If your spouse has recently told you about a job offer that would require you to relocate, you may have mixed emotions. Moving long distance can be exciting on your own terms. If you are leaving behind your own job, friends and your family for your spouse's career, you may feel resentful, frustrated and even angry. However, if you do make the choice to move with your spouse, it's important to supportive during this new venture.
Similary, if you have been offered a great job cross-country, you may be excited to make the move, but your spouse may need some reassurance. With patience and a positive attitude, you may be able to get your partner to look at the possibility of moving in a more favorable light. Supporting each other is the key component for a successful move.
Listen to concerns if your partner is moving for you
What are your spouse's reasons for rejecting the move? Does your spouse feel like you're being selfish? Will they have to leave behind their family and friends? Does your spouse rely more on familiarity and stability than adventure and change?
Sit down and talk empathetically with your spouse about some concerns and let them know you understand how they feel. Being insensitive and alienating will only turn your partner against the move. Listening to your spouse will make them feel more involved in the move.
Are there any compromises you can make to ease some apprehensions? Ask for them to come up with some ideas. Maybe even have them come to open houses and have them share what they think.
Stay positive and don't give an ultimatum
If you have already agreed to relocate, acting resentful or angry will only stress you both out and make the move an unpleasant experience. If you are having reservations about the move, openly discuss them, but keep a positive attitude. Your spouse likely feels the same way you do about certain aspects of the relocation. Whether your spouse is moving for you or vice versa, being supportive means not focusing on the negative and embracing the positive.
Marriage is about compromise, and the worst thing you can do is give your spouse an ultimatum. No major decision like moving should be made without the consent and approval of both partners. If you love and respect your partner's happiness, do not forcibly coerce them into uprooting their life. Consider how you would want to be treated in the same situation. Be patient and considerate throughout the process.
Give your spouse half of the control
If your spouse is unhappy with even the idea of moving, you may want to ask them if they want to take some control in planning the relocation. Giving your spouse control and keeping them involved will reduce feelings of helplessness and defeat. It can even help strengthen the relationship.
Things to choose together:
- A neighborhood to live in
- A house to buy
- A moving company
Even if a company is paying for the relocation costs, there is a lot of planning and work to be done. If you are moving for your partner, you can show support by pitching in with the organizing, packing, phone calls and paperwork.
Highlight the benefits of the relocation
Discuss the benefits of this move extensively with your spouse. Work is the most common reason for relocating long distance and often the best and most sensible reason to consider a move. Explain to your spouse why the offer is too good to pass up and detail the ways your lives will improve if you accept the position. Show your spouse the great opportunities that the move can provide.
If you are the one moving for a partner, take interest in your spouse's new job offer. Seeming disinterested and indifferent when your spouse discusses the opportunity will lead them to feel uncertain and resentful. Vocalize your concerns and try to maintain a non-judgmental and positive attitude.
Visit the new area before you move there
Your spouse may be afraid of moving, because it's unfamiliar. Offer to take a trip to the new city before making the permanent decision to move. Before booking the trip, research points of interest that will appeal to your spouse.
If you are feeling anxious about a long distance move for your partner's job, becoming familiar with your new home will make it much easier to fully get on board. You may find out that there are many interesting places in your new city, a thriving job market in your industry or other desirable qualities that will get you excited about the move. Gathering some background information will also make the area feel less alien when you arrive.
Help ease the transition and take time for yourself
Even if your spouse finally agrees to make the move with you, they may be down in the dumps after your relocation is complete. Ease the transition by being attentive and giving them space when necessary. Suggest places or activities in your area that may appeal to them or help them send out resumes. Decorate your new home together.
You may find yourself becoming overwhelmed considering the needs of someone else. To keep your sanity, it's important to take time for yourself to relax and focus on things that are important to you. While it's imperative to be supportive to your spouse during the transition, your needs are just as important. Take time for yourself -- they might need time to themselves, too!