10 Years of Blog Archive

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

How Retiring Abroad Can Make Your Marriage Stronger & More Enjoyable

Commitment is a crucial ingredient and the key to a fruitful marriage with the one you love. It doesn’t matter how many storms or how strong the winds that come blowing against the house, if couples are committed, it literally stands the test, and in many cases makes the couple in it even stronger and better marriage partners for each other. That’s because they value each other and cherish what they have created over the years with one another. No storm can blow that house down! 

We recently got an email from a man who told us he is moving to Cuenca without his wife and hopes that she and their child will eventually join him so they can enjoy their retirement years together. 

Sadly this man has this hope that perhaps his wife will miss him enough while they are apart to want to move to Ecuador too; perhaps, but reality says, probably not; and it’s because that is not how marriage works. First you get your house in order and then once your house is in apple-pie order you can begin to talk with your significant other about moving abroad

We do not know all the circumstances in the above situation, however, hoping that your spouse will join you later shows lack of a crucial ingredient, and is essentially playing Russian roulette with your marriage and your life.

Ironically this is not the first time we’ve heard this sort of report from expats. It is these situations, where the marriage is already weak that end up in divorce when stressful times, such as uprooting your lives and moving abroad wreck havoc on a marriage.

In a relationship where husband and wife are both dedicated to the marriage relationship, it truly does not matter where they live; life continues together, growing together, till death parts them. This is how we see most expat couples we have met that has moved to Cuenca Ecuador. Of course, sadly there are exceptions, as in the case above.

On the flip side, when one or both people in the marriage do not value what marriage means, or respect one another, sure it will crumble to the ground, no doubt about it. It is probably not a good idea to move to another country if your marriage is on a shaky foundation because, even the slightest winds will blow, your house down to the ground. Then, they blame the failed marriage on moving abroad. But in fact, the marriage was already crumbling BEFORE ever moving abroad!

It is human nature to look for reasons why our marriage has failed or to blame others, but in the end we have to look at ourselves.  Expatriating abroad is not a substantial reason “why” couples divorce; the root cause of divorce is because there is no commitment. It is plainly out there to see and a very simple perception to understand.

It’s true, uprooting your entire lives and moving abroad can be somewhat of a stressful time for couples (and families) but it should be a joyous/stressful time in any case, where team work applies, making the move the best it can be. In fact, common sense states that moving abroad and everything that comes with it, actually brings married couples closer together, rather than further apart. Halleluiah!

               Second Honeymoon in Cuenca Ecuador

The common theme we see among expats to Cuenca is couples are having the time of their life; enjoying the ability to finally do things with each other they never could do before because they were always working. Now, they are actually getting to know each other better, if there is such a thing, and even becoming more intimate and loving with each other, which brings them peace and contentment to their soul.

As one expat woman said to Frank and me, “Cuenca is so quaint and romantic, we feel like we are on our honeymoon again just being in this glorious city”. From time to time we see this same couple in El Centro and they are holding hands as they walk down the street, and from the looks of it, they are happy as two peas in a pod; and well, that’s a great thing to look forward to.

              Why Moving Abroad Brings Couples
                                 Closer Together

1. The newness and adventure of a new place brings a passion and excitement into the relationship and they enjoy each others company like they never have before.

2. They have more time for each other without work, children, household chores, etc getting in the way. And what marriage wouldn’t thrive when spouses give of themselves?

3. Some couples discover more about each other that they didn’t know before because they were too busy working. This may seem unbelievable but it’s true.

4. One couple told us they feel like a burden has been lifted from them when they moved to Cuenca. They both said they feel freer to just relax and enjoy the Cuenca slow-pace of life together.

              Why Moving Abroad Causes Divorce

1. No Commitment
Here’s the thing, you’re either committed to your marriage or you aren’t. In marriage there is no in between, and we cannot pick and choose the days we are committed and the days we aren’t; that’s because commitment is a VALUE we hold dear within our hearts and minds; no one can take it away from us because we own it; it’s ours to keep as long as we want it.

If you feel your marriage is not strong now, it would not be wise to think you can come to another country, and the marriage will mend itself. You have to mend the marriage FIRST and then go abroad.

2. Alcoholism
If you have a drinking problem, or if you have in the past, you better make sure that the triggers of a new environment and the stresses of it all won’t make you relapse; we don’t think you will want to be in that situation in an unfamiliar part of the world.

Alcoholism is a MARRIAGE BREAKER! More marriages are torn apart because of an alcoholic spouse. If there is a drinking problem with one or both spouses, moving abroad is not going to fix it and it is not advisable to make such a move, at least until sobriety is assured and that takes time and testing.

                  In A Committed Marriage, Moving Abroad
                             Will NOT Harm YOUR Marriage

Finally, in a committed marriage, the stress of moving abroad should not harm the marriage but rather pull couples closer together as they make the move a wonderful team effort and a happy transition to their life. Truly the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!!

Over the years (12 years to be exact) Frank and Angie have guided and encouraged thousands of couples to perceive marriage "Gods Way" through their marriage healing ministry, Heaven Ministries. They have counseled couples all over the world through email, and over telephone and video conferencing; and many marriages have been restored to God.

 Marriage restoration takes spiritual effort but is well worth the effort because it gives us a much closer relationship with God and gives us an enormous understanding about our lives and God's will for our lives, and a totally new perspective that we did not have before.
(1 Samuel 16:7)

You can view Frank and Angie's newest marriage videos here.  https://www.youtube.com/user/TheHeavenMinistries

We're an Expat Family of Five Living Frugal, Healthy and Happy in Cuenca Ecuador! Enjoy the blog!


  1. You two look Great. Is that Frank's backpack that Angie is carrying? Enjoyed your blog entry, very true!

    1. Hi Tarin. Thanks so much. The photo was taken at the Punta Blanca beach. No, it's my backpack but I was probably carrying Frank's water bottle in it. Does that count? LOL


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