Migration and Relocation

Navigating Emotional and Practical Terrain When Moving to a New Country, State, or City

Relocating to a new country, or a new state or city, can be an exciting and constructive move, with potentially positive implications for an individual, couple or family. However, it can also be a very stressful experience that may bring with it a number of challenges and difficulties. For some people these difficulties arise early on in the relocation process. For others, difficulties may evolve over time, emerging as they adapt to life in a new country, or to a lifestyle of multiple relocations.

Difficulties with which people frequently seek help include:

Feelings of loss and homesickness, such as:

  • Grief over leaving family
  • Grief over leaving one’s previous life / friends / job / lifestyle
  • Feeling a lack of a stable home base
  • Feeling alien or out of place
  • Missing a sense of a shared past with others
  • Feeling estranged from the customs and lifestyle of one’s new country
  • Fears about having made a “wrong decision”

Difficulties establishing a new social network, including:

  • Feelings of loneliness and isolation
  • Anxiety about meeting new people
  • Difficulty meeting people with whom you “click”
  • Difficulty developing close or lasting relationships
  • Feeling that new friendships don’t measure up to old friendships back home

Anxiety and stress, including:

  • Performance anxiety at work
  • Anxiety about one’s ability to build a new life
  • Feeling like an imposter
  • Feeling overwhelmed by the challenges and demands of new roles and new environments
  • Feeling overburdened by responsibility or uncertainty
  • Fear of failure

Relationship or marital difficulties, such as:

  • Feelings of having sacrificed one’s own life or identity or career for a partner’s career
  • Feelings of guilt about relocating a family or spouse
  • Anger or frustration at a partner’s difficulties adapting
  • Disagreements about whether to remain abroad or return home
  • Infidelity, or fear of infidelity
  • Frequent arguments
  • Feelings of growing distant and remote from one’s partner
  • Lack of quality time as a couple
  • Feeling that one’s spouse has changed as a result of their new life or role

Family difficulties, including:

  • Changes in family roles and relationships
  • Children’s difficulties adapting
  • Family resentment about moving
  • Feeling unappreciated or misunderstood by a family struggling to adapt
  • Increase in family conflict
  • “Acting out”, or withdrawal from family life
  • Reduction in quality time with family
  • Relying on the family to fulfill all social and emotional needs

Other difficulties, such as:

  • Depression
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Feeling “stuck” or burnt out
  • Feeling a disrupted sense of self

Talking about your experiences in a confidential and supportive forum can help you to better navigate difficult emotional and practical terrain, adapt, and find constructive paths forward. Ultimately, acknowledging and addresing difficulties involved in living abroad or away from home enables you to transform hardships into opportuninties, and harness the potential in your life circumstance.

Phone: Sydney (02) 9331 0756 
e-mail: enquiries@confides.com.au
Address: Suite 517, 185 Elizabeth St Sydney