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I Want To Move Abroad But My Partner Doesn’t Want To Go

I want to move abroad but my partner doesn't large

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

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

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?

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.

Language barriers

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

Whether you sell your house in your home country or not is a difficult decision. You should probably not sell it when you first move, just in case you don’t like it there.

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?

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.

In conclusion

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.

I hope this article has helped about I want to move abroad but my partner doesn’t

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I Want To Move Abroad But My Partner Doesn’t Want To Go

Article written by Russell Bowyer who has been investing in property since purchasing his first commercial property in the 1990's for his own Chartered Accountancy business. But his first property investment project was to turn an old dilapidated restaurant into a large 5-bed home, which he purchased for £117,500 and sold for £450,000 (to see an "after" photo of the house before it was sold see here: About). Russell owns a number of investment properties, which includes houses, flats and HMO's. More recently he has turned his creative side to investing in property using lease options. His largest lease option deal to date was to acquire 12 properties worth over £2 million for just £12, which means he paid just £1 to acquire each property!

22 thoughts on “I Want To Move Abroad But My Partner Doesn’t Want To Go

  1. Excellent topics and reflection. I wish I had read it years ago. Hope someday me and my fiancée can enjoy fresh air abroad, as now my choices (respecting her denial to a move) led us to keeping where we are and a bit of frustration from my side.

    1. Hello John, thank you for your comment and for connecting, always appreciated. Please come back and let me know if you ever make it abroad. What country were you thinking of moving to?

  2. Im 21 and i want to move to Australia. Ive been with this girl for 3 years now and i know she is the one. But she doesnt want to move as she is too close to her family. I dont want to live here regretting it my whole life- yet i dont want to leave her. Ive said that we can fly them out to see us or the opposite but its never good enough. Any advice? Thanks

    1. Hi Nick, thank you for your comment and question, which unfortunately doesn’t have an easy answer as you are finding out for yourself.

      My advice to you is that you are still very young. You have your whole life ahead of you and you never know what’s around the corner. Let me tell you a story about me. I was in my 20’s like you and had just spent 6 months living in Perth WA. I had to come back to the UK and when I did I applied for permanent residency, which I got.

      Whilst this was happening I met an English lady and I didn’t go. We got married and a few years later she had an affair with a friend so we got divorced. There’s a small part of me that regrets not going (even after all this time), but another part that loves the fact I have a beautiful daughter from that marriage.

      My suggestion is you follow your dream and if she loves you she may follow. Or if you go and you find you can’t live without her, you may decide Australia isn’t a big enough reason not to be with her. But then you may meet a very nice Australian girl and live happily ever after.

      That’s my opinion, but you need to make your own decision. Understand it’s not going to be easy which ever you decide.

      If you go you’ll miss her like crazy, but these feelings will fade over time.

      If you stay, you’ll live a life wondering what might have been and possibly regretting not taking the chance.

      P.s. the older you get the harder it is to get residency in Australia.

  3. This is the situation I find myself in. My wife was never keen to move from the UK, but after Brexit came in, she asked me to look into it and was keen to go. We’re both nurses, so I investigated New Zealand and we had more than enough points to take ourselves and kids over. She then changed her mind, said she didn’t want to emigrate, that she never had any intention of doing so, I could go if I wanted but she and the kids were staying. It was heartbreaking, we love each other, but I can’t just leave my kids. The other issue now is my daughter is visually impaired and my son is likely to get an ADHD diagnosis, so there’s a good chance we may not be allowed in.

    1. Hi Dan,
      Thank you for sharing your story and I feel for you!! I’m sorry to hear about your kids, this must be heart breaking. I think you should make the most of staying in the UK and I think the UK will be okay after Brexit. Look at what we’ve already done with regards to vaccines when you compare this to the fiasco of Europe. There are certainly tough times ahead that’s for sure, but I think the UK will come out okay in the end.
      I’m not sure from your comments whether either of you have already been to New Zealand. If you haven’t then I recommend you go for a holiday and take the kids with you. Why not at least enjoy a vacation there…you never know your wife might love it so much she may change her mind. As for whether your kids diagnosis would prevent you from going, I’m not sure about this. It would seem harsh if that was the case, and I don’t think NZ is like that. Please update me with your story.

      1. I’m afraid NZ is very much like this, I checked with a very reputable immigration consultant who previously worked for the NZ government. My daughter is visually impaired and requires specialist funding for 1:1, meaning she would likely qualify for the NZ equivalent. As such, alongside our son’s needs, it’s highly unlikely we’d be allowed in and we’d waste a lot of money just to be told that.

    2. Hi Dan, Another thought occurred to me – you could apply to ‘Wanted Down Under’ and have them help you decide. I’d like to think your wife wouldn’t object to a visit to New Zealand along these lines. Not even sure if they pay for your flights…this would be a bonus. But please only do this if there’s is a chance your wife might change her mind, as you don’t want to mess other people around. 🙂 Please come back and update your story.

      1. I raised the prospect of Wanted Down Under, my wife wouldn’t hear of it and said she had no intention of moving so it was pointless.

        1. Hi Dan, ok thank you for taking the time to come back and let me know. So are you content to stay in the UK now? It’s not such a bad place after all.

          1. No not really, to put it bluntly I hate it, and the current government never have and never will value NHS staff. Unfortunately though things aren’t going to change.

          2. Hi Dan, that’s a strong word “hate” and I’m sorry to hear this I have to say. But what I will say is that you have a huge UK population that really appreciate what you and the NHS do. I certainly do and if it wasn’t for the NHS I would not be hear today, as they got me through cancer after being given months to live!!

            In fact this is a big reason why I now write blogs articles. Going through cancer I decided to write a novel (much of which I wrote whilst sitting in chemo, or in hospital recovering from sepsis – three-times no less!!). I then published my book. In my opening dedication I thank the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, doctors nurses etc. It was funny to see the nurses reaction when they asked my why I was on my lap top when I would tell them I was writing a novel. In fact a few of the characters were taken from some of the other cancer patients, well the descriptions of them that is.

            It was from writing this first novel that helped me find my love of writing and creativity!! If you are interested, you can find a copy here: – it’s under my pseudonym Adrian Russell – called Nothing Left But Fear!

            I’ll leave the rest to your imagination, but with the hope that in some way this may help you to reflect.

            Take care Dan, Russell

  4. I left my partner of 9 years to move abroad. This was 6 years ago and I firmly believe he was the one for me, but I also don’t regret my decision at all.

    Living abroad was the best 3 years of my life and it was 1000 times easier than I thought it would be! I loved being outdoors all the time under the sun. I was so fit, healthy and happy. Working long and hard for minimum wage is different when your commute crosses a bay and most of your entertainment is free! There was also such a sense of community and belonging which I’ve never felt in the UK.

    I met my current partner abroad and we have a child together, we moved back to the UK temporarily when our child was 8 months old. They are now 3. I want to move back abroad but my partner doesn’t! His reasons are the language barrier, lack of career progression and cultural differences. I speak the language, am starting again in my career after staying at home with our child and I massively prefer the culture abroad. I want my child to start school abroad and spend his childhood outdoors.

    I’m going to address each of these points with my partner to see if we can find a dream we can both follow, but if he doesn’t want to move that’s his right. I am going to make the move anyway, which he is fully aware of.

    For me, unless you are sure you want to stay where you are, then go. Exactly as the author said, you can’t live somebody else’s dream.

    1. Hi Claire,

      Thank you for your comment and for sharing your story. I hope your your sake and your child’s sake you can find a dream you can both follow! By the way you haven’t mentioned the country you moved abroad to. Also, is your partner from the UK too?

      I wish you all the luck and please come back to let us know what happens next.

      Russell 🙂

      1. I moved to New Zealand as a solo backpacker and I ended up meeting my Kiwi ex partner of 2 years, he’s 28 and I’m 30.
        I needed to return to the UK due to the passing of my grandad and for me to complete an apprenticeship so I could have the career I wanted in nz. My ex got a UK visa and was going to join me for one or two years and then we would reside in nz permanently after. Unfortunately he ended things at Christmas, I think he was too frightened to move over given the circumstances but he was unwilling to think of alternatives too.
        I’m trying to let go if my dream to live in nz but I’m finding it quite hard as I’m not overly keen on the UK

        1. Hi Mia, thank you for your comment – yes distance relationships don’t always work out in the end. Moving countries is a big deal, and given what we’ve all been through over the last 12 months or so with Covid, it’s perhaps not a surprise what your ex-partner has decided. But in reality, he can’t be the right person for you for whatever reason, as love knows no bounds, as they say. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t continue with your own dream, complete your apprenticeship and emigrate to NZ at that point. You never know, you may then meet the real man of your dreams!! Good luck and please come back to complete your story, and let me know how you get on, Russell (p.s. sorry about your Grandad 🙁 )

    2. Hi Claire, one more question, is your child going to go with you or stay with your partner in the UK?

      Thank you, Russell

  5. I’m 16, and i have to decide where should i live, in a country with the best healthcare for my favour in my old age, or stay in my country to do my responsible (take care of my mom as she has disease that can’t be cured). Or the other way is move to the country with best healthcare after my responsible is done, furthermore, i have to convince or persuade my wife to move abroad, and probably she won’t go with me because she has to leave her friend and family. How about your opinion? Should i live in my native country or move abroad? Thank you

    1. Hello Kevin, thank you for your comment and question. What you ask is a tough one for me to answer, and only a question you can answer for yourself. You need to decide whether it’s worth it to leave your native country and leave your mum, who from what you say is dependent on you, leave your wife, who you say won’t come with you…is this what you want? These are tough decisions for anyone to make, but at the age of 16 this is possibly even tougher.

        1. Hello Kevin, I’m sorry but this question is beyond the type of question I can answer on property, so I recommend you seek advice from a counciler or your close friends and talk this through with them.

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