The Expat Partner Identity Struggle
The “role” of the Expat Partner comes with many stigmas, wrong communication and disillusion. On SharetheLove, I want to invite you to dig deeper and learn more about this topic. Learn about the research in that field and read about other inspiring Expat Partners. It is a process to get from “what is my part in this new life now?” to embracing this expatriation as a unique possibility to foster your skills and grow!
Expat partners do not only face a cultural challenge
There are countless studies of expat partners and their personal development abroad. Probably the most drastic aspect for many is that the changes take place on so many levels at the same time. From time to time, this can pull the rug out from under your feet and cause disorientation. Coaching and the exchange with others who have mastered a similar situation has proven to be very helpful. Here is an overview of how the assignment can affect the identity of an expat partner:
Personal identity comprises the intrapersonal aspects of a person such as values, goals and basic beliefs. They are usually already formed in adolescence.
effect of assignment
Questioning existing values & goals
Interpersonal identity defines the role we perform within the family, a company or society as a whole. Examples are mother, supervisor, etc.
effect of assignment
Re-traditionalization of roles
Social identity describes the sense of belonging to a group based on characteristics such as gender, occupation, religion, interests, etc.
effect of assignment
Loss of a sense of belonging
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A few years ago I read an article in a renowned German newspaper about women who move abroad for their husband’s careers and give up their careers to do so. The article was written in a tone that made it clear that the reality of this situation was not fully grasped by the authors. There was a lot written about self-sacrifice, betrayal of emancipation, and throwing away one’s identity. These are points that are certainly felt partially by expat partners, but they do not reflect the real motivation and situation in all its complexity. I have then written an opinion piece that has lost nothing of its relevance to this day.
Therefore, in this blog post I would like to point out the other side and draw a counter-draft to the image of the spoiled partner abroad.
An international relocation presents varying degrees of threat or challenge to expatriate spouses’ happiness. In this blog post, I explain why that is and reveal the key ingredient to master the journey of moving countries with a sense of fulfillment and happiness.
I am thrilled to finally share with you my latest research on the Female Expat. After months of work (and a steep learning curve on conducting academic research), I am proud to present the result in the form of a free epaper to download. In this blog post, I will share key insights and why this study is relevant to you when accompanying your partner on an assignment abroad.
Many expat partners ask themselves what to do with their life after moving abroad – especially when the “society-approved”, traditional corporate job or raising children is not a scenario. We often forget that there is a different path we can go: Not working, investing all the time and energy into ourselves, and be happy as hell. I am thrilled that Simone, who is actually also one of my coaching clients, is open to sharing her story and her personal approach in a blog post with us. Simone is a huge inspiration for me, and I bet you will be inspired after reading her reasoning behind her choice as well. Enjoy getting to know Simone and her creative, bold, confident, and clever approach to spending her time abroad.
Becoming the Expat Partner is not only about dependency and change in a stressful way but also offers great and unique value. Learn more about how Expat life will change your life in a positive and sustainable way.
Underlying beliefs can stop Expat Partners from finding their professional identity abroad and move forward. Learn more on how to detect underlying beliefs and act on it during your time abroad.
In this blog post I will explain the emotional journey of an Expat Wife and the deep, mind-changing learning I drew out of that experience. My motivation behind this post and the blog itself is more than ever: Empower women who were bold enough to quit their job and joined their husband on their joint adventure abroad.
What Next? The struggle of defining yourself as an Expat Wife Moving abroad is a big step. Moving abroad for the love of your life