In the expatriate world, “trailing spouse” is a term used to define the person who is “following” his or her partner on a move abroad. I’ve mentioned before how I hate this term because it implies that the spouse didn’t have an opinion on the matter and is just sitting in the passenger seat for this adventure.
I certainly had a lot of say when it came to our decision to move to Germany and do not consider myself a trailing spouse in the undertone of the word. I am, however, technically, a trailing spouse. I am only in Germany because my husband received an amazing work opportunity. And you know what? I’ve fine with that. We are a team. What is good for my husband is good for me and vice versa. We went into this decision together and if I weren’t okay with moving here or felt it unsafe or unwise, we wouldn’t have come, like most decisions in our marriage.
Funny story to show how true this is. One day Vinn came home from work and said, “Hey, a position is opening up in Japan. We could go there as my international assignment for three years. Do you want to go?”
My response, “No.”
Vinn: “Don’t you think we should talk about it?”
Me: “I think we just did.”
No is a full sentence and in this case is exactly that. I have nothing against Japan but it would have certainly been a different experience moving there as opposed to Germany. My biggest reason, though, for saying no right away is because the work culture and working hours are incredibly difficult. Most people work 12-14 hours a day and there would be no way for me to get a job in Japan, the language is much more difficult and I would be home by myself all day long. So, no. And I’m 100% happy with that decision because it allowed us to accept the German position when that one opened. Everything happens for a reason.
Anyways, I’ve shared the 10 things I wish I knew before moving abroad and today I thought I’d share what exactly what into my thinking process for moving abroad and the 10 reasons I decided to become a trailing a spouse.
Well, there you have it. The 10 reasons I decided to become a trailing spouse or move abroad. It was definitely the right decision for me and my family. I wouldn’t change a thing.
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