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Ask Katie! A question on the pace of life

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SW France Life Concerns

Katie Gardener is a fully qualified CBT Counsellor and 10-year expat based on the border of 47/24.  She is here to answer your questions.

If you would like to ask Katie a question for this column please write to her in confidence, c/o

a life concern answered

Katie Gardener

Jane G writes:

My husband and I moved here nine months ago and I am becoming concerned for our future.  He seems to have settled into pottering mode whereas I want to be out and about, discovering new places and meeting new friends.  This is not exactly the life I had imagined.  Ive tried talking to him about it but he just says hes retired now and is happy with his own surroundings.  Any ideas about how I can encourage him to want more?

Hi Jane!

There may be several reasons, other than the pottering one, why your husband has become disinterested in expanding his horizons and it is this that you perhaps need to research in order to move forward.

Over many years of counselling Expats here in France, I have found that many men (and a lot of women!) find the initial transition from full-time job with colleagues, deadlines, camaraderie and everything else that goes into making a career, to full-on retirement  a little piece of heaven.

Unfortunately, that happy state is often short-lived and the lack of a sense of purpose and achievement, together with the rather isolating value of going from being surrounded by lots of like-minded people on a daily working basis, creeps into the psych, resulting in a deep sense of daily dissatisfaction with ones lot.

My starting point would be to sit down together and review what you were both hoping for in the first place by your move to France and the differences between those, for you both individually and as a couple, and your current needs and wants.

Try to identify the specific areas of dissonance. Determining the underlying cause and there will be one (or more) will help you both to come to a more mutually compatible future.

Details of counsellors and therapists throughout Gironde, Dordogne, Lot et Garonne, Lot, Gers, Tarn et Garonne and north Haute Garonne can be found in our website Business Directory under Fitness, Well Being and Beauty

Images: Katie Gardener and Shutterstock

First published in the July/August 2018 issue of The Local Buzz