A new study has revealed that expats who are in a serious relationship can often come under a great deal of strain, a strain that the study compares to the stress that can come about when a couple deals with having their first child.
If two people are involved in a loving relationship, and great change comes about, then there are always going to be hurdles and problems that may have to be addressed. Whilst there are no doubt a number of factors that could affect the relationship, there are also a number of things you can do as a couple to try and soften the blow.
Discuss the move prior to journey
It is always important to be vocal in a relationship, but sometimes we can get carried away with excitement and perhaps slightly forget the feelings of our partners. Becoming an expat is a perfect example. If you are the one who is moving for work, and your partner is coming with you, then they may have reservations they feel uncomfortable to voice, while you are swept away in a whirlwind of excitement. This is why it's important to sit down and have a good chat about the move, find out if there are any concerns, and ultimately find solutions. Even if a solution isn't found instantly it's always better to get things out in the open as opposed to harbouring doubts- especially taking them with you to another country.
Be prepared for a change in dynamic
It could be possible that elements within your relationship could change, giving a change in individual dynamics. It is unlikely that both of you will be leaving for work, so you may find that in increased wage has allowed your partner to give up work and relocate with you. While this may seem idyllic that may not exactly be the case. In reality such a change will be a serious move, your partner may be apprehensive about not working. On the flipside the worker may also be concerned with shouldering the entire earning burden, again this is something that it will be important to keep on top of.
Think about the good things
A fun and positive exercise that will also boost morale could be to have a sit down and go through all the good things that will come as you become an expat. Talk about your new life together, share a sense of excitement, and hopefully this will ultimately far outweigh any negatives there may be.
Share the burden
There will no doubt be number of tasks associated with your move abroad, finding a home, childcare etc etc. Again, the key point here will be togetherness, if you tackle the tasks together and dish out an equal number of responsibilities you won't end up with either party feeling aggrieved.