Living with a traveling nurse, volunteer doctor, member of the military, or any essential worker can be difficult, especially when temporary moves are involved. The uncertainty, the separation, the logistics — it can all take a toll on your relationship, your health, and your career.
Whether your spouse travels the country for work solo or you accompany them during their short-term moves, learn how to make the transitions a little more manageable for all involved.
When Your Spouse Makes a Temporary Solo Move
If your spouse or partner is temporarily relocating for work without you, it’s easy to feel left behind. Your relationship or marriage may become a long-distance one for a short time, but that doesn’t have to be bad. Here are a few ideas to stay connected and support each other when your spouse is away on a short-term relocation:
Make a communication plan.
If your spouse has an idea of their schedule, you can decide on a consistent time to chat. It doesn’t have to be daily—it can be however frequent you and your partner need it to be. Having a scheduled time to talk about what’s happening in your lives can help prevent festering emotions or conflicts by keeping lines open between you. It’s also a good idea to talk regularly about what each partner needs in the way of support.
Help them set up a place that feels like home.
Even if your spouse is excited about the work they’ll be doing, they may also fear moving to a new city alone. Before they leave, shop together and find home furniture rental pieces for their temporary housing space. High-risk jobs with travel often carry high stress, so having a comfortable and fully furnished place to unwind can work wonders for your spouse (and therefore your relationship, also).
Keep yourself plugged in.
Your spouse may be away on a temporary assignment, but you can find the support you need at home from others in your life. Make it a point to stay connected with your friends, neighbors, and loved ones who live close to you. If your situation allows, host dinners or small gatherings of friends to ward off loneliness and keep yourself emotionally healthy. For friends and family you can’t see in person, schedule regular video chats or phone calls.
Stay on top of your self-care.
Maybe you’re home by yourself or solo parenting the kids while your spouse travels for work. You’re the only one working to keep up your home, and—if you’re honest—you might even be a little jealous that your spouse is off somewhere else. It’s okay to feel some frustration, jealousy, and even resentment, but do your part to care for those emotions as they come up.
Ensure you’re getting plenty of sleep (this will go a long way in helping you manage stress!), take time for your hobbies and interests, and exercise when you can. Caring for yourself is the best way to keep separation anxiety from sprouting messy roots in your relationship.
If you constantly feel overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed, consider seeking professional help from a counselor or other mental health professional. You have a lot on your plate with your spouse gone, and it’s MORE than okay to ask for help when you need it!
Trailing Spouse Syndrome: Keeping Up with a Spouse’s Career Relocation
Have you ever heard of trailing spouse or traveling spouse syndrome? If you’ve spent much of your life relocating for a spouse’s job, you might notice some of its symptoms (as detailed by Allianz), bubbling up within you.
- persistent loneliness
- lack of direction or purpose
- loss of identity
- marriage or relationship problems
- gaps between expectations and reality
Let’s be real: there is nothing easy about being a “trailing spouse,” particularly if you’ve had to leave behind a job or community you loved to relocate for your spouse’s employment. We’ll repeat it: it’s always a good idea to seek out mental health professionals if you’re feeling down or stuck for long periods, but there are ways you can help yourself become established in your new home, too.
For example, remote work can provide you with stability — regardless of where and when you move next. If you have a skill that applies to online work, use it! Freelance blogging, coding, and website creation all lend themselves to working from home. Plus, these days, countless companies are shifting to hiring remote-only workers for roles that traditionally require an in-person commute.
Alternatively, if you know your relocation with your spouse will be temporary, and you’re willing and able to work outside your home, find a part-time job that includes something you enjoy. Consider working in a bakery if you’re a kitchen connoisseur or a garden center if you love plants. Your work can bring you a sense of fulfillment and help you meet people in your new city!
Relocating with Kids and Family
Are you relocating for a spouse’s job with kids in tow? It can sound daunting, but it is possible to keep everyone in your family (including yourself) happy and healthy as you navigate this significant life change. Here are a few things to consider:
Before you move, be sure to gather everyone’s essential documents, preferably into an organized binder. You’ll likely need things like birth certificates, marriage or divorce records, and passports in the early days after your move, so it’s best to keep these handy. If you know you’ll move again in the future (say, if your spouse is in the military), follow these guidelines and tips for making this move and future ones as easy as possible.
Set up your home away from home the easy way.
Right before the big move, make sure your temporary housing or new home will be ready for you to settle in from the second you walk in the door. Short term furniture rental from CORT can give you the peace of mind of knowing that you’ll have a comfortable place to land right from the start, and it can ease the burden of having to haul furniture.
If you have kids, give them input on how they want to decorate their room. As you customize your home furniture rental package, let your kids choose a few smaller items, like lamps and rugs, to help them feel involved.
Get to know your new community.
Even if local guidelines or your circumstances prevent you from going “out” and meeting people at social gatherings, make a point to introduce yourself to neighbors in your immediate vicinity. They can help you in case of an emergency and can also be a great resource while you try to adapt to your new town. Speaking of adapting, take a day to find your nearest grocery store, ice cream place, park, or other landmarks that are important to you and your kids (before they start school or your spouse starts their new job, if time permits!).
Get Help From CORT Furniture Rental and Relocation Services
When you have a traveling spouse, keeping your marriage and family on track can feel like a full-time job. Fortunately, CORT is here to help. With relocation and short term furniture rental services, CORT can give you the flexibility you need to make relocating for a spouse’s job easier than ever. Find a CORT location near you to learn more about furniture rental, home finding services, and CORT relocation support.