Read about how moving to a new area can impact couples, and how to avoid that impact causing major issues.
Moving to a new area can be one of the most stressful experiences a person can have in their entire life. Unfortunately, it can also put a huge strain on your marriage, with one in five couples splitting up when moving house. Most people don’t think about the potential for divorce when they think about a house move, but the good news is that by being aware of the risk, you can avoid the most common pitfalls that are ahead of you.
The Different Stress Points When Moving To A New Area
Unfortunately, there are emotional challenges when moving to a new area that can produce a plethora of stress points, which individually and together can cause all kinds of cracks in your relationship. Here are some of the most common stress-points:
Looking For A House – No Compromise
One of the biggest causes of arguments when a husband and wife choose to move to a new area is arguments over which house to buy. If calm, communication is not achieved, then compromise isn’t achieved. Instead, resentment builds and both parties feel like the other person continues to put a spanner in the works.
Without proper communication, the wrong property might be purchased, causing one party to feel they have settled for something they didn’t want, and their needs have not been met. This not only fosters resentment right now, but breeds more resentment in the future, to the point there could be much more future friction because of the steps taken.
The House Buying Process Getting Complex
The house buying process can be completed in 6-8 weeks, they say. And yet, so many of us find that the process can be so much more complex than that. Legal issues come up, someone drops out of the chain, solicitors take their time – the list is endless. This complex and stressful process made to be even more complex and stressful can lead even the closest of couples to argue.
The Moving Process: Too Many Plates
The moving process itself is stressful. You are organising multiple parties, preparing various members of the family for the move, and packing up a lifetime in a few boxes. Add to that work and family life, and you have yourself a real tinder box. One person sets off a spark and whoosh, arguments happen. Even the way the house is during a move can be a problem. Clutter is known to impact our mental health, and the disruption can make us feel out-of-place and a little bit anxious. Not to mention the stress of finding things we need, and breaking things we love. Local self storage can be helpful during this process because it can give you a place to put your packed boxes and furniture you can do without for now. It won’t fix the arguments but it is a very affordable tonic for this particular problem, giving you a touch more breathing space at home during this time.
The Move Itself: Not The Fresh Start It Was Meant To Be
Unfortunately, some couples have a bit of a fractured relationship already and then choose to move house to try and fix their problems. Although this can work for some couples, for others, it is a bit of a plaster on a gaping wound. A fresh start can’t fix everything, and very soon into the move to a new area, couples can realise that the problem was never the area or the house, but their relationship.
The Struggle With Settling In
A move to a new area can cause a lot of different kinds of stress on the whole family. Getting used to a new place, settling into a new home, making new friends, going to a new school – there is a lot of ‘new’ stuff to wrap your head around. This can cause stress between a couple, particularly if you are both far away from loved ones to give you extra support. You might end up spending more time together than you usually do, which could cause a strain rather than bring you closer together. If the kids are struggling and upset, that can also be a real struggle to deal with, and blame may be placed on either parent for causing the problem (pushing for a move).
Taking Positive Steps To Build A Strong Marriage In The Midst Of A Move
Whilst there are multiple stress points during a move to a new area, there are also lots of things you can do to avoid those stress points tearing you apart.
One thing you can do is to actively anticipate the risks so that you’re both prepared and ready, and you also both know that soon enough this time will be over and you’ll be in a better place (geographically and mentally).
You can also put measures in place to cushion the impact. Bring your friends and family closer, have resources at hand, like local self storage, get more sessions in with your couples therapist (if you use one), and have options for the kids and pets to be looked after when you need the space to talk.
Additionally, the best possible thing you can both do to get through this relatively unscathed is to have uncomfortable conversations that create better understanding, and an agreement on how you communicate. This means no blame, no winning or losing, no interruptions – just both of you working hard to hear each other and reach compromises. If you go into this as a team then you will be able to get through it – remember you are on the same side and are not enemies. Ultimately, this leads to a beautiful new life together and the more you lean on each other and love each other, the better the outcome will be.
You Can Come Through This Stronger
As you move to a new area as husband and wife, you will face stressors that will cause friction. As long as you are prepared, communicate well and lean on all the resources you have, those stressors won’t break you. Instead, hopefully, you will come through the other side ready for a fresh new start in a new home, with a stronger relationship.