In case you’ve been living in a bubble for the past week and don’t follow me or my blog page on Facebook, you’ll know that last Wednesday, 27th April, we got married!
After all the worrying I did about our two families coming together and how nervous I was about being centre of attention for the day, it turned into the best day ever and I’m very proud to now officially be Mrs Değirmenci!
I spent 10 glorious days in Turkey but 48 hours ago came back down to earth with a massive, painful bump as the time came to board the plane back to the UK. People say that the time I spend in Turkey must go by really fast, but it honestly doesn’t. Each time I return to Turkey it feels like I’m going home, and all my visits blur into one. It feels like I’ve been there forever, which only makes it all the harder when I leave again.
It’s never easy leaving Berkay behind, but instead of getting easier each time, it gets harder, and this time was the worst. We’d been married for 4 days and spent 10 whole days together, waking up together, eating breakfast together, walking hand in hand together, doing the washing together, eating dinner together, sleeping together.. and had just 4 days as husband and wife before I flew back to the UK and all of that became impossible again. 48 hours ago I had a husband next to me, now I find myself back in the daily 9-5 routine of work, living with my family and not feeling like a married couple at all 1000’s of miles apart.
I’m not really sure I can describe it in a way that anyone would understand, unless they’ve already been through it themselves but it’s really emotionally draining and although people mean well with their wishes and comments saying ‘you’ll be together again soon’, ‘now you can start focusing on the visa and getting everything ready to apply’ etc, it doesn’t make it any easier and that’s really not what I want to hear.
The days after your wedding should be happy, you should be putting congratulations cards up in your house and buying toasters and kettles and things for your house together – not sat in an airport departures hall in tears preparing for that one last glance back at each other before you pass through passport control and can’t look them in the eyes or feel their touch again for several months. It should not be that way at all.
I only have 5 days of annual left to take now so won’t be able to visit Berkay again until September as I have to space the time out carefully. I think it’s even harder for us because we once lived together for 3 years straight, with barely any days without seeing each other, and then suddenly the army reared it’s ugly head and separated us for a year, and now that’s over and done with but we’re still unable to be together in the same country.
People ask why I don’t move back to Turkey but the truth is I would in an instant. I LOVE Fethiye and Calis and our life there. Sensibly and practically though, that’s just not an option. Winters out there are very hard, and although the lifestyle is more relaxed, friendlier and less materialistic, the long working hours in summer are tough too. We want to have children and having Berkay working 15 hour days 7 days a week in summer and then finding work in winter and not knowing if he’ll actually get paid that month is just too stressful, plus there’s no time for family time. I lived there for 3 years and only saw him for 3 hours a day. Money isn’t such a problem in summer, but in winter its too hard. We budgeted hard and rationed our electricity and food and while that was fine for us back then, we would never be able to have a family that way or get into debt with Berkay’s employers again through borrowing money to get him through the winter months. As I write this I’m not entirely certain if I’m trying to explain my reasons to you readers, or if I’m just trying to convince myself that it’s the right thing…
Living in the UK would be a real challenge for Berkay, and it would take a lot of adapting and hard work, but at the moment it’s our best option. I have a great job in a good location and I have no doubt he’d find work somewhere too. I earn the income requirement needed to apply for his visa at the moment and it took a lot of time to get to this point, giving it up now would be silly. I’ve saved a few thousand pounds which will be enough for us to apply for his visa and hopefully a deposit to rent somewhere here. We will be applying for his visa around September time, and hopefully have a definite yes or no answer by Christmas. If it’s a yes, we’ll start our life in the UK, and if it’s a no I’m willing to move back there and make sacrifices. We really have one shot at his visa, it costs thousands of pounds and a lot of time and effort so we really will only try once. I suppose the only thing for certain is that by Janaury 2017 we will know where our future is, be that in the UK or Turkey, and we won’t have to spend anymore time apart figuring it out as the decision will be made for us by the UK government. As soon as we hand those papers in in September-time, it’s out of our hands and into the hands of a complete stranger who has never met us and who judges our life by flicking through a pile of paperwork.
We’re married now but things regarding the future are as unstable as ever. Thankfully, we have each other no matter how far apart we are and the long distance aspect of our relationship means we never take each other for granted. Every meal together, every time we open our eyes and wake up next to each other, every time we walk hand in hand is a moment we treasure as it doesn’t happen everyday. I can’t stop looking at our wedding photos they make me smile even if looking back at them is bittersweet…
Brace yourselves for a lot of wedding posts soon!!