SOCIAL MEDIA

11 August 2016

What Long Distance is Like for Us (after 5 Years Married)

Angel and I had a long distance relationship up until when we got married. Since we got married, we've managed to not get separated all that often--I like to claim that I purposely married a nurse because nurses generally don't take business trips, which is a pretty big benefit of the job! In fact, the usual reason we are apart is because I go off on some adventure with various people I'm related to while he stays home and holds down the homefront. This tends to be a very good strategy, since I keep my adventure quota satisfied and Angel gets his fill of watching scary tv shows and eating junk food (neither of which being activities that the wife encourages when home). Still, nothing feels quite right when we're apart.

As I haven't seen Angel for the last 8 nights, due to adventuring, I've been reflecting on what has stayed the same and what has changed about our times apart during the last 6 years. Back in the day, we both had AT&T phones, and would talk for hours every day, because the minutes didn't cost either of us anything. Now, we have phones with pre-paid minutes, and before I left, I told Angel, "We'll have to mostly email and FB message because we don't want to use up all the minutes on the phones--so don't worry about calling me."


I think we actually went about 3 days without calling the other. Text-based communication is pretty good. One thing that hasn't changed has been that we didn't use Skype at all. We almost never Skyped when we were engaged, even when we didn't see each other for months at a time. Skype requires actually sitting down at two computers at the same time and that's just annoying to coordinate. On a phone, you can talk while cooking dinner, walking home from the car, or even while brushing your teeth (if you're Angel).

The content of our conversations has somewhat changed, also. I am not really sure what we talked about for hours when we were engaged. Probably a lot about the past and the future. These conversations were much more based on the present. Here are actual quotes from texts and conversations of the last week:

Angel: "Should I buy 2 or 3 loaves of bread for youth group?"

Rachel: "I saw on Facebook that a motorcycle hit the car and scratched it. Did you make a police report?" (relationship milestone...found out on FB that my husband and my car were in a tiny car accident...)

Rachel: "Don't forget to record how much you spent at the grocery store."

Rachel: "Did you visit our friend at the hospital? Is her condition improving?"

Angel: "Are we supposed to buy the paint for the wall-painting project at church?"

Rachel: "Did you get the school books Mom told you to get?"

Angel: "I cleaned the bathrooms and mopped the house on Friday morning."

At one point, we were having lunch with friends on this vacation, when Angel called my friend to ask what time she and Rebekah were arriving home and if he needed to pick them up, she asked him if he wanted to say hi to his wife, since I was sitting right there, and he said, "No, it's okay." Which everybody thought was quite funny.

While I laugh about how much more practical the years have made us, even being apart for a few days like this meant that things weren't quite as they should be. Falling asleep is no fun by myself, and I'm glad to be home again. After the first few days of abstaining from phone calls, half hour nightly calls made their appearance again, and the feeling of something 'missing' didn't go away. I'm glad I picked Angel to do life with--it's always more fun when we're together...even if our conversations these days might revolve around hospital visits, police reports, budgets, and errands. As long as it's the two of us, even the most mundane of topics isn't boring. When I finally got home, the first thing that happened was I unpacked my suitcase, gave him an "I Missed You" present of a box of Gushers (his favorite candy that is nearly impossible to find in Malaysia, but I found a box in KL!) and he had a surprise for me of two sparkly headbands (I'd accidentally broken my favorite headband just before I left on the trip). And then we went grocery shopping together because he had no food in the house other than lettuce, instant ramen, and lemons. All is right with the world again.

Have your conversation topics with your spouse or your habits when you're apart changed as the years have gone by?

22 comments :

  1. Oh man, my husband has a tremendous love of gushers, too! We were at a 90s throwback party a few weeks ago, and he was so excited that there was a bowl of gushers :) I also think it's pretty funny how you get your fill of adventuring and he takes advantage of that to watch scary movies-that's a bit like us, actually. When my husband will spend a whole day at a gaming tournament, I like to take advantage of it to watch musicals (he doesn't like musicals) or Jane Austen movies (which he also isn't a huge fan of). And I totally relate to what you say about conversations. Since we were long-distance prior to marriage, we also had those really, really long phone conversations every day or even multiple times a day! Once, we even had a dinner date via skype (we both made omelettes while skyping from our respective kitchens). But now, conversations are less about the future and more about the random things we experience each day and household business or video games. And since becoming parents, a lot of our conversations revolve around our son's bodily fluids lol.

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  2. This is so sweet. I love that you guys have evolved with time - as you should. :)

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  3. Definitely totally different now. I've been with my hubby for 20 years, so we talk about the kids a lot and the news a lot...lol. I've also come to realize that my husband is more of a talker than he is a listener, which is why it's good to have girlfriends to talk with.

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  4. This sounds a lot like us. We don't have to talk very much when we are away from each other. We try to talk at night to say goodnight before bed, and since we've been praying together every night, we pray over the phone, but otherwise we just text regular life things and of course now we share stuff about R! :) That picture of the two of you is really cute. Also, somehow we always have instant ramen in the house even when we have nothing else. Ha!

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  5. Long distance sounds so tough to me. It's really up to each couple how it works out though, and if it works for you, that's awesome! You guys look very happy together.

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  6. haha, too funny!
    Taylor and I have our own words based on random things we've picked up from TV shows. One of them is "meep" (based on Phineas and Ferb") and we can basically have a couple minutes of only saying "meep".

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  7. So sweet. Distance can be so hard! My husband and I did long distance for a little over two years right before we got engaged. Sometimes it is worth it to have that amazing reuniting though.

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  8. Distance is so hard! I hated doing it with my hubby!
    Taylor | blondeandambitiousblog.com

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  9. So sweet, you are doing a great job overcoming the distance!

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  10. This is hilarious and soooooo relatable! Most of my relationship with my husband before we were married was long distance because he was in the military. Now he's out, but he still goes on random business trips, and it's completely different from when we were dating. :)

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  11. This is so perfect and sums up my husband and myself really well. We were long distance *sometimes* when we dated (we went to college together but lived in different states when college wasn't in session, and I spent 4 months studying abroad). Now I go off on my adventures and he gets to stay home and play all the video games he wants ;)

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  12. So funny! We dated long distance all through college and I remember we would only had free cell phone minutes on weekends and weeknights after 9, so that's when we talked! We aren't apart too much now, but I do have to travel some for week. It's nice to get away but always good to come home again! :)

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  13. That has to be so hard. You are doing so well with it though. My husband and I have the strangest conversations now after 8 years married, but I love growing with him. :)

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  14. I do feel that distance makes the heart fonder. Distance adds that extra element of spice and intrigue to relations.

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  15. heheh, it's awesome that you two have evolved with time! :P "I Missed You' presents = awesome. I haven't seen Gushers around in forever! I'm glad you guys don't have to do super long distance regularly anymore!

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  16. When I go back to see family and my husband stays behind we always end up texting more than actual talking.

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  17. I didn't think about it until reading your post. But yeah, we've become more focused household and dog business during our talks. I think with time we've become much more secure in our relationship so we don't have to spend all our conversations focusing on the mushy stuff. Don't get me wrong, there's still lots of mush...just not as much as before.

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  18. Ahhh I love it!! Keep these coming, and PS - love the hair!

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  19. Omg you guys are such a cute couple. I can imagine how working out a long distance relationship feels. I am so proud of you guys.

    Debs
    www.elegantlyfashionable.com

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  20. We were only truly long-distance for about 4 months while dating (a 9-10 hour drive). Though we lived 45 minutes from each other in high school and on college breaks. Our conversations have definitely changed. I remember talking on the phone for hours about nothing and everything in high school. But those 4 or 5 months we were apart right before getting married, we hardly talked on the phone at all. We were both super busy. He was in his last semester of college and I was working full time and planning our wedding. It always made me sad that we didn't talk like we used to, but I had to remind myself that things were simply different. Not necessarily better or worse. Also, I hated being away from Pearson for a week at a time every other month back when i had to go "home" for work all the time.

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  21. Yup, sounds like long-time marrieds to me! I often email Phillip with some little business item during the day and sign it "Your Secretary" because it's such a practical exchange!

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  22. Haha! So funny how those conversations change with time. We didn't do well with long distance while we were dating. The first summer we spent apart after we started dating we didn't have cellphones (ye olden days, ha!) and I was working at a summer camp where I couldn't even call him on a landline or use email or AOL chat (this was before other social media things). Every 2 weeks I'd get one day off and I could drive into town and call him. We'd talk for HOURS on those days, but otherwise we had to write letters. It was a loooong summer. And then the next summer we DID have cellphones so we got to call each other every couple of days, but they were short conversations except for my day off every two weeks. Anyway, long distance wasn't great for us back then. These days we rarely are apart, but a couple of times a year one of us will go on a retreat or Christopher will have a work trip training or something. Thankfully those times are rare. And we have cellphones and can talk unlimited every day. We usually text throughout the day and then call at night. But our long-distance conversations are definitely more practical these days than they were when we were dating. ;)

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