I’m still milking the Instagram questions feature – definitely my fave, and a question that crops up every time is something along the lines of “how do you cope with your husband working away?”. A fair question, and it’s something I’ve never blogged about before. It feels quite personal, but it’s a massive part of my life and if I can help anyone who’s in the same situation or thinks they could be in the future, then it’s worth going over…
A bit more context to the situ
Here’s what it’s looked like the past 7 and a half years…
2011-2013 – Not long distance, saw each other pretty much every day.
2013-2016 – I went to uni and moved away, Jay got a job away from home.
2016-2018 – Jay still worked away but I moved back home, we got engaged, started saving for our wedding and getting ready to move in together etc.
2019 – Jays working away again
By now you would think it’s a lot easier to deal with, but it’s not, I think I’m just better at knowing how best to cope and stay positive, I still miss him all the same, if not more. Like anyone married or in a relationship, they’re your best friend and someone that you enjoy spending time with, so when they’re not there, especially if things in life get a bit rocky, it’s hard. A week or two I’m ok with, but it’s the long stints of not seeing him for weeks/ months on end that impact my life a little more.
The good and the bad
There are some amazing positives to take away from long distance. I’m quite independent (apart from when it comes to ironing), I have my own friends who I’ve always kept intouch with (a very supportive group of gals who I honestly don’t know where I would be without), my career is progressing and I have more time to focus on that. I enjoy my life and even without Jay around I have things to focus on that mean a lot to me.
It also gives us time to be alone, granted I would much prefer Jays company, but I like that I’m independent and on a day to day basis I’ve proved to myself that I don’t need to rely on anyone to get by. Even now during the periods where we see each other every day for months, we’re so grateful that we finally got to this point. Obviously I don’t know how it is for couples who have never experienced being long distance, but I really do think it makes us value our time together so much more.
Long distance relationships require a lot of positivity, trust and as obvious as it sounds, a real want to make it work, especially in the beginning. We try to speak as much as possible and dedicate even just 10 minutes of our day to each other, it’s not a lot, but when that’s all you have some times you have to make do. I truly believe that if you want to make it work with someone you can, regardless of how often you see them.
As I mentioned earlier, it doesn’t actually get easier. It’s so strange adjusting to being on your own, cooking meals for one, doing things you would do as a pair solo. For the first week of Jay being away I barely cooked tea for myself, I didn’t see any joy in just cooking for myself, I tried Hello Fresh last week and thankfully that’s really made me love it again. It’s those little things you do that feel so different. It’s the silence in the house too, I’m a massive extrovert and I have to put so many things in place to make sure I feel as positive as I can while I’m on my own.
In general it’s just a massive change, you have to adjust like with any life event. You have good days and bad days, some days you feel it way more than others. I make sure to document the times we do have together (hence the Instax images – I kept myself busy last weekend), and as soppy as it sounds I treasure those memories. Another thing that gets me through it is that I know it isn’t forever, we’re both in the fortunate position where we’re young without anything that ties us down, and I’m grateful to have someone who supports my blog/ career, so I support his decisions too.
I asked you guys what you wanted to know, so I’ve answered your q’s.
How do you find time to talk/ spend time with each other when your schedules differ?
We always try to speak in the evenings, even when we had a time difference we managed to find moments to have proper catch ups. It’s like exercise, if you want to make time for it, you will (I’m just waiting for the moment I actually want to exercise now…)
How do you keep the romance alive when so far away?
All in all, naturally it just doesn’t go away, and actually it’s kept alive knowing it’s not forever that we won’t see each other! Of-course we’ll do nice things for each other, and that makes a massive difference. I think there’s so many things you can do to make your other half feel appreciated and loved, even when you’re miles away!
Does it get easier?
In a way, you figure out ways to make your life enjoyable even with a massive piece missing.
Did you ever ask him to stay?
Never, I barely tell him I miss him when he’s away because it is what it is and I know he will be back soon.
How do you deal with being alone if your friends aren’t around?
Friends are a massive safety blanket for me, luckily I’ve met some lovely people where I live now who I get on well with and would consider friends! I’ve had to put myself out there but it’s been an amazing few months meeting new people and making new friends both through work and blogging.
Does one person take charge more of the bigger things; house hunting, rent, etc?
Not really, we do things joint still and that works out well for us! Communication and being honest is the best way forward when it comes to this, we have a set up that works really well that we are both happy with.
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I hope if you’re just curious or are in a long distance relationship this has been useful…