Trailing spouses facing divorce should get their own careers back

Trailing spouses facing divorce should get their own careers back

Trailing spouses facing divorce should get their own careers back

How can trailing spouses reignite their own careers after divorce?

Sadly, divorce is often a by-product of a reassignment gone bad, leaving the wife to attempt to get her own career back on the burner after a marriage breakdown. Some 50 per cent of all overseas contracts fail, with 30 per cent of expatriates forced back to the home country blaming the failure of domestic issues involving the family’s inability to settle into the new location. In a time when attracting new top talent to overseas destinations is essential for many multinationals, this is bad news and not just for the families involved.

Undoubtedly, moving overseas is tough for the expat professional, but it can be even tougher for his or her family as regards a new language, new surroundings and little contact with loved ones and close friends back in the home country. The cause of the rise in the number of expat divorces hasn’t yet been analysed, as statistics and hard facts about divorce rates aren’t considered worth the research time, with companies deciding the less they understand, the better it is.

Pitfalls include one spouse travelling extensively on business from the new country of residence, leaving the other to sort out everything on his or her own during long periods of separation. Sex and alcohol are easily had in many expat communities, with trailing spouse resentment the perfect spur for both. However, one major reason for marriage breakdown is that one partner has permission to work in the new country and the other isn’t allowed to. This is especially true in the Middle East, although it’s also common in a number of European states.

The issue is especially prominent in the Netherlands, rated as one of the planet’s most unfriendly expat destinations. Two-thirds of new expat arrivals have problems making friends with Dutch locals, although finding new friends in the work environment is easier, thus leaving trailing spouses with little opportunity to create their own lifestyle. One positive aspect of a recent report on the prevalence of expat divorce gave hope to trailing spouses wanting to get their own careers back on track by stating that doing so is the best antidote for the post-divorce blues. For those still trying to save their marriages, finding, getting and keeping a job themselves might be the best way forward.

Related Stories:

Latest News: