If you want to emigrate but your partner doesn’t, what’s the answer?
When I moved abroad for work myself it was one of the most exciting things I did in my life. So if you want to move abroad but your partner doesn’t this could be one of the most frustrating and trapped feelings to have.
So what do you do if you want to move abroad but your partner doesn’t want to go? If you want to move abroad but your partner doesn’t want to go, try to persuade them to go for a holiday to see if they at least like the country. If your partner won’t entertain this idea of going to your chosen country of migration, you have a choice between living with your partner or migrating without them.
That’s not the whole story of course, as there’s more to this than meets the eye. One important factor that affects the decision you make from this question is whether you are married to your partner or not.
Marriage is a significant commitment and it would be terrible to even suggest you choose between your marriage and moving aboard on your own. This is unless your marriage is having problems or is on the rocks, which is a whole difference question.
So you could be boyfriend and girlfriend and one or other of you wants to migrate and the other one doesn’t. Or you could be husband and wife and either the husband or the wife doesn’t want to move abroad. Let’s look at each of these partnership types in turn.
You want to move abroad but your boyfriend or girlfriend doesn’t
If you are boyfriend and girlfriend the ties between you won’t be a serious as a married partnership. In this scenario you have the following considerations:
1. Move abroad by yourself and wait for your partner to follow
If the person in the relationship who wants to move abroad feels very strongly about emigrating to another country, they should just move in any case. If the relationship is meant to be, the other person of the relationship will follow along. Or you may find that after moving you miss your partner so much you return home.
This may sound harsh, but if you are still young you don’t want to live someone else’s life. Living somewhere else in the world is so much fun. It may be that when you get there you don’t like it in any case, but you need to try it and get it out of your system.
You have to be aware that resentment can kick in. This can happen either way. Which means if the person who wants to move abroad doesn’t go, they will resent this fact and this could end up destroying the relationship in any case. But on the other hand, the person who doesn’t want to go, but goes to please you, they may feel resentment by going.
I don’t want you to get the wrong idea that I don’t care about loving relationships where marriage isn’t involved. I also know this won’t be an easy decision to make if you really like your partner or even harder if you love them. But this is a true test of love.
2. Kill the dream of moving abroad
The person who is the one who wants to emigrate can simply kill their dream and stay where they are. The problem with this option is the resentment factor. Resentment can eat away at you and can cause arguments.
What may happen is you end up splitting up in the end and the opportunity you had to move abroad has gone. This could leave you feeling unhappy and very resentful.
3. Get married before you move abroad
It may be that the other person in the relationship needs a marriage commitment before they are prepared to fly half way around the world to emigrate. This isn’t unreasonable and may be what solves the problem.
In addition to these thoughts, take a read of the ideas I put forward for married couples, as some of these ideas will help you too.
The decision you take regarding the above two points when you’re not married is whether or not it’s real love. Each one of these questions could be answered by asking yourself that question. Do I love my partner enough to stay with them and to make the most of my life where I am living?
You want to move abroad but your husband or wife doesn’t
If you are a husband and wife team, the commitment is obviously stronger. But then if you have children too, this makes things even more complicated. So what are your options if you are a husband and wife partnership?
1. Weigh up the pros and cons of moving abroad
Get your husband or wife to sit down with you to discuss the pros and cons of moving abroad. This will give you the opportunity to review the reasons why you want to emigrate in the first place.
Your partner who doesn’t want to go will come at it with a negative perspective, which isn’t always a bad thing. They will challenge your thoughts about whether or not it’s a good idea to move abroad.
Have a read below of the factors to consider when moving to another country, as this will help you in this discussion.
This discussion will help you to crystalise whether your dream is just because the grass looks greener on the other side.
The pros and cons you should consider for your home country vs your intended country to move to include the weather, finances, job opportunities, raising a family, sport and activities.
2. Go to an international living event
International living events are designed to help people like you are looking to move abroad to better understand the challenges. But also they provide the opportunity to meet people who can tell you more about the country you intend to migrate to.
You can find out more about visa requirements and job opportunities.
3. If you have problems in your relationship beforehand
Something to think about is if you’re having problems with your relationship even before you thought about moving abroad. Moving abroad is likely to magnify these problems, but then it could be kill of cure.
What are the factors you need to think about when moving abroad?
There are many factors to consider when deciding to emigrate to another country. These include:
Leaving friends and family behind
This can be more of a wrench for some than on others. Family includes your parents, brothers, sisters and if you’re older, this will also include your children and their children, i.e. grand kids.
Finding new friends
This will be easier if you have a job, but if one partners doesn’t work they may feel a bit isolated as it’s more difficult to find friends.
Also, do you focus on expat friends or make friends with locals? If you move with children, this is a great way to meet new friends at the school gates.
If the decision is an economic one make sure to do your homework
Don’t be blinded by the romantic notion of moving abroad because you’ve been on holiday to the country. Holidaying and living somewhere are completely different.
Look into the cost of living in your country of choice vs where you currently live. Look at how much it will cost to buy a house and how easy or difficult it will be to raise a mortgage. How much does it cost to rent a property?
What are the day to day living costs for food and utilities. Plus what are the taxes you’ll pay as a resident?
Do you have pets to consider?
If you have pets you need to decide whether they come with you and if it’s appropriate to put them through the quarantining process. If your pets are old, this may be stressful for them and you may want to wait until they have passed away.
Does the country you intend to migrate to have a good healthcare system? Is it a free healthcare services like the NHS in the UK for example, or will you need insurance to cover you if you get seriously ill.
What if you’ve had health problems in the past or do you have health problems? Will healthcare insurance cover you for these healthcare issues.
If you are moving to a country where they speak a different language, this makes it more tricky if either you or your partner don’t speak the language. But make it fun and go to classes together to learn the new language.
Having kids and a support network
If you currently use parents as your support network if you have children, this will be lost when you move abroad.
You also need to consider how you will disrupt your children’s lives by moving them abroad. What is the schooling like in the country you intend to migrate to for example?
To sell or not to sell your house
You can always sell your house later if you love your new life. But if you don’t you will have a house to return to.
Rent before you buy
It’s always a good idea to rent a house before you buy when you first move to another country. This is just in case you decide you don’t like it.
Renting is much easier to get out of, but if you’ve bought a house, this is much more difficult.
Are working visas required?
Work visas are not always easy to get and this depends on age. Visa applications are ageist, but they are also career dependent. Some countries, like Australia, have a points system.
The problem with this type of system is if you are older and your skills don’t feature on their wanted list, you’ll find it very difficult to get a residents visa.
Cost of coming home if parents get ill
If you have moved to another country this makes it more difficult to see family. This becomes even more of a challenge if one of your parents gets seriously ill. Instead of being able to drive to see you parents, you now have to get a flight.
You need to consider your work commitments and the cost of flights in this scenario.
Distance from where you already live
Consider the distance your intended migration country is from where you currently live and how this will impact you. For example, if the country is a 2-3 hour flight away, this is totally different to if the country is on the other side of the world.
This is an important factor for returning home to see friends or family.
Your hobbies or interests
What hobbies or interests you have will make a difference when you move to another country. Or even if you go to gym. This is because having hobbies or interests are good ways to meet people and make friends.
How easy will it be for your partner to get a job?
If you are moving abroad because of a job opportunity, if your partner follows you they may not necessarily get a job right away. This may be difficult for a while. But it may be your partner doesn’t want to work, but then this may make it more difficult to meet friends.
This is where it might be worthwhile considering a volunteer position instead to avoid feeling isolated.
What are the reasons why people emigrate to another country?
There are many reasons why people move abroad to another country. But make sure you’re not doing it to run away, as this never usually works out well.
If you have a problem where you live now, when you emigrate, the problem will still be there, but simply with different surroundings.
So what are the reasons why people move abroad?
- Job opportunity: This is an exciting prospect to move overseas to enhance or progress your career. This could be for more money or simply to progress your CV.
- Retiring to help your retirement funds go further: If you live in an expensive country like the UK or the USA, you may be able to move to somewhere like Asia where property prices are cheaper and the cost of living is lower. This will mean you could cash-in on your assets and take these to the new country and live a better life.
What you decide in the end may not be an easy decision. Whether it’s to stay with your partner and choose love over moving abroad. Which could mean a lifetime or wondering what if? Or do you leave for a new life and leave your partner behind?
If it helps your decision, you could look at it that doesn’t have to be a one way ticket. You can always move back if you or your partner hate it. This may be your final persuasion tactic.
You may find that once your partner starts living in the other country, they may love it. But on the other hand they may not like it (you may not either), you both move back and at least you’ve tried it.
However, if you are able to go for an extended holiday first, this may help. But this will depend on your work commitments and what holiday you can take.
But it’s important to work together if it’s your intension to remain in a relationship, as this will help to avoid any ‘I told you so conversations‘ further down the track.
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