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Relocation – Open Communication is Key!

man and woman smiling
“We’ve recently been posted, and it has been hard building our new life here. I want to talk to my partner about how we can work together to support each other, but I’m not sure how.”

Relocating can be an exciting time for a couple or family, but it can also bring uncertainty and stress. It's great that you want to check in with your partner. One place you can start is with your communication.

Sometimes we are socialized to not express our emotions and to conform to rigid expectations, particularly tied to our gender. For some this can mean having to be stoic, tough or self-sufficient, and for others this can mean having to shoulder the family’s emotions alone, or feeling like they have to remain calm and appear composed throughout uncertain times. But you do not have to. To be whole, we need to be in touch with our full range of emotions and express them in a healthy and respectful manner.

Letting our walls down and saying things like “I’m nervous about this relocation” or “I’m worried about how this move is impacting myself and my children” is not only bringing honesty to the relationship, but enabling deeper emotional connection, intimacy and trust.

Being able to say what you need and how your partner can support you, and learning how you can do the same for them, is important. This helps build a happy, equitable and healthy relationship where both people feel valued and supported. If you are having difficulty speaking to your partner or if you just want to check in, one way you can try is through healthy communication.

 4 steps to healthy communication

  1. Share with them what you see 
  2. Express how you feel 
  3. Explain what you need 
  4. Ask them to support you 

There is support available to you and your family

  • Support programs
    • Military Family Resource Centres (MFRCs) offer local programs and services to help meet the needs of CAF personnel and their parents, spouses, partners, children and relatives. They offer counselling individually, as a couple, or as a family to help support you. 
    • Your local Health Promotion Office provides relevant programs to improve your communication skills.  
  • Relocation support
    • Connect with your local MFRC or MFS representatives in Europe or United States. 
    • Contact your CAF Relocation coordinator. This coordinator is responsible for providing guidance to CAF members regarding any policy clarification, liaising with service providers, and considering requests for reimbursement. Brookfield Global Relocation Services (BGRS) is the first point of contact for all move questions; however, each Base/Wing/Unit has one or more CAF Relocation coordinators responsible for assisting CAF members with their questions. A list of CAF coordinators is available in the orderly room. 
  • Healthy communication
    Discussing your feelings openly and equitably with your partner. Express what you see, how you feel and what you need from your partner without blaming, shaming or criticizing them.