What if you really don’t want to move abroad?
Your partner has been offered this amazing job abroad, it will be fantastic for his career, the money is great and everyone thinks it’s really exciting except one person…
What happens when you don’t want to move abroad?
You don’t want to give up your career.
You don’t want to give up your friends and family.
You just don’t want to go, plain and simple.
So what do you do?
First of all it’s really important to acknowledge all the emotions you are currently experiencing. If you feel angry, if you feel resentful, if you feel put upon, if you feel upset, if you feel powerless then realise that whatever you feel – it’s okay.
It’s important to have those emotions as reactions but it’s also equally important to then let them go.
Own your decision. If you decide to go with your partner, you may feel you have no choice, but when push comes to shove – you really do have a choice. Truthfully and honestly, you could put your foot down, dig your heels in and just not go. Many couples live on different continents. Some couples do split up over this.
Own your decisions
But nobody can make this decision for you; it’s something you have to decide for yourself. And decide you must. Because if you don’t, then resentment will build and that’s never good in a relationship.
So, if you do make the decision to go, you make the decision and then you own it.
Then it’s about making other decisions.
- What are you going to do to make the relocation work for you?
- What do you need to make it work for you?
- What do you need to negotiate with your partner to make it work for you?
- What do you need from your friends and family to make it work for you?
You may not know all the answers to these questions because if you’ve never moved abroad before you don’t really know what it’s going to be like.
So when you get there it’s okay to rant at French bureaucracy. It’s OK to scream when you think everyone speaks English but it’s not your version of English and you haven’t got a clue for the name of something is; it’s OK to get mad at Spanish timekeeping; it’s OK to feel fed up with the weather. It’s all perfectly OK and it’s perfectly human and normal to feel these things. But whatever you feel, please don’t make any of this the story of your expat experience. Get over it and accept this different way of life.
Don’t go on and on about all the negatives. Have a rant. Have a quick outburst and then decide how you are going to make life good for you. Use this as your mission.
Before you go discuss your fears and worries with friends who have a positive attitude. Those friends will help you reframe your thoughts and help you work out how to make the move abroad work for you. Don’t hang out too much with those who say “Oh my god, I wouldn’t want to go either, how dreadful for your!” It’s really not advisable to have all that negative input!
Make sure you have those discussions with your partner before you move about what’s going to make it work for you. When you get there, go out and make new friends as fast as possible and learn to find your way around.
I’ve got lots of other great articles on this subject – try these for starters:
Stay proactive, keep busy and focus on the positive about your new life and your new country.
Keep in touch with your friends and family back home. Schedule regular talking times to make sure you feel connected.
Embrace and welcome the new experiences and know they will expand your current version of yourself. If you have children, look at this as a golden opportunity for them to broaden their horizons and gain in confidence and worldliness.
Look forward to sharing all these new experiences with your partner and allow your relationship to get closer as a result of all these shared memories.
If you move and you decide you really do not like it, then know you can come home. But if you don’t at least give it a try, how will you ever know?
If you really do not want to move abroad, embrace the emotions and then make a decision on what you are going to do. If you do decide to go, own this decision and do everything you can to make sure you create positive intentions around the experience. Don’t fall into a passive victim role of disempowerment as this is not going to serve you or your relationship. Instead, embrace and celebrate your decision and decide to focus on all that is good and great about it.