If I bothered to take a survey, I think I’d find that a lot of expat ‘love immigrants’ abroad are also work widow/ers. To quickly define the terms I’m throwing around:
Love immigrant: Someone living abroad whose main motivation for being there is a spouse, partner, lover, etc, and not career or business.
Work Widow/er: Someone who is often alone for prolonged periods of time, having a spouse/lover/partner who is called away for business reasons.
Having served three+ years’ of long distance relationship before finally moving to Germany, I know what it’s like to be lonely and without the one person you would most like to have next to you. When we’d agreed that Olli would go to the US and I would stay in Munich and work (and wait) until he returned, I knew what I was getting into and planned accordingly. My weeks have been filled with Champagne Thursday evenings with the ladies,
yoga classes, working overtime, weekend outings, Skyping, etc. I even went and baked cookies the other day.
I’ve been busy. I’m surrounded by familiar faces and friends. Still, it kind of sucks to be both a love immigrant and work widowed in a foreign country. It is plain weird to video conference my husband, living in my country (albeit New Jersey) without me. I like living in a foreign country, but I never counted on having to do this alone.
I do have a the benefit of the light at the end of the tunnel, this is only for six months. But after years of being almost illiterate and unable to communicate, the confusion and difficulty of (normally) easy every day matters humbling me beyond even my own expectations, I’m realizing there are limits to what I’m willing to endure. There’s only so much I’m willing to do without.
The night before he left, I told Oliver that I knew I would be having problems with this setup. Being alone was no longer a viable option for me. He had a choice about the outcome, but I would not be sleeping alone.
Together we chose Antonio… or Winston…
or Tobiko… we’re not sure yet what he’s called. Let’s just hope he keeps growing, he’s about the size of a remote control right now and I’m worried my new lover will die if he gets rolled over on in his sleep.
Ladies, I highly recommend getting one of these to keep you warm this winter.