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Split family over two continents, feeling guilt and sadness...

Community Member

Hello, I am new to this forum but unfortunately not new to depression and anxiety.

I have written and rewritten this post several times. I am finding it hard to put into words what I am feeling and what I need to find out from the other forum members.

My situation -

I grew up in Australia, moved to UK in 2001 to escape an abusive relationship. Met my now husband in 2003 (married in 2007). Lived in UK up until Feb 2014 when we moved to Australia.

Currently 5 months pregnant with my first child

Husband away in UK until September trying to set up a new business importing Australian products to UK, he has already been away for a month.

Step-son (18) who did live with us has moved back to UK due to a relentless guilt campaign by his mother which devastated husband and still hurts us both. Step-son actually started saying that we had 'forced' him to come to Australia with us and that we were 'manipulative' and 'only trying to hurt[his] mother'. In actual fact we moved to Australia 2 years ago only after asking stepson (he was 16 at the time) how he felt, he actually wrote a letter to his mother asking her to give him permission to come with us...we did not ask him to write the letter. He came over on a return ticket so he could go back at any time, however he developed a fear of flying and so did not want to get on a plane. Since being in the Uk with his mother for just over a year he is now saying he wants to come back and that his relationship with his mother has deteriorated.

So...what have I done.

It seems I have met a man and his then 4 year old son, ingratiated myself upon their lives, manipulated them to move to Australia after being 13 years unhappy in UK. Finally I get pregnant after 6 years of trying, it seems I needed to come home to Australia for my body to be happy enough to get pregnant. Husband returns to UK. Husband is not happy in Australia, he misses his mates, the pubs and his family. Work was supposed to be easier here in Australia for qualified trades, however it has not been easy at all.

We have put all our savings and a small loan into trying to make a go of a new venture in the UK.

I have wanted a child of my own and to live in Australia for so long...I feel guilty for wanting to stay here and not go back to UK...I feel alone...I feel sad for husband...I don't really know what answers or responses I want to see for this post...this is the tenth try at putting it into words...

7 Replies 7

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi welcome to Beyond Blue.

Step families are hard work add a teenager and the challenges that stage of life brings are stressful enough without the added worries you currently are experiencing.

The issues I see are your longing to be in your home country and your family wanting to be in their homeland.

Even though both countries are English speaking the differences are many in live styles culture.

Therefore for you its impact is a double whammy with being torn between your love of family and country.

Is live in Australia what you dreamed about. ?Would you be happier in UK with your family. Do you have family in Australia?

What convinced you're husband that Australia was the place to live. ?

pregnancy itself results in many changes to your body.

Could your husband make friends / mates here or has he maintained the ties to England? ?

Obviously the stepson, s relationship with his mother has broken down and he sees the grass as greener living with you.

I hope you are able to resolve your issue


Call beyond blue on 1300224636 24 if you need to chat

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Hello Warhorse, this is quite a story to unpack. I feel as though it all boils down a sense of place. Put aside the family complications for a moment, and it is not unusual for couples to have to compromise on where they live because of work reasons. I wonder if you can put aside the feelings of others for a moment and perhaps write out some pros and cons, living in Australia versus living in the UK. What do you like/dislike about both places? What would you be sacrificing in order to choose living in one of these places? Perhaps you could try this exercise here if it helps. You say you feel alone, so I'm guessing you don't feel you have anyone in your life you can talk to about this at the moment.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Warhorse, thanks for your post. What intrigues me most about your post is the last sentence "I don't know what answers or responses I want to see for this post." That about sums up you current state of mind, which is completely understandable. So let me start with being blunt.

You have done nothing wrong.

Assuming you and your husband are both in agreement on the baby, then all you are guilty of is trying to build a family, a home, and a working environment. Leave your step-son out of the equation for the moment. I'll come back to that.

Of course your husband misses the mates, pubs and family. Even he knows deep down that that is a very insecure platform to build a life. One decent order into his business from an Australian company and all that nonsense goes out the window. Honestly, it's not worth fretting about. I don't know what industry he is in but whatever it is I don't hear mush about outstanding successes coming from the UK in any industry (or Ireland for that matter. I'm returning to Dublin for 16 days. I miss Dublin for all the same reasons as your husband but the best decision I ever made was to stick it out and stay in Australia).

How far are you into your pregnancy, will the child be born here. That's important for you. I think you'll find a lot will become clearer for you both when the baby arrives.

Step-son. When did the ex become active in drawing her son away? Was it soon after you announced your pregnancy? It sound like she just wants to fire a few shots to stir up the pot. Your step-son can now legally make his own decisions so again, I'd try to ignore the ex.

The best advice I can give you is to stop trying to fix everything. Remove the guilt and let that tiny extra heart in you beat more freely. They will really appreciate that. Best of luck with everything, especially your new family.

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, good replies

I've been a step dad twice. It is indeed hard work as Kathryn pointed out.

Add to the some immaturity from a teenager/young adult and it doesn't help. Expect the blame game until he is much older.

Have you got Skype? That would help with hubby being away. Then you could see him on the screen talking to you.

All the best

Tony WK

Thank you everyone for your comments.

I do have my family here in Australia, I love it here and feel at home.

Yes, I feel that stepson is suffering from 'destination addiction' in that everything is better where he isn't...I believe hubby suffers a bit of it too, the hard bit is that I feel I have found the destination I believe to be right for us all.

Trustily you are right 'The best advice I can give you is to stop trying to fix everything.'

That is one of my biggest flaws I think...I just want everyone to be happy and in the past that has meant I am not happy...I guess I feel I finally want to stand up for my and my new baby's future happiness and know that Aus is the place to be but feel guilty for wanting that...

Thanks again everyone for your well thought out and helpful responses, I will re-read them a few times as they have made me feel better about my emotions in all this.

Its great you feel better.

Yes, my OT once told me to "when are you going to stop saving the world"?

It comes from worry and elements out not having control.

Tony WK

Community Member

Well, it's been some time since I wrote the last post. Since then beautiful baby bot has been born (now 10 weeks old) hubby and step son have only just come home to Australia.

Today was the first day they were home all day.

It's been a difficult day.

I have established a routine with baby boy over the last 10 weeks. Hubby wants to get involved in baby's care but baby finds new person in the mix stressful.

I don't feel like sex. I had a Mirina put in so contraception isn't an issue but with step son in the house I find it hard to reconnect with husband. We need some time alone but we're not going to get any. Even if I did feel like sex our bed squeaks and step son is in next room.

Husband thrilled to finally have his older son back in Australia but after only one day I'm already finding it hard to reconnect to both of them. Baby has been my world for so long and I have been on my own for 6 months. My pregnancy was difficult (morning sickness and insulin dependent diabetes throughout) the birth also difficult (emergency caesarean and baby had to be in hospital for ten days after birth). I feel I have been through some tough times over the last 6 months but so has hubby trying to set up new business. He is VERY stressed about money and so cannot seem to relax. After insisting upon being involved in feeding etc this morning, this afternoon when I asked him to watch baby for 10 mins whilst I expressed milk he rolled his eyes and said he didn't have time cos he was busy unpacking and organising himself. Was I wrong to get annoyed and 'huffy'? I think I'm rambling now.