A MOVE to France is very often a new start for people, but unfortunately old problems can resurface and cause real heartache.
The Times website features a very interesting article about the difficulties families and couples face when they head to France.
For those with children it is the parents who often have the greatest problem settling in, especially if the kids are quite young.
Whilst they skip off to school, mum and dad are back at home often working under each other’s feet for the first time and that’s when the little niggles can come out.
Many people who sell-up and buy a place have often come from high-pressure jobs and get used to the busy, busy, busy way of life in business.
But the pace is so much different in the countryside where people often wonder if work will ever get done and ‘do those builders really want my money?’
Whilst such things can be beaten by a change in attitude, often problems between couples can be much deeper rooted and ultimately more destructive.
The article features the work of Counselling in France, who I have written about on the site, and the problems they have handled.
Often difficulties arise when one half of the partnership can speak good French and so is able to interact much easier and naturally with local people.
The biggest problem when this occurs isn’t the other person’s inability to speak the language, it’s the fact that they have to rely on their partner for everything, from answering the phone to ordering a meal.
Taking the time to learn the language, not from your partner but from someone outside the relationship, will be a great help as it returns some of that lost individuality.
Getting involved with a local group or charity will also be of great benefit to people.
Sometimes it does mean taking the bull by the horns and stumbling around trying to speak French, but over time you will soon realise that it is a great way of finding a place in your local community.
Certain clubs and societies will naturally favour couples, but it is also well worth looking to join a group on an individual basis, so at least you have something to talk about at dinner.
Societies and groups play an important role in French life so mucking in and getting involved with the local yoga club for example, will benefit more than just your lotus position.
What have been your own experiences of life in France, both the good and bad? Feel free to leave a comment.