|photo by Tarah Coonan|
Last week, I read a fantastic post on Angloyankophile about surviving a long-distance relationship. It threw me right back to our own transatlantic struggle, when we couldn't see a clear end to our separation and we felt like the first year of our marriage was slipping away without us. (Remember this post from May? Oof, dear readers.) As I scrolled through the raw comments JT's readers had left, I felt an overwhelming sense of camaraderie with everyone who has endured and is enduring what we went through. There's no "easy' when you're long distance - one situation isn't worse than another - but being kept apart from someone you love by law rather than by personal, professional, or academic choice adds a different dimension to your relationship that only others who have researched the acronyms of immigration can understand.
And the word we use, though it might sound hyperbolic, really is "survive." I can't imagine what it must be like to wait at home while your partner is serving in a conflict zone, his or her life literally on the front line, but the constant and seemingly-unending stress of an internationally enforced long-distance relationship is traumatic enough.
I bring that up tonight because I've been drafting a post about how Jon and I are doing - you know, what it's like living together after more than two years apart - and it always comes back to this: we're together, and that's something neither of us will ever take for granted. Our years of long distance are part of the DNA of our relationship; having been separated puts everything we deal with side by side in perspective.
Of course, marriage is hard. I don't think anyone is under any illusions about how happiness is a choice, doubly so if you're sharing it with someone else. But it's a choice that Jon and I make together every single day even in the smallest things we do because we remember when it wasn't an option available to us. As JT wrote, "Our long-distance relationship, while in the past, continues to influence and shape our future."
No matter what's going on, we're together. And that's amazing.