Through my presentations during different events and networking I realized that phenomenon of Expat Spouse is deeply misunderstood by society, even by expats who work in corporate organisations and have been living themselves abroad. After being asked on a number of times: "What do you need more in life, than freedom, no stress of making a living, exhausting working schedule, how can you feel unhappy?" It became clear for me that often our life partners, their management and HR of companies who send us living abroad, consider us spouses, as highly privileged women who live a luxury life without any problems.
This may appear to be truth to one who has just X-number of days per year to wake up late in the morning, who has too little time to reflect about life and it's purpose. Of course, if you are busy all the time, the higher you climb on the corporate leather, the more complex and advanced tasks you solve and that lives very little time for you to reflect and put yourself into situation of the expat spouse.
Another myth is that is still existing in XXI century, is that needs of a woman are completely fulfilled through care giving, solid economy she has through her husband, shopping and going on ladies lunches to international clubs. Such clubs usually organise some activities for lonely spouses through the day, like cooking classes, painting, lunches or coffee mornings... But is it all you would need in your life?
Wouldn't you feel incomplete or incapable, restless or depressed if let's say, a CEO of the company would be kept for a number of years without clarity about his future in a kind of "golden cage", where hunger and money won't be an issue, and even coffee will exist in the club nearby...
How would that feel for you, your drive for achievement, problem solving and making a change in the world? Who has ever thought about that most of executive managers as a rule build a family or a partnership with highly educated woman, who often worked herself in the same corporate environment or had another prestigious job or occupation? Who ever thought that this woman has sacrificed her career for you for her partner's success, for the success of his company comforting his needs for years with no pension plan, no security of her professional future and even economically being completely dependent for years, sometimes for life time?
From September 30th 2016, I'm starting up officially to help expat spouses around the globe to be understood, seen, unfold their brilliance and find a creative way of achieving professional fulfilment as an expat spouse, regardless of the age and geographical location.
There is a huge work to be done and I am encouraging and warmly welcoming all who is interested to support our young, growing community as mentors, volunteers and see the need to "pay back" or "give a hand" to women who have never had a chance to realise their own professional dream, who are bright and intelligent, full of energy and ideas, who are very well educated, speaking multiple languages yet remain living in our modern world completely unseen, because they have sacrificed their own career and didn’t find way back.
Frustration of all expat spouses has same root. It is about our need to be seen and live our own life with meaning, wanting to live own purpose, to contribute on a higher level, to be fulfilled and capable, as we all are born with a purpose and mission, aren't we?
As a certified Stress Management Coach, I can tell you that the level of stress expat spouse or a care-giver experiences, is much higher that a stress of CEO or other leader with highly demanding job.
It has been scientifically proven, that people who are in a situation where they are unable to influence and change their life, will experience high level of stress, and that leads to poor health, irritability, challenged relationships and even depression.
Together we can support each other and make us and our needs understood.
To start be seen and heard, take the first step now and join our young global community Facebook Expat Spouses Who Think BIG http://bit.ly/2cEpxPm, limited to expat spouses only in a form of closed group.
Until next time,
Global Community Leader
Expat Sposues Who Think BIG