I’ve been in a long-distance relationship before, but for the first time in my life, I’m in a long-distance marriage…with children! It’s been very interesting to say the least. As we transition our lives from one state to the next, we agreed that my husband would go ahead before us, while the kids and I stayed back for several reasons. First, to show the home to sell. Then, to make sure that it showed nicely and mostly for the kids to finish their school year.
At first it seemed impossible, but of course with anything in life, God doesn’t give you more than you can bear. Living through the weeks and months of being a single parent of three, I realized how important he was to our everyday life. Being my sounding board about the highs and lows of my day, helping with the kids’ night-time rituals, being the person with the patience for sixth-grade math and of course, (ahem) being there for me! Please don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for his dedication to our family, I just miss him and have slowly grasped how much I appreciate his presence in my life and around the house! I said I wouldn’t mention this cliché in this post, but its true, so I have to say it. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder. If it doesn’t, then you may want to re-examine some things.
Modern technology is something we are so grateful for. We text, we send pics to each other, we talk throughout the day when we can and I even broke down and got an iPhone so that we could do Face Time (Love that! Thank you and RIP Steve Jobs). The times that we see each other is not “business as usual”. It’s savoring the precious moments in time that we have before his next flight out. We even decided that we needed some time away….alone…together and went on the most romantic trip to Belgium and Paris that I could have ever imagined! The space that was once filled with chatter about the kids, the house, appointments and finances has now been replaced with naughty, fun, and heart-felt feelings of courtship, reminding me of when we were dating.
I didn’t know exactly how commonplace this lifestyle really was. Not only are we doing it, according to U.S. Census Bureau, 3.6 million other families are doing it too (not including legal separation). Side note: Shout out to all the military families out there….You are all the bomb.com! When you think about it, as tough as this economy has been, the need for spouses to take jobs elsewhere is increasing, especially when it’s not ideal for the other spouse to just uproot and leave their career. It really hit home when the husband of a very close friend of mine took a job in California, leaving her and her three children in Philly! We both went from traditional families to long-distance couples overnight.
As my anticipation of being reunited with my sweetie continues to grow, I am so happy to say that we survived. Not that I thought we wouldn’t, but it’s not for the faint at heart, that’s for sure. Ironically, I think that it has actually brought us CLOSER and I”m grateful for that! I applaud the families and couples that do this longer than the six months we’ve been at it. If you’re ever faced with this, don’t panic. Embrace it. Appreciate the growth and love your honey even harder!
Have you ever had to be away from your sweetie for an extended amount of time? If so, what advice do you have for those that are faced with this modern relationship?