10 Truths I NEED My Long-Distance Husband To Know

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10 Marriage Truths I NEED My Long-Distance Husband To Know

No matter where I am, you'll always be in my heart.

By Christina Boyes 

In just two short months, my young son and I will be moving from our current home in Mexico to Colorado where he was born. It’s a move we’ve been planning for a while, but not an easy one to make.

It means leaving my husband behind.

This is never something we anticipated when we got married. The dream was to get great jobs, put down roots, and raise a family with two kids and a dog. Stereotypical, but accurate.

But, life had other plans in store. 

See, there was this one tiny complication… The job I want requires a degree I don’t have yet. The best place to get that isn’t here. It’s 1,477 miles away.

My husband and I understand each other extremely well and although we still struggle with occasional differences, in many ways we function as two halves of a whole. We’re best friends and lovers. We share a lot of laughs, know how to press each other’s buttons, and we’re still deeply in love after seven years of marriage.

Still, when it comes to starting a long-distance marriage, there are a few things I wish I knew how to tell him more eloquently.

1. I am grateful for this chance.

You didn’t have to say yes. You didn’t have to support my dream, but you did. You believed in me, told me to go for it, and supported me one hundred percent when it actually worked out.

“Thank you” is inadequate.

2. We need ground rules.

I know it’s going to be tough when our little man and I are hundreds of miles away from you. For the first time in seven years, we’ll be living separate lives. It’s going to be even harder on our child, even though we’ve been preparing him for this for months. 

If it’s going to work, we need to make some rules—times when we will talk no matter what and how often we’ll reevaluate to be certain this long-distance thing is right for us. We’ve talked about how we’d like to have unlimited data so we can share pictures we think the other would enjoy and unlimited minutes so we’re both easy to reach in an emergency.

Each of us has to fight negativity—hard. We need to keep our hearts and minds on our common future, not the strain of the moment. I’m sure there’s more, but we’ll figure it out as we go.

3. I'm scared of losing what we have now.

Nothing in my day is as special as the time we spend together before little man wakes up, after we drop him at school and once he’s tucked in bed for the night. I love listening as you read to him and glimpsing that certain smile you only share with us. I’m terrified of losing this closeness.

Our intimate family is so beautiful just as it is. Sometimes, the thought of this change—even though it means growth—brings me to tears.

4. I'm so happy to face tomorrow.

The idea of leaving you hundreds of miles behind is terrifying, but also liberating. I’m looking forward to completing this dream.

My happiness isn’t just about going back to school though. It’s about taking a step toward the next mountain we’ll face together. We’ve been through so much already and every challenge we’ve faced has brought us closer and made us stronger as a couple and as a family. 

I’m leaving you behind, but I’m happy about it. Because I know we’ll be together again soon—with a better economic future and a reinforced bond as a result. We’re both going to have the chance to pursue interests outside of taking care of our household and keeping it running smoothly. It will give us fuel for more insightful conversations. I’m looking forward to it.

5. But, I'm worried about our son.

My family moved when I was a little younger than he is. It was rough—really rough. He’s at the age when friendships are new and tender, but can also be deep and lasting. I don’t know how he’ll feel about leaving his classmates behind. As much as we’re working to prepare him for the move, I don’t want him to pull back from his current friends either.

I’ve read mountains of articles and a few books on social adjustment in the preschool and kindergarten years, looked into area activities for his age group, connected with other moms on campus and made sure to put him in a bilingual, bicultural, and bilateral school to help ease the transition. I still don’t know if it’s enough.

It’s going to be hard to not see you every day. We need to make sure our little man doesn’t feel like we left you or that you abandoned us. He’s a tough kiddo, but his resiliency comes from knowing how much we love him—both of us. We’ll be waiting on the computer every day for precious Skype time with you when you can’t be with us in person. He needs it—and so do we.

6.  I can't wait for the next step.

I feel almost guilty for being this worked up about moving, but it’s more than the move. Making this dream a reality is the step toward living the life we planned. When the acceptance letter came, you told me, “This is what I meant when I said I wanted you to ‘fly with me.’” I get it, but flying is bittersweet.

7. I believe it can work.

Life with you is amazing. We’re an intuitive team—working together for a common future built on love and an enduring friendship. Sure, we’ve had our ups and downs, but everyone does.

Still, we’re in this for the long haul. We both knew from day one that our marriage is “forever, for always, and no matter what,” reflecting the plaque we bought on our honeymoon. We can do this. And besides, we’re already working out plans to visit each other—when and which airline companies to use for the best ticket prices and the highest chance of a free flight.

It might be odd for the two of us, but we’re organized! Is it weird that I even see a few benefits? Little man misses you all the time right now. You get to walk him to school with me in the mornings, but he doesn’t really see you the rest of the day. When you’re visiting for a week or so each month with no work along for the ride, he’ll get solid Daddy time—something he really needs.

As for the two of us, sometimes we get so wrapped up in running errands and staying on top of household tasks, we can lose each other. We don’t get the time we need to connect as a couple. The distance might help us focus more on growing together than on budgeting our groceries. And it’s an adventure—albeit a crazy one.

8. I’m devoted to making it work.

You know how important this is to me. I’ve waited years for the chance to go back to school and finally pursue the career I wanted from the start. It’s taken a while to get here, but I’m glad it’s finally a possibility. More importantly, it can make a major difference in the lives of many more people—something I’m very passionate about.

9. It’s all about you.

My devotion to making this work is also driven by your sacrifice. You’re going to massive lengths to make sure we’ll still have time together as a family and you’ve committed to traveling when we can’t come to you. That’s huge. It means more to me than you can ever imagine and I’m honoring that gesture by giving this my all. You’ve shown me you believe in me.

Taking this step—as scary as it is—is my way of showing you that I believe in our relationship.

10. And it's all about us, too.

I want to love you forever as much as I do today. Looking back on the past seven years, I know more can happen in just a few days than what can happen in years. Together we’ve faced numerous challenges, but we’ve always striven to help each other grow. This is one more step on that journey.

When we married, I put my dreams to the side for a while to help realize yours. Now you’re doing the same for me. That willingness to sacrifice for our love is part of what makes us work as a couple. We’re always looking out for each other and helping the other to succeed.

When this long distance thing is over, your wife will have another degree and hopefully, her dream job. Our son will be fully immersed and aware of the two cultures he comes from and able to communicate and blend in easily with both. We’ll be heading out on the next part of our family journey together, which is what it’s all about—LOVE.

I don’t know where this path of ours is headed and I don’t want to know. We can handle the physical distance and emerge stronger—both able to contribute more as a result of it. Heck, absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? Maybe we’ll learn to be more balanced—to stop revolving so much on work, work, work and more on our family and each other.

I’m no psychic. I can’t tell you what the future holds. I just know as long as we’re in this together—we’re headed the right way.

I love you.

This article was originally published at The Good Men Project. Reprinted with permission from the author.