An expat spouse, or trailing spouse, is the married partner of an expatriate employee transferred or hired to work abroad.
Historically, trailing spouses have been a largely female population, but this has changed over time as more male expat spouses follow their wives abroad.
Spousal and family adjustment on the success of an expatriate assignment has been consistently shown to be significant in expatriate research. Some multi-national corporations, governments and organizations have attempted to compensate for this by investing in more resources as part of the expat packages they provide to their expat employees and their families.
Expat Exchange Articles:
Moving Overseas Guide: The Expat Spouse
Trailing Spouse As A Chameleon
External Articles and Research:
SHRM: Increasing the Success Rate of Expatriates
IOR: Following her job to Tokyo? Challenges facing the expat male trailing spouse.
BBC: The Reluctant Expat Spouse
Graduate Thesis Paper: Spousal adjustment impacts international assignment succes.