While expat life can be tremendously exciting, we all know there are stressors, which can sometimes have a negative affect on your marriage. Here are 3 top tips on how to ramp up your expat marriage.
Tip # 1: Communicate, communicate, communicate.
Sometimes it’s all too easy to get caught up in the myriad of details of expat life. There are always a million things you have to do, plus socializing and the things you want to do, and communicating with your partner can be put on the back burner.
Bring communicating with your spouse to the foreground. If there’s one conflict, it’s much easier to resolve than a bunch of conflicts that haven’t been handled at the time. Then you go into resentment, sometimes not even knowing why.
We all at times, have flown off the handle at something inconsequential, because many little things have piled up, and anything can become the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Make regular communication with your partner a top priority.
Tip # 2: Have some quality alone time with your partner everyday, even for just a few minutes.
Yes, I know that your days are full, particularly if one of you is working and the other dealing with running the home, school, etc. And I really do know that the working spouse can get home late in the evening and then have to spend time on the phone with the home office.
And yet… even 5 minutes before bed or after a phone call can be tremendously helpful to your relationship. It helps you stay connected, particularly if you check in with each other about how you’re feeling emotionally. It helps each of you to feel heard and cared about by the other.
Tip # 3: Plan a date once a week, if possible.
Again, I anticipate you saying that there isn’t one free night a week, but I don’t buy it! It doesn’t have to even be a night. It can be a weekend lunch or coffee. Some time that you’re out of the house together just the two of you, each week. And there’s one more caveat. No talking about the kids! Everything else is fair game.
If you can put these three tips into effect, there will be a positive payoff, I promise. Give it a try and let me know what happens.