By Helen Llewellyn
Moving to Spain to live is a dream for many people but what happens once you’ve done it, especially if you are a couple? Surely it is a positive experience in every regard with all that sun and relaxation? Not necessarily. Most couples have significant challenges to their relationship within the first two years of moving even if they thought they were perfectly happy before this. Many people will tell you it takes 2 years to settle and it often does due to the reality of emigrating bringing out the cracks in a relationship.
Prior to emigrating, you probably had work or an active social life to take up your time. Even if you worked or socialised a lot with your partner there were all sorts of other people out there taking your attention and providing a support network. For most couples who have moved to Spain the chances are that you and your partner now spend way more time together than you were used to. Once holiday mode has worn off you start noticing how they cramp your style or see irritations where before it was once in a while those habits or differences in activity level to you stand out, and it begins to grate.
Getting to Grips with Making Change Work For You
If you are lucky and there are few irritations it could be that you and your partner settle at different speeds. Even confident people can feel overwhelmed and retreat into themselves. Moving to Spain from the UK to live is more different than you think, it was for me and my partner. I loved Spain straight away and managed to join some hobby groups to meet new friends and also set up a business so was busy and had thrown myself into things. He is less outgoing than me and used to work 40 hours a week with a 45 min commute each way. Moving here he had no job or work, I have an income from a UK business so he doesn’t need to work but there isn’t much call for a marine engineer in inland Spain anyway! So we have settled at different rates, I notice that this is common with friends acquaintances and clients too.
As a therapist I see the difficulties as being: finding a safe place to discuss your feelings that isn’t your partner, a dent in your self esteem and confidence as you “should be happy” as you fulfilled your dream and the challenge of knowing what to do to cope with your emotions and change.
Taking up a hobby can really help. Have a chat in your local bar, look for information hubs or Facebook for ideas on what you can do or start your own group. The new Meet up option within British Expats in Spain could be a good place to start.
Being outdoors or spending time in or around water can also be a great aid to relaxation and seeing things clearly so that you retain your self esteem and confidence.
Finding a solution
If you are struggling and don’t feel able to start a new hobby or just want to talk you might like to book a call with me. I listen without judgement or opinion (unless you ask me for one). Together we can work through your emotions and thoughts and put some change into place slowly, safely and at your own pace. Whats App 744 609630 or 07904 850578 there is also a Facebook page @Cloud Zebra
Don’t suffer in silence, seek help and support. That could be friends and family or someone like me. Its your life and you deserve to enjoy it, I’d love to help you do just that. Lets have a chat to see where you’re at and whether you feel that you would like to work with me. All in the strictest confidence of course. I work with people via video call as well as Face to Face so it doesn’t matter where you are.
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