Military/LDR.. in awe of those bees that do it!

posted 2 years ago in Military
Post # 2
Member
222 posts
Helper bee

willow_1960:  Hugs to you. It isn’t easy. But, it does get easier with time. This is going to sound terrible, but though you should be 100% supportive, don’t center your life on his departure. It only makes things worse. When my fiancee went through basic and advanced training, we were only able to talk on the phone once a week. It was a rough adjustment, but we made do and I think our lack of ability to talk drew us closer, strange I know. We relied on letters and I never grew so weary for mail than when he was at training. And I also had the same tthoughts and was super concerned about his well being. We had such limited time to talk so I was always concerned about how he filled his time and the friends he had there, but he adjusted and made a great set of friends, as I’m sure your man will do.

When my hubby got deployed to Afghanistan, it was a totally different story. We got to Skype everyday but the connection was almost always problematic. I sent him care packages and though it was super tough not having him around,we both got accustomed and had our own routine down…there were definitely moments when we both felt that loneliness, I think at tines it was harder to be able to Skype and see one another…but it is what it is. I remember conversations feeling empty. It’s unfortunately something that just happens, because they would much rather be home as opposed to spending birthdays and holidays away and overseas. Just be as supportive as you can…and remember to give yourself a break as well. Try and fill your time, catch up on things you’ve wanted to do. I didn’t think I’d get through his deployment,  but I ended up reconnecting with old friends and picking up old and new hobbies. It made for good conversation!

Hang in there, lots of luck, hope he gets home safe!

 

Post # 3
Member
30 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Hi Willow. Sorry to hear you’re having such a tough time. My SO and I had been together 5 years before he left for the Army and it definitely was not easy to adjust to. I still remember the day when, a few weeks into basic training, he was finally able to call me for the first time.. and I missed it. I literally cried for 2 hours straight after that, I was an absolute wreck. I think the biggest thing to realize is that while it’s a hard adustment for you, it’s an even harder adjustment for him. You (most likely) have friends and family nearby that you can lean on. He is in a strange place with strange people who he may or may not click with and doesn’t know if he can really count on for support. It can be incredibly stressful, moreso than your average new civilian job.

With me and my SO there were many days when I was so excited to talk to him and he was so frustrated over something that happened at work that he couldn’t really handle a conversation. And that was extremely disappointing, particularly because of the 3 hour time difference (it’s later where I am). On those days I find the best thing to do is to first realize that the silence is not something to take personally – in fact, very often you’ll come to find it has nothing to do with you or the state of your relationship, and everything to do with something that went wrong at work or just a general feeling of being overworked. I just let him sit in silence on the phone for a few minutes and then I ask if he really wants to talk at that moment. If he doesn’t, I let him go and have some alone time until he’s ready. If he does, I listen to him vent and offer him what support I can like, “Oh wow, that’s sounds really frustrating. At least it will be over soon and you’ll be able to relax a bit.” It’s the little things like that to let him know you’re “on his side” as my SO likes to call it.

Once you get his address and you can send him things it’ll be a bit easier because he’ll be happy every time he gets a package or a letter from you, no matter how small it is. It also helps to send him random text messages, just to say you miss him and you love him. LDR and, in particular, military relationships require a lot more effort to keep them strong. And remember that he loves you, even when he seems distant or forgets to say “I love you” in his good night texts. Sometimes he’ll just be so tired, he’ll be texting it as he’s falling asleep. Seriously. On multiple occasions my SO has told me to text him after we get off the phone, and he’ll fall asleep before he even gets my first text message. Then again, he also falls asleep in the middle of telling me “I love you” when we’re lying in the same bed, so there’s that 😉

Sorry this is so long! Didn’t realize I’d be writing a novel. Hope I was at least semi-helpful and I hope your skype session tomorrow goes better! 🙂

Post # 6
Member
2455 posts
Buzzing bee

willow_1960:  Hang in there!

And it’s totally normal that he’s more serious and distant. Yes, he’s definitely tired, but also that’s the kind of attitude they expect out of him in training so he may just still be in “training mode” which is hard to just shut off and hop on skype ya know?

Don’t take it personally.

Like PP said it will get easier with time! And soon he’ll come home and you’ll be able to shower him with love and baked goods! Lol (I hear the food sucks).

Post # 7
Member
2455 posts
Buzzing bee

willow_1960:  Oh and I totally hear you on being attached to your phone! haha, I STILL am out of habit (he’s been out for 5 years).

In Iraq he used to call around 3 a.m. my time and I always slept with my phone on my pillow and on LOUD so I’d hear it. I’d be devastated if I missed his calls, which happened a couple times.

I was able to email him but he rarely had internet access. Just wish him luck and remind him how proud you are!

Also, keep him up-to-date on things happening at home. What’s the family up to, how are his sports teams doing…

Post # 9
Member
294 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

willow_1960:  Aww I’m sorry you’re going through this! One thing about LDR’s (especially military)… you appreciate the little things like just getting to see his face! It will get better as you settle into a routine.

My now-hubby and I had been dating for about 6 months when he enlisted active duty and left for bootcamp. 13 weeks of letters only (no phone calls for USMC) definitely trained me too in how to be supportive yet independent and cope. He was following his dreams and I was following mine, but it was amazing to have each other’s backs through it all. The subsequent training and deployments to follow were all more manageable because of that first experience.

Try not to take it personally when he seems tired or distant.. it’s not because of you (trust me, you’re the best thing in his life during the stress of schooling!) and it will just eat at you. Definitely not productive. Plus, then he’ll be worrying about you, worrying about him. Which will make him perform poorer in training.

During our dating years, DH was also stationed 1700 miles from me, so even when he wasn’t in training, he was still pretty far away. One thing we loved to do was rent the same movie or queue up the same episode on Netflix on our TV, then skype as we watched together. Silly things like NYE or whatever we’d grab the same meal too haha and it was a fun date night. 

I agree with pp – it’s a easy trap to fall into, but you don’t want everything to revolve around the distance. By that I mean, the distance shouldn’t be the end all be all in your relationship. Yes, it’s LDR for now, but it won’t be always. It’s just the way it is, for now. And if he’s worth it, it’ll all be good in the end. You’ll get more used to it, and you’ll be able to continue building and growing in your relationship together through the calls, etc. 

Keep your head up! The only thing the military can’t control is time itself. Minutes become hours and hours become days and days become months… the next thing you know it’ll all be over! Try counting by Sundays. I.e: only 19 Sundays to go until graduation!

Post # 11
Member
294 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

willow_1960:  Yes the big picture! Exactly! 

And thank you for reminding me, I meant to bring that up in my other post re: issues. Yes, bring them up, but as in any relationship, facilitating good communication and conflict management is a lifelong relational skill. That’s part of what I meant about keeping on building your relationship. Don’t bury the issues! That’s just sabotaging your future relationship. Discuss things as they come up. It’s easy from a distance to present only your ‘best self’ and likewise for him. Like those first days of dating. But that’s not real, and I think it’s a big part of why LDR’s struggle when they’re no longer distant. It’s possible to grow stronger and closer even with miles in between you, but it does take work. We tried to keep our relationship as ‘normal’ as possible, even if it meant just hanging out on skype while we each worked on homework or whatever.

Your countdown on your phone reminded me of the DOM (Donut of Misery) that used to be on this old Excel platform. I think I’m dating myself, but the pp might know what I’m talking about. It was basically a giant pie chart.

https://www.tumblr.com/tagged/donut-of-misery

Post # 12
Member
294 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

willow_1960:  Oh and I just read one of your other threads about feeling so insecure.. and instead of re-typing I just want to say +1 to all of paigey22’s advice. Yes, it’s ok to discuss issues that need to be worked through, but no, don’t continually bring up your doubts about the relationship out of insecurity. Words do have power. If my SO said those kinds of things to me while we were long distance… it would have cut me to the quick. For a LDR, you have to have faith in the relationship. Know that it’s temporary. Know that it’s ok for it to suck sometimes, but know that he is worth it. (This goes both ways). Constantly speaking doubt into your relationship will only make your conversations a negative experience rather than a safe, warm, happy, loving, positive one.

Post # 14
Member
294 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

willow_1960:  Sure, everyone has to have their needs met. But I’m sure it can be frustrating for him in that situation… he could feel inadequate for not meeting your needs of feeling safe and secure in your relationship with him, and he can’t do anything about it since he’s so far away. Plus, he’s the one that chose to go military. Our guys can carry a lot of guilt for putting their loved ones through the stress that goes along with it. I think if my SO was worrying about ME doubting our relationship… I would start worrying that that was always on their mind and it was actually HIM doubting…. see what I mean? There are no guarantees, but being invested 100% will go a long way.

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