It’s been nearly eight weeks since I left my husband to move to the Midwest in pursuit of an aviation career. It’s bad enough that I’m nothing more than pond scum clinging to the bottom rung of the proverbial ladder, but being 600 miles from my family sans interstate makes it all much worse. Nevertheless, I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to even be on that ladder so I’m going to make the most of it. If all goes as planned we will spend the next three summers in the predicament and possibly more.
It has been a very difficult eight weeks and I’ve learned a few lessons on how to make it work better.
First, the Internet is a gift from God and should not be forsaken. I have infinite admiration for military wives that are apart from their husbands months to more than a year at a time. I cannot fathom a time when letters was all their was besides expensive phone calls.
I was unable to get an internet connection for the first three weeks. Sure, we could have called each other but in our very busy lives, stopping everything for a chat was not very feasible, so we just let it go. Very bad idea. All we talked was business on the rare occasion we talked at all. I felt the extreme alienation and my husband became some cold business partner off in another state. When he came to visit at the 4 week mark it was legitimately awkward. Who is this guy and why is he trying to kiss me? Just being married is not a connection in and of itself. We have to take the time to connect as a couple because absence can make the heart grow fonder or it could make the fire go stone cold.
Second, visits matter. Being the lowest on the totem pole I’m not making any demands this year, but next year seeing my husband as often as possible will be a priority. We are a full 10 hour drive apart so it’s no small thing to get together, but it will be of top priority. Meeting in the middle on weekends for camping trips will be planned as often as possible in addition to visits home. We used to be apart for two months at a time when my husband was still in Grad school in Texas. That was while we were engaged. It felt like torture because that point our hearts were all aflutter. Now, our lives are so entwined that while I maintain my capability to be independent, it feels like part of my being is missing.
Lastly (so far), now, more than ever, we must support each other in our ambitions. My husband signed for at least a few more years of holding a side job as a freelancer. He doesn’t really have nights and weekends off. I’m a monkey at a three-ring circus working 12 hour days after three years of not working full time. I am going through a huge adjustment. I’m no longer home to handle business so my husband is responsible for everything. Because I can’t micromanage anymore and see to it that everything is handled my way I get very frustrated when I feel my husband under-performs. This doesn’t make him feel like much of a man. I’m off working in a surprisingly difficult work situation away from my queendom, out of my element and away from my whole world (my family). I need my husbands support and encouragement constantly.
Being a woman and away from home is so much less common than a man going away for work. I am a serious nester and I have always been comfortable holding down the fort. I knew it would be very different being away from my home and family, but at times it feels like I’ve been banished from my real life. For now, this is my real life, and since I have every intention of remaining married to Mr. Jones, we have to work extra hard to connect and be supportive.