Trailing spouse syndrome is a number of symptoms which partners of expats can experience during their first year living abroad. They usually centre around feelings of regret and doubt about the decision to move.
Some of the most common feelings were identified in a study by Caroline Kjelsmark:
- Lack of direction
- Loss of identity
- Relationship problems
- Gap between expectation and reality
If left unchecked feelings can deteriorate into expat depression.
The good news is, the same study found in most cases trailing spouses grew to appreciate their decision and the opportunities it provided. That doesn’t mean getting there is easy, it takes time to adjust and find your way while your partner is at work.