SOOOOO frustrated living in the US with my foreign DH - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 35 Old 07-10-2011, 07:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DH is from Kenya - we met in Kenya, got married there, and then moved to the US for him to go to grad school about a year after we got married.  We've been in the US for three years now and I am soooooo frustrated.  DH finished his grad school program a year ago and still has not found a full time job in his field.  He recently started a part time associateship so at least he is able to network and work in his field but it's only part time and they are paying him just slightly more than minimum wage.

 

He is so frustrated/depressed that he has a master degree and cannot find a job.  We have a 2 yr old and another on the way in Feb, and he is so stressed that he can't get a decent job.

 

Dh is very smart and gifted and it's so hard that he is not getting the opportunities or respect that I think he deserves.  Being a foreigner is so hard in this country - I feel like with the political situation there is a lot of anti-foreigner bias and then there are the race issues in this country which makes it hard for any black man and then there are stupid stereotypes about Africans so with all that my DH constantly feels like people are looking down on him and he is not getting a fair chance.  Even in his job now, he finds people don't take his opinions seriously because a lot of hte AMericans he works with are arrogant and think they know best.  

 

We're likely going to move back to Kenya because we both feel like this is not a healthy place for him and therefore not healthy for our family.  We are about to start the citizenship process (Kenya allows dual citizenship) so that we don't ever have to deal with US immigration again (which is another whole post in itself) and with the baby coming in Feb we don't feel like it's realistic to move before next summer.

 

It makes me really sad that my country is not welcoming to foreigners and that it's not a good option for us.  I've always thought we would end up in Kenya anyway and I enjoy living there but I thought the US would always be an option.  We are close to my family and it's been such a blessing and it will be really hard to leave them.

 

Has anyone else experienced this?  Does your DH have trouble finding work, feel disrespected, etc?  I don't know how to best support my DH right now - any suggestions?  It's been really stressful financially as well - we have a pretty good marriage overall but this is definitely putting a strain on our marriage just because of the stress of it all.

 

 

 

 


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#2 of 35 Old 07-11-2011, 09:23 AM
 
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Sorry that you and DH have had such a hard time!

 

My DH has been in the States for 13 years now. He did his undergrad, masters and now PhD at U.S. institutions. He is in the virology field. Once he finishes his degree he will start looking for a permanent-type job (a "real" job lol) so I don't know how that will be. But he hasn't really had a hard time getting assistantships and he also worked for the state for about a year in-between the MS and PhD. He definitely has a "foreign" name and look, but he has worked hard on his accent (with my help winky.gif) and has learned how to make American small-talk so I think he's pretty good at putting people at ease. He watches sports a lot so chatting about football can help open people up. Although this hasn't been the case for him in the past, his current boss is also an immigrant. 

 

I don't know what field your DH is in. The job market is generally pretty rough. More school may be the answer. What about re-locating within the United States if you really want to stay? Some areas may be more welcoming than others...

 

As far as support you can try to save money on things. But depending on his personality, dwelling on it too much may make him feel bad ("I can't provide for my family.") Try to have fun and free outings as a family as often as possible. My DH doesn't always talk about things that are stressing him out. I've learned to give him some time to brood and then when he's not sleepy, hungry, or otherwise distracted ask him about it. Even though he has a job, he's a student so we don't have a lot of money, but I always let him know that I'm happy and I have everything I need and that's what counts.


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#3 of 35 Old 07-11-2011, 09:46 AM
 
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i feel the opposite, when i met dhetting a masters in computer engineering and once he finished that degree he went to work in that field right away but didn't like it much. He eventually went to work for some friends business and finally settled on car sales of all things. To think my hubby got his masters degree at 24 and has been selling cars for 5 years is a bit strange, but he is very good at selling them is always one of the top salesmen and gets a lot of respect from his employers and co-workers. He makes much better money than had he stayed in engineering and typically he makes more money each year. My dh does not ever want to move back to his home country, he loves it here too much. The only way we would permanently relocate is if pretty much USA collapsed or something and it became a desolate place to live. I don't feel like my dh has been discriminated against at all in regards to careers.


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#4 of 35 Old 07-11-2011, 10:54 AM
 
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((((hugs))))

 

btdt.

 

It took dh 5 months to find a job, even though all the companies he applied to/interviewed at are practically *begging* for fresh blood.  He's highly qualified, his references indicate that he works like a maniac, he's not asking for too much in the way of pay or benefits....there were definitely times we wondered if his accent and "outsider" vibe had anything to do with the constant stream of rejections. 

 

He has the equivelant of a Physician's Assistant, but will never get any of that transferred here because much of his training was on the job, and the rest of it was done at foreign institutions and for some reason colleges either don't know how to or don't want to deal with institutions in Ethiopia.  He has suffered some serious internal humiliation at working crap jobs just because his education and experience cannot be recognized here.

 

OTOH, in spite of the frustration, he's not in a hurry to go back to Ethiopia.  I think things there must be very different than they might be in Kenya.  Right now Ethiopian economy is in trouble, inflation is through.the.roof, security is necessary for a non-Ethiopian family but hard to obtain a very safe place/situation unless you're very rich, and it would be difficult for us to give our children the educational opportunities they have here.

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#5 of 35 Old 07-11-2011, 03:24 PM
 
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Not necessarily my family now but my mother has faced such severe, blatant discrimination since we moved here. She's lived here for, goodness, 20 years now. She still has an accent and is obviously a foreigner but people talk to her like she's stupid or something. It's heartbreaking. I don't have an accent so no one thinks I'm a foreigner and it just is shocking that when the two of us are together they'll talk to her through me, even though she's clearly capable of understanding. Eh. And we're very fair skinned, so it's not even the race thing. I don't know. For all its multicultural acceptance, in our experience America has not been very welcoming. Well, to me, yes. But that's because no one knew I was a foreigner. =P

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#6 of 35 Old 07-12-2011, 06:37 AM
 
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One thing dh noticed is that there's definitely an issue with being *foreign*, not necessarily a race issue always.  Where we are dh has had just as much, if not more, ugly attitudes from African Americans as he had from whites. Even the flat-out insanity of someone saying "Until I met you, I thought Africans all still lived in trees.  You're not what I expected"  rant.gif

 

He was heartbroken one day, watching what happened in the hardware store--an elderly lady who must have been from Eastern Europe, with a very thick accent, was trying to get help and was treated like a complete idiot.  So sad.  A Jamaican friend was describing his frustrations with dealing with utility companies and other businesses.  "Oh, you have an *accent*.  I will have to get a translator."  Sure, you have to listen a little closer and use your noggin for context clues, but he is not stupid and is perfectly comprehensible.

 

It's very sad.

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#7 of 35 Old 07-12-2011, 02:50 PM
 
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I married interracially/internationally back in 1973.  My husband was black, from the Caribbean.  I am white/American.  We moved a lot but we ended up staying in the States for many reasons.  Primarily, we thought our children would have the best opportunities in this country.  My husband did struggle professionally--remember, we married just a few years after King was killed.  However, it did pay off dramatically for the children. All three have professional degrees.  All earn >100,000 per year--the oldest is 33.  One graduated with an MBA from HBS.  Had we returned to my husband's country, all the children would have had to emigrate from there for schooling in the U.S.  Our earnings in his country would not have been sufficient to pay for American college.  The medical care my dh needed at the end of his life would not have been available in his country.  Yes, there were struggles.  I worked as needed to supplement our income and I also worked hard at home to encourage and nurture him in the face of racial hostility outside our home.  Things are much easier now--one of my children is interracially married (white spouse) and they don't experience anything of the depth/breadth of racism we lived through nearly 40 years ago. Still, you will struggle. Prayers--as you make decisions.

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#8 of 35 Old 07-12-2011, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the replies...

 

I think a lot of it does have to do with his field - he's in peacebuilding/international development.  I can understand that a lot of fields would have a lot more opportunities and better pay in the US, but his field might be the exception.   There are a lot of foreign alumni of his MA program, and those back in their own countries have generally well paying influential jobs in the government, UN, or NGOs, and those who tried to stay in the US are working in walmart, restaurants, struggling to find jobs, etc.

 

Most of the jobs in the US are in the DC area which has a crazy high cost of living.  The cost of living is less in Kenya and life seems simpler.  I work 25 hours a week, try to cook healthy food from scratch, take care of my 2 year old, clean, etc and in Kenya we could afford to hire someone to clean and cook, and we would have more of a community.  We are tired of the high cost of living, isolation, stress, racism, etc in the US.  I know we would still be dealing with different issues if we went to Kenya, and maybe I'll be back on these boards in a year venting about how hard it is to be a foreign spouse in Kenya :)

 

I agree that the main issue is with foreigners, although there is still some racism in the area where we live.  I work at a Univ (we live on campus) with very little diversity and my African American colleague and some students I've worked with have complained often about the racial issues at the University.  So i feel like DH has two strikes against him - not only is he black, he's also a foreigner.  He does have an accent but IMO it's not hard to understand at all and English is the language of education in Kenya so his English is perfect.   


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#9 of 35 Old 07-12-2011, 07:25 PM
 
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I subscribe to Christian Science Monitor (weekly news magazine).  A regular contributer on the "home" page lives in East Africa (can't remember which country) and writes fascinating articles about culture, family life, inlaws, travel, and so on. Her children are thriving.  In light of what you have explained, I'd go for at least a few years.  Once his career is launched, it will be easier to transfer.  Starting out is the worst.  It will be an adventure!

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#10 of 35 Old 07-13-2011, 06:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks thanneaKS, and thanks for sharing your experience.  I try hard to encourage and support my DH but sometimes I have no idea how to do it.  I would love to know what was most effective for you to do to encourage DH during the times he felt especially down


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#11 of 35 Old 07-13-2011, 07:33 PM
 
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First, if you haven't read "Intercultural Marriage" by Dugan Romano (available thru Amazon), do it.  I didn't discover it until several years after my dh died. I cried while reading it because it made things so clear!  I'd seen us an an interracial couple but we were, first and foremost, an intercultural couple. Race doesn't matter except outside your door--when other people see race.  I didn't see race at home but I sure did see culture. Culture is everything from what you eat to what you believe in to how you grieve to how you understand things to what you read.  I missed so much that I should have known!!!

 

How you support your dh depends on what he feels he needs.  I spent a lot of time/conversations explaining America to my dh.  We talked a lot and I told him so much. I explained people to him; I explained habits and mores and holidays and--well, everything. I didn't do it in a lecturing/teaching kind of way but just conversationally, the way he explained so much to me when we were in his country.  Of course, I asked millions of questions when we lived there.  He didn't ask questions as much but I talked to  him as if he did, kwim?  We talked about raising kids (his favorite comment was that Americans didn't raise children; they just let them get big!) We discussed different cultural expectations, different ways of education, and so on.  Our children tell me that in our house, there were always at least two right ways of doing everything!!!!  They're right--sometimes we went his way, sometimes my way, but most often we blended our ways into something new.

 

I'd encourage your husband to get down in writing his goals for his family.  Include his expectations for you and for the children.  Maybe make it a 2 year or 5 year plan. Then put your heads together and figure out ways to make it happen.  He may have expected that, by marrying you and coming to the States, he would have an inside ticket to success here.  Instead, the racism he faces is worse because he's married to you and that can be a shocker.  But, you can explain so much about America that, in a way, he does have an insider's scoop.  He may have counted on familial support--my dh surely didn't get it but I later found out he had assumed it would be there (not financial but connections). I'm guessing he's discouraged about the job situation but there's more to it.  He's probably shocked by a lot of things in the States and he has you and children to deal with in an unknown culture.  He's frightened--and that's not comely for a man.

 

Read the book--and talk about everything in a warm, supportive, and encouraging way.  Intercultural marriages are never boring.  I wouldn't trade my life for anything. We lived in Canada, Trinidad, South Korea, Germany and Greece--always challenging, always exciting.  Hang in.

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#12 of 35 Old 07-13-2011, 08:09 PM
 
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Dear OP,

 

Sorry you're feeling so discouraged hug2.gif 

 

You mentioned that most jobs for your DH are in DC area which you don't seem too excited about - what about looking for a job there anyway?  If your DH does get something there, it provides another option, doesn't it?

 

I'm suggesting the above because from my personal experiences so far, depending on the locales, the US can be quite different in how foreigners are generally treated.  You and your DH might be more comfortable in the DC area. 

 

There have been places in the US that we visited - visited while traveling that is, not even lived - that we felt incredibly unwelcome to the point of feeling unsafe, usually based on our physical appearances, and yeah the accent thing too.  But, you know what, there are also enough many places where foreigners won't stick out either.

 

It really might be worth it to try moving within the US instead, you'll stay close to your family too this way.   The option of moving to Kenya is still going to be there regardless.

 

 

 


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#13 of 35 Old 07-14-2011, 06:15 AM
 
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Honestly -- I think some people are just able to make the adjustment to a different culture better (more flexible personality/temperment, willingness not to impose some kind of moral judgment on different mores and behaviors, etc.). 

 

However, from your previous posts, I do have to ask whether you think your husband's happiness level will be substantially different in Kenya?  Or will he still be dissatisfied -- for example, not being getting the respect he thinks he deserves there?  I mean, some things like that are personality rather than location and I was getting that vibe about your husband from your prior posts. 

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#14 of 35 Old 07-28-2011, 08:01 AM
 
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I'll share my experience, just in case you can gain something from it.  My husband is from Mexico, so LOTS of racism, especially when it comes to jobs (because that's what Mexicans do, is steal jobs from real Americans! ;)  ).  He went to college for 5 years in Mexico to get an advanced accounting degree, but he works as a farm hand here...and he actually found that he prefers this kind of work.  So that might be an option--look at other careers.  My husband never imagined that he would rather do dirty manual labor work over air conditioned office work, but it was the only thing he could get (because that's all that Mexicans are good for is dirty manual labor, after all ;)  ) and if he hadn't lowered his standards and expectations he wouldn't have ended up doing something he enjoys as much.  I'm not saying that your husband needs to lower his standards or that he should even have to, but sometimes it helps to look outside of one's expectations.

 

When my husband first got his green card, we had to live with my mother until he found work.  Being from a very patriarchal country, it was incredibly hard for my husband to stay home with our infant daughter while I worked to support us.  He felt all of the typical feelings..."I'm not man enough," etc.  He now says that if he is ever unemployed again, we will return to Mexico instead of having to go through that again.  While we were going through the immigration process, I went to live with him in Mexico for a while, and I know that that is something that I may not ever be able to do again.  I'm sure there are a lot of differences between Kenya and Mexico, and between your husband and mine, but living in a foreign country is something to think long and hard about.  I know several women who manage it and are happy, but I know that my own experience was horrid.  The US can really suck, but compared to many, if not most, other countries, we are very blessed.

 

As far as the everyday racism that has the potential to make his life here a living hell, well, by husband has the great luck of being light-hearted and thick-skinned.  It just doesn't get to him, and I've noticed that when people see that it doesn't bother him, they tend to abandon their racist efforts.  So that can be another trick to try.

 

Anyway, I hope you guys find your happiness, somehow, somewhere! 


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#15 of 35 Old 08-01-2011, 07:47 AM
 
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I totally sympathize with you, OP. My husband is West African (we met and married in his home country, lived there for a few years while I was teaching) and was treated extremely poorly when we were living on campus at my home university in the US (I came back to teach there briefly, am a phd candidate). It was not only stressful but also horrifying, he was very poorly treated and a librarian even called campus security about him when he was using the computer in the university library (with student spouse ID, he was more than qualified to be there). 

 

We moved to NYC, and things are better here, much better. However, I think my husband has been emotionally very traumatized by the experience. He's having a hard time finding any work related to his field or previous experience. It's very difficult. At the same time, we really can't go back to his home country yet: the job situation there is worse than it is here. Also, there is some political unrest.

 

It's very hard living the life we want to live in the US. I imagine this is part of what you are feeling. My suggestion is this: change your friends, and change the people you are around. It might be hard (and you might have to move to NYC, actually, check out the employment possibilities in his field here, Ford Foundation, for example). I lost a lot of friends because I was unhappy with the shabby way they treated my DH. It was painful, and difficult. However, I'm better off for losing them, frankly.

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#16 of 35 Old 08-02-2011, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanneaks - thanks for all the good advice, it's great to hear those things from someone who's also been through it

 

mamamunchkin - we actually are looking in DC - I think the diversity there would be healthier for our family, but he doesn't have much field experience overseas and most of the DC jobs are higher level management positions where they want you to have experience.  If something opened up there, we would definitely move there but it's crazy expensive so we can't move there until DH finds a decent job

 

jane93 - I'm sure some of it is personality, but Dh was definitely a different person when I knew him in Kenya.  He grew up in humble circumstances so it's not even like he expects exceptional respect, he just wants to be treated like a normal person and not always feel like people are looking down on him or making false assumptions just because of his nationality.  He lived most of his life as part of the majority culture where he was treated and judged more on him as an individual and not as a foreigner/African/black man

 

mt_gooseberry - I am glad your DH has been able to find something that makes him happy!  I can imagine how hard it must have been for your DH to stay home with your daughter - my DH is an engaged father and helps out a lot but it would be a HUGE blow to his ego if he had to stay home adn I was the one working full time. 

 

matte - I can really relate to your experience.  I think DC would be similar to NYC in that there is more diversity and people tend to be more accepting.  Living in a small city in VA has been tough - we do have some international friends and we do to a diverse church ( which is REALLY hard to find) but I have had to back off some relationships with people who didn't treat DH very well.

 

I don't know if moving to Kenya would be the best thing, I go back and forth on the idea.  Things are tough in Kenya right now and he would have to find a job first before we moved there because there aren't really many safety nets.  I just can't stand to see DH so frustrated all the time when he has the skills, education, and intelligence to excel in a job.  It's also hard to see the "other side" of American culture and realize how tough things can be in the US and how much racism/stereotypes are still very much alive - not something I really understood growing up as a middle class white american. 


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#17 of 35 Old 08-03-2011, 04:09 AM
 
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I'm sorry that you and your DH are going through this.

 

A good friend of mine was dating a W. African man. We live in Europe and the subtle racism in her own country and the two third countries (they were both doing post-docs in separate European countries) did their relationship in. He came from an elite family in his country, was very well educated, and thought doing the European post-doc would be great. It wasn't. He became very depressed and bitter and started to, essentially, blame my friend (white, from former colonial power). He was also in int'l development and had great opportunities with NGOs, the UN, EU missions, etc. back in his home country, but very little in the way of prospects in Europe. My friend, in turn, could do very little career-wise in his country, so the romance fizzled out. So I think this attitude is, unfortunately, pretty universal . . . at least in North America and Europe.

 

From my own experience, I'm a (white) American married to a European. While my experience can't really compare to that of your DH (I don't look much different than the majority population here), I get a lot of flak for being American (American foreign policy isn't popular here!). No matter how hard I try, I'll always be different. I speak the language quite well, but with an accent, and people treat me differently (and not as well) because of it. The minute I open my mouth, I stand out. It makes me feel self-conscious and awkward, even after 11 years here. My job opportunities are somewhat limited. Though I speak the language quite well, it is with an accent, and people just aren't that used to accents + have the feeling that, no matter how fluent grammatically you are, there must be something wrong with your grasp of the language if you speak with an accent. Sad as it is, I realistically might not be able to do nearly as much as I'd like with my career due to living here. We've chosen to go on living here, though, because we have a nice life, a great international group of friends, and, overall, the upsides outweigh the downsides. My point is not, "poor me" but, rather, I'm afraid that, as global as we've become, people's attitudes are still pretty provincial in many ways, and that's not just in the US.

 

What I needed to do was consciously remind myself that I've chosen to live here, that the upsides do outweigh the downsides for me and for my family, that there would be things back in the US that I wouldn't like or would annoy me, that people are sometimes stupid, but most people actually don't intend to insult me or hurt my feelings, that it's ok to speak up (I get quite assertive about some things relating to being a foreigner), that knowing some basic history/politics shuts up lots of people (!) when they start wanting to talk to me about why they don't like the US, and that I just have to work harder at some things because I'm a foreigner. My DH, in turn, needed to be supportive and understanding, step back and reconsider his own culture, recognize it's flaws, but also be pretty firm (but loving). When I'd start on a rant, he'd listen, hug me, then move on. Or gently say something about, "How do you think that would work in the US?" to refocus me. It doesn't do anyone any good for both spouses to wallow in "Yeah, it really sucks here." He'd gently point out that I was romanticizing the US.

 

There are good things and bad things about each place. If it's better for you all to live in the US now, then it is. You can sympathize with your DH, love him, try to find a better place to be, create your own community, and move on. If things are that bad, then you all do need to make plans to move back to Kenya. Otherwise, I think, ultimately, with your help, he has to take responsibility for trying to find happiness where he is.

 

 

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#18 of 35 Old 08-03-2011, 11:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedaisy View Post

matte - I can really relate to your experience.  I think DC would be similar to NYC in that there is more diversity and people tend to be more accepting.  Living in a small city in VA has been tough - we do have some international friends and we do to a diverse church ( which is REALLY hard to find) but I have had to back off some relationships with people who didn't treat DH very well.

 


Blue daisy: from what I've heard and experienced, I would favor NYC over DC. DC is VERY segregated, in many parts. My experience was in a major city, about the size of DC... Consider NYC.

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#19 of 35 Old 08-04-2011, 04:00 PM
 
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DH is caucasian and speaks without an accent, but couldn't find anything because he was born in a different country.  If we had moved somewhere else in the US we probably would have been fine, but we have elected to move to his country of origin.  It was a hard decision for me, but I watched him suffer for years as he was not able to support our family as he felt he should. 

 

I know he was invisibly 'foreign' and struggled, I can't imagine how much harder it would be with an accent and different skin color.  So sad that the great melting pot- isn't. 

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#20 of 35 Old 08-05-2011, 04:45 PM
 
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Dh had a bad moment today.

 

One of the patients at work called the person who is training dh, and asked where he's from.  He was in the room at the time, but not right next to them, but maybe they thought he couldn't here/understand.

 

Patient: Where's he from.

Trainer: Ethiopia

Patient: Oh

Trainer: This country is so screwed up.  So many Americans out of work, and *he* gets a job.

 

:(

 

Which may explain why he's been having difficulty with her, if she's resentful of him even having a job. sigh.  It really tore him up to hear that. 

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#21 of 35 Old 08-06-2011, 07:48 AM
 
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I didn't have a race issue, but I encountered troubles when finding a job. I did work hard back home to get a MA degree from a prestigious university. I worked at a reputable company while going to school and finished it all on my 24th birthday and was soooo proud of myself. Then I came to the US to discover that nobody knows the reputation of my school here and being a foreigner have to settle for lesser jobs and then work my way up. It was really frustrating at first. I started a job with others who just finished a BA degree. I had to take jobs I was highly overqualified for. But I learned not to be upset at that anymore and instead looking at the bright side knowing I can work my way up quickly by being efficient, imaginative and diligent. There really is no other way.

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#22 of 35 Old 08-07-2011, 01:10 AM
 
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I'm sorry. That's really really out of line.greensad.gif I hope your DH is doing better today.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post

Dh had a bad moment today.

 

One of the patients at work called the person who is training dh, and asked where he's from.  He was in the room at the time, but not right next to them, but maybe they thought he couldn't here/understand.

 

Patient: Where's he from.

Trainer: Ethiopia

Patient: Oh

Trainer: This country is so screwed up.  So many Americans out of work, and *he* gets a job.

 

:(

 

Which may explain why he's been having difficulty with her, if she's resentful of him even having a job. sigh.  It really tore him up to hear that. 



 

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#23 of 35 Old 08-07-2011, 02:14 AM
 
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My cousin has her masters and can't get a job (she's extremely smart and works with numbers etc).. even with a bachelor's there is a huge fight over minimum wage jobs. The job market sucks. I'll get backlash from this but on the west coast foreigners get most of the jobs since they are bi-lingual. Here if you are not from Mexico you won't get hired. Just how it is and I think a lot of Americans from whatever decent are becoming bitter and lashing out at anybody for anything as they lose their homes and see foreigners without citizenship driving hummers

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#24 of 35 Old 08-07-2011, 03:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by babygirlie View Post

Here if you are not from Mexico you won't get hired. Just how it is and I think a lot of Americans from whatever decent are becoming bitter and lashing out at anybody for anything as they lose their homes and see foreigners without citizenship driving hummers



Wow.  The only "foreigners without citizenship" that I know (and I know a lot), including my husband, are certainly NOT driving around in hummers while Americans lose their homes.  First of all, "citizenship" is not the same thing as being legal.  My husband is not a citizen, but he is here legally.  Second, Mexicans (legal and not) are returning to Mexico in droves because THEY are losing their homes and jobs at higher rates than any other ethnicity in the country (I can get you the actual stats if you don't believe me).  Third, most Mexicans (and other "foreigners") are working POS jobs that would never allow them to afford a hummer, and those who have "good" jobs probably deserve them.  It may seem like there are a disproportionate number of foreigners succeeding while "real" Americans suffer, but I assure you that it is simply your own desperation that is coloring your opinions.  You're seeing things from the outside, but I'm actually living it so I must say that I believe my own experience with this issue is more likely to be the accurate one. 

 

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#25 of 35 Old 08-08-2011, 01:20 AM
 
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Wow! I just don't know what to say to this.

 

The one thing we can agree on is that the job market *does* suck . .. for everyone!

 

Why don't we blame the bad economic policies of the previous administrations for this rather than immigrants? It's exactly this scape-goating that plays into the hands of politicians who have no interest in reforming our economy or our political system. Why should they when uninformed people will blame immigrants for all their woes?

 

Moreover, while I'm certainly sorry for your cousin (I've btdt with a MA, btw), the fact is . .. . a MA (or even a MS) isn't any sort of guarantee of a job. Not only does the economy suck right now *but* it really really depends on what the MA is in and where your cousin lives. If it's a MA in a field where there isn't much of a demand . . . well . .. . yeah, it's rotten luck, but maybe she needs to either keep looking or retrain.

 

I'd be interested to see what statistics you have to validate your assertions that "west coast foreigners get most of the jobs."  I don't think you'll find any. I think your statement is based on ignorance of the way the complex economy in American works.

 

I should add that I was a foreigner without citizenship in the country I live in now for 11 years (in W. Europe). I didn't have *citizenship*, but I was here legally. Big difference! Don't drive a Hummer, though! smile.gif

 

I hope that you can move past the knee-jerk intolerance being propagated by certain political groups and look at the facts for yourself.

Originally Posted by babygirlie View Post

My cousin has her masters and can't get a job (she's extremely smart and works with numbers etc).. even with a bachelor's there is a huge fight over minimum wage jobs. The job market sucks. I'll get backlash from this but on the west coast foreigners get most of the jobs since they are bi-lingual. Here if you are not from Mexico you won't get hired. Just how it is and I think a lot of Americans from whatever decent are becoming bitter and lashing out at anybody for anything as they lose their homes and see foreigners without citizenship driving hummers



 

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#26 of 35 Old 08-09-2011, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
My cousin has her masters and can't get a job (she's extremely smart and works with numbers etc).. even with a bachelor's there is a huge fight over minimum wage jobs. The job market sucks. I'll get backlash from this but on the west coast foreigners get most of the jobs since they are bi-lingual. Here if you are not from Mexico you won't get hired. Just how it is and I think a lot of Americans from whatever decent are becoming bitter and lashing out at anybody for anything as they lose their homes and see foreigners without citizenship driving hummers

 

 

 

 

Yeah, my response to this is pretty much the same as the others have said - it's pretty offensive and I don't think it's accurate.  in my area, I definitely don't see many foreigners driving hummers.  Most of them are working poorly paying jobs that they are way overqualified for because education they received in their countries in not respected here - for example, my mom works with a woman who was an OB in Pakistan but is only a nurse's assistant here - her medical qualifications from Pakistan mean nothing and she is not even considered qualified to be a nurse.  My friend's father in law was a successful archaologist in Ethiopia and is now a parking attendant in a parking garage.

 

Also. there are some foreigners that come from very wealthy backgrounds in their home countries.  I think there's an assumption that all foreigners (especially those from "developing" countries) are poor and come to the US to make a better life.  I work with international students at a university and some of them come from extremely wealthy families and have way more money than most of the American students.  So just because a foreigner is driving a hummer doesn't mean he "stole" jobs from Americans and is wealthy at the expense of jobless Americans who are losing their homes. 

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#27 of 35 Old 08-14-2011, 07:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedaisy View Post

 

 

 

 

 

Yeah, my response to this is pretty much the same as the others have said - it's pretty offensive and I don't think it's accurate.  in my area, I definitely don't see many foreigners driving hummers.  Most of them are working poorly paying jobs that they are way overqualified for because education they received in their countries in not respected here - for example, my mom works with a woman who was an OB in Pakistan but is only a nurse's assistant here - her medical qualifications from Pakistan mean nothing and she is not even considered qualified to be a nurse.  My friend's father in law was a successful archaologist in Ethiopia and is now a parking attendant in a parking garage.

 

Also. there are some foreigners that come from very wealthy backgrounds in their home countries.  I think there's an assumption that all foreigners (especially those from "developing" countries) are poor and come to the US to make a better life.  I work with international students at a university and some of them come from extremely wealthy families and have way more money than most of the American students.  So just because a foreigner is driving a hummer doesn't mean he "stole" jobs from Americans and is wealthy at the expense of jobless Americans who are losing their homes. 


Yeah, it's also important to realize that some of the foreigners you see "driving hummers" etc, are from the very top of the social/economic spectrum in their home countries and are not here to work, but to shop etc. Better to compare them to the folks you see on Madison Ave in NYC and on Rodeo Drive in SoCal. 

 

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#28 of 35 Old 08-14-2011, 07:38 AM
 
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Many people that might be considered by some as "foreigners" (because of how we look, the languages we speak, the places we were born or have lived, and/or our cultural or religious practices) are US citizens or are legally eligible to work in the US, not foreign citizens or illegally working in the US. In addition, "Americans" is a frequently misused term to refer to "US citizens" when in fact, it means anyone from the Americas. Some of the comments on this thread come across as offensive to me and racist and stereotyping.

 

With regards to the economy, I think that we can all agree that it's not good and I think DariusMom makes an important point that some politicians have encouraged the scape-goating of one group of people or another to avoid addressing the deeper issues of economic reform (and the mistakes made by politicians in the past that have strongly contributed to the current situation). In addition, I think it's easy to look at a country-specific (for example, in the US, to look at a very US-specific or US-centric) view, but the economic problems of one country impact the global economy and people worldwide. The US is affected by poverty and economic challenges in many countries worldwide and the economy problems in the US affect many other countries worldwide.

 

OP, I hope that your DH finds a job that is interesting and best utilizes his skills and talents.


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#29 of 35 Old 07-09-2012, 08:27 PM
 
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where do you live? My African husband and I have some of the same issues, but I wonder if there are places in the US that might be better because more black and more cosmopolitan? Atlanta, Brooklyn, ...
 

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#30 of 35 Old 07-17-2012, 11:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedaisy View Post

 

 

 

 

 

Yeah, my response to this is pretty much the same as the others have said - it's pretty offensive and I don't think it's accurate.  in my area, I definitely don't see many foreigners driving hummers.  Most of them are working poorly paying jobs that they are way overqualified for because education they received in their countries in not respected here - for example, my mom works with a woman who was an OB in Pakistan but is only a nurse's assistant here - her medical qualifications from Pakistan mean nothing and she is not even considered qualified to be a nurse.  My friend's father in law was a successful archaologist in Ethiopia and is now a parking attendant in a parking garage.

 

Also. there are some foreigners that come from very wealthy backgrounds in their home countries.  I think there's an assumption that all foreigners (especially those from "developing" countries) are poor and come to the US to make a better life.  I work with international students at a university and some of them come from extremely wealthy families and have way more money than most of the American students.  So just because a foreigner is driving a hummer doesn't mean he "stole" jobs from Americans and is wealthy at the expense of jobless Americans who are losing their homes. 

I think , the problem is , that mnay Americans don´t really have a clue as to what is really going on in other countries . 

In 1992 , I moved from my native Germany to Indiana with my husband , whom I had met , while he was stationed overseas , and when I started working ( at Pizza Hut ) , one of my co - workers , after finding out where I was from , said " oh , so you finally came to a modern country " greensad.gif

I thought " what ? "

Couldn´t help , but tell him " no , I left one "  


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