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Moving abroad 'puts stress on relationships'

Source: Expatriate Healthcare - Tue 25th Jan 2011

Among the things to consider when relocating is the fact that the stresses on your relationship are likely to increase.

According to behavioural scientist Kim van Erp, who conducted research as part of her PhD at the University of Groningen, the stress put on a relationship by relocating overseas is equal to the stress of the arrival of a first child.

The stress impact was particularly significant if one partner has moved abroad for a dream job and the trailing partner is stuck with employment that they do not like or they are staying at home to pick up the chores.

Couples should be aware of the risks involved and may want to consider taking out expatriate health insurance to help cover the costs of dealing with stress should further psychological problems arise.

Ms van Erp told the Telegraph: "The results of my research are extremely similar to those of research into having your first child.

"Couples go through similar experiences in these situations. Don't think 'I'm going abroad for my work and my partner's coming along', but realise that you will operate as a team. You really do affect each other."

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