On Friday, judges at the Tokyo District Court will announce a decision on whether or not to grant long-term residency to U.S. citizen Andrew High, who has lived in Japan with his Japanese husband Kohei for over 10 years.

Legally married in the U.S. in 2015, the couple have been together since 2004. But despite the strength and longevity of their relationship, their legal status and limited ability to live together as a couple has throughout that time been a persistent source of stress and anxiety — both during their time living in Japan and in the U.S.

“Our 18th anniversary is coming up in about six weeks,” High said during an interview on Thursday. “During this entire time, we've never been able to really have a picture (of their future life together) beyond a year or so that felt secure.”