Every married couple experiences challenges in their relationship from time to time. The dynamics of an intimate relationship include a wide range of experiences and emotions that both partners need to work with. The questions for most couples are how to create a compatible relationship and how to find solutions to the problems which cause tension. For expats, this is complicated by other stressors which can arise when living away from home in a foreign country. While it is an exciting adventure, the expat couple may experience challenges which can put a strain on their marriage.How couples therapy for expats works is by helping you resolve these issues.
One of the ways in which couples therapy for expats differs from couples therapy in general, is frequently the lack of support systems which are available to the couple in their host country. Without the aid of one’s usual support network, one or both partners can put demands onh the other when neither partner has much to give. Couples are advised to acknowledge their needs for support and to begin to seek out other ways to get the support so the strain is taken off the marriage
The question which may arise is, does couples therapy for expats actually work? When you begin couples therapy for expats, you are examining both your own needs and those of your partner, as well as the needs of the relationship. Couples therapy for expats can help you find the balance needed for your relationship to thrive.
There are many different ways in which therapists work with expat couples who are seeking therapy. The first is to begin looking at the ways in which the marriage works. A therapist is there as a mirror to help reflect back to you what she sees. You can then begin to look at the challenges of your relationship in a safe and supportive setting.
One of the ways in which therapists work with expats in couples therapy is through the use of “homework” outside of the office. While a therapist can make suggestions and offer information, it is up to the couple to do the actual work that is needed to make changes in the relationship. The work between sessions can often create a different dynamic and a new framework for the relationship that is more satisfying and fulfilling to both partners.
Another important factor when considering couples therapy for expats is the degree of commitment and willingness of the couple to work through difficulties. How committed both partners are to examining stumbling blocks and overcoming them has a direct correlation to the success of therapy. Sometimes we find that expats are actually more motivated to make their marriage work as they do not have the usual support of family and good friends to turn to, at least not in the beginning of a posting.
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