For the previous 10 months, my husband and I have been engaged in the process of obtaining a UK Spousal Visa. I've always wanted to write about that process, but felt that it would be best to do that when it was complete. Now that it is complete, I have decided to wait just a little bit longer. It was a rather stressful 10 months of hitting setbacks, general despair, and some positive surprises also. I will write about all of that more in detail, and do a bit of research for others to read. For now, however, my husband is with me in the UK - finally! And has been for a month. So, what has happened? What has been the impact? What has changed?
Happy he's here
Having my husband here after so long being apart feels a tad surreal. And it's been pretty damn good so far.
Living alone is not for everyone. It certainly isn't for me. During Covid, I moved back in with my parents as I couldn't both live alone and not be allowed to see other people. I would have sunk into a depression. Indeed, living alone these last few months despite going back to the office daily has not been without its challenges. And so, having him finally here, living together, and having another person in the apartment to vibe off is simply wonderful. Whether it's just someone to wake up in the morning by bouncing on the bed, or sharing the gossip with after work, it's great to have him in the apartment and not half way around the world in a different time zone.
Cooking for one has always felt like a chore. Even if I decided to cook enough for several days, I was never overly inspired to cook an overly nice dinner unless I was cooking for friends. Cooking for two, I definitely put more effort in and have varied the dishes that I would have usually defaulted to on the daily. No more frozen pizzas, frozen fish and microwaveable bags of rice. Now the dinners consist of fresh pizzas with meat and vegetables, fish including basic salmon and with shell, and a rice cooker has been purchased. I feel here it is appropriate to mention that my husband is from the Philippines and his expectations of dinner, or indeed all meals, includes some form of rice. We are enjoying cooking and eating together, and finding compromise on the flavours. Sadly he does not appreciate lamb, but no one is perfect.
Sharing a living space with someone makes me a bit more conscious of how I am living. Prior, I wouldn't have been too concerned about a slightly overflowing bin or the inside of the microwave looking a tad like a bomb went off inside. Now, I would say I endeavour to keep more on top of these things. Am I perfect? Husband says no. But I attest that I am better. And it is great to have someone else in the apartment to share the burden of tasks with. He is very good with a spray bottle and some kitchen roll; looking forward to him mastering the toilet bleach.
Since arriving, I can attest that I have been to the cinema, concert venues and national gardens more in the last month than I have in the last year. And that is great for me, and for him. I get to get out of the apartment and my own head, whilst he gets to experience local cultural and events and begin to assimilate to his new home.
What's mine is no longer
In some ways I guess I am quite traditional. When marrying, I believe you essentially unite assets. Sadly, his assets are all Taylor Swift related and we can't sell them. Even more sadly, I'm the only one with a PS5. And so, we have issue.
After a day at work, coming home to an empty apartment and playing a game was part of my wind down routine. And I liked it. Now, however, the dynamic is a tad different. My husband also enjoys playing video games. And whilst he has more free time during the day than me, that doesn't mean that he will not wish to play in the evening also. And so, we must compromise. This, to be fair, is not usually a problem. He is gracious enough to allow me to get first preference to play in the evening, if I wish. Yet I know he is lurking in the background, just waiting for me to finish early and recommence his own playing. So far, it works. Another games console is, as of now, not required.
Moving from a foreign country is a big life adjustment. I have done it a few times in my own life, so I understand the trials it can bring. Sadly, one thing it also means is that most electrical plugs are usually obsolete. Coming from the Philippines, his 2-pin plugs won't be working in the 3-pin UK. To charge his various devices, which he likes to keep highly charged, he has decided to commandeer my own. This isn't usually an issue, but there have been times when we both want it, and have made a judgement based on who has the lesser charge percentage at that point in time. Compromise is fun. Especially if I'm at 14% and he is at 72%.
Global Warming aside, the Philippines is and has always been a tropical country. The average temperatures there would be considered a rather warm summers day here in the UK, notwithstanding the humidity. The first thing my husband said to me as we met in the airport was 'It's so cold.' Was it cold? It was chilly, but I thought it was quite a nice brisk autumn day. I have since come back from work to a stiflingly warm apartment. I am dreading the gas bill, but it is one of those things. When I visit his parents house in the Philippines, they have no qualms with me sleeping with the AC all night. And until my husband acclimatises to our brisk autumn days, the apartment will no doubt be warmer than usual. I'll just be wearing shorts inside a lot more.
No evidence, no proof
He said I snored. I said he was lying. I said he snored. He just laughed.
He snores. Quite a few times so far. I have it recorded for evidence. No evidence, no proof. Somehow he did manage to record me snoring. I'm not overly sure it was me though. Maybe he just recorded himself mimicking snoring. That sounds more plausible.
As I don't snore.
A month together has flown by. The year is almost over. We will be in the Philippines for Christmas before long. And then a momentous year for us going to see Taylor Swift together in Dublin. Coupled with driving lessons (for him) and a 10 year work anniversary (for me). A month can fly by, and so can many years.