My wife refuses to return to Vietnam

By Xuan Phu   August 9, 2023 | 05:46 pm PT
My wife is insisting on staying in Germany. If I am determined to return to Vietnam to take care of my parents, we will possibly split.

I’m 38 and my wife is 37. We have been married for 10 years and live in Germany. We have two kids, a nine-year-old daughter and a five-year-old son.

My wife was granted a scholarship for a doctorate program in Germany five years ago, so we moved to the country from HCMC. She got a good job after obtaining her doctorate degree, with the potential for a permanent residence permit. We have been arguing about our future ever since.

I want to return to Vietnam since I’m the oldest child, and my younger sister lives far away from my parents after marrying. My parents are over 65 already, and they live in a place around 70 kilometers from HCMC. So, they need someone to take care of them.

My biggest concern is my elderly parents may feel sad every holiday as they have no children by their side. I will also have the chance to pursue a career aligning with my university major after coming back.

But my wife insists on staying in Germany. She argues that the education and social welfare systems in Germany are better, with which I agree, so she wants our children to stay here.

She is satisfied with her current occupation, and is also the youngest child in her family. Her parents live with one of her brothers and his family, so she does not have many responsibilities with them.

We have talked a lot, but we have not reached any mutual agreement. I suggest that we can return to Vietnam, establish our careers, and send our kids abroad later. But my wife says she wants us to stay in Germany and pay my parents in Vietnam a visit, which can last for weeks, every year.

Both of us understand the other’s reasoning, but we cannot agree with each other.

I do not want to split with my wife, as we match in almost everything. If I am determined to return to Vietnam, splitting up is almost an unavoidable ending. Meanwhile, if I stay, I will be worried about my parents.

The past five years has been enough, I don’t want to stay far away from them anymore.

What should I do?

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