These are things that I’ve learned being married to an English guy and I would not have it in any other way.
I was born and bred in Manila. When I had an opportunity to come and study in the UK last 2008, I didn’t think twice as I knew this was a new adventure, a new start (I was heartbroken back then!). It was exciting to meet different people and experience a different culture. I met a lot of Filipino friends here in the UK, and since I’m single, they kept pushing me to sign up in an online dating site (an alternative way to meet people or new love life on this occasion).
I was busy with my studies, work and trying to adapt to my new surroundings, so I didn’t give much notice about anything else it until he came along – Stephen. He came back from Mauritius where he lived as an expat for a few years, and he decided to return to the UK to settle some matters of the heart too!
In the spring of 2009, he sent me a friendly online message. He’s sensible and we’ve got lots of things in common, so we clicked, and the rest was history. We had loads of ups and downs in our interracial relationship, but those only made us closer. He also helped me to settle in this foreign land and make it my new home.
He turned out to be the ONE!
I’ll share with you the things that I’ve learned marrying an English guy! This is based on my experience with my husband so it may vary depending on your partner’s personality.
1.Learn how to speak SARCASM
The English are sarcastic at times, or sometimes most of the time! It’s the wit in their language. They have a very dry sense of humour and over time, you’ll get used to it.
Initially, I was getting upset about the silly petty things that he had said, but he was just playing me up. Being accustomed to the Filipino sense of humour, you would only use sarcastic comments if you’re angry at someone. I learned my lesson not to take it seriously and just laugh about it or be sarcastic as well. We tease each other with some insults, pet names and we just laughed after. Hey, Gringo! Peace!
2. Potatoes vs. Rice
As a Filipino, we love eating and our food! Since I’m here in the UK, I need to get used to eating potatoes (whether it’s mashed, chips, ridge, wedges and roasted) and other types of food that are new to my taste buds. In my opinion, most of the British food is bland compared to the Filipino food, so I had a hard time to adjust. I missed eating RICE for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
We’ve found a solution to this cultural differences, his dinner and my dinner, his potatoes and my rice! Problem solved! Everybody happy! However, it’s hard to find some Filipino ingredients here in the UK, so I learned to be resourceful.
British people love Indian curry. Their love affair with this dish is so deep due to their colonial past, so you have to cook or, at least, try to cook it. I introduced some Filipino food to my hubby, and it was a hit. His favourite so far is Siomai with soy sauce, lumpiang shanghai, hilabos na hipon and our national food – Adobo!
3.Love… dear… flower… darling…
I don’t freak out anymore whenever I’ll hear him calling other ladies with words of endearment. It’s a British norm to call somebody ‘love,’ ‘bab,’ ‘flower’ and all sorts of sweet terms that you can say. When I first arrived here in the UK, I found it creepy that they were addressing me with these words, but I’m used to it. It’s no big deal.
4.Keeping your identity
This is a big factor in our relationship. In our Filipino culture, Men are the head of the family, and always have the final say on everything.
Stereotyped by the fact, we need to follow men in our relationship. Being married to an English guy, somehow I felt like I broke those traditional customs of Filipino relationship. Even when we were still dating, my husband always treats me equally in our relationship.
My personality is too strong for him to handle! He managed anyway. I always have my freedom to do the things that I love and pursue my goals in life. I know that I can do it with him supporting me 100% without any doubts and hesitations, or making me feel that I can’t do it because ‘I’m married.
5. “Ang Padala” (Money remittance to the Philippines)
This topic needs a lot of explaining. Sending money back to the Philippines is one of the things where you can see the cultural differences in our relationship; British people are typically independent, and once they reach 18 – 21 years old they tend to leave their comfort zone (hotel of mom & dad) and set up their life.
They want to earn their own money, buy their own things and travel a lot. It would be hard for them to understand why we are sending money back to our family in the Philippines for various reasons like education and household bills. I’m just lucky that my husband can understand the reason I send money back home to help.
6. The BIG baby
He is my big baby! (cheesy!!) He can be hard work and grumpy at times, but he is truly lovely. At the moment, we don’t have any kids (but, we have our two kitties) yet as we have other top priorities. Babies will come eventually when the time comes; I will make sure that my BIG baby will be ready to become a Daddy! When we started dating, he finds it weird that I do prepare dinner for him, iron his clothes, do his laundry, etc. just looking after him as a typical Filipina way of loving their partner because his past relationships with British partners didn’t give him these special treatments. So that’s our advantage ladies!
7.The Queen of his heart
Ladies! Be prepared to be treated like a Queen.
YES! You heard me right; it’s the best feeling as they are thoughtful, caring and loving. They are truthful and what you see is what you get with them. No dramas, no expectations and they will accept you for who you are.
I had a hard time to trust again after my past relationship. However, my man never gave up in proving himself that he is different and worth it!
YES, he is worth it and worth the wait.
Marriage requires hard work, commitment, open communication and respect!
Keep the love burning!
Are you also married to an English guy?
If you want to share your experience, feel free to comment below.