Shall I bring my family with me or no?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I am working abroad and i want to bring my family but my wife has a great job at our home country also kids are enjoying school there shall i bring them or no?

A: I wish there were an answer as short and to the point as your question. Unfortunately, there isn’t. This is a huge decision that you need to make with your wife. I’m assuming that you are working in another country in order to benefit your family financially. That’s a hard but honorable choice. Now the question is whether all the family members would also benefit more from being together or from being apart.

One consideration is whether the current arrangement is short- or long-term. If it’s for only a few months to a year and you can visit regularly, it might be too disruptive to move everyone. Skype, IM, and email can keep you very present in your family even when you can’t physically visit.

But if the move is to be more permanent, there are far more serious issues to discuss. Are there opportunities for your wife in your adopted country or can she be at peace with not following her own professional path? You didn’t mention the ages of your kids. If under 12 – 14, most kids adjust pretty readily to a move and young kids do need to be with both parents whenever it is possible. Older teens have a harder time adjusting and a move may derail their education. This is only another factor to be considered.

As a professional person, you know how to weigh costs and benefits of alternatives when making decisions. I urge you to make a visit home and spend time with your wife considering all the advantages and disadvantages of moving the family and not moving them. When husband and wife come to a mutual decision, they can be supportive of each other and of the decision. When the adults work together to make a decision that they both feel is the best for the family, the kids will usually respond positively.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Jul 2010

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). Shall I bring my family with me or no?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 17, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/07/06/shall-i-bring-my-family-with-me-or-no/