Distance means so little when someone means so much.” ~Unknown
People tend to think long distance relationships are one of the hardest possible ways of loving someone. I live in one. As an Army wife, I knew it was imperative that at some point in our lives, I will be faced with a situation of not being able to join him at his field of posting.
Army wives think about living apart mostly keeping in mind their kid’s education. The postings usually come bang during the middle of an academic year and there is no way you can join the husband in such circumstances.
In my case, this was not the case. We didn’t have a kid to think about and it was only Muffy, our three-year-old Golden Retriever.
The soldier and I fantasized about our dream posting coming true after he nailed his promotion. It was going to be the best years of our lives but our desires and wishes came crashing down when he was handpicked by the topshots to be sent to a forward location.
And the pandemic situation didn’t help either. No way was the state he was posted to allowing the families to accompany the officers (and forget about the pet!). I had no option but to choose an SF (Seperated Family) accomodation or going back home to my parents. We chose the later hoping against hopes that this was only temporary.
This July, it will one year of us living apart and this period was depressing and painful for both of us in ways we cannot explain. We miss each other deeply, my heart embedded in his, I feel excruciating pain and fear whenever I think of the constant uncertainty that’s looming over our heads all the time.
Being in the forward areas, he may not even get to call me five days out of seven and whenever he can, the network issues and other external factors doesn’t help either. The frustration kicks in in no time and the little time we get is spent in nags, sobs, and wails.
There are times when I curl up into a fetal position and cry.
But when sadness became my best friend and long-distance relationship depression started to set in, I had a wake-up call. I realized I had to deal with it before I lose my sanity.
Maintaining a Healthy Relationship When Separated by Miles
- Talk to your partner
Before you do anything, have a heart-to-heart with your partner. If there is one person who needs to know how you feel it’s your person. Remember you aren’t alone, and they would do anything in their power to make you okay. If it’s your partner who is sad, listen. Lend an ear when he is ready. Don’t try to force it out of him if he is having a hard time opening up. But let them know you are always there.
- Stop being paranoid
It is easy to let your thoughts run away when you are not together. Be honest about your concerns and fears and check in on each other every single day. Though in my situation, we don’t get to talk to each other every day, I still leave him a text, voice note, or photograph every now and then. Because I know that when he gets it, he would have a smile on his face.
- Make use of technology
I’d say my husband is social media challenged 😛 His Facebook DP is still that photo from ten years ago, and he doesn’t have an Instagram or Twitter account. I am sure he doesn’t even know what Snapchat is. But embrace and make use of technology. Skype or video call so that you can see each other.
- Have a routine for the both of you.
Dedicate a time when you can do things together. Do you enjoy working out together? Do that. I let him watch me work during a food photoshoot. We also have a great time playing with Muffy or while taking him for a walk in our backyard. Make it a priority to be together.
- Take care of yourself
Do things that make you happy. Be creative. Have a hobby. When you feel happy inside out, it radiates into your relationship as well. Do not wait for you to be together to enjoy life. Avoid the guilt and embrace the circumstance.
Long distance relationship is a journey of courage and sacrifice. Brave through it and believe in your love. At least that’s what I tell myself.