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Second child off to Australia

(30 Posts)
jeremypaulwagg Fri 24-Apr-20 15:27:49

Our daughter went to Australia 10 years ago and is now married there with a daughter aged 2. The only thing that has made this bearable is the expectation that we would be able to have a closer relationship with our son's family when he married (he is 28). After saying he would never move away, our son has just told us that he is proposing to move to Australia to be with a girl he met on holiday. We are immensely saddened and yes, hurt. If he moves over there, we will be rational enough to go and visit both families, but in the meantime, she is planning to come over in July and he wants to bring her (he lives in Amsterdam) to visit us. We know what the rational response would be, but we both feel that we could not be pleasant to this girl, and my wife would constantly break down in tears were this visit to take place, whilst I can't see it in myself to be anything more than sad and angry by what he is doing to my wife. I know what the coping mechanisms are, but would somebody just sympathise with our predicament?

MawB Fri 24-Apr-20 15:35:42

Why on earth do you feel you could not bring yourself to be pleasant to this girl?
Do you feel she is solely to “blame” for your son’s decision?
Admittedly Amsterdam is a lot nearer than Australia, but did you raise similar objections when he chose to live there?
And I’m afraid I cannot see how your daughter moving to Australia 10 years ago somehow led you to expect a closer relationship with your son - married or not.
Your logic escapes me and I think you and your wife have some hard thinking to do about what your relationship with both adult children involves.
I don’t mean to sound unsympathetic, I am honestly not, but feel you are creating unhappiness where it need not exist.
If you cannot be “pleasant” to your son’s girlfriend, do you really imagine that is going to persuade him to stay?
More likely you will lose him too. Please think this through.

Juliet27 Fri 24-Apr-20 15:56:33

What has this girl done wrong to warrant your animosity. Your son obviously wants to be with her and would like you to meet her. I take it he is single and it wouldn't mean a marriage breakup? Ok, he once said he wouldn't move away but life changes and he has to do what he feels is best for himself? I can sympathise as both my children moved to Australia.

GrannyLaine Fri 24-Apr-20 15:56:43

There is nothing in your post OP that says you are happy for him to have met someone he loves, someone he wants to bring to meet you & wants to share his life with. This should tell you all you need to know about your relationship with him I'm afraid.

SueDonim Fri 24-Apr-20 15:59:10

Why would you blame this young woman for a decision your son has made? He’s 28 and exploring his options. He shouldn’t be held to a statement about moving away that he made when he was younger.

You need to accept this with good grace, make the woman welcome and then wait to see how it pans out. I doubt anyone is going to be moving anywhere soon so who knows, it may fizzle out or otoh, it may be the perfect match for your son and you should be happy that he is happy.

Missfoodlove Fri 24-Apr-20 16:00:56

We teach our children independence from the minute they are born.
There is nothing we can do to keep them near but plenty to keep them close.
Embrace his girlfriend give them your blessing.
Keep them close and cry on the inside.
Better to have a happy loving son in Australia than a resentful son in the next street.

Maggiemaybe Fri 24-Apr-20 16:04:31

Yes, I sympathise. It must be very hard for you at this moment and I would hate to be in your position. flowers

But......I'm sure you know that you have to rise above this and welcome your son's new love to your family, and I'm sure you'll do this when the time comes. You've just heard about their plans and the feelings you have right now must seem overwhelming. You need to give yourself a bit of time to get your breath and come to terms with the situation, but please reply to him positively and don't do or say anything in the meantime to jeopardise your relationship.

You will get through this because you have to. Keeping in touch with family, wherever they may be, is so much easier these days than it once was and you'll be able to visit and have them come to see you. Easy to say, I know, but you really have no option but to look on the bright side. And who knows, their plans may yet change? Anyway, all best wishes to you.

humptydumpty Fri 24-Apr-20 16:12:05

I'm sure you must know that, with children living in Australia, you would be eligible to get a visa to live there too, if one of the spouses is eligible.

Callistemon Fri 24-Apr-20 16:13:58

Please don't be unkind to this girl - why would you be?
Your son is 28, an adult and has found someone he loves.

If you are unkind to her he may never forgive you. If they are both kinder than you seem to be then you may find you will continue to have some kind of relationship with them but it will be strained. If they have a family one day do you want to risk not visiting them because of your attitude?
It is hard but so many families are in the same position.

It's difficult at the moment with travel so restricted but that will ease in the future. Who knows, you may decide to emigrate there yourselves.

Remember - we should give them roots and wings.

GagaJo Fri 24-Apr-20 16:14:05

Surely the approach to take would be to make her SO welcome and comfortable, that she MIGHT see the UK as a place she might consider wanting to live.

Find out in advance from your son what some of her interests are and play to them, BIG TIME. Art? London galleries. Music? Find out which artists and try to find a concert (hard at the moment I know).

Have a beautifully decorated room ready for them to stay in when they come. Flowers. A treat. Take them for lovely meals. A drink in a ye olde English pub.

Really, really push the boat out for them. Show her a life style she may like. Even if they DON'T settle here at least you'll have laid the ground work for a lovely relationship with her and therefore lots of holidays to them and with them visiting you.

GagaJo Fri 24-Apr-20 16:15:06

I didn't know the visa situation, as humptydumpty has laid out. If family is your number 1 priority, and if they do go to live there, why don't you consider relocating?

Bibbity Fri 24-Apr-20 16:15:13

You will only be allowed to visit your son at his approval.
If you ruin this. You risk losing him forever.

Oopsminty Fri 24-Apr-20 16:17:39

I can understand

It must be heart breaking to have both your children on the other side of the world.

But meet this young lady

Be kind to her

A rift would be ruinous

We bring our children up. And they are then free to live their lives

Give them your blessing. However sad you feel

Scentia Fri 24-Apr-20 16:26:56

You and your wife should be PROUD you have raised such independent young people who are capable of leading a life of their own. Think yourself lucky they have both chosen the same continent. Your DW needs to forge ahead with a life of her own.

Hithere Fri 24-Apr-20 16:41:09

Your promising he would never move away - how did that happen? Why did he promise something that is so unrealistic?
For sure he doesn't have a crystal ball and see his future.

Tell your son that you do not want to see him in July.
Tell him you do not want to meet his future wife.
Do not make this move and his life about you, about your and your wife's expectations for him.

HE is the one deciding to move away.
If you are going to lash out at her, say bye bye to a relationship to your future grandkids.

I would recommend grief therapy. You feel you are losing your son.

kittylester Fri 24-Apr-20 16:53:13

I think you have your answer here!

JenniferEccles Fri 24-Apr-20 17:07:11

Very good advice from GagaJo

She has laid out exactly the right way to handle this.

From my experience (albeit limited) Australians in the main love Europe and the UK for our history, culture and traditions.

You need to work hard to give the girlfriend a wonderful time here, even if it is through gritted teeth!

I do really sympathise though.
Having both offspring living so far away is surely any parent’s worst nightmare.

If you and your wife can pull this off it might just work!

rosenoir Fri 24-Apr-20 17:07:44

With your attitude to the woman your son loves it is likely contact will finish anyway.

Gemini17892 Fri 24-Apr-20 17:14:07

What an awful situation ! It will be hard to hide your feelings when you meet the new partner but you really must.
When lockdown is over (!) maybe consider moving to Australia yourselves ?

aggie Fri 24-Apr-20 17:16:26

My son went to Australia years ago but returned and now lives miles from us in Great Britain , we visited him in Oz but actually see less of him now
Just now we can’t visit anyone but keep in touch with various social media , I wouldn’t worry about it , be happy for him and expect to love the girl

Grammaretto Fri 24-Apr-20 17:32:49

It has been said but I must add my tuppence. We bring our DC into the world but they are not our property. We want their happiness more than anything and you and your wife should be proud that you have brought up 2 independent young adults.

Actually not so young. We were married with 3 DC by his age.

Our DS emigrated to NZ maybe 12 yrs ago, I lose track. We are very close to him and his family. We speak several times a week - especially now. They were trying to visit this Summer but it's been cancelled.

Please be kind to this GF. Like her because she loves your DS.

Jane10 Fri 24-Apr-20 17:34:07

Don't be unkind to this poor man. Sounds like he's venting his sadness on here. I'm sure he'll be perfectly OK with this potential new family member.
TBH I'd feel exactly the same way he does if this situation arose in our family.

Smileless2012 Fri 24-Apr-20 19:20:36

Hi jeremy I totally understand how difficult this is for you and you have my sympathy.

Just 4 months before our eldest son and his new wife went to begin a new life in Australia, his brother our youngest son, estranged us and in so doing took away our only GC.

It was our eldest son's wife who was the driving force behind the move to Australia and despite them divorcing nearly 3 years ago, he is happy with his life there; there were no children.

That was 7.5 years ago and we remain estranged from our youngest son and GC. Having our only other child so far away is difficult to say the least but he is happy and we face time on a weekly basis and have gone over to visit him 4 times, he's been back to the UK twice.

You clearly love your son, and although you think it will be difficult to embrace this young lady, I'm sure your love for him and your desire for his happiness will transcend any awkwardness you're anticipating meeting his young lady for the first time.

Your son's plans are about his future, what he wants for his own life. Be happy that he is happy. Welcome his young lady with an open heart because she loves him and he loves her.

Despite your own and understandable heart ache at the thought of him moving so far away, be happy for them both and wish them well.

It's OK if your wife cries. I cry every time our son greets us at the air port and I weep buckets every time he takes us to the air port and we have to say goodbye. He wouldn't expect any thing less from his mum, and your son wouldn't expect anything less from his mum.

sodapop Fri 24-Apr-20 19:29:23

I think Callistemon has said it all really. Be kind to them Jeremypaulwagg they need to live their lives independently as you did.

readsalot Fri 24-Apr-20 20:36:11

You say you are sad and angry at what your son is doing to your wife, his mother. He went to Australia and fell in love with a girl and wants to marry her. What a cruel and thoughtless son he is! Really? I feel sorry for that poor girl as you sound as though you and your wife are going to be the in-laws from hell.