Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Long Distance Marriage

This weekend I was talking to a random person at the apartment complex pool and she complimented me on being so young with a long-distance marriage.  I never really thought of what Adam and I are doing right now as having a long distance marriage since our plan is for me to be with him soon (yes I think 1-3 years is soon when your looking at 50+!)

So I've been thinking about this a lot lately and it has really weighed heavy on my mind and I started doing a little research. 

First--I found some great tips at the blog of A Lady Scientist in my first general Google search.  Number one is a biggie we are dealing with already--End the conversation when there is nothing left to talk about.  Last night I was sick and losing my voice yet Adam and I were still on the phone for nearly an hour and I'm not sure what anything we talked about was.  Oh yeah, and I was drugged up on Nyquill at the time so I'm sure that what little I did contribute to the conversation was SUPER meaningful...I'm actually forwarding the link to her blog to Adam to read too.  Not sure if he will but if he does I think it would be helpful, either way I know that I learned a lot and it will help me.

Second--THIS article summed up a long distance marriage pretty much the way I expect it to go.  It made me feel good to read this article and realize that  I am going into this with my eyes fairly open.  I fully expect the next few years to be absolute hell, however as stated in this article, I also bet that I will shave my legs every time my husband comes home or I go to see him :)

Those of you who have actually visited my blog page and don't just follow me in RSS or Google Reader know that my "tagline" is "happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance"  I don't actually believe that it is a matter of chance but I do believe that meeting and marrying the person who will bring you happiness is chance.  I was lucky enough to meet the man who makes me happy and who I make happy.  That being said one thing I learned from watching my parents during their 25 year marriage, (23 years of which I was alive for and actually watched...) is that marriage is work.  There is give and take, and sometimes one person takes more but at other times they will be the one who gives more.  I think that no matter what kind of marriage you have long distance or co-habitating (is that even a word?) lots of work is involved.  When you live with your SO you have to deal with them leaving towels on the floor (me!) or squeezing toothpaste from the middle of the tube (hubby!) and when you don't live together you have an entirely different set of problems to deal with like phone calls and bad times that you feel like you have to take and travel expenses to visit each other.

Adam and I have been married for 22 months now, of that 22 months he has been in the Navy 4 months, worked 3rd shift 4 months and we have lived at least 6 hours away from one another 9 months (including the 4 he has been in the Navy) it has been a fairly crazy start to our life together but it has been fun so far and I'm looking forward to see how the next 20 years go!

Something that I am still a little worried about is the stigma I have been told is attached to the wives of geographic bachelors in the military.  I've heard people say/read in other blogs etc. that wives like me are often frowned upon.  As if we are not supporting our husbands by being away instead of being with them.  But sometimes we cannot go with our husbands for a variety of reasons.  For me it is simply a matter of I am not willing to give up my career at this point.  If I can stay here until he has a rate and gets orders to his next PCS where we will be staying for a while then I will be better able to continue my career.  Also, we currently have a mortgage in Louisville and my ton of student loans.  Because of this we simply can't afford to go without my income right now even for a short period of time.  Just because I am not with my husband at his duty station does not mean that I am not supporting him though.  I am providing all of the emotional support I can from 10+hours away right now.  Also I am supporting him by continuing my career because he wants me to be successful as much as I want for him to be successful.  We support each other, it is a give and take.

So now to open the can of worms--What is your opinion of long-distance marriages?  What kind of marriage do you have how do you make yours work?  What experience have you had with military families who are living with long distance marriages?  Feel free to disagree with me but please do so respectfully.  I know this can be controversial and normally I avoid controversy on this blog but it is my blog and this is what I am thinking about right now so I want you to feel free to sound-off as well.

Ok--go comment now but play nice! :)


Sespi said...

I've actually encountered some of the judgment because Chris and I will be separated when I start work. Someone actually commented that wives who make the choice not to follow their husbands don't love their husbands or must be up to something because why else wouldn't they be with their husbands? It's crap. The people who say those things aren't the people you want to be friends with anyway. Anyone who knows you will understand what you're doing and why and offer you support instead of judgment. Including me :)

ShanonRenee said...

Some of the comments you've received are part of what I was referring to. As for the 'must be up to something' do those people not have any trust in the marriage? Adam and I trust each other 100% I encourage him to make female friends as well as male ones and vice-versa, there is no reason not to trust one another!

Erica said...

First of all, it's nobody else's business where the two of you are geographically. People need to learn to mind their own business.

Second of all, when Adam was living up here and you were in Georgia, I remember distinctly him saying a few times that he missed you, etc... He drove back and forth a lot too, if I recall correctly. So I would imagine that he misses you now too.

That being said, I know of a relationship where the guy joined the military, got sent to a base, and his wife didn't follow him. I'm not sure what her reason was, but I am pretty sure it had absolutely nothing to do with a career, because, well, she doesn't have one like you do. More of a job. She went to visit him a few times, of course, but never went to live with him. A mutual friend of mine and my other friend caught the wife with another man in a bar, and of course told the military friend. Needless to say, they aren't together anymore. (The story is far more complicated than that, but it's not my story to tell...) So yes, of course it can happen, but each set of circumstances is completely different. You know as well as I do that you have a VERY good reason for staying where you are. I'm sure you would go to be with him if you could financially, but there is no reason to go right now. So tell anybody who criticizes you to STFU, or send them my way, and I will. :-)

Oh, and if you don't love Adam because you didn't follow him, then we can use the same reasoning when he didn't follow you to GA when you moved there. So I guess you're stuck in a loveless marriage by that reasoning. :-p

Mrs. Monkey said...

I've had a few friends who just can't seem to understand our long distance marriage either. For the most part, those who care about me understand, or are at least supportive of it.

I'm in the same boat, so to speak. Though, since I only live 3 hours away he is able to come "home" on the weekends most of the time when he's not underway.

We do it for the same reasons. He'll be done in 2.5 years, so neither of us feel the need to end my career and be out the income. We can stick it out for the short term to be better off in the long term.