couple contracting, expat couple, moving abroad

Why Couple Contracting is Crucial for Expat Couples

Text by: Kate von Knobloch

Living abroad brings unique challenges that can shift dynamics within a relationship unexpectedly. From adjusting to a new culture to managing career changes or redefined roles due to local constraints, these transitions can strain a partnership without clear communication and agreed-upon expectations. It might sound weird to formulate a contract with a loved one. However, many appreciate couple contracting as a tool since it supports be more clear and active in our way of communicating with our partner. Let’s get started and learn more about what couple contracts entail and how to set one up for yourself. Further down I am also sharing a free template with you to get the process started. 

Let's start with a definition

A Couple Contract is a formalized agreement between partners that outlines their expectations, roles, and responsibilities within the relationship. Couple Contracting helps partners to communicate openly and navigate life’s complexities together more effectively. In the context of expat couples, where external pressures and changes are heightened, a Couple Contract becomes an essential tool for maintaining and strengthening their relationship. It’s not a legal document, but rather a personal agreement that promotes clarity, mutual understanding, and partnership.

Why You'll Love Couple Contracting

Navigating New Roles Without Losing Yourself

Let’s face it, moving abroad can toss your usual roles out the window faster than you can say „Where’s the nearest grocery store in this town?“ Suddenly, you might find yourself mastering the art of school runs, or perhaps tackling a new job in a language you barely speak. A Couple Contract acts like your relationship GPS—helping both of you navigate through these new roles without turning each other into accidental frenemies. It’s all about giving props where they’re due and keeping everyone happy and appreciated.

Dual Career Tango: Step Together, Not on Each Other’s Toes

When both of you are career-driven, an international move can dance on your nerves. Will there be work permits, job openings, or are you going to have to sacrifice your career for love? Here’s where a Couple Contract steps in with a beat. It’s like having a choreographed plan that keeps both of your careers in sync. You outline what you need, from work permits to moral support during job hunts, ensuring neither of you has to sit out the next dance.

Cultural Integration: From Awkward to Awesome

Diving into a new culture can be like that dream where you show up at a party and realize it’s a costume event and you’re the only one not dressed up. A Couple Contract helps you both support each other in blending in and standing out—in the right ways. Want to conquer the local language together? Check. Keen on trying out cooking classes or local dance? Why not! Couple Contracting puts those goals on paper, turning „awkward“ into your new „awesome“ as you explore and engage with your new community as a team.

love, couple contracting, expat couple, moving abroad

Drafting Your Expat Couple Contract

Open Discussion

Start with an open and honest discussion about your expectations and needs in your expat journey. What aspects of your new life impact you the most? What support do you need from your partner? Also discuss doubts about doing couple contracting in the first place and find your own way of using this tool. 

Define Clear Roles and Expectations

Use your discussion to outline and agree on roles and responsibilities in your new environment. This might include who manages household finances, how daily chores are divided, or how you support each other’s social and emotional well-being.

Include Professional and Personal Growth Plans

Make sure to address how you will support each other’s careers and personal development. This might mean agreeing to take turns in career prioritization or setting specific goals for skill development relevant to your new location. For many this is an essential part of couple contracting. 

Agree on Strategies for Cultural Integration

Decide how you will tackle cultural challenges together. Whether it’s learning the language, understanding local customs, or engaging with your new community, make these activities part of your contract.

Review and Adjust Regularly

Recognize that your situation may evolve, and agree to review your contract regularly—perhaps every six months or with every major life change—to ensure it remains relevant and supportive.


By formally setting out a Couple Contract, expat couples can create a strong framework that supports each partner individually and strengthens their relationship as a unit, making their overseas assignment a successful and fulfilling venture.

Free Download: Couple Contracting Template

To help you get started, I’ve created a free Couple Contract template that you can download. This template is designed to guide you through the process of creating your own contract, ensuring that all important areas are covered.

Sign up to the SharetheLove Newsletter and receive the download link right away. 

    couple contracting, expat couple, moving abroad, template

    I hope you found this blog post helpful for your current situation. Let me know if I can be of any help! I offer the opportunity for free 1:1 discovery calls to discuss your situation and I also offer free monthly global coffee dates where women from all around the world meet to discuss their global lifestyle decisions. You can safe your spot here.

    Kate from Share the Love, expat, expat wife, expat life

    Do you know anyone who might find this helpful? Share the Love by sharing this article

    Schreibe einen Kommentar

    Deine E-Mail-Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht. Erforderliche Felder sind mit * markiert

    Ich stimme der Datenschutzerklärung zu


    Schreibe einen Kommentar

    Deine E-Mail-Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht. Erforderliche Felder sind mit * markiert

    Ich stimme der Datenschutzerklärung zu