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My partner wants to move back to his home country but I'm not sure if I'll fit in

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Question - (7 January 2018) 4 Answers - (Newest, 11 January 2018)
A female United Kingdom age 22-25, anonymous writes:

My partner and I have been together for 3 years. He's from the Czech Republic and I'm from the UK, where we both live together and rent a flat.

I have visited the Czech Republic three times now (accompanying him to see his family), although I speak only a few phrases of Czech, so I haven't been able to really speak to his family.

We have plans to move there in a few years time, to build a house and live permanently. I would teach English and he would work in his fathers business.

However, during and after our most recent trip, I'm having doubts about moving there. I know I will be lonely, as I can't speak to his family, be independent to even speak to people in shops and I'd imagine that he would be working long hours like his father does, so I'd hardly see him too.

I love him so much, but the thought of moving there terrifies me and it feels like my life will be out of my own control. I've spoken to him about potentially living elsewhere, but he was very adamant on his plans. What do I do?

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A female reader, chigirl Norway + , writes (11 January 2018):

chigirl agony auntLots of czeck people speak english. Not to worry.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (7 January 2018):

As someone who has moved from an Eastern country to a Western one, I can tell you that moving to another country IS hard. But it's easier if you're already familiar with the culture and the language.

For me moving was easier because the soft power of the western countries, most notably UK and USA is so strong in the eastern Europe.

We all speak English to some extent. We are familiar with your history, culture and politics. We laugh at your jokes.

You really need to be sure you want to move there and be independent as much as possible. I would start learning the language and go there as often as possible. Meet some people, other than his family and friends, familiarize myself with the atmosphere and the mentality. CzR is more oriented towards the West than Slovakia, but it still is an eastern country. Trust me, even with the globalization, their passage to capitalism, democracy, all that is still new compared to their centuries long history that was so much different from the UK. That's why I mentioned mentality and atmosphere. People are people everywhere, some are good, some are bad. The question is can you adapt to their way of living and be away from all that you know, friends, family.

Also, take into account how young you are. It can be a good thing since you're more flexible but on the other hand you don't know yer how you'll feel at 28, 30, when you get kids (if you want them), do you want to raise them there? Also, with everything that's going on with Brexit and the EU you shouldn't ignore the political and economic situation.

Teaching a language (and I'm speaking from experience) isn't easy. Being a native speaker isn't enough and you need to get properly certified. More importantly you really need to love teaching and realize that sometimes, depending on where you land, you will not have a steady job or income, which will make you dependent on you partner.

Lastly and most importantly, him being adamant on his plans as you say is not a relationship-friendly behavior. Partners discuss things. I feel as if he is pressuring you and wants you as long as you fit into his picture. That simply is not OK.

Whatever you decide be independent!!!!

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy + , writes (7 January 2018):

CindyCares agony aunt If it's only about the language, ..you've got years to learn it ! Start studying it and practicing it now, and by the time you get there, you'll be fluent and this is undoubtedly a huge help and a big advantage when you go live in a foreign country and try / want to fit in with the habits and lifestyle over there .

Another thing I would make sure in advance is that you actually can work there, teaching English or whatever, in the sense that there's actually a request for your skills and that,as foreign non EU worker you can comply with all the rules and regulations. I think that if you go there it is important that you have your own job, even if financially it were not necessary. Not to look down on housewives, but being a homemaker tends to be a solitary, insulating job, and , since your husband will be working long hours, you need to have your own schedule, your own goals, your own coworkers , your own social life ;and work it's always a good start for that.

It helps ( in fact, it's paramount ) that you are independent transportation-wise . If you are in Prague , there's the subway , or in other big cities I suppose ther's a decent public transport system; otherwise you need to get yout own vehicle, and the local driving licence of course.

In short, you have to prepare to live there AS IF you had moved there alone and you were starting from scratch in building yourself an independent life there. Lucky for you, it is not so ; you will have your husband at least on weekends to keep you company, show you around, introduce you to relatives and friends... but, as you said, this won't be possible 24/7 and if you end up being too dependent from your husband for anything from entertainment to translation ... you will also end up resenting him .

In short ; learn the language, secure yourself a job, even part time, and get yourself a car ( or a subway card :) - and you have got the basic tools to face this adventure with optimism and confidence, even excitement.

As for the rest, OP, who knows, it's a matter of personal tastes , I guess. Personally I am a big fan of UK, and not a big fan of Middle Europe countries, and I would never swap the first with the second. But other people feel exactly the opposite ! And, then again, if I had a great husband who also happens to be Czech, probabaly I'd swap too :)

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (7 January 2018):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntHow about taking classes in the language? Once you actually live there, you will really need to learn the language so you may as well start now. This will help you communicate with people, especially his family. No matter how stilted your attempts are at the language at first, everyone appreciates someone making the effort to learn. And if you are going to teach English, you will need to communicate with your pupils.

The way of life is very different in the Czech Republic to the UK. You may find it difficult to adjust, especially if your husband is not around a lot. Can you come to some agreement that you will give it (say) 3 years and then, if you really cannot settle, you can both come back to the UK? Or is it all or nothing with your husband?

I assume you discussed this before you got married? If so, then it is only fair you give it a fair shot. I think, if you at least learn the language, things will be a lot easier for you when it is time to move.

Good luck. I hope it works out.

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