Assumptions and speculations – beginning of the trailing spouse journey

Welcome to April 2015’s #TrailingSpouseStories! This month, we played with April Fools and asked each other “What got you “fooled” into being a trailing spouse? What myths did you start out with and what did you discover in the process?” Here is my take on the matter.

I wouldn’t say that I was ‘fooled’ into being a trailing spouse, rather I ‘fooled’ myself, imagining how it would be and making lots of assumptions.

When we first had a discussion with my husband about moving to Germany from UK, I couldn’t say I was completely happy about it. Not miserable either, more like concerned. I just started feeling like an independent adult, still in my first job after graduation, enjoying independent life and making plans accordingly – here, in London, in this company, in these circumstances. Moving to Germany would change all that. Although, I could still be working with a family project we had going on, I would lose a certain independence – I would be living on a dependent’s visa actually, and that’s not the only thing.

Nevertheless, I had to agree that at that point it seemed like the best option to pack up and move on. What I assumed was that we would settle there and, eventually, I would find something to do for myself as well. Or else, we would choose not to settle and then we would just come back to London a few years down the road. Never in a million years could I predict that this move would be the beginning of an eventful journey across several countries, following completely unexpected goals and paths, shaping our lives in an unpredictable way.

You know, there’s a saying ‘if you want to make God laugh – tell Him about your plans’. Never did I hear a saying more spot on. Of course, we can all make plans, but in the end we just have to be flexible to accept the changes when they happen. Did I have unfulfilled expectations about my trailing spouse life? I surely did. Am I unhappy, because of that? Definitely not. I cannot say our life on the move is always sweet and effortless, but what I know for a fact is that it can never be called boring.

Clara of Expat Partner Survival thought she knew what it would be like – she didn’t – she wrote a book to help others not to get fooled too. Read more in Trailing Fools?

Didi of D for Delicious says that the trailing spouse life is attractively shiny, yet it is better to know that behind the glitter is a lot of grit. Read more in #TrailingSpouseStories: Falling for Fool’s Gold?

Elizabeth Smith of Secrets of A Trailing Spouse says that the reality of life as a trailing spouse does not live up to its image, but is so much better. Read more in You Could’ve Fooled Me: Common Myths About Trailing Spouses.

Jenny Reyes of MyMommyology asks Are we foolish enough to think that the trailing spouse life gets easier over time? Read her answer in #TrailingSpouseStories: The Irony of It All.

Shakira Sison (Palanca winning essayist and Rappler columnist) chats with Didi of D for Delicious and shared stories of her foolhardy decision to leave for NYC. Read more in A Conversation on the LGBT Trailing Spouse Life in NYC with Shakira Sison.

Tala wonders if being a Trailing Spouse was her escapist dream come true, or not? Read the verdict in Ambition: Expat’s Wife.

Yuliya Khilko of TinyExpats says that quite often it’s not about being ‘fooled’, but about ‘fooling’ yourself. Read more in Assumptions and speculations – beginning of the trailing spouse journey.


  1. I salute you, I know it’s not an easy decision… We were thinking about it when Hubby was offered a job meaning be might need to shift countries… I got the the stage where I thought, yeah, this could be good… But he just couldn’t! Leaving the family and the familiarity of home for him is a thing he can’t comprehend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It can be scary at first, for sure. And there can be lots of difficulties on the way. What always helped me was thinking that I can always go back, but the opportunity of going away is something interesting to experience. If things go wrong, you can always change your way and go back to the familiar place, but with all the knowledge and experience acquired.
      In any case, if he wasn’t happy about it, I guess, it was a good choice to stay than go and already know that he wouldn’t feel well there.

      Liked by 1 person

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