A reluctant partner!

As the title really, I've dreamed of the move to France spending hours trawling estate agents sites, reading every book by George East and many others who have written about the subject, watched nearly every "A Place in the Sun" , hello Cyndy ! Even visited a few times(Beziers in 3 weeks!!!!!) So in 18 months I will be 55 and able to retire after 39 years driving trains. Trouble is my wife just isn't interested, she did a 3 year Shirley Valentine after leaving uni in the 80's . The good news is, a chink has appeared in her reluctance . We may be onto a compromise with a holiday apartment.

Be careful what you wish for - you might end up with many pets - of the small, furry long tailed, squeaky variety ! We have enjoyed having various animals come to call - including the odd grass snake ! sorry, certainly not helpful advice but its Friday and I felt like saying hello ...

it’s lovely cycling along the canal du midi from Beziers Bob,

A fitted kitchen is not really me , they seem to date quickly and if you want to change something it seems to be "an all or nothing approach". Give me the everything hanging on hooks look, with a big dresser, kitchen table and nothing matches! Then hide all the other stuff on shelves behind curtains. I have no idea how a range works but I'd have to have one especially if it come with free cat on a cushion! 53 years old and never had a pet so that will change.

Good quality kitchens are just as easy to buy/install here as in UK. Small houses with decent gardens much cheaper than in England [excelpt maybe in Var and Toulouse!]. French quality of life on the whole vastly superior.

Well thanks for all the replies so far, certainly a lot to think about. It certainly won't be a countryside property I need a proper caffeine fix everyday! Ironically I rarely drink so don't see myself going down that road either. I'm looking forward to getting back on a bike but I'm no lycra lout more a Tom Vernon http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fat-Man-Bicycle-Tom-Vernon/dp/0718120728 remember him? I haven't pinned down a definite destination yet, Beziers just happens to be our destination in a few weeks. We shall see what happens during our little jolliday!

Thanks, I couldn’t see what I’d written about my feelings. I actually ‘feel’ for both of them. She so dislikes France that I really hope she manages to re establish her life back in the UK and that, when they manage to sell their house, they are able to get back to being as close as the were before. Too much hurt and stress in their lives can be attributed to one thing; their moving to France.

Sorry John, I read 'Their quality of life" as “The quality of lfe”. I hope you’re feeling chirpy.

What way do I feel? Please enlighten me?

That's really tough Chris. You've done a great job keeping the show on the road.

I think that's good advice but one shouldn't dwell too long on what's in the future. I made sure to provide for my wife as she was seven years younger than me and I figured she'd outlive me by a good ten to fifteen years. Well she died suddenly at 53 so that knocked all my plans on the head. Thank goodness I retired at 56 and we had a lovely time together in France before she was taken away from me. Carpe diem :-)

I'm sorry you feel that way John. The quality of life in the Var has never been better. I wouldn't live anywhere else. I was lucky, my wife loved France as much, if not more, than I did. Her French was faultless and we always felt at home here, right from the first time we moved over in 1981.

Oh dear Simon, you sound just like me and my ex- except I haven’t and don’t drink myself to death, not wise with unspecified cirrhosis. I’ve had all the lft’s. He’s in debt now through his own fault, he insisted on borrowing money to buy me out of my half of property. We could have sold and divvied up, but no he wasn’t going to put himself out to do that and move, So our poor son( not literally) coughed up for him. Now we both live independently doing as you are and to best of my knowledge both happier for it.

Don’t know, but I’m sure neither of us would say "I will never trust another woman/man Not all women or men come out of the same mould
it also takes 2 to want to be sociable and meet new people, he didn’t want to, I did, although we had a good social life in uk with sailing friends, we could have sailed the boat over to France in time and kept it here, but he wouldn’t. We could almost have lived ‘happily ever after’ here! There are 2 sides to every story!

Yes there are difficulties to initially overcome when moving to a different country, but those difficulties can be overcome, where there’s a will, there’s always a way. Inevitably it’s either called compromise, agree to disagree or leave well alone, because divide and conquer is not the answer!

I agree with Jayne and others here. If looking to locate in the Herault, Pezenas is much as David R has described his small town, and there is a small Uk expat community living either there or in surrounding area villages. For specific English language groups in the area, there is CSF (Cancer Support France) a voluntary Associations (Charity) manned and run by English exPats, living in various villages or surrounding countryside, mostly women for English speaking cancer sufferers, CSF meet MONTHLY in Pezenas, and do organise some different outings.

Also there is a Group called WIC, a Private English-speaking association dedicated to cultural sharing and friendship amongst International women. That meets somewhere bwteen there and the coast I think. You will find both groups on the Internet.

For things to do together, you will be a little familiar with Beziers shopping centres I expect, there is a 10 screen cinema at Villeneuve les Béziers, which shows the English films on specific dates. If you like Opera and Ballet, they do live ‘streaming’ from Covent Garden. Pez/Bez not far from the med or the mountains, a drive along the Mway A9 will see you in Spain before to long. Of course there are the languedoc vineyard. Several good Bricolages. IKEA in Montpellier, also French HSBC,and probably a Barclays Bank, so if you have an English account with one of those, Internet transfers and account checking is a doddle via Global View with HSBC, once logged on.

The Bus stops in Pezenas by the station, en route to Montpellier. For 1€ Each way! Hop on a tram at the terminus and you are soon in the middle of town, about 20 mins I think. Great hospitals there also! Can’t think of anything else. Starting to wonder again, why I moved away from the Herault :-)) but yes renting 1st is a must and it will help ease the path for you, if you feel comfortable that life can live up to both your expectations.

OK Simon I understand but one certain thing I have found in life is you can never be certain what is going to happen next. Of course the less you expose yourself (if you follow me!) the less likely things are to going to happen. I'm on my third marriage after a 22 year marriage/divorce but on pretty amicable terms, a later marriage followed by her death and now marriage with a much younger woman, so I am happy to be an eternal optimist!!

the flip side is that no matter who you love they have to love you, my ex walked out on me saying everything was my fault, luckily she drank herself to death but left me with a hole lot of debt to sort out. this was all be i moved over, it was her idea and now i enjoy being alone doing the things i want to do and not having somebody nagging me.

well i know i will never trust another woman.

sounds like you are going to be looking in the south of france, good look it is very expensive.

Whilst my wife and I are very happy here, we know of several couples who have split up due to one half not being fully committed on arrival. Renting for 3 or 4 months would be ideal - once she's enjoyed the warm weather and local markets she may be far more enthusiastic about staying for good. Whatever you do - make sure you rent not far from an airport with good link to home airport near family so she can pop back easily if necessary for visits

A heart felt good luck to you!

My situation began by taking early retirement from my occupation in the Former UK (only a year early, mind), and my wife (a little younger), in the throes of a changing situation at her place of employment, keen to make some sort of change, was happy to resign. We decided to quit the Former UK, as we (or me, especially) were disillusioned with it. I fancied moving to Spain, she to France - so France it was. After a couple of touring visits, and much research SHE decided where she'd like to be - partly because of the inexpensive properties, and partly because of the low population level. So we bought quite a large, pleasant house in the Limousin countryside, and moved over a year later. For me, a good move (and I still consider it so) - it was ideal, and as she chose the house, I thought it was for her, too. We had agreed to spend five to ten years here, or until it became a problem to cope with. Any road up, after just over three years, she decided it wasn't for her, and with six days notice (to me) buggered off back to England. She hasn't spoken a word since, and left me to cope with everything, alone. I'm still here, five years further on, and having endured five years of the divorce procedure here (at my initiation). I have also recently been diagnosed with heart problems, which was an unexpected blow. At least the French Health system seems to work well.

I know I shall have to move, sooner or later - partly because the court will rule that I shall have to sell the house, and partly because of my health situation. It's ironic, that now would have been the time we'd have considered moving on, anyway, had she remained in France.

That is a very simplistic description, and only one side of the story - but it rather goes to show how easy it is to love, rely on and trust someone who you believe has the same outlook as yourself, but in the end it turns out that there's a totally different agenda, and the marriage bond is non-existent, one way.

The only lesson I learned from all this, is to mentally make for yourself a plan "B", and keep it to hand just in case the unexpected occurs, and the partner you share life with doesn't wish for that partnership to continue, for whatever reason.

I'm still quite happy here, and although bitter about the way our plans and relationship had been so rapidly and easily reneged on, regret that it ever happened - especially at this stage in life, when I had looked forward to a long and happy retirement. Instead, It has been lonely and worrying purgatorial nightmare for the last five years.

Anyway, I love France, and intend to remain, and maybe move a little further south.