A number of years ago my husband and I separated...
A number of years ago my husband and I separated and eventually divorced while living overseas. In many ways the strain of the separation felt worse due to being far from home. I wanted to talk about this today because it is reported that expats and migrants have a higher percentage of divorce, as high as 70%. I want to tell you how I was feeling in case you are feeling the same. I want you to know that you are not alone.
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During my separation I was living in Singapore. I had not lived there for long so I still felt quite new to the place. I remember when it first dawned on me that my marriage could be over. I felt so lost and so alone. I didn't know who to talk to, I didn't know how to get help and I had no family nearby to support me.
I finally found a counsellor and some very supportive friends to help me through the worst of the emotions. I felt too embarrassed to phone home to my family in the first few weeks, I felt I was supposed to be living the dream and I would disappoint them. With hindsight I now see I could have asked for support from my family.When I think back I notice I felt the following:
- Alone and afraid
- Embarrassed and stupid
- Scared and fearful
- Lost and frightened
- Abandoned and rejected
I remember thinking at that time that I couldn't be the only one who felt that way. A couple of years later while studying, I decided to study family health and I completed a project about expats for my final paper. It was while writing this paper that my research showed the up to 70% divorce rate among expats and migrants. It was this information that started the idea for The Happy Migrant as a business. I wanted to help people understand the pressure a relationship can be under during a relocation and to prepare emotionally for the changes. I have since written a chapter about this in my book.
If you are planning on relocation with your spouse make sure you both want the move and that you agree on the terms.
If you are going through a separation while living overseas, I want to leave with these thoughts. You are not alone! Many others feel the way you do so talk to someone. Phone your family and friends and allow them to support you.
If you have been through a separation while overseas what is the best advice you can give to others?
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Posted in Moving and Relocating Post Date 10/10/2017