What to Do When Only One Spouse Wants to Move

Moving is one of the most stressful events in your life and when you add another person into the mix, the decision can become that much harder. Whether you’ve been offered a lucrative job in another city, want to experience somewhere new or want to relocate closer to family, weighing your options for such a big life change can come with its positives and negatives, especially when your spouse is reluctant to make the change with you. If you’re pondering this big life step and wondering if you should convince your spouse to move, take a look at these key factors before making your decision.

spouse wants to move

1. Weigh the Pros and Cons

Any big decision in your life calls for a pros and cons list to weigh the ups and downs. First, we suggest making this list for yourself and weighing how you feel about the situation. Hesitation and uncertainty about the decision will only make convincing your spouse of the move more difficult, so make sure you feel positive about the decision before discussing it with them. Next, as a team, weigh all of the personal, professional, financial and logistical factors of the move. Make sure to include key things like:

What is the job market like in your new city?

If you have a job, will you be able to support you and your spouse until he or she finds a position.

Will you be able to afford the cost of living there?

Will you be able to find an affordable, safe and spacious home for you and your family?

If you plan on having children or already have children, how are the school systems?

Will you be able to cover all of the moving expenses without breaking the bank?

How will you fit in with the lifestyle of your new city?

How is the weather?

How hard will it be for you to leave behind family/friends and is this enough of a reason for you to stay?

While these answers aren’t always cut and dry, putting them down to pen and paper can help the decision to become a bit clearer.

2. Discuss, Discuss, Discuss

The foundation of any good relationship is communication and making this big life decision is something that needs to be discussed in length. You’ll want to have an open and honest discussion about your feelings, needs and expectations going into the proposed relocation as well as get your spouses’ answers to these things as well. When you discuss, be prepared for uncertainty and fear and show empathy towards your spouse. Let him or her know that you understand how much they will be sacrificing for the move.

3. Do Your Research

No one wants to make a decision blindly, which is why it’s in your best interest to research your potential new city and find things that your spouse will enjoy. For example, if your spouse if very involved in local sports, research upcoming games, clubs, and recreational leagues that they can join to help them envision themselves in the city.

4. Plan a Trip

One of the best things to do when considering a potential move is to physically explore the city together with your spouse. Be sure to check out local houses or apartments, schools, shopping facilities and restaurants to get a feel for the lifestyle there. This will help put your partner’s fears at ease and will help make the decision that much easier.

5. Compromise

After you’ve made your pros and cons list, discussed the move and visited your new city, if your spouse is still hesitant, you may want to consider compromising and settling on a temporary move. Decide on a time period—whether it be six months, a year or more— and use this time period as a trial to see if you and your spouse can adjust to this new life. You can rent out your current home or apartment as well, so that if you do decide to come back, you can have something familiar to move back into. If compromising isn’t in the cards, you have to decide what’s best for you and your family together, even if it isn’t what you originally had planned on.

Whatever decision you and your spouse make, know that it’s not an easy one. The most important thing is that you respect each other’s decisions and take solace in the fact that you are making this decision together—whatever that decision may be.