Q: Good morning. How old are you?
A: I’m 51 years old.
Q: Do you have children?
A: I have got a son and a daughter.
Q: Who in your family has emigrated to Spain?
A: My husband.
Q: When did your husband emigrate?
A: He emigrated 10 years ago
Q: How was your life before he left?
A: We lived very well. We had a stable life, but the company where my husband worked went bankrupt and as the country was going through a serious crisis there was no work and he had to emigrate.
Q: So, it all happened because of economic issues?
A: Yes. We asked for a loan to the bank to buy our house and our car and as my husband became unemployed it was impossible to pay the expenses. My children were both in school, they couldn’t help.
Q: How old were your children when your husband emigrated?
A: My daughter was 12 and my son was 7 years old.
Q: How do you communicate with your husband?
A: We talk to each other every day. I prefer to use the phone, but my children use Facebook and video call.
Q: Do you remember the day of his departure?
A: Yes, I do. I cried all day long. I couldn’t imagine myself alone with my children. We had been married since 1993 and we had never been separated. It was a very difficult situation for me.
Q: Did he go alone or with other Portuguese workers?
A: The company where he works is Portuguese. It is a construction company which has 20 men working in Spain.
Q: Do you have family or relatives living near you?
A: Yes, I do. My parents are still alive and they live close to me and I also have a younger brother who lives next door with his wife and two children.
Q: Do they help you whenever you need?
A: They helped me from the start. They helped me deal with the situation, they helped me with my children and they never let me feel alone.
Q: While your husband was away did you ever need to go to the doctor, to the hospital?
A: There was only one situation. I broke my leg on my way to work and had to do a surgery. He came home immediately and stayed for over a week. Ten, he returned to Spain. Back then my daughter was 17 years old and could take care of me and her brother. And as I said before, my parents have always been there for me.
Q: What about him. Has he ever gone to the hospital in Spain?
A: He went to the doctor several times, but for simple things like a flu or a cold. There was never anything serious, thank God.
Q: Do the people closest to you know that your husband has emigrated? What do they think of that?
A: They do not comment. They know that my husband emigrated because he really need to. My family understand and give us their support.
Q: When you say that your husband emigrated for financial reasons, do you expect him to come back when this financial situation improves?
A: Yes, I do hope so. Our situation is much better now and I think that he would come home for good soon.
Q: How do you usually communicate with your husband?
A: Over the phone and by Skype when I am with my children.
Q: What do you talk about?
A: We talk about our life in general and we talk about his work. My daughter is now finishing her college degree and my son is finishing high school. They are very good students and have never given me major trouble.
Q: Are there things that you only tell him when he is at home?
A: No, I do not wait until he comes home. I tell him everything that I think is important.
Q: How often does he visit you?
A: Once a month. He also comes for Easter, Christmas and New Year.
Q: Does he live alone or with someone?
A: He lives in an apartment with two other work colleagues. The company pays for the expenses.
Q: Do you know exactly what his job is?
A: Yes, I know almost everything about his timetables and tasks. He has worked in different cities around Spain. At the moment he is working in Barcelona.
Q: Does he have new friends there?
A: The friends he has are work colleagues, all Portuguese. At weekends they get together to have dinner, for example, and have some fun.
Q: Have you ever thought about going to live with him?
A: No, I gaven’t. I have my job and my children don’t want to live in Spain. So, that was never an option.
Q: What are the advantages of having your husband abroad?
A: A stable economic life. We can pay our expenses, our children can go to college and have a better life than ours.
Q: What are the disadvantages?
A: There are many disadvantages. I got used to them. This is not the life I wanted or the life I have dreamed of. But we must face the difficulties life brings us and do the best we can to survive and raise our children. When we have our relatives’ support everything is a little bit easier.
Q: What is your job?
A: I work in a school as a secretary.
Q: Is there anything you would like to ask him to bring to you, something you long for?
A: He is a very good man and an even better husband. He has always given me and my children what we needed. We know that our priority is to save money to pay our loans and have a decent life. I have never asked for more.
Q: Thank you for your collaboration.