Are You a Trailing Spouse?  Arpin’s Experts Advise How To Ease Your Transition To A New Country

*According to the Expat Insider 2020 survey, 36% of expats said their partner's job was the reason for moving abroad, and 44% of trailing spouses reported finding it challenging to make friends in their new country. These statistics highlight the importance of addressing the issues faced by trailing spouses.

Moving to a new country can be, for some people, a dream come true or an exciting adventure, but it can also be a stressful and challenging life event, especially for trailing spouses. If you’re a trailing spouse, you know how tough it can be to make a drastic life change – from adjusting to a new place, culture, lifestyle, and mindset to creating a new circle of friends. However, a few tips from an experienced group of international movers who’ve dealt with thousands of expats might be just what you need to read! In this article, we’ll give you tips and tricks on transforming your transition to a new country into a pleasant experience.

Becoming a Trailing Spouse: A Career Sacrifice Or Professional Growth? 

Trailing spouses may feel like they are sacrificing their own careers and identities to support their partner’s job. However, many well-known people have been trailing spouses and have used the experience as an opportunity to grow and thrive. For example, former First Lady Michelle Obama moved to Chicago with her husband when he began his career as a community organizer. She took a break from her law career and started working in public service, eventually becoming the First Lady of the United States. Actress Nicole Kidman followed her husband, Keith Urban, to the United States from her native Australia, where she had established a successful acting career. She used the opportunity to expand her career and became a well-known actress in Hollywood.

Finding Employment as a Trailing Spouse

So, speaking of a career… One of the most considerable difficulties facing trailing spouses is finding a job. In many cases, visa restrictions or language barriers may make securing appropriate employment difficult. However, there are some things you can do to improve your chances of finding work. First of all, consider taking language courses to improve your language skills, consume entertaining content in the language spoken in the country you’re about to move to, use social media expat communities or network with locals and other ex-pats, and search for job opportunities that fit your skills, qualifications, and interests.

Maintaining Your Identity as a Trailing Spouse

The most important thing to realize is the necessity of finding a way for the accompanying spouse to maintain and preserve their identity while adapting to the new environment. For individuals with strong integrity, moving to a new country can sometimes lead to a loss of identity for accompanying spouses, especially if they have had to give up their social and career goals to support their partner’s job. Arpin’s experts advise joining a local club or association, starting a new hobby, or volunteering at a local charity. This will help you meet new people, learn new skills and establish a sense of purpose in your new environment.

Overcoming the Emotional Challenges of Moving

Changing countries can be an emotionally trying event. You may experience deep homesickness, loneliness, and culture shock, leading to depression and other psychological disorders. To prevent this, seeking support and ways to help you manage these emotional challenges is essential. Contact local expat organizations, join expat online communities, and keep in touch with friends and family back home. This will help you stay connected and feel less isolated.


The role of a trailing spouse can also have its own advantages that can greatly enrich a person’s quality of life. Such spouse now has the opportunity to explore a completely new environment, lifestyles, customs, life philosophies, fashion, art, learn a new language and, in short, immerse themself in a new culture or even bring a previous countries’ business idea to the new place and adapt it with success. It’s a chance to reinvent themself, gain new perspectives, and meet new people. With a positive attitude and approach to the life change called “moving,” being a trailing spouse can be a transformative and beneficial experience.

How Arpin International Group Can Help

Trailing spouse syndrome is a term used to describe the emotional and psychological difficulties faced by trailing spouses. This can include frustration, isolation, and a loss of their own-self. No one can better understand these challenges than Arpin, and we’re here with all of our expertise and seamless personal touch to help. 

At Arpin, we understand the importance of giving special attention and care to our clients’ belongings, especially those with sentimental value. We also offer exclusive, fully customized moving and storage services to make the beginning of your new life chapter as smooth and pleasant as possible. Our emphatic and highly experienced team will ensure that your belongings are taken care of, and we’ll provide you with all the resources and support to help you settle into your new home. Our international clients state that Arpin’s approach has played an important role in easing the struggles of trailing spouses during their moves.


Being a trailing spouse can be a challenging and emotional experience. However, with the proper support and resources, you can make your transition to a new country fun, easy, and exciting. Make sure to follow the tips and tricks we shared in this text, and don’t hesitate to contact Arpin International Group for all your moving and storage needs.

Trailing Spouse’s Moving Story

In addition to the tips and strategies shared in this article, we also recommend checking out our YouTube series, My Expat Moving Story by Lauren Inglis, our moving expert and Regional Director of Middle East and India region. This series is designed to give you firsthand insights into the real-life moving experiences of our expat guests. Whether you’re an expat yourself, considering taking up an international assignment, or working in the HR, global mobility, or relocation sector, this series is the perfect place to learn about the challenges and opportunities of moving abroad.

One of our trailing spouse interviews featured Gail Webster, a South African expat who has relocated back and forth to four different countries. In this five-part series, Gail shares her experiences as a trailing spouse and offers invaluable insights and advice on how to make the most of a new adventure. We highly recommend checking out her interview and other episodes of My Expat Moving Story for inspiration, tips, and guidance on how to thrive in a new country.

Watch below Gail’s interview:

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*AIG does not service COD customers inside the US.  The domestic pricing offered here is for corporate and related referrals from clients under agreement.

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