The reality about becoming an expat wife
With one flick of the aeroplane doors it is gone. The independence, the choices, the freedom to do what, when and how. It is then that you realise the extent of your sacrifice. That becoming an expat wife in Germany means everything that you took for granted has changed:
You have sacrificed your independence.
And your joy.
The confidence and ease that come from having history in a place. The insider knowledge of where to buy, what to do, how to get. Great fun if you are on holiday. But as an expat wife in Germany – it is exhausting.
Exhausting because it is what you have to do everyday. Your life as an expat in Germany requires you to learn, discover, build and adapt - it is overwhelming.
But you have no choice. You have to make this work.
And so you push on. Through the red tape, the grey fog and the ever-returning blue of loneliness in a foreign country.
From the supermarket to the lack of your own bank balance or ability to converse– it is a never-ending puzzle that you must solve.
Unable to master the daily tasks or your emotions you feel like a failure.
But you have to be strong, for your children, for your partner – so you help them get through.
Then who helps you?
Without a job, you are left to help yourself. And you have tried.
But you can’t do this on your own.
As the nytimes.com reports, ‘expatriate spousal dissatisfaction is the biggest reason that assignments fail’, ‘more than 80 percent of those not working wanted to work’ but there are: ‘cultural issues’, ‘foreign languages, licensing’, ‘certification’ and all the other obstacles to deal with.1
What you so desperately want is a conversation with depth. An honest chat about you, with someone who cares.
And just you.
Not the children, the husband, the place or the house. Just you.
About how you feel deep down inside. About the crushing loneliness, the loss, the boredom and confusion. About the people, your worries, your relationship, your fears.
About everything and anything.
A meaningful conversation. To get it all off your chest and find a way to move forward.
You need a change. You want help to get through this. And that is why so many expat wives are turning to expat coaching to get the special mix of specific support that they need.
Whilst loved ones back home can bring comfort for a moment, they can’t help you in your daily struggle to get through. You can’t fully explain how bad it is to them. You have to be a “grown-up” and end the conversation on a positive - to at least hang on to that last shred of dignity.
But deep down that is not how you feel. An expat coach works because they are independant from your family, friends, husband and children. Their only purpose is to support you.
To help you to find your identity in this relocation. To provide you with the emotional and practical support that you want whenever you need it. Everyone needs to know that they have a lifeline who is only a phonecall away.
Whether you need to talk, cry, laugh or scream – your expat coach is here. And that is what you have been missing.
Someone to talk to about how you really feel, without judgement. Someone to give you the tools to help you to access the local culture and community. A sage who can help you to move forward and find success and fulfillment from your expat life in Germany.
Emotional support for you, from someone who understands your experience and cares about you personally. This is the missing ingredient in arrangements for relocations.
All of the time is spent on practical organisation, then you, the expat wife give emotional support to everyone else in the family – leaving you with none.
But you are not alone.
Research by Yvonne McNulty of the Singapore University of Social Sciences highlights the intense experience of an expat wife. She reports that: becoming an expat wife creates ‘identity and isolation issues’. Expat spouses can be left feeling ‘resentful, lonely and anxious’, which can ‘cause longer-term marital problems’. 2
So the important thing to do is to get help from an expat coach and begin to move forward.
You didn’t know that becoming an expat wife would mean that you would lose your independence and joy. And you won’t. Together we will find your purpose, rediscover your joy, and help you to make your expat life in Germany a success.
Listen to my webinar today: 5 steps to finding success and fulfillment from an expat life. Find out how I can help you to find your identity and rediscover your joy in your new expat life in Germany today.
Do you agree? What are your experiences in becoming an expat wife? Have you got any useful tips on finding a job or becoming a part of the local community? We would love to your stories and experiences of life as an expat spouse. Add your comments below.
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