I became involved in a long distance relationship nine years ago. Yet, this story is not your typical one to tell. Throughout this very important relationship in my life, I married and he married. Moreover, not to each other. He lives in Massachusetts, I in Connecticut. The distance really is not that far in terms of miles. Emotionally, the distance can be as close as lips to lips, and then as far as China is to St. Louis. We never have been the adulterous type, always respecting our respective partners over the years. You could say our timing is like Murphy’s Law. If it can go wrong, it will. Yet, the love remains. It tortures, and enlightens, and moves us both. It always brings us back to each other.
Throughout the years and in between partners we would escape together. When he had business in Philadelphia, I took the train and met him. We met, fell more in love, and spent several days together. We were so happy to breathe in each other, wishing for time to stop. That is what it is always like when we are together. I look at clocks, and wish as a child does, to please, please make time stop. Every minute, every second spent together brings us home. When we get the time to see each other I cannot get there fast enough. Our time spent together is in each other’s arms; there really is not any time that we are not touching. Fingers on calves, lips brushing his beautiful ears, always loving each other. The hardest part has always been saying goodbye. It is usually like a scene from a movie, man walks out door, and woman sits on bed and tries to collect herself. There have been many tears shed throughout this relationship on both our parts.
We have had our complications and unexpected tragedies to deal with. Recently, I suffered a miscarriage. This was not something we planned. The hardest part was that I had to experience it alone. Because of his schedule, he was not able to be here for me. Of course, we spoke on the phone, and he tried to be as supportive as possible. To be honest this was one of the more painful experiences of my life. Even at this time, I am not sure if we will survive it intact. It has brought up a wall between us that has caused some distance between us.
When we are apart, it is not easy. We both live very different lives in different places. He is an artist, and is always traveling throughout New England. He has children from former marriages, and so his time is very limited. At times, it is a very uneven relationship. He has many more demands on his time than I do. When we are apart, we live our lives. As far as wondering what he is doing at all hours of the day, I do not do it. You really have to be strong and independent, having goals for your own life that are separate from your long distance relationship. You will need a strong backbone and support from friends.
What makes or breaks any relationship is the ability to discuss anything and everything. If feelings come up such as jealousy or insecurity, we talk about them. However, we also established rules from the beginning. We are not in positions to change our lives. We both want to stay in the place that we live, so our future is always at question. At least not, right now. Therefore, we both realize that emotions may sometimes come up that leave one of us insecure about our future together. When that happens, we try to work it out together. With the many ways of communicating these days, we can get to each other if need be. Email, text messaging, phone calls all help us to stay in touch.
I think the real reason our relationship has lasted throughout these many years is that ultimately, we love each other. We both want the best for each other, and we consciously try to not hurt each other. At times, it can be very frustrating and lonely. That is probably the worst part of being separated so much. There are those winter nights when all I wish for is his arms wrapped around me. I usually just grab a good book, a glass of wine, and remind myself to be grateful for the love we have.