Expat partners should remember there’s always support available to help overcome whatever complex emotions they may be experiencing. The best thing they can do is reach out and open up.
The known unknown
Initially, living abroad and experiencing a new culture may be an exhilarating time. But when the honeymoon phase ends, the process of adjustment must begin in earnest. The uncertainty alone can often be daunting and can quickly lead to feelings of isolation.
Bottling up emotions
In some cases, expat partners undergoing complex emotions might not want to open up to their own partners. Maybe they don’t want their partner to feel guilty, or even resentful, or because they fear their partner has enough on their plate at work. But to bottle emotions up is a mistake.
Let the ego go
Sometimes our egos make us our own worst enemies. We don’t want to admit we need help and we may believe we can figure it out ourselves. But, when living overseas, a worldly individual can experience culture shock just as a well-travelled person can get homesick and a high-flier can suffer an identity crisis.
Out of the woods
Past studies have shown that 50 to 60 percent of homesick adult women did not express their feelings to others. People can be even more reluctant to seek support when experiencing acute depression. But expat partners need not suffer in silence. By accessing channels of support they can get the advice they need to tackle these emotions and get out of the woods.
A sympathetic ear
So to summarise, when in doubt, expat partners should not be afraid to reach out and open up. Fellow expats can, of course, be super helpful but one should be wary of listening to those who just wish to criticise the situations they find themselves in rather than find solutions to lead more satisfying lives.
Make an appointment
Many expat partners who are relatively new to a country may have no personal network, and this is where Global Connection’s highly experienced consultants can help. They can offer more than just a sympathetic ear. Aware of the Cycles of Change every expat will experience, they can advise on how to handle adjustment while also brainstorming a tailor-made action plan or helping connect to a suitable life coach.