moves with you back to the USA. There is a middle ground, though. Work on getting your personal power back. You have become way to co-dependent on your husband. Because your entire sense of self and happiness revolves around him to such a deep degree, all you know now is misery.
Consuling a therapist is a really good place to start. A little vacation to visit friends and family would also help you out a lot. But I want to encourage you to make it a visit, not a move. It is way too soon to throw in the towel on this marriage. Things may be difficult right now in your relationship, but the two of you can recover from the hurts you have been inflicting on each other, and learn to work with one another once again. But it’s going to take time.
Your sense of isolation and esteem issues are at the core of your unhappiness. Your husband isn’t sympathetic and supportive of your plight mainly because he thinks you have been behaving rather childishly. You think he’s changed – he thinks you’ve changed. Well, BOTH of you have changed. He doesn’t know how to make you happy anymore, and he’s tired of hearing the same complaints that you aren’t willing to deal with on your own. You want him to make everything all better, and that is something outside of his capacity to do. So, each of you have contributed to a negative cycle that neither one of you knows how to stop. And yet, you still love each other, which means there is hope.
He’s happy in Quebec, and you are not. If you force him to follow you back to the USA now, he will resent you for it, and then you will be viewing him as the one being childish. But, at least you will know that he loves you enough to give you your way…
A little space would help each of you, so again I want to encourage you to come home for a visit. But then I want you to get your butt back to Canada, and learn French. You can master the language, and assimilate into the culture. You can make friends, and have a career, and become your strong and dynamic self once again. You can have a life, and an improved relationship with the man you love, in Canada.
This is going to sound pretty rude, but you really need to quit feeling sorry for yourself and expecting that your husband or the Gods themselves are going to step in and rescue you. It isn’t going to work that way. Only you can pick yourself up and dust yourself off. Of course, you have a choice of which country to do this in, but eventually you are going to have to do it.
Sometimes there are no easy ways out…you simply have to set your mind at peace knowing you can work your way through. You can have everything that you want – just not necessarily when, where and how you want it.
As a side note – I am very sorry that your letter hasn’t been addressed until now, but we do the best we can! I know many people write in and think that I just blow by their questions, but that really isn’t how it works. An insane amount of questions come through the website, but what it boils down to is “the luck of the draw”.
As always, when you are at the end of your rope and need answers now, your best bet is to call in. If I’m not available, appointments can be arranged, or Customer Service will gladly assist anyone in need with connecting to an amazing psychic who is available. We’re all here – one massive team with a singular purpose – to help anyone out there who needs it.