difficulties dealing with long distance

newlywed_77October 3, 2006

My spouse and I got married a few weeks ago. It was our intention to live and work in the same city but he was unable to secure a job in his domain and was only able to find relevant work to gain experience in a rural area that is hard to access. It takes 16-20 hours to get there unless you fly and then it becomes too expensive. I thought I could deal with the distance as we have in the past for our education once. But due to the remote area he is working in it is very difficult to visit. I can't move there either as I have my own commitments. The good news is his contract is temporary (9 more months). This is adding a whole other layer stress to our new marriage. I am not coping that well emotionally after the high of the marriage and the wonderful honeymoon we had. I find myself depressed and lonely even if I am surrounded by others. When I go out all I see is couples holding hands and happy together. Will it get better with time? Any advice?

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Unless you are both exceptional, it will not get better.

Pretty hard to be married when you're not even together. IMHO something needs to give. Competing "commitments" are always bad news. "He can't/won't vs. I can't/won't" is a major deal.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 1:37PM
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I feel for you, 77. My girlfriend and I were in a long-distance relationship for over a year. We were half a world away. We sent e-mails, chatted online, and racked up big phone bills. It finally became too much to take.

So we got married in Singapore.

She had already moved to S'pore a few months earlier. I followed and we spent the next two years living and working there.

Before we made that commitment, we visited each other's country several times. Each time, we left a little something behind. A t-shirt, music CDs, cologne, perfume - anything we could see, hear, smell, touch, or even wear to feel closer to the one we left behind.

Once I hid sticky-notes all around my fiancé's apartment on my departure date. She found a few before I left. Even so...it took her a month to find them all.

We tuned in to the same online radio station while chatting in another window.

I'd wave at the sunset while she waved back at the sunrise.

And yes...it really sucked to see couples holding hands in a mall. All the computer technology between us couldn't accomplish something so simple.

Some advice...

- At least one of you sign up for unlimited long distance.

- Watch a favorite TV show or the news "together" while talking on the phone.

- Talk about your day...even the most mundane things.

- Read a book...and have your partner read the same one. You can talk about it later.

- Speakerphones are a must when "eating together".

- Send e-mails every day.

- Send "care packages" on special days...or whenever the mood strikes.

- Talk to your friends about it.

- Trust your partner.

Use this time "slone" to improve yourself. Learn a skill or hobby. Fix up the house. Give your partner the same advice. Be creative...are you planning a vacation in Germany "someday"? Then each lean some German for when that time comes. Doing something constructive was a good stress-burner for me.

Hope this helps.



    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 1:44PM
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I said...

"Use this time "slone" to improve yourself."

Typo monster...that should be "alone".



Nine months apart is not easy, yet it's not forever. Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 1:52PM
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Curious as to WHY you rushed marriage when this difficult situation was looming????

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 2:03PM
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Why did we rush into marriage? We didn't really rush into it. We were engaged and planning our wedding for a while and have been together for a few years. Basically we both had steady incomes until my partners contract did not get renewed which was very unexpected. That was when trouble started and before finances got out of control we decided it was best that he take the job abroad as it was his only opportunity for employment that he successfully received. Even then, credit card debt was rising until he found this job and we were weeks from our wedding when all of this occurred. We spoke of postponing the wedding but the reality is we knew we wanted to be married and we were in it for the long haul and seeing both of our dreams come true. The goal and promise for now is that he will come back to where I live ASAP and at the latest in 9 months. When I speak of commitments I mean I am stuck here finishing my degree (grad school). So as you can imagine neither of us can live on one of our salaries just yet with me in school and him just gaining experience in his field.

Our intention is to be together and hopefully time, work experience, me finishing up school, will make things more flexible for both of us.

I want to thank Marco too for his advice. We do talk daily and we've got unlimited long distance. We'll try the other suggestions you have as well. I do trust my partner and he trusts me. I just feel an incredible sense of loss not having him with me as I want to share my daily life with him. Its difficult on the phone when we are really missing each other or one partner is missing the other more etc... and ends up in arguments at times. All I know is that I love my husband very much and I know he loves me and I pray that we can survive this at the start of our marriage. I've seen military wives go through this and I hope I can have the strength to get through this as well.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 6:20PM
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Marco DID give you great advice... I hope the months apart pass swiftly! Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 7:53PM
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Grad school can wait. Your marriage can't. As the saying goes, "Life is what happens while we're making other plans." Yes, you need an income. But you need your husband more. I would be easier if you hadn't married him or had talked about this first. But you didn't. So now the best thing you could do would be to go where he is and stop selfishly worrying about your education.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 8:54PM
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I dont think it is selfish to continue with your education, as stated in the previous post. You are young (I think), you need to be educated and this is the time to take advantage of that opportunity.

The time will pass quickly, its not going on forever is it, so just take each day, and cope the best you can. At least you will be rewarded at the end of it.

Marco gave the best advice, he knows what its like.

All the best to you, things that dont break you make you stronger.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 10:07PM
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Don't listen to mrskennedy. She's serving up a guilt trip you do not deserve.

The degree you earn now will secure you a better job and income later. This will benefit you both. He'll respect you more for your accomplishment. You will respect him more for helping you get there.

In ten years you will be living in your own house, instead of merely dreaming about it.

Arguments suck...we had our share. Don't let this discourage you. It's "normal" considering the distance.

One more thing...the time apart will make you more appreciate your time together. My wife and I thoroghly enjoy each other's company. We now can hold hands in the mall. If she forgets an item at work, we make the 80-minute round-trip drive to retrieve it.

This is what you have to look forward to. Keep at it, and it will be yours.



    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 9:06AM
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People get married and separate temporarily for all sorts of reasons--war; job, military service and they don't fall apart. You at least have phone contact, and aren't in a life threatening situation (I hope). Finish your schooling--life has lots of surprises and an education has great value. It helps especially if you need to move where he is.
I did that years and years ago when my husband was in the service. I have never regretted spending the time finishing my degree.He certainly appreciated it. He got to go back to college after he got out of the service. But often listen to women who say"oh I could have been a brain surgeon, nobel prize winner ....etc. if I hadn't been a martyr and had to move to South Dakota to spend 6 months with my husband."
Why can your grad school wait according to Ms KennedY? I don't notice men saying "oh I can't go to submarine school general--my wife can't be without me for four months"

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 5:29PM
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Just wanted to provide one more voice of support for staying in graduate school. As you know, it's a major investment of time, money and energy. it is well worth it to be able to make a living in a field you enjoy. I'm astonished that someone would call it selfish. At least your husband is working in his field even if you are separated. I wonder if all the men whose wives worked at dead-end jobs to put them through medical, law, or graduate school were selfish as well. (And yes folks, I know that sometimes it's the other way around, but it's not nearly as common).

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 9:51PM
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Well, I am happy to hear support for grad school. I finished my MA and will hopefully wrap up my PhD in a year or two. I am in the middle of it and can't just drop it. Trust me in that I considered postponing it because it is not what makes me most happy. My husband would not even let me do such a thing. He is my biggest supporter and cheerleader when it concerns getting my higher education and he sees how difficult it is to achieve it. I support him moving away to further his work experience and career because those are his opportunities and dreams and goals and they are just as important as mine. And at times it is difficult to support each others career goals when it conflicts with our personal one's (living together). I think the two of us would never want either of us to sacrifice our dreams and get a dead end job to help the other. We will always try and find a place where we can both work and do what we love. I like the quote "life is what happens when we're making other plans". That is the whole point I guess. We made plans to get married, we had planned on continuing work in the same city, we had planned for finishing my degree by 2008. So we did get married, and I am finishing my degree, and he is working but not in my home city. 2/3 isn't too bad I guess. Its great to know many of you had time apart from your spouses (including to finish education) and you made it!! It is very encouraging. Thanks

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 4:35PM
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And you will make it too, newlywed, you are doing the right thing, you wont regret it. You have a wonderful, healthy future together, with that positive attitude of yours.

Lucky girl !


    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 3:03AM
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I understand what you are going through. I am there to. My husband moved to my rurel area so i can finish school, but it didnt work out with the job issues here. So he went back home to his previous job but got promoted and is making more money with health insurance. They are also training him how to fix heating systems and AC. Also they are sending him college and reimbursing him. Its so hard to be apart, we also just got married, but you can do it. Just pick a time to talk at night every night, and keep trust and communication going. Its hard, but you can do it. I have to do it for nine months as well, so i keep thinking of being together and our monthy visits. I will keep you in my prayers, again don't listen to anyone who says you can't do this, marriages can survive anything if you both want it.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 10:13AM
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lilangelbaby0099 , why can't you got to a school where your husband is living?

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 12:29PM
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I got engaged 6 months ago and before i knew it, i flew to another country(Work reasons).Now we are 5 months apart.
The best practice i have found to work for me is: Communication.

Communication works.What we usually do is.

1. Every day we send email to one another
2. At least an sms before we sleep
3. Conversion via phone at least after every 2days

And the best part is "TRUST and OPENNESS" believe it or not.Just trust the other person..there's nothing u can do about it!!Be open to express what u feel or encounter on your day to day.(lets face it some1 will find your chic attractive)right?So guide and encourage one another to keep on keeping on.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 4:49PM
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