What Home? Moving for any reason brings about stress. Our expert offers recommendations on things to think about and ways to make the move easier. BY DR. KAREN SHERMAN
The sky's the limit when you're starting new, but it can also bring about stress.
There's a job promotion that my husband wants to apply for, but it requires us to move. The problem is that I don't want to move.
In today’s world, it’s sometimes difficult to have the choice in job opportunities that were once available. And so, some of us stay at positions we don’t really find satisfying¬—either because of long work hours or because the tasks of the job aren’t ones we like. For others, in order to either keep the position or move up in the company, one must relocate.
Any time there is a change, there is going to be stress. Relocating means learning a new neighborhood, finding new doctors, becoming acquainted with the streets, acclimating to the restaurants and stores and most importantly, making new friends.
Whenever there is stress, it will impact on your marriage. And when there are children involved, the amount of stress will increase exponentially. Not only are there more people involved in the move, but change is more difficult for young people—making the move is something that is not their choice and totally out of their control.
While all disputes can disrupt a marriage this one is particularly thorny; after all, it concerns the ability to financially support the family. Therefore, it requires some serious consideration and an open dialogue about various options.
First, let me suggest some factors to weigh in on as you think about whether the move is appropriate:
What are the ages of the children?
How many times have you already moved?
What are the real benefits of this move or the consequences if you don’t?
Is there an alternate position available that would not require making the move?
Are both spouses working and do they contribute equally to the finances?
As you reflect on these thoughts, perhaps it will be decided that the move will not take place at all—either the promotion will be foregone until a later date, a lateral move within the company can be made or a job with a totally different company can be taken.
If it has been decided that the job in the new location must be taken, here are some ideas for helping to deal with the change:
If it is the middle of the school year, do not move the children, but create a situation where the spouse with the job does the traveling until the school year is over.
Before you move, have the family visit the neighborhood several times, or for an extended period, to become acquainted with it. Start to learn about activities that are available for the family.
Though this is extreme, if there have been several moves and the children are at a very vulnerable age, consider having a second home site set up for midweek and the spouse rejoins the family on the weekends.
Above all else, as you entertain discussion about this, you want to make sure that you do so in a respectful way and do not argue. As said previously, this is a stressful situation and arguing will only add to the stress.
One of the greatest ways to deal with stress is to maintain a positive outlook and see the upside of things. If you move, look at it as a challenge and an opportunity for novelty and growth. It will become a move in the right direction!
Karen Sherman, Ph.D., (www.drkarensherman.com) is a practicing psychologist in relationships and lifestyle issues for over 20 years. She offers teleseminars and is co-author of Marriage Magic! Find It! Make It Last.