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Long distance marriage

John MatrixJohn Matrix Registered User regular
edited August 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
Well, my wife just left to go home as I start law school on Monday. It's a 5 1/2 - 6 hour drive from where she lives to where I'm going to school.

Obviously for thanksgiving, christmas, spring break, and summer break I'll be home, but I need some advice on this.

We've done it before for shorter periods, during college she studied in D.C. over the summer and in law school she spent a summer in Oxford. This has a feeling of being somewhat more permanent even though we have school-year breaks and probably a monthly visit planned.

I think it's somewhat important that we're already married (almost 4 years) so it's not like a boyfriend/girlfriend situation. Not that your relationship isn't as serious as ours, it's just that marriage puts a slightly different tint on things.

So, any sage advice from those who have been/are currently going through this?

John Matrix on

Posts

  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Parental Unit RemulakRegistered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Well, my wife just left to go home as I start law school on Monday. It's a 5 1/2 - 6 hour drive from where she lives to where I'm going to school.

    Obviously for thanksgiving, christmas, spring break, and summer break I'll be home, but I need some advice on this.

    We've done it before for shorter periods, during college she studied in D.C. over the summer and in law school she spent a summer in Oxford. This has a feeling of being somewhat more permanent even though we have school-year breaks and probably a monthly visit planned.

    I think it's somewhat important that we're already married (almost 4 years) so it's not like a boyfriend/girlfriend situation. Not that your relationship isn't as serious as ours, it's just that marriage puts a slightly different tint on things.

    So, any sage advice from those who have been/are currently going through this?

    My wife and I lived apart for about a year because I got a job 4 hours away that couldn't pay enough for me to get a place of my own down there. So she stayed with her folks.

    It's really, really tough, and it will put a strain on things. You're both going to have to be 10 times as patient with each other than usual. Make the most of the time that you have when you get to have it. I don't know how you feel about kids and this may seem like it's coming out of left field but now is the worst time to think about having one, accidentally or intentionally, in my opinion.

    We tried to call each other every day at least once. It makes things a bit easier.

    Good luck man. You can come through this unscathed, it's definitely possible.

    ElJeffe wrote: »
    I get by on the knowledge that I'm not going to spend a whole lot of time mucking about inside of my asshole anyway
  • UsagiUsagi Feminazgul ~*special snowflake*~Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    get Skype and a webcam, it helps so much to be able to see each other while you're talking

    Jormungandr? Damn near killed 'er!
  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Webcams are your friend.

    My wife and I spent like 7 months or so while she finished her degree in CA while i had a job in PA. it sucks but if it needs to be done, it needs to be done.

    You kind of get used to it, but like josh, we talked everyday on the phone and webchatted plus gchat etc.

    6hrs by car is reasonable, that is 3 day weekend visiting there. try and arrange your schedule to give yourself long weekends etc. and be glad its not a 6hr flight

    camo_sig.png
  • jefe414jefe414 The wall the darkness breaks against Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    My sister and brother-in-law had an almost identical situation when she went to Law School and he was working. Despite the distance they got together any weekend they could. Still married years later with no problems.

    Xbox Live: Jefe414
  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    It all comes down to just making it work. If you two are the type of people that can handle long distance relationships then it won't be a big deal. It seems like you've gone through this before with your wife so it probably will end up ok. Do what you did before. Maybe you can txt a few times a day, skype when you have the chance, etc. Maybe take turns making the commute for a weekend (not necessarily every weekend as that can be very tiring for both of you), etc.

    I find sending small packages every once in a while is a nice surprise to send. I usually filled mine up with small things, like a game, a short book, little trinkets, small food items, etc.

  • WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I would guess that being married for this would be maybe even slightly easier than being 'boyfriend/girlfriend', just because it shows a level of commitment to one another. With long distance relationships one of the bigger issues tends to be trust, a 'is he cheating on me/is she cheating on me' or 'is it worth it.' By getting married you've both basically said 'yes it is worth it, and no I won't cheat on you.' Not saying married people don't cheat, just that you hopefully trust each other enough to not get suspicious of one another, and know that once you're done school things will be better.

    The daily communication will help you feel closer together, and help prevent the 'is it worth it' as well as help with trust because you'll be able to find out what each other has been doing everyday.

  • strebaliciousstrebalicious Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    The first year of my marriage, I was away. She saw me probably 3 times on three day weekends (not including Christmas break). Since then, I have gone away on deployments or schooling for about 4-6 months (probably about six times total). And somehow, we are still together almost 11 years later.

    Daily communication, regardless of the type, is essential. Even if it's just a simple e-mail to say you are still alive, it shows that you care about the other person. I don't know how many times I would come back to the boat after a long night of hard drinking in a port to drunkenly send my wife an e-mail. It just tells them that even though you are having tons of fun, that you are still thinking about them at all times.

    camo_sig2.png
  • flowerhoneyflowerhoney Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Usagi wrote: »
    get Skype and a webcam, it helps so much to be able to see each other while you're talking

    this is the greatest advice, I'm dead serious

    If you ever have the time, its fun to do things "together" online

    Such as watching the same movie or TV show and syncing up the times, playing an online game, discussing a book the two of you have been reading, things like that.
    It made it feel like my boyfriend and I were actually together

    Sending each other little gifts, cards, or letters is very fun and it feels amazing to get an unexpected package of chocolate (or whatever else). Nothing expensive

    Don't be afraid to text each other about pointless stuff either! Keep the lines of communication as open as possible

  • TavataarTavataar Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Also if you are both into gaming, and you have time in between your studies, you could try to play some online games together.

    -Tavataar
  • John MatrixJohn Matrix Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    She's always been a little wary of webcams, but it definitely sounds like a great idea to watch something on Hulu together.

    Any suggestions for a basic webcam/microphone? Is Skype still free? Assuming that's what most people use, I haven't used it in years.

  • Pure DinPure Din Rhode Island Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I just use the webcam on my laptop, but I have an Altec Lansing brand headset that I always use for Skype. Similar to this --> http://www.legitreviews.com/article/314/1/ not too expensive, and comfortable enough to wear for a 1-2 hour long conversation. Having the microphone on a headset is good in my opinion, because the volume doesn't change if you move around during the conversation. Though I'd like to get a wireless one at some point.

    My boyfriend and I do Skype for an hour or so about every other day, and he also calls me every morning just to say hi for about 20 minutes while he's walking to work. But I really love Skype because I'm slightly hard of hearing, and it's hard for me to follow a conversation without the visual cues. Besides the other benefits of video. Oh, and Skype is free if the other person you are calling is also online.

  • UsagiUsagi Feminazgul ~*special snowflake*~Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    She's always been a little wary of webcams, but it definitely sounds like a great idea to watch something on Hulu together.

    Any suggestions for a basic webcam/microphone? Is Skype still free? Assuming that's what most people use, I haven't used it in years.

    Honestly, I was wary as well, but after popping for a $15 webcam on Newegg just to see what it was like I am absolutely hooked. It's pretty awesome to be able to have the how-was-your-day conversation face to face!

    Edit: just thought of another thing, DM'ing over Twitter (or if you both have iPhones, Ping Chat) is a free alternative to texting

    Jormungandr? Damn near killed 'er!
  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    i personally didn't like skype, i never had decent call quality. my wifes laptop died and she bought a mac which ulitmately had the best video chatting.

    camo_sig.png
  • SteevLSteevL What can I do for you? Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I guess I can just echo what pretty much everyone here has said. My fiancee moved away 3 years ago to work on her Ph.D. and she's a little over halfway done. It's about a 4.5 hour drive to get there, and I am lucky enough to get a 3-day weekend every other week, so I drive up there almost every time that happens.

    Our main form of communication used to be AOL IM and the occasional Skype/webcam call, but then she got into games like Left 4 Dead and Steam became our main form of communication, oddly enough. We use Skype for in-game communication.

    When she first made the decision to move, it was difficult for me because I'd always heard the "long distance relationships don't work" thing from a lot of people. And technically, we're not that long distance since it's within driving distance. But we're both really happy with how things have turned out.

  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    in all honesty it will be rough, especially the first month or so. but then you start getting into a routine and you make it work. it will be a strain on the relationship for sure.

    camo_sig.png
  • 3drage3drage Registered User
    edited August 2010
    Usagi wrote: »
    get Skype and a webcam, it helps so much to be able to see each other while you're talking

    I'm going to second this. For some reason it takes the edge off of things, try to set up a regular schedule.

  • flowerhoneyflowerhoney Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    If you don't like skype, there's always uVu (or UvU or UVU. I'm not really sure...)

    My parents used it to call international because they felt the quality was much higher. I'm personally a big fan of skype even if does have a bad habit of fucking with you

  • John MatrixJohn Matrix Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    She's coming into town for the long labor day weekend, so that's pretty great. It'll probably be a long break between our next visit, though. So far we've been texting and calling each other everyday. Very early days yet, but so far no sobbing phone calls!

  • GafotoGafoto Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Don't be afraid to text each other about pointless stuff either!

    This is the basis of all modern relationships as far as I can tell.

    sierracrest.jpg
  • flowerhoneyflowerhoney Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Gafoto wrote: »

    This is the basis of all modern relationships as far as I can tell.

    is that a bad thing?

  • GafotoGafoto Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    Gafoto wrote: »

    This is the basis of all modern relationships as far as I can tell.

    is that a bad thing?

    Not always. My last girlfriend was like a damn twitter feed though. I don't need to know what music you're listening to every 30 minutes!

    sierracrest.jpg
  • NotASenatorNotASenator Registered User regular
    edited August 2010
    I figure if service members deployed overseas can make it work, so can you guys. At least you'll get to see each other.

  • KazakaKazaka Registered User
    edited August 2010
    Gafoto wrote: »
    Gafoto wrote: »

    This is the basis of all modern relationships as far as I can tell.

    is that a bad thing?

    Not always. My last girlfriend was like a damn twitter feed though. I don't need to know what music you're listening to every 30 minutes!

    I know what you mean, man

    Textin' me you're hungry doesn't put food in your stomach, I don't have that power.

    (Still in a long distance scenario probably a good idea to get loads of face time as much as possible and text when you can)

    ... They ate, slept and worked. Some of them found uninteresting partners at work who they married and came home to. Sometimes they would half-heartededly thrust into each other and children were made. They lived a middle class existence until their deaths to heart disease and cancer.
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