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Making the Move Positive| Relocating with a spouse/partner

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Relocating with your partner

Making the Move Positive!  Spouse/Partner career opportunity means moving home.

Moving home is complicated and emotionally exhausting in the best of situations.  The best of situations in these economic times can mean your spouse/partner has been offered a great job.  The Catch 22 is that you as the partner in this relationship will also be moving away from friends and family.   Another issue is that you do not have a job offer in the new location and will be unemployed, away from friends and family and possibly isolated socially for a few months.   What to do?

Even though you fully support your spouse/partner in career advancement, you may still harbor secret feeling of resentment because you are giving up your current community, home and job.  This can lead to strain in a good relationship and trauma is a borderline relationship.   All of this is normal and there are ways to make the transition more positive for both partners.

Be prepared for bouts of homesickness, loneliness and increased dependence on your partner who has accepted the new job.  Meeting new people, getting involved in a new community, obtaining a new position or starting a new and entirely different career take time and patience.  Social life may revolve around your partner until you have developed a web of friendships or obtain employment.

Selecting a new home is critical for you both.  Home shopping should begin the moment the career move is finalized.  The Internet provides the ability to search for homes, view virtual tours and talk via email with a real estate agent long before you actually plan a trip to the new town.  Harsch Associates Berkshire Real Estate's website allows you to tour homes, save searches that match your needs and budgets.  Harsch will also send you updates when new properties come on the market in your price range.  When searching real estate sites on the Web look for those that allow you to save your search and those that will update you when a new property comes on the market.

While the partner with the new job will be spending long days on the job learning new responsibilities the trailing partner will be doing his/her best to build a place for themselves in the new community.  Discussing the issues that may arise before the move will go a long way toward assuring that your relationship survives and grows during this stressful period.  Discuss how you will handle:

  • Periods of dissatisfaction and frustration for the trailing partner
  • Feelings of resentment and homesickness for the trailing partner
  • Keeping the lines of communication open during the next year as both of you adjust
  • Helping the trailing partner find a new career or perhaps an entirely "New Niche"
  • Adjusting to a single salary while the trailing partner seeks employment- do not force the trailing partner into the first available employment opportunity that arrives
  • Staying connected with the friends and family "back home"

Help your trailing partner by being supportive after all they are giving up much to support you in your career move.   Participate actively in your trailing partner's job search.  Offer to set up appointments with "headhunters", career counseling services and professional employment agencies.  Go with your partner if that is possible.  Offer to pay for professional resume updating.  Find local agencies that will place your trailing partner's resume online.

This may be the time for your trailing partner to look at educational opportunities in the new location.   If your partner has wanted a career change for some time, then help your partner find out what education is needed to make the leap and then find colleges or trade schools in the area that can provide the training or degree desired.    E-learning programs can provide degree opportunities in places where a college or trade school is not available.

Above all, remind your trailing partner often that "without your support" this career opportunity would not be successful.  These little things mean a lot in every relationship.    Reassure your partner that you understand the sacrifice and then follow through by sacrificing your time and your support while the partner works toward that new degree, new career, or "New Niche" in whatever direction.

You are both committed to your relationship and that commitment will be the foundation as you adjust to your new careers, new town and new friends while remaining firmly committed to friends and family back home.  It will be a juggling act, but for today's couples juggling job, home, and family is nothing new.