Following your life partner in Spain

Hi everyone,

If love can move mountains, it also makes people move abroad, in countries such as Spain.
Following your life partner in a country with different customs and rules is an act of absolute trust and may require a period of adaptation.
This is why we would like to have your opinion to answer these questions and thus help future expats who are preparing to follow the same track by moving in Spain.

What preparation do you have, or do you advise, to do before your departure in order to make the best of this experience?

What challenges have you faced? In what areas (finding a job, socialization, well-being)? How did you overcome them?

What is the outcome of this experience for you? Would you do it again if the opportunity arose?

Has your relationship with your beloved changed since your expatriation in Spain? Do you have any advice on this subject?

If your expatriation involved children, how did you manage to maintain a family balance in the face of this life change?

Thanks for your contribution!

Loïc

Hi there,
This is not exactly my case as I am a Londoner who moved to Italy many, many years ago but didn’t have a lot of difficulty doing so. My major difficulty was moving back to London permanently after 40 years in Italy. Rules, regulations and customs had changed and I needed help in familiarising with them all.
But, now I have moved to Spain, I would suggest the following items to ease your way into the Spanish way of life and create less stress between you and your partner.
1. Subscribe to expat forums like this one and also local ones where   
    you can ask questions if necessary;
2. Study the area you will be moving to: castles & monuments, train   
    stations, local bus services, shops, employment agencies, your
    country’s consulate;
3. LEARN THE LANGUAGE as much as you possibly can.  This way you
     will be far more independent and can rely on your partner a little
     less. Someone having to translate for you can cause a strained   
     relationship, believe me. And speak Spanish when you can.
     Shyness is not an excuse!
4.  Be patient with your partner’s friends and family. They will all be   
     willing to help you settle in so trust them. Accept their assistance
     gratefully!

These are just a few suggestions to make your new life a little easier.
I wish you all the luck in the world!
Janice

Hi there! My name is Leigh Matthews. I recently wrote a blog post on this subject which I am familiar with because of my own experience of being a "lovepat" and following my husband from my country of origin, Australia, to his home country of Spain in 2011.9 years on and I am still here with my husband in Spain and with our child who was born here in 2012. I am also a Psychologist and work with expats and immigrants and see many of the same challenges arise across intercultural relationships. Feel free to go and have a read.

***
As I write at the end of the blog post:

"The most successful intercultural relationships bring together people who:

-have good reasons for entering the relationship
-share common goals
-have a genuine liking for each other’s cultures
-are flexible
-are curious and open to new experiences
-are good communicators
-share a commitment to the relationship and,
-have a sense of humour.

Your relationship will be a unique combination of cultures, shared by two people who have supported each other through all the complications of intercultural differences.
If you remember why you are together then you will find a way and create a strong unit for life."

Thank you!!

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