My husband’s been gone now for about two months. I’ve seen him once since he left and I won’t see him again until July or August. I miss him terribly and I know he misses me too. We’ve done this before. The year before we were married – in 2006 – he deployed for one year to Afghanistan. That was my first taste of managing a long distance relationship. Daily communication and a large dose of trust between us is what kept our love fresh and strong. I remember that we shared our daily lives with each other and kept any disagreements to a minimum. Now, we do it all over again.
This deployment is a lot shorter – six months – but it is just as important for my husband and I to share our daily lives with each other. That is what reinforces the trust that we have in each other.
Trust begins with honesty, even when unpleasant. I tell my husband everything because I have nothing to hide. I have told him about old flames I’ve friended on Facebook, the times I hang out with one of my best guy friends and whenever I hang out with his friends. I have no reason to want to hide these types of things and I want to be able to share everyday with him while he is away. Honesty seems like such a straight-forward enough concept, but you’d be surprised at how people hide innocent things because of how they think it will be perceived by their loved ones.
Accountability is another big one. Very straightforward. Return phone calls and acknowledge and respond to emails. Silence can be a trust-killer. During those times when my husband is deployed, we have been fortunate enough to be able to communicate daily. Accountability is something that we give to each other during these times. Usually, under the circumstances my husband is the one that has to do the calling. He calls me daily to share the details of his day. He calls me around the same time every day (there is a 7 hour difference between our two locations) and I try to make sure that I am available to speak with him whenever he calls. I know that I can rely on him to call me just about every day, and he knows that he can rely on me to be available to him just about every time he calls. These are the things that reinforce our trust and commitment during our times apart. These are the things for us that go without saying.
One of the most fundamental portions of a trusting relationship is the character of the people involved. My husband and I were part of a committed relationship before the first time he left for deployment. During that time, he showed me the type of person that he was – he showed me his character. He showed me that he was the type of person that had a lot of integrity with whom I could trust my heart.
I did the same for him. He knew from the support I gave him and from the way that I conducted my affairs that he could trust me. It was important for him to see this side of me because he knew that we would be put in situations where we would be apart. I don’t think he nor I would have survived a deployment before being married if we had not shown each other beforehand that we were the type of people that would be reliable to one another during our times apart. I’ve said it before – people show you the type of person they are. In a long distance relationship, it is important to acknowledge what is being placed before you in terms of the type of person with whom you are in a relationship.
We are all human, not perfect, so during extenuating circumstances such as a long distance relationship it is important to give each other every reason to trust through honesty, accountability and good character.
WEDDED BLISS WEDNESDAYS discusses marital and relationship issues. At the beginning, this is likely to be biased toward my own experiences in marriage and with relationships. But, I hope that you will join the discussion, ask questions, and suggest topics that you are interested in discussing.