Friday, February 06, 2009

Long Distance Relationship

When I first started dating my husband last April, I was having a conversation with my dad and laughingly made the comment "I'm in a long distance relationship with a guy who lives 10 minutes away!"

Oh how things have NOT changed.

You see, my company is comprised of two primary tools of trade: Software Engineers and Systems Engineers. My husband is a Systems Engineer. But not just any Systems Engineer...he's in Integration & Test. Which means that in the later phases of system testing, his job takes him to the actual site that the program is running at. The first month of our relationship, he was gone for 3 weeks. I love my Dad - "Oh THAT'S why he's still dating you!"

The day after we returned from our honeymoon, he was leaving for a week. Not even a month later, and he's gone for 2 weeks. Over Valentine's Day (our first one). I guess to hold with tradition, we should spend it having a conversation on MS Communicator (FYI, that conversation last year made that day the best Valentine's Day of my life!).

He left this morning at 5:30AM.

You'd think I'd get used to it, but I realized the last time he was gone that it gets harder. And harder. And harder. This time, he wasn't gone for 2 minutes before I felt bereft. Luckily, my body is so exhausted from its creative work, that I was passed out before the tears stinging the back of my eyes had a chance to fall.

I've found, though, that the time he's away can be used beneficially. Its a good time for one-on-one time with God, a good chance for me to catch up with housework, and excellent time to spend with girl-friends, watching the movies he WON'T watch with me, and putting in overtime at work. And the next two weeks will involve extra work of packing and baby-registry shopping!

I guess these things help keep me focused and not too depressed. Though I know this time is going to be even harder. Its so strange what 5000 miles can do - I haven't gone without him any more than I do on a normal work day and I'm already missing his smile, his laugh, and his teasing.

Le sigh...so is life.

4 comments:

Rachael said...

Perhaps this isn't proper 'theology', but, maybe imagining people in even more difficult states will help you? Like maybe if you imagine the state of a single mom it could help? My mom has mentioned something like that to me, perhaps in the context of her marriage to my dad when he worked a ton or difficult hours or something....

My husband has traveled a ton more in the past than he does now, and even more before we met. Since we've been married he's only been on one business trip, though, and I joined him for that one.

Anyway, hang in there!!! At least you can frequently look forward to his coming home :), and you can enjoy doing some things when he's out.

Christina said...

Rachael,

It helps keeps things in perspective by thinking of military wives.

We both go through the same periods of absense, but theirs are significantly longer and there's always the chance he WON'T come home.

It does keep things in perspective. Which is why I work to be as optimistic as possible while he's gone.

Doesn't change the fact I miss him...just keeps me functional :)

Ame said...

having a traveling husband is really hard. my first husband traveled our whole marriage.

one of the best things that happened was i developed a really good friendship with another woman whose husband traveled a lot, too.

one woman gave me the advice of singing praise songs before going to sleep when he was gone. this was helpful for many years.

i learned that the length of time he was gone determined how things went at home. one or two nights, and it was no big deal. three plus nights, and it was more difficult because we would, by necessity, develop our own routine without him, and then when he came back home we had to readjust to the routine with him home. with kids, that transition time can sometimes be lengthy.

one of the hardest parts of his traveling was that we lived in a small suburb where it was very rare for husbands to travel, especially out of state or internationally, as he was doing at that time. it made it difficult for me with other sahm's whose husbands were always home at dinner time.

i think there's this curve with being married to a husband who travels, not unlike the grieving process ... or labor ;). we whine and moan for awhile. we are droopy for awhile. we war against ourselves for awhile. we create every possible scenario we can to change things. we come up with more creative solutions to all kinds of stuff. and, eventually, we accept this way of life. it's very gradual and kinda seeps in on us till one day we wake up and thing, 'wow, it's not that bad anymore. when did that happen?'

then, eventually, come the times when you look forward to your time with him gone as much as your time with him there ... because you and the kids have the two routines down ... and each has it's own benefits.

i'm guessing you still live close to family. you'll also want to develop friendships with neighbors and friends and develop an 'emergency list' of people you can call in different situations ... day and night.

we had a great neighbor who came over once when i had to call 911 for my first baby. he took us to the hospital and stayed for hours till another friend arrived ...drove my own car so i would have transportation and had someone else pick him up. my husband was out of town in another state at the time and didn't come home.

i had a friend who was a nurse who often came over to listen to my baby's breathing as she had many related allergies and lots of difficulty.

i had another nurse-friend who came over in the middle of the night once ... my 2 yr old had croup and had just begun steroids, my baby was still itty bitty and nursing, and i was throwing up. i couldn't care for all three of us at the same time. she came and stayed till my mil came the next morning.

i wouldn't stress over it ... but pray that God will always provide manna for today ... think ahead of who and when and have phone numbers available.

Christina said...

Ame,

Interesting you would mention praise songs...

When I'm struggling with hormonal changes, i tend to get paranoid and incredibly irrational.

The most prominent irrational paranoia is usually "is he cheating on me?" I have no reason to suspect he is, it's just something that comes across my mind and sticks like a burr.

I couldn't get a hold of him last night before I went to bed, so I prayed "God, keep my heart and mind safe...cuz I'm gonna need your help here not to jump to wild conclusions" and then I started singing praise songs. It helped. My nightmares involved my sister instead of my husband =p

I don't really want to be used to him gone. I like him home. I've toyed with the thought of joining a military wives club or something, but they usually live on a base...and we don't have anything like that here.