Making a Relocation Easier


Howdy all,

I was hoping to gather some advice from the collected experience and wisdom on this forum. Let me explain my situation:

My wife and I have been married for a little over two years. For the vast majority of that time, we lived in Pittsburgh, PA, which also happened to be my wife’s hometown and where both of us went to college. Earlier this year, I started looking for a new job, and we both knew that this would likely require us to relocate. Odds were that I’d end up in either Philadelphia or Houston (my hometown), but as it turned out, my best opportunity by far was in rural Arkansas. Because the company wanted me to start ASAP, I forged ahead and started work in late August, while my wife stayed behind.

This was a good solution at the time for several reasons – it gave her the opportunity to finish work on a first-author paper (she works in a lab), allowed her to spend more time with her parents, and would give her time to find what she could do when she finally moved down with me. Unfortunately, we’re finding that the answer to the third part is “not a whole lot,” and that’s where the problems start.

It’s already going to be a somewhat difficult transition for her to move away from her hometown, particularly going from an urban environment to a fairly rural town. The fact that she doesn’t have anything immediately lined up to do worries her immensely, and she’s very concerned that she’ll be extremely lonely.

I’ve done my best to reassure her that we’ll find something for her to do down here, and there are a few possibilities, though nothing definite. I’m trying hard to be a loving, nurturing husband through this and make my wife’s transition down here as smooth as possible, but I want to know if any of y’all have any advice (general or specific) about how I could do better.

A few other points that might be worth knowing:
*]We’re both in our mid-to-late 20s
*]No kids yet
*]My salary is sufficient for us to live comfortably
*]She’ll be moving down here permanently in mid-January

Thanks in advance for any input y’all may have!


I don’t know if this helps, but I know how she feels. I graduated from college, got married and moved away from my family for the first time to Europe all within a months time. Just for some guy;) :stuck_out_tongue: . This will be a great time for you to grow together.

Sorry if I come off a bit harsh and if you’re trying to be the “loving, nurturing” husband, ignore this section. Tell her to suck it up. This may be one of the bad times or it could turn out to be a great time. I’ve moved four times in just about seven years. I gave up trying to have a serious career, so I had babies. LOL It’s the life I chose and wouldn’t trade it for anything. Granted we moved around Europe for six years and not Arkansas:o

On a kinder note, anything a great deal smaller than Pittsburgh is going to be a challenge. The frist thing I always do is throw myself into church activities. Just say, “Hi I’m new and I need things to do.” Especially in a Catholic church there is always room for more volunteers. It also sounds like she’s deeply into her career (authoring papers, woohoo!) so that will be hard as well. I don’t know… maybe if you’re up to it, start having babies! It wasn’t so hard for me as I only worked for two years after college, then gave it up. I wasn’t nearly as invested in my career.

Mainly if one says, this small town sucks, it’s going to suck. Stay positive in moving, culture shock is going to happen but you may turn out to like it. I’m rambling, but I hope it helped.


I totally agree with Armywife! Doesn’t it seem that God is creating the perfect environment for you to start your family??? :thumbsup:
I’ve moved around with my family quite a bit… It isn’t as hard as it seems and she doesn’t have to look at living in Arkansas as a permanent thing. If she could see it as an adventure, that would be helpful. Find out what there is to do… try camping…outdoors stuff. It will never be a big urban environment, but it isn’t supposed to be and God made it all and He made it GOOD! Make the effort to find God in everything. Make sure you live near a good church that has young families and opportunities for charitible activities to keep her busy. And don’t forget the rosary!!!

Blessings to you and good luck!


Maybe set a time limit on your being in Arkansas? Two years? Five years, tops? We can endure almost anything if there’s an end in sight. Don’t be offended if she crosses off days on a calendar. :wink: Are there advancement and relocation opportunities within the same company, or could you promise (and follow through!) to find a new job within X time period if she absolutely hates it? But she has to be willing to give it a fair try, an honest effort. This is an adventure, a chance to see a different part of the country, to try on a different way of life, but it doesn’t have to be forever.


I’ve done a fair amount of moving both as a kid (Navy brat) and as an adult (across the country for 8 years and back again). I think it does help to get on the internet and find out how far some of her favorite stores are from the town that you will be living in. It’s always kind of reassuring to find out the Store X is only 5 miles away, Store Y is 20, and in a pinch favorite Store Z is a doable 90 miles.

Another similar thing I have done is mapped out the new town, so I had an overview of the main routes around town in my head. That way I don’t feel trapped and isolated when I get to the town. I already basically know my way around.

I will admit though, it is a lot easier to settle in and meet people if you have kids. I hope that even though your salary will be plenty, that if your wife wants to work some that you won’t object. With no kids at home and being used to working, staying home and being in a new environment might just be too isolating and too much of a shock. So, keep an eye out for possible jobs in your wife’s current career or other jobs that might be fun or rewarding.

Good luck. Moving can be a lot of fun. I’ve always felt like I could be happy almost anywhere, and hopefully your wife will find it is the same for her.


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