How to Survive a Cross-Country Move with Your Spouse

by TTMK on September 3, 2014 · 0 comments

The following post is from staff writer Melissa Batai

There’s no doubt about it–moving is stressful. When my husband and I moved two and a half years ago, our move was relatively easy. We only moved one mile, and my husband set up much of our new place in the evenings while I stayed home and watched the kids. Still, moving in general is stressful, especially with young children.

This summer, we made our biggest move yet–1,750 miles from Chicago to Tucson, Arizona. While my husband and I generally have a good relationship and don’t often fight, this move tested our limits and definitely caused tempers to flare more than once.

Here’s how we survived with our sanity and marriage intact:

Have patience with one another. When you’re in the middle of a big move, you’re going to get tired. You’re going to be stressed. Controlling your temper might not always be possible.

If your spouse loses his patience with you, try not to respond in a similar manner. Have patience with your spouse and the situation. If you can take turns being irritable, you’ll fair much better than if you’re irritable at the same time. (Easier said than done, I know!)

The old saying, “This too shall pass” definitely applies. When we were in the process of packing up and actually moving, it consumed our lives. Sometimes it felt like we’d never be settled again. But, you will emerge on the other side and will settle into your new home.

Give each other space. If you’re in the middle of a big move, you’ll likely be spending a lot of time together, more than you usually do. While that might be great for some couples, for others it may be a recipe for disaster.

After we moved to Tucson, my husband was off work for two weeks before starting his new job, and we had to stay in short-term housing. While I’m used to being with the kids all day every day, he isn’t. The majority of our fights happened when our whole family was cramped in a small space and my husband was off work. Giving him time to go do something alone helped. . .a lot.

Know that things will go wrong. A move will never go as smoothly as you think, even if you’re planning for something to go wrong. My husband’s employer was slow filing his new employee paperwork, so we couldn’t get health insurance through his employer until two weeks after his start date. We had to take out a short-term health insurance policy until we were covered by his employer’s. That was $450 we weren’t planning on spending. Even though we knew the move would be expensive, unexpected expenses kept creeping up.

Keep your sense of humor. Even when it feels like everything is going wrong, keep your sense of humor. If you and your spouse can laugh about whatever troubles you’re facing during the move, you’ll also remain happier with one another.

My Questions for You

Have you made a long distance move with your spouse? If so, how did you keep from killing one another? (I jest, I jest.) What strategies did you use to keep the peace?

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