Leaving home for a Job?

Are you facing the prospect of one partner working abroad while the other stays behind to manage family responsibilities? 

Whether it’s a career opportunity too good to pass up or a necessary move for financial stability, grappling with the idea of split-family assignments can be challenging. 

In episode #42 of the Holding the Fort Abroad Podcast, I offer insights and strategies to help you decide if a split-family assignment is right for you and your family. Know above all that you are not the only family that would be living this. 

Listen to the full episode here.

Episode cover 42 - Rhoda Bangerter

When faced with the decision of geographical separation, there are several aspects to consider. 

Let’s explore some key factors that can help you navigate this challenging terrain.

Time Differences and Duration of Assignment

Navigating time differences and communication can be challenging. It’s essential to take note of time zone variances; while a 1-hour difference might be manageable, a 6-hour gap could pose significant challenges, especially with children’s schedules. Additionally, determining whether the assignment is open-ended or fixed-term can make the separation more manageable by providing a defined timeline.

What financial and physical cost will there be to frequent travel?

The financial and physical toll of frequent travel, including flight costs and logistics, needs to be taken into account. Plans might change unexpectedly, so flexibility regarding the timing of your partner’s return trips is also crucial. Go ahead and check how much that flight ticket costs and how long the flight is. 

Relationship Considerations

Discuss openly with your children about the impact of geographical separation, ensuring they understand and feel included in the decision-making process (age appropriately of course). For help with talking with your children, consider reaching out to child psychologist Kate Berger.

Evaluate the current status of your relationship, recognising that while distance won’t resolve existing issues, it may provide space for growth. Maintaining intimacy in a long-distance relationship requires effort and intention. Explore ways to stay connected emotionally and physically despite the separation. 

Building a Strong Foundation

Setting intentions, listing reasons, and seeking support are crucial for navigating a split-family assignment successfully. List your reasons for considering this arrangement and refer back to them during challenging times for reassurance. 

Seek support from trusted friends,family members or professionals who can offer non-judgmental advice and valuable insights based on similar experiences.

Final Thoughts

Facing this decision, remember you’re not alone. Many families have thrived despite the distance, finding ways to navigate this path successfully. Reach out for support, stay connected, and communicate openly with your partner throughout the journey. 

Wherever you find yourselves, know you’ve got this! If you’re seeking more stories and tips, check out the following Holding the Fort Abroad episodes: 

  • Episode 32 with Florence Reisch: Florence shares her experience preparing for a long-term international assignment, emphasising the significance of preparation and communication.
  • Episode 37 with Philips Hwang: Philips discusses maintaining intimacy in long-distance relationships, offering valuable insights into sustaining connection despite physical separation.
  • Episode 5 with Vivian Chiona: Vivian explores effective communication strategies for long-distance couples, providing practical tips for maintaining a strong bond.

Rhoda Bangerter

Rhoda Bangerter is a coach who has lived abroad with a travelling husband for over 16 years. She helps home based mums and dads live an intentional life and build family togetherness even when their partner is away a lot for work.

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