SRS Long distance questions

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by ///M Pilot, Jul 2, 2007.

  1. ///M Pilot

    ///M Pilot New Member

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    Hey everyone..

    Warning in advance... longggg

    Got a few questions. Does anyone have any experience dealing with long distance relationships? Particularly ones where your S/O will be busier than hell for the duration of their stay?

    Background: Been with my (amazing) girlfriend for 3 years. She's been living with me for the last 2. She's going to med school in August and I won't be moving down there (just yet). I recently got a great job where we live, about 2.5 hours away from where she's going. We plan to see each other on alternating weekends (or whatever our schedules allow), and I got her to agree to attempting to allocate at LEAST an hour per day to actually have a conversation. While I know that certain times will come where that won't be possible, I thought it was a reasonable commitment level.

    She commissioned into the Air Force to pay for it -- the health professionals scholarship, where they pay for everything for the time you're in school, and then your repayment is a 1-to-1 deal at the end (1 year service for 1 year in school). It's a great deal, and I'm really proud of her for her accomplishments, goals, and endeavours.

    Accompanied with that, though, are a lot of commitments that neither of us will have any control over. She was at COT (Commissioned Officer Training) for the last 4 weeks, and in VERY limited contact. I didn't take it very well. Apparently I've become rather co-dependent and while I'm used to people being around all the time, when all of that was gone (my family moved back up north, no friends in the area anymore -- everyone left at exactly the same time), I flipped out. I spent just about every night in an emotional wreck -- I wasn't sleeping, and I was drinking far too much.

    Anyway...my point is, I don't want to be this person. Ordinarly, I'm a very STRONG individual. But I know that in the future, I'm going to feel neglected, slighted, and the military is going to take her to places that are going to be away from me for as-of-yet undetermined periods of time. I attended her graduation ceremony, and they had an info session that stated they generally won't be gone for longer than a 4 month TDY. Even still, 4 months worth of the last 30 days...I don't know how I'm going to be able to handle it. I'm really second guessing my ability to deal with life at this point.

    I think part of it stems from my reluctance in general to enter into a LD relationship. I had one before I met this girl, and it went horribly. She cheated on me, and our relationship was a roller coaster of shit. At any rate, I don't want the same scenario repeated, but more than that, it's hard for me to just accept not being around my girlfriend for that long.

    Our relationship hasn't been the most solid. We've had our problems, but I believe we've moved past a lot of the other outstanding issues that were preventing me from making a real commitment to her. I'm ready to move forward...I just need some help pushing past this last hesitation and regaining my strength. I want to be a rock for her in the future, to know that she can count on me to be strong when she's not around, and in any situation. I trust her, I believe in her, and I want to see her succeed, free of any emotional shit I may bring to the table. She doesn't need to be dealing with the stresses of school and having to put up with me at the same time. I want to be able to look back upon the next 10 years and say... wow, it sucked, but we made it through. And look where we are now. I don't want to be this pussy that I was while she was gone. It's not ME. I'm not ruled by my emotions, damn it. I'm far more logical than this.

    Any suggestions? Are there people in LD relationships here? Are there any military people on here? If so, how do you deal with your spouse's absense/TDYs and deployments? I have no problems when we're married packing up and moving with her, and I don't have any problem with her career choice (in fact, I'm looking forward to her being able to carry her share of the finances finally :big grin:). It's the time away that bothers me, because I enjoy spending every possible minute with her.
     
  2. Bounty15

    Bounty15 OT Supporter

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    It's tough. I'm in the Army and am going on almost 3 years with a girlfriend (All of it long distance). I've known her for 6 years. We'll be moving in with each other this winter unless I get deployed. Anyways, you have to be serious about being supportive of her. You also have to trust her. You seem to be well intentioned and know where you want to go. The plan is good, but the emotional part can be hardest. I have to say it's been the hardest and most "work-intensive" thing I've ever done. Honestly, the best person to talk to about this would be your SO.

    Now 2.5 hours isn't that bad. Mine was 8 hours away and 5 hours away for different parts of the relationship. As long as you are both willing to make the effort to travel and set aside what little time you can coordinate with each other, it shouldn't be a problem seeing her often enough at that distance. That COT, which I assume is "basic training" for AF direct commissions will probably be the longest stretch of time where you will hardly talk to her. In any other situation, even if she gets sent overseas, she should be able to contact you quite frequently (especially in the Air Force, but that's another story :)). It may cost a bit, but in my experience it is well worth the cost. During the entire relationship, I have averaged over an hour on the phone with her every day. Sometimes it will be much more, but sometimes there are spans of time where I won't talk to her for 4-5 days. Always try to keep the conversation going (to include lots of flirting and such) and talk about your next meeting. Those are things that seemed to have worked for me.

    You say you're ready to move on, but make sure she is ready to move on as well. Communication is key, much more so than in a normal relationship. You have to make her aware of things that are becoming big issues for you. You're right in not overwhelming her, but trying to "be a man" and bottling it all up will hurt you more in the end. If you have to, work on a little piece of one issue at a time until it is resolved. Like I said, it will take a lot of work, but if you guys are really into each other and WANT to be there for each other as much as possible, it'll work. You should be each other's rock in times of need. That's one of the fundamental necessities in any relationship.

    Be sure you keep yourself busy. Too much idle time will only magnify your doubt and concerns. Find a new hobby, workout, whatever. Keep yourself busy. It sounds as though she'll be busy enough and won't have a problem on that end. That's as much as I'll say for now, but if you have any more specific questions, I can try and answer them. I may be back later to try and write some more as I think of it.

    One last thing is to make sure you enjoy the military experience. It can be quite a trip for the both of you and there are many benefits that can come out of it for both parties. Traveling is easier (at least one person usually has a trip to somewhere else in the U.S or the world for free), and the housing, medical, and social benefits can be good (especially when you get married).
     
  3. ///M Pilot

    ///M Pilot New Member

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    First off, let me say thanks, both for replying to the thread, and for your service to the country.

    Second, I appreicate your objectivity. The comments you made are pretty much what I knew already... I just needed some reassurance, I suppose. It's going to be tough, but I'm sure if anyone can make it, we can. We're both strong, I just have to start being that again. Period. I have to keep reminding myself that the end goal will make the crap in the meantime worthwhile.

    I heard that the military life is pretty good for spouses. I was curious about the spousal support.. whether that could be taken regardless of if I had another job. If so, retirement account ftw.

    Ah well.. only time will tell. :)
     
  4. verdiocchi

    verdiocchi Oh snap!

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    I didn't read the other responses because they were, well, really long so if this sounds exactly like what they said that just forget it.

    I was in a long distance relationship for almost two years and the only thing I can say is, you get used to it. You mentioned that if it's going to be like the past 30 days you don't think you can do it. The thing is, it probably will, but you will better understand it, your relationship will get stronger and adapt. You will develop new habits and routines and the time will pass. I won't lie, it's hard. But I learned to really appreciate my ex through because of the distance. We really had to communicate with each other and put the effort in. It wasn't easy but that's what made it so great. We were in it together even when it was hard. If you really care for this girl, don't let the distance scare you. Support her and try to understand where she's coming from and like you said, in the future you'll probably look back and realize that it was a worthwhile experience. Good luck to you both!
     
  5. Bounty15

    Bounty15 OT Supporter

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    As far as spousal support goes, yes you get the benefits even if you have a job. You will get free healthcare, free housing, and on post privileges like shopping at stores on base, which are all tax free. You have to be married though. Your wife would also get extra pay when away from you for seperation and she will get extra money for housing if you live off base (or a larger living space on base). You'll also be able to take advantage of vacation discounts/specials that the military can setup. I'm sure you and her will pick up on them as you go along.
     
  6. FirstAidKit

    FirstAidKit New Member

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    Hey. I'm glad to hear that you're attempting to do this, and that you're so supportive of her over such a long distance. I just wanted to let you know that I feel your pain. I'm in the same spot as you (more or less backwards), going on 1 yr, and I'm going off to medical school while she stays home and gets her MS. I give my all in relationships and it's a really unpleasant sensation that she's too busy to give the time to our relationship that she used to. I've done this before (3 yr LDR) and all I can say is that, when you're in love, you find a way to shift your life around to spend time with the one you love. You've just gotta give it time to settle into a groove first. Patience! It hurts, but if she's worth it, it's worth it. Good luck, and if you need commiseration, I'll be here, trolling during my histology lectures.
     

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