Welcome to the third part of this series! In this article learn from Jenna, Heather, Jessica, and Winona about how to best succeed in the midst of loneliness, emotional strain, and difficulties that arise when a couple moves.
Take care of each other’s different emotional needs.
Each of you will experience the move differently. You each will find your place in work, friendships, and general comfort at different times. And it will probably take longer than you expected. . .We each had to learn to compromise and act unselfishly for the needs of the other.
My friend Jenna and her husband Brent have lived in 4 different cities over their 9 year marriage:
I find the hardest part is starting over with new friends. Lots of extra time is needed to create and build friendships, and Brent has been really good to create that time for me by helping around the house and taking care of our kids. We have to continually remind ourselves that getting settled and meeting new people is time consuming and doesn’t happen overnight. When you first move, you are constantly looking for comfort and normalcy. You have to be that for each other and help your spouse find it in other new things, which usually means sacrificing time.
Be your spouse’s biggest supporter and comforter. Remember that you are not in it alone and you are not the only one who has uprooted and moved to a new place. You’re in it together.
When you move to a new place you get to start fresh together and a new life. Each time we have moved we have been confident that the Lord had us in that place for a reason and a purpose. It’s exciting to see what he brings. Moving is hard and stressful and sad and just challenging! BUT I have friends all over the place because we have moved so many times, and we have been blessed to get to know lots of people.
Be willing to deal with the problems.
Catch resentment or jealousy before it gets a chance to grow. My friend Heather said her biggest problem was depending on family regarding daily aspects of life instead of on her husband, Tom. This was her first time living in a different city than her parents. “I blamed Tom for ‘taking me away’ from everything and everyone I loved.” It’s okay to feel upset, but work through issues that come up before they get a chance to tear you apart.
It might seem easy (and harmless) to talk with your family about the difficulties that arise when you move. But it’s not harmless. And in the long run it’s not easy, either. Dealing with the problems, the emotions, the worries, and the difficulties as a couple is when you’ll see that moving is not only something you can survive, but something that can help your marriage thrive.
Embrace the opportunity.
My friend Jessica and her husband Eric met in high school, then married with a year of college left to finish. While they faced challenges of marrying young, completing degrees, and living away from their hometown, they saw that start of their marriage for the incredible opportunity that it was.
When we got married, it was hard moving away and living without the support of our families for the first time. However, it gave us the best foundation that we could have ever had. As challenging as it is, embrace it because you will never have that initial transition again. It is a very special time for you as a couple. It’s the best opportunity to establish and build a foundation for how the two of you will interact with family or friends together.
Winona and her husband learned great lessons and found reasons to be grateful:
Moving to Chicago is an experience I’m thankful for now. It caused me to be less dependent on my parents and more on my husband. Moving challenged us to tackle difficult issues early in our marriage. We learned that even though times might be tough, our commitment and love were a constant that would sustain us. We realized that God sustained us by giving us one another to show his love. After our Chicago move, we moved once again. I reflected then and recognized that no matter where we are in this great big world, my home is where my husband is, and navigating life (or a new city) with him is an adventure I’m thankful to be on.
I am so glad for the lessons we have learned from moving. Read the fourth part of this series – an interview with Stephanie, who moved to Japan with her husband!