Monday, March 4, 2013

Halfway


Jon and I are now halfway through this stretch of long distance.  I left London on January 4 and I fly back to England on April 20.  That's 106 days apart, one more than right after I moved back to DC at the end of May.  With all of my heart, I hope that this is the longest time we'll ever spend on opposite sides of an ocean, but it's doubtful; I'm afraid that the visa process that we'll go face after we get married is going to make us feel even more helpless than we do now.

A few bloggers have written on the darker (or at least more private) sides of their relationships recently - my favorites are by Jenna, Whitney, and Jenni - and it's encouraged me to share something with you, dear readers.  One of the most frustrating and, actually, scariest things about what Jon and I are doing right now is that no one talks about how bad it really can get.  Here's what you usually hear about long distance relationships:

It was tough and we got through it.

or

It was impossible and we broke up.

Here's what you never hear: it was impossible and we got through it.

That's where Jon and I are.  Our long distance relationship is challenging us in ways we never thought we'd be able to endure together.  It is impossible - but we'll get through it.  Without Jon's love, generosity, and understanding - well, we wouldn't be in this situation if he hadn't won me over with all of that and more.  Also, though, you in the blog community have been a huge help.  Many of my readers, followers, and friends have provided a non-judgmental ear, a comforting shoulder, or an optimistic word exactly when I've needed it regardless of whether or not you've been in a similar place in your own life.  So for that, thank you.  We're halfway through and we'll make it all the way and thank you for being there with us.

29 comments:

  1. i know exactly how you feel, our annual summer separation still breaks my heart. but i really do believe if communication and your foundation is strong, you can get through anything!

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  2. Oh I'm so with you on this one Betsy. Our long distance days were some of the most difficult ever, there was one time we actually considered breaking it off (as long as we're being completely honest here)... but we didn't, we stuck it out somehow and came out the other side a stronger couple :) Just like you and Jon will. It's even harder with a 10 hour time difference... as I'm sure you know. Thanks for being so open and honest here... it's nice to know that bloggers are real people with problems too!


    xxx
    Jenna

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  3. God, I can't even imagine 10 hours... 5 is tricky enough! so glad you stuck with it :)

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  4. Georgia ChristakisMarch 4, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    I could say I've been there, but I doubt that's what you need right now. I can't imagine being so far way from my fiance in both distance and time; having a boyfriend so far away was bad enough! Hang on, you can make it. xx

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  5. I feel bad because I am sure I have, more than once, commented and said it is tough but you will get through it - and it is tough, and I do think you will get through it, and it is so worth the finish line. But I also agree it can be incredibly difficult, it is lonely going to things by yourself, falling asleep when he is waking up, only being halfway through your work day when he is done and at home. It sounds ridiculous, but even 8 years ago, when we were apart, we didn't have skype, we relied on emails (long, long emails, all of which I have kept and reread periodically), and text messages and phone calls. We put every bit of ourselves into pushing through and making it work, and I have never been through such long months. I am so sorry this is a difficult time, and I know saying how great it will be won't help your feelings today, but always try to remember that even through the darkest days there is light. Hugs Betsy! xxx

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  6. Oh I feel for you. My husband and I were long distance for almost every bit of the 5 years we were together before our wedding, and for 5 months after our wedding. It's so hard. I used to joke that the phone was our relationship, hehe :)

    Just knowing there was a light at the end of the tunnel made it easier. Anticipating our wedding, even though we knew we'd be apart for the next few months, made it easier. Day-dreaming about the future made it easier. Just remember that this will likely be an ultimately positive thing for your relationship. When you're finally together, you'll look back and realize how much you learned and gained from this trying time.

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  7. I can't offer you any bit of "I've been there"...but I so feel for you, 100%. You + Jon cross my mind often and I always send good wishes + little prayers your way. Halfway is a huge accomplishment!! It's all just a countdown now :) xoxoxo

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  8. P.S. Can we talk about how you changed up the follow button on your sidebar? Can I do that? AKA Can you teach me, please? xoxo

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  9. oh no Andrea don't feel bad! we say the things that help and that definitely does help - as does knowing that you got through the impossible too! you and Lee really are our example - thank you :)

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  10. half way there! half way there! The two of you are beating the impossible together :) sending you love

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  11. There were definitely times where I said "this is impossible". There were also a lot of friends who told me "this is impossible". And then there were a lot of "and then what?" or "what do we do now?" moments where there really was no time scale to why or how long we'd be on different continents for. That's hard (impossible, even!) but you get through it!
    Hang in there!! Whenever you think "we never have to say goodbye again" is the best thought you may ever have. (seriously, Alex and I still chessily say it all the time).

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  12. While my fiancé and I don't live in different countries, we are in different states and I can identify with you about doing a long distance relationship. We've been together for 5 years and this is our second round of long distance. It is definitely challenging and something I never wish on any couple, but I have learned that it is something that couples can get through. Open and honest communication, as well as understanding is necessary and I know for me the love we have for each other keeps us going. I try not to dwell in the fact that he isn't with me all the time but look to the future when date nights won't be confined to weekends and I can say good night to him face to face. Hang in there, there are so many adventures to look forward to, and this will be a chapter you can look back on and know it made your relationship stronger.


    Alana

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  13. thanks love! I'll email you about the other thing :)

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  14. My husband and I are living separately now and after I get past the shocked looks on people's faces, I explain that it is temporary. But it's hard. Especially for our children. But we all stay busy and keep in mind that it's temporary. I'm happy to have found you and join you on your journey....
    kim

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  15. loveonthebeach.wordpress.comMarch 4, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    We also did 13 months of long distance and you will absolutely get through it. All the best for this long stretch and looking forward to reading all about your beautiful wedding day!

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  16. I can only imagine how difficult this must be. Hopefully the second half will fly by.

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  17. you're going to have to give me advice on that - we'll be long distance for the first months of our marriage! but I can't imagine doing it with kids. you must be so strong!

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  18. YES communication is the magic piece that makes the puzzle fit. we're working on it! thank you :)

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  19. that is so true! also, the reunions are pretty great...

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  20. My husband and I did long distance for 2 years and it was definitely not a high point in our relationship, but I seriously think in this case what doesn't kill you makes you stronger in the end :)

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  21. I think you don't hear "it's impossible and we got through it" because once you're through it, you know it wasn't impossible. Does that make sense? I can't imagine what you are going through. My (now) husband and I did long distance for about 3 years, but I was in Chicago and then Indianapolis and he was in South Carolina. The first year and a half we saw each other at least once a month, and the second year and a half, we saw each other every 3 weeks. That was our "rule". In between those two stretches, we lived in the same place for a couple months. We were also in the same time zone. So I have nothing but sympathy and respect for what you have to go through. I'm thinking about you!

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  22. you know, I think you're right. maybe hindsight is rosier? distance is hard no matter how far is it, but I'm always jealous of movie stars when one's in Australia and the other's in NYC and they have the money to see each other every two weeks. SO UNFAIR :P

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  23. I know you all will be able to get through it. I can't even imagine what it's like to be so far away. I thought that a thousand miles was bad. You're right: it IS impossible. But you can get through it. We did. Living separately as a married couple is hard, but you can definitely do it!

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  24. you know I'll be coming to you on August 25 for ways to deal!

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  25. Thank you for this post, I love reading about experiences of other long distance couples. Love what you said; "it was impossible and we got through it", so true. This is absolutely impossible, but although on my worse days I get close to giving up, I know we WILL get through this. It's been 6 months since I last saw my USC fiance, and it might be another 6 months or even longer before I'll be moving to the US. Good luck to you guys, I know how hard it can be!

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  26. oh YIKES that is a long time! but YES we will :)

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