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Tags: promotion | teleworking | relocation

Should You Literally Go Those Extra Miles For a Partner?

relocating for love

Wendy L. Patrick By Saturday, 24 June 2023 07:56 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Should You Relocate For a Partner?

Reflection Before Action

"Congratulations!" you exclaim, after your partner announces his or her promotion.

There is only one complication, the new position is on the other side of the country. At this point, the direction of the conversation will likely predict the future of your relationship. Your partner is planning to move.

Are you?

Relationship Relocation

Many families have a mobile marriage, living in a variety of locations over the years.

Even in modern times, where teleworking has become much more common than years past, not all jobs can be done from behind a computer screen.

Accordingly, relocation requests continue to come up within every industry.

When they do, research reveals some factors for the non-relocated spouse to consider in deciding whether they pack up and go on the move.

Spousal Sacrifice and Gratitude

Gabriela C. M. Murphy et al. (in 2022) examined how one partner making a large-scale sacrifice impacts the relationship.

Using a sample of 229 individuals who relocated in order to accommodate their romantic partner’s occupation or educational pursuits, they examined attachment insecurities (fear of intimacy or abandonment), as well as relationship functioning in terms of quality, conflict, and move-related benefits.

They also examined the impact of partner prosociality in terms of gratitude and sacrifice on any negative associations experienced by accompanying partners.

Murphy et al. i(ibid.) found that insecurely attached accompanying partners reported a decrease in relationship functioning after the move, as compared to their secure counterparts.

However, although gratitude and sacrifice did not eliminate relationship conflict for insecurely attached individuals, they found that perceived partner general gratitude as well as willingness to sacrifice served as a partial buffer for avoidantly attached individuals, protecting them in part from experiencing lower relationship quality.

Murphy et al. found that move-related gratitude assisted avoidantly attached individuals in making them feel that the move was beneficial to their relationship.

Perceived partner sacrifice behaviors were also found to protect partners who were anxiously attached from perceiving decreased relationship quality.

In fact, they found that more anxiously attached accompanying partners experienced higher relationship quality when they perceived their partner was making more daily sacrifices after the move.

They note that people who are more anxiously attached may be uniquely attuned to and benefit most from partner responses that reciprocate the often significant, move-related sacrifice.

Expressing Appreciation Promotes Personal and Professional Development

So if you are contemplating a career or educationally-related move, consider the impact both financially and relationally.

When both partners understand the value of expressing appreciation and gratitude following a move, relocation does not have to end a relationship.

It can actually create a benefit both personally and professionally.

The preceding article was originally published in Psychology Today, and is used with the permission of its author.

Wendy L. Patrick, JD, MDiv, Ph.D., is an award-winning career trial attorney and media commentator. She is host of "Live with Dr. Wendy" on KCBQ, and a daily guest on other media outlets, delivering a lively mix of flash, substance, and style. Read Dr. Wendy L. Patrick's Reports — More Here. 

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If you are contemplating a career or educationally-related move, consider the impact both financially and relationally. Relocation does not have to end a relationship.
promotion, teleworking, relocation
Saturday, 24 June 2023 07:56 AM
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