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Relationships and relocation

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Relocation as any great lifetime transition tends to show up weak links in a relationship.

Relocating adds tension and pressure to the weaknesses in any relationship that may well be under the surface until the relocation actually becomes reality.

The stage at which the relationship stands is vital in the sense that what one person wants and is committed to may not be the other persons deep-seated wish.  So commitment to the relationship, long term, is what is required. There should be a shared purpose from both and a promise to each other that intrinsically they want the same thing even if one of them is taking a new route.

This means it is vital for partners to state what they want. By making clear demands as to what they want for each other and for themselves in the coming years. To study, to have a child, to work, to switch careers. Trying to find an agreement point as to what would be possible and to discover where the couple can have an agreed idea of their futures together. Taking responsibility for their own relocation choices.

Research... Don’t just have dreams and wishes. Find out about the location you are going. The costs and the lifestyle. Just finding a roof over your heads is not giving you a home. To create a home both need to be surrounded by an atmosphere and environment that will help them assimilate.  

If one is not working anymore how will that affect the family finances? Life abroad, even with a good contract and benefits can be a loss making exercise if someone gives up the home job.  

Talk about managing in a new country! Without family, friends, maybe neighbours who speak another language. Could the accompanying person function alone, at least for a while? How can they build up a network to replace work mates, family and community?


It can be easy to outsource all the responsibility to the person who is moving for their job. The accompanying one will just absolve all necessary decisions often stating “well you brought me here!” Implying they are a victim of circumstance and can no longer function alone as “ I gave it all up when I decided to come with you” It is important to remember the responsibility you each have towards each other and agreed upon to make the relationship and the transfer really work out well! 

So if this is the discussion in your home-to go or not to go abroad- consider these points. Do you have a shared purpose? What is your aim for the coming 2 years? What are you sure about in your relationship? What does a move mean for both of you. Listen to each other’s views and create a support system for each other that will get you through the lonely days and excite you on the good ones! There will be plenty of both!  

Michele  Bar-Pereg

By Michele Bar-Pereg

Michele is the founder of Relocate Yourself, a platform that helps people during their relocation period.

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