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

Definition

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

Definition

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

Definition

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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The Expat Partner Dilemma

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EXPAT PARTNER CAREER PLANNING: HOPE & DISILLUSION

Recently I stumbled upon one of the best, recent academic papers about Dual-Career Planning in expatriation. The paper “Expatriated dual-career partners: hope and disillusionment” by Agnieszka Kierner perfectly illustrates how hope vanishes when career goals are not met during an international assignment.

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The Expatriation: A journey into the past for modern women?

Since I started my adventure of living abroad and even more after diving into the business behind expatriation, I am fascinated by the shift of gender roles after moving abroad. In this blog post, I want to elaborate a bit about my personal experience with the gender inequalities in expatriation and add some interesting resources I found.

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The Expat-preneur: A real deal?

Over the last week, I read a couple of academic papers about expatriation. Many papers are dealing with the effect of expatriation on the relationship and the influence of the Expat Partner on the success of the assignment.
One paper, in particular, caught my attention: “The expat-preneur: conceptualizing a growing international career phenomenon” by M. Vance, Y. McNulty, Y. Paik and J. D’Mello.

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What am I? The struggle of defining myself as an Expat Wife

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.

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