I remember searching the internet relentlessly looking for someone else to understand me and my feelings. Just looking for someone who has been through the same thing that I was enduring in hopes they could shed light on how I can make being in a long distance relationship with a man in the service not seem so impossible. Although I found some helpful advice, I didn’t find what I was longing for to simply keep me at peace. From what I did gather, it’s certainly not common for married or people in serious relationships to not live with their significant other. Which I totally understand, but geez, help a women out.
I will never forget the amount of backlash that individuals expressed with me dating someone living in a completely different state. It isn’t that I didn’t want to go stay with him indefinitely, it was simply that I could not. I had a child from a previous relationship and there wasn’t any chance I could leave. I will say, even when my husband was away his role as the children’s father never faltered. He was an amazing Dad even from afar.
Whatever it is that is holding you back, I get it. I do. But that shouldn’t dictate whether or not you can potentially be with this person for the rest of your life if that is what you both choose to do. It also most definitely does not give anyone the right to tell you what is and isn’t good for you. Only you know that. So, please, don’t let anyone try to cloud your judgment.
My husband and I spent 3 years apart before we were ever living together under the same roof. The first year we were still boyfriend/girlfriend and we had our occasional breakups when we thought it was just to difficult. But as soon as we got married, we obviously made it a priority for me to go see him once a month. As expensive as plane tickets are and all of his underways/deployments that was the best we could do. But you have to take what you can get and run with it if you’re really wanting this to work. It wasn’t until Feb – March of 2017 that we finally got to feel what it was like to always be in each others presence.
Believe me, it is not an easy process by no means. It takes a lot of dedication to be with someone in the service. It never gets any easier, telling them goodbye. It rips your heart apart every time and just when you think you have it all figured out; as soon as they walk away, you break. You shatter into a million pieces. My husband and I made a promise that after we said goodbye to go back home (whichever one of us came to see the other) we’d never turn around to look. Watching your heart walk in a completely different direction instead of being with you is the worst pain of all. Even to this day, the pain is burned into my mind. The thought of all those goodbyes brings me to tears because it was unlike any other hurt I’ve ever felt. It’s okay to feel that way, don’t let anyone shame you for your outbursts of crying. I would even go to say that it feels worse than your first heart break. Because all you feel is numb, you feel nothing. Empty.
The times you do get with your significant other, hold on to it. Lean on it. Take it all in. Stay still in the moment. It’s very difficult to come to terms with not getting the time you want but only receiving the time you get. It never seems to be enough, does it? Never enough laughs, never enough hugs or kisses. Never enough memories. But you can make the best of it. You can make it last until you see them again. Plan a fun event together, watch a movie, if you have kids find a sitter in advance for them so you can get some alone time with your person.
In between seeing them it’s critical to set aside time strictly for you to talk. I know how frustrating it is when plans are always changing (welcome to the Navy) but you have to figure out something to make it work. Our phones and computers were what we depended on to make our relationship work when being apart. It’s not exactly the best thing in the world, being glued to your phone that is. But we were determined that we wanted this for life.
Be patient with them, as patient as you can that is. It’s really easy to become snippy with each other after going long periods of time without seeing one another. Stress has a way of making you take it out on people who are in no way deserving of it. Try not to let it show. It will be okay.
Whether you intend on one day moving with them when most convenient for you as a couple. Whether they intend to leave the service to come home with you or if you’re just someone who is long distance until further notice, the time will drag but the ending result is well worth everything that you two will be faced with. There will be many situations that arise that will make you question everything, but listen to your gut. If every part of you is telling you that you love this person entirely don’t give up. It will pass. I remember when I told myself I was going to give it one more time and give it my all. I was so hesitant at first and sure that everything would slowly fall apart. But, it didn’t.
One year after meeting I married my husband, he finished his last two years in the Navy and he came home to me. We added another daughter to our family and life is good. Don’t forget, don’t let anyone tell you it’s not possible. Because we are proof, it isn’t even a little bit true.