Author Topic: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?  (Read 7803 times)

lifejoy

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Just curious. (To clarify, I mean loving committed relationships more than I mean "separated" spouses).

expatartist

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2014, 12:50:58 AM »
Not at the moment, but we have, and may again:

* 6 months while I worked in the US to fund a future photo project in Cambodia
* 1.5 years while I worked in Cambodia (he didn't want to live there)

DH is currently unsatisfied with his part-time jobs here, and is convinced there are no jobs in his field in mainland China. I am on a 2-year contract for my dream job and won't break it. He may at some point work in his field in Hong Kong or elsewhere. My dream job (and path to FI) only exists in a few locations/orgs so where I live and work is limited for the next few contracts.

kyanamerinas

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2014, 01:11:56 AM »
we have been dating 7 years, marrying in the next month. we have never lived together (traditional christian). We met as students and each had a four year plan for education which involved different locations for each of us. Early on we agreed that we would both follow our plans (no way to adjust without substantially altering future prospects) So the first and last few years we've been in the same city but there were 3 years in the middle of long distance (around 4-6 hours travelling).

I would say the key is having timelines on the distance. I couldn't have done distance indefinitely. Also to plan meetups as far in advance as possible (more important to me than frequency) so you have something to look forward to.

When we were in different countries and both studying we planned all our 'dates' for the year at the beginning. This helped both emotionally and financially. When we were same country/different cities we agreed to aim for roughly every other weekend, alternating travel if possible. For the last few years we've spent fri-sun together and one evening mid-week.

It's worked fine for us, we both are introverts who like are space and trust each other fully. The only real issues we've had were when we didn't know when/how to end the distance and it was getting to much (no timelines/unhappy with timeline).

Are you looking at doing distance? (I know you or your husband (! does that still sound new and odd?) were looking to move for study, right? or job?) What are your concerns?


Silvie

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2014, 05:36:12 AM »
I was in a relationship with a guy in Vancouver, Canada for 1.5 years while I lived in the Netherlands. A 9 hour flight and different time zones (it's 9 hours earlier in Vancouver).

Eventually it didn't work out, but not because of the distance. I actually planned to move to Vancouver, but we broke up before I did, so I ended up staying in the Netherlands.
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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2014, 05:39:51 AM »
I know a married couple who live in separate houses due to personal needs about having their own space, etc. They are not separated, just having a marriage that is non-traditional in its living arrangement.

My boyfriend and I have been dating over five years and seem to be committed and in it for the long haul. We have plans to live together but haven't done so yet. No rush, though it would be good from a financial perspective to combine so many expenses.

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2014, 06:16:46 AM »
I don't understand how you could be married or in a long-term relationship where you aren't physically living together most of the time.  It's like having a Tamagotchi as a pet - you're missing something fundamental about being in a relationship.  Seems like a really difficult way to do things too . . .

Mrs. PoP

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2014, 06:56:53 AM »
Mr PoP and I dated for about 6 years before we got married.  The first 6 months of that we lived in the same building; the last 9 months of that we lived together in the same apartment.  All the years in between were spent living various distances apart: 5 time-zones, 8 hour train ride, and 2.5 hour car ride. 
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NumberCruncher

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2014, 07:13:48 AM »
The first 2 years of my relationship with my now spouse were long distance.

It was really tough, but we talked to each other every day online, and we saw each other in person about four times a year? There was also a summer in there that we spent together.

kyanamerinas

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2014, 07:32:54 AM »
I don't understand how you could be married or in a long-term relationship where you aren't physically living together most of the time.  It's like having a Tamagotchi as a pet - you're missing something fundamental about being in a relationship.  Seems like a really difficult way to do things too . . .

sometimes the circumstances require it. Excepting the married-in-separate-houses case, no one here chose this as their ideal relationship set-up by the sounds.


rocksinmyhead

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2014, 07:48:29 AM »
I would say the key is having timelines on the distance. I couldn't have done distance indefinitely. Also to plan meetups as far in advance as possible (more important to me than frequency) so you have something to look forward to.

totally agree. we haven't had to be long distance for any super-long chunks of time, but in 2012 there were two separate periods of 6.5 and 3 months where we were living in different states. it was annoying, but tolerable because we knew FOR SURE it was just those months.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2014, 08:20:07 AM by rocksinmyhead »

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2014, 08:00:58 AM »
I've done it a few times for relatively short periods of time:

Right after we got married DH went in the army and I didn't get to see him for about 6 months. The plan was to live apart for 9 months while he got through basic, AIT, and jump school then I'd move to where he got stationed but he got injured in basic and spent 4 months in physical therapy then discharged.

A couple of years later he moved to 1000 miles away to start school while I still had one semester left of my degree so I stayed for another 5 months

Then when he was getting close to graduating he accepted a job offer about 500 miles away and I moved there before he finished school so I could get a job and we could buy a house in the new state, about 2.5 months that time.

These were all within the first 4 years of marriage and we celebrated 10 years this summer. It cost a lot more than I would have liked (though we kept it reasonable) with flights every 3-4 weeks the second time and driving every 2-3 weeks the third time, plus double rents, but with an end in site each time it was bearable and we made it just fine

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2014, 08:25:57 AM »
My spouse and I have lived apart, honestly, for a majority of our relationship. The first 3 month of dating we were 4 hours apart, the next four we were in Illinois and Florida respectively. We are married to the Navy, well one of us is. At least 6 month apart a year for the first 13 years. I refused to move back to Mississippi with school age children- 24 months. When the oldest started 8th grade I refused to move through high school- it took 3 years for him to rejoin us.   The first three years of marriage he was on a submarine- no contact but letters(that I didn't write, 4 telegraphs, I let his daughter send an a phone call in port about 3 weeks before arrival home) I did get lovely poetic journals at the end of every deployment. Then we moved to email in spurts when the boat had availability.  The best was when the satellite phone and I were in the same area code- what a luxury that was.  23 years and still happy, though we do joke that it is really only about 12 "real" years together and that the separation is the only thing that kept us together.  (refused may be too strong- it was a joint decision).
« Last Edit: October 03, 2014, 08:43:52 AM by Lkxe »

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2014, 08:38:05 AM »
This question hits close to home for me. 

My boyfriend and I met in graduate school, where we were neighbors and had a lot of free time to hang out.  After graduation we moved to the same city.  Mindful of how different our lives would be doing the 9-5, we decided to live separately to make sure our relationship could make it in the context of real world pressures.  (Also my mom is religious, and I was raised not to live with someone before you were married).  I moved in with a roommate to save money, he moved into an apartment with his brother, who was temporarily also in the city.  We lived about 10-15 minute walk from each other.  It had its challenges.  I never really felt like my apartment was my own, due to an awful / territorial roommate.  My boyfriend was less comfortable coming over there.  We had a terrible winter, and trudging back and forth through the snow got a little old.  So it wasn't ideal, mostly in that I was staying over at his place a lot more and not feeling very grounded in a new city. 

When my roommate unilaterally invited her S.O. to move in (rent free!) without discussing it with me, I was able to get out of the lease without penalty.  Boyfriend's bro had moved out by that time, so I moved in with him "temporarily".  We called it summer camp to underscore its temporary nature; we just didn't want to scale up / pressure our relationship before it was time.  Also, we have some pretty divergent interests (reading/art v. tv/sports type of dichotomy), and felt like it would be better to have our own spaces to cultivate.  He made me totally welcome in his home, but it was still his home, and it felt distressing after a while not having my own space, and feeling like my stuff was just kind of layered on top of his.  When I saw an apartment in an extremely close, and mostly owner-occupied apartment complex, I snatched it up and moved out.  I told everyone we might just be one of those couples who preferred separate space.  (NYT had an article on this not long ago; I think Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter are a prominent couple who lives next door to each other).  I spent a good amount of money, and we both spent a lot of time getting things set up, although the same thing happened - his space was more established than mine was so we ended up cooking there, sleeping there pretty often out of habit and preference. 

Within a few months of moving into my space I found MMM.  It didn't really change my concept of our living spaces until I realized that my boyfriend's lease was ending in one month.  I had a eureka moment and suggested he move in with me - we would save thousands of dollars in rent, we hung out / slept together all the time anyway, and we might as well figure out how to blend now, rather than later.  Also, I was sick of not feeling rooted in a space. He was opposed as he loves his apartment (it is gorgeous), and it was such a lightning bolt / last minute idea.  But pandora's box opened, and it all of a sudden seemed like all the original arguments for living separately didn't carry much water.  We figured that even with a 5 minute walk between our apartments, we would still end up walking back and forth to each other's places over 40-hours a year  + wasting scads of cash on double rent and utilities.  We ultimately decided that I should move back into his apartment, but this time we would re-arrange things and make it "our apartment". And we did.  The two of us combined in that space makes amazing use of it, and we both feel at home.  However, I only feel like this worked out because of who my boyfriend and I are, and our compatibility. I think the cost of living together is emotionally too high, even given savings, if it is the wrong guy.

TLDR: After 3 years together we still had lots of excuses not to live together (not wanting to rush / compatibility fears / tradition / desire for independence); but putting it off was expensive in both time & $, despite being practically neighbors.  Living together is fantastic, it worked out well for us.

libraryjoy, what is your situation?
« Last Edit: October 03, 2014, 02:30:59 PM by swallowtail »

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2014, 10:14:29 AM »
This is going to be a growing factor for my wife and I as time goes on. I just recently retired, while my wife is going to continue to work. She claims that she loves her job, and I think she does. But I also think that she isn't sure that we have enough "stache" for her to join me in ER... so in the meantime she continues to work FULL TIME, despite my assurances that she probably doesn't have to

But that leaves me with oodles of FREE TIME. I have mentioned in other posts about our 10+ acres on a west coast B.C. island. This is where we will eventually both retire to. Before that happens, the land needs a lot of work. Needs well hookup. Would like to develop a garden and orchard. Uh, a cabin (this is the biggie). I would like to do the majority of the work myself, and avoid hiring island contractors as much as possible. Not only will the savings be considerable, but I want to experience the satisfaction of building our future home with my own hands. So I can foresee her continuing to work in Vancouver, while I spend large blocks of time (weeks, months?) on the island working on our property. She will likely catch the ferry on the odd weekends - but not EVERY weekend, especially at $140 per trip.

We have spent very little time apart in our marriage and I am not sure how it will go. This will probably be the first bit of "adversity" in our marriage - I know "they" say that no marriage is perfect, but ten years in, ours has been close to it.

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2014, 05:57:25 PM »
Now-ex hubby and I were both in the coast guard when we met and continued our careers after we married (married 17 years and together 20) and didn't even see each other for a year after we got married because we were stationed in different states. Spent a huge amount of time apart - often for many months and/or years - due to transfers to different areas of the country or because one or the other (or both at the same time) would be out on long patrols for many months at a time, or even just have schedules where I might be off a couple of days while he was on and then visa versa. It was hard and we eventually divorced over it (kind of) but neither of us would have been happy giving up our job and following the other, or quitting to do something else, although we both made large and continuous compromises to our jobs so we could be together as much as possible. But in the end we sort of out-compromised ourselves and just ended up wanting different things in the end.

Now if the truth be told, while I had a great marriage in terms of our relationship, if push came to shove and I had to make a choice between staying in the CG or staying in my marriage I would have gone with staying in the CG. If I had to do it all again I probably would have chosen to wait until after I was out and in a "normal" civilian job to get married - to a guy who also wasn't in the service and had a normal job.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2014, 06:06:57 PM by Spartana »

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2014, 08:38:07 PM »
Four years during college, after dating for about 6 months. Limited time-frame made a lot of difference, I think.

lifejoy

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2014, 12:28:33 PM »
Swallowtail: I've been following my husband's career and location for two years, going on four. He has no control (right now) where he lives. I've been toughing it out, but really I just want to move back to my home province. But I'd feel like I was abandoning him, or not being part of the team. I dunno!

iris lily

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2014, 07:58:24 PM »
Swallowtail: I've been following my husband's career and location for two years, going on four. He has no control (right now) where he lives. I've been toughing it out, but really I just want to move back to my home province. But I'd feel like I was abandoning him, or not being part of the team. I dunno!
What's "tough" about being with him? What's so great about your home province over your home with your husband?

Frankly, yes, I  think that you would be abandoning him, you would be breaking up your team. Since you don't have a career or educational goals that require you to be living apart, what exactly causes you to move away from your spouse. Didn't you just get married?  Would you assign a timeline to this living apart, and dictate to him that he needs to get a permanent job in your  "home province" by X time? Is that his dream as well? What have you two talked about doing in the long term re: where you live?

lifejoy

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Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2014, 08:52:56 PM »
Swallowtail: I've been following my husband's career and location for two years, going on four. He has no control (right now) where he lives. I've been toughing it out, but really I just want to move back to my home province. But I'd feel like I was abandoning him, or not being part of the team. I dunno!
What's "tough" about being with him? What's so great about your home province over your home with your husband?

Frankly, yes, I  think that you would be abandoning him, you would be breaking up your team. Since you don't have a career or educational goals that require you to be living apart, what exactly causes you to move away from your spouse. Didn't you just get married?  Would you assign a timeline to this living apart, and dictate to him that he needs to get a permanent job in your  "home province" by X time? Is that his dream as well? What have you two talked about doing in the long term re: where you live?

Home province: my friends and family, whom I am very close with.
New province: I've been here two years and have been trying so hard to make friends. I have made some, but often they move away because this can be a hard place to live. (By often, I mean I recently discovered that two of them have moved away and I'm bummed.)

We are here as long as we have to be. (1-3 more years, depending on his medical fellowship). I agree with you - I don't want to abandon the team. But I like dreaming about it, because at times I am so lonely and so, so cold (ahem... 8 months of winter!).

Living here is helping me become more independent and badass. But it is hard-won.

Edited to add: my husband is the most amazing person on the planet! I love living with him! BUT I do feel badly that I rely on him to be my friends AND family. I'm an ENFJ and I pretty much wither away when I don't get enough social contact.

iris lily

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2014, 09:20:22 PM »
...Living here is helping me become more independent and badass. But it is hard-won.

Edited to add: my husband is the most amazing person on the planet! I love living with him! BUT I do feel badly that I rely on him to be my friends AND family. I'm an ENFJ and I pretty much wither away when I don't get enough social contact.
I see several things going on here:

-----It's difficult to make friends as adults, we just don't have the same opportunities as when we are in school, thrown among scads of people in our age range.
-----You aren't in career mode, and while that's fine, you don't have a strong focus in your life right now; you are isolated without workmates.
-----You are there for an uncertain time, and that can prevent truly putting down roots. At least for me, it might be hard for me to dig in and get invested in the place I live when I know it's for a short time, and I don't even know for how long I'm going to be there (1 year? 3 years?)
-----The obvious, that you miss the familiar, friends and family.

My advice to you is to strongly cultivate an interest or two that you have personally. This is a golden time in your life, a time of freedom and creativity. You may never have this kind of "me" time again. I know that you work, but that's only part time, right?You are so right that your husband can't be the end all and be all of your social contacts.

I am near to retirement and I absolutely cannot wait for it, and I absolutely want to facepunch anyone who asks me "but what will  you do then?" ACCCK! both DH and I know what we'll be doing, we've never lacked for things to do. One of our friends said "but how will you get to do everything that you want to do, where will the time come from??!!!" and he was right on.

So I have a hard time relating to your situation. But I do remember when I was young and looking for a job, and couldn't really settle in because I knew I'd have to move across country.I remember thinking that I couldn't even start a book because who knows, I might need to put it down to move in a week or two.  It was such a time of being ill at ease, so perhaps that's some of what you are experiencing.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2014, 09:25:51 PM by iris lily »

lifejoy

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2014, 09:23:41 PM »
Iris lily, you are FULL of wisdom :)

And yep, you hit the nail on the head: when I got here two years ago, I was trying so hard. Now I'm tired of trying. I have been refocusing on myself with online courses and lately I've been trying to focus on health.

"Strongly cultivate an interest or two. This is a golden time in your life, a time of freedom and creativity. You may never have this kind of me time, again."
I am going to print that out and out it on my wall :)

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2014, 09:33:08 PM »
Yes, and it sucks! 

My boyfriend and I have been in a long distance relationship for almost two-and-a-half years. He lives in Europe and I'm in the US, so we seldom see each other.  When we do visit, we spend almost every second together for two or three weeks, and then it's back to months and months apart. We call and text and Skype, but nonetheless it tries the relationship. The time difference exacerbates things because our sleep and work schedules don't mesh well with each other. Text is actually the easiest way for us to communicate, and so many aspects of communication are lost when both verbal and non-verbal cues are stripped away.

We're at the point where something has got to give and I need to make a career move anyway, so I'm starting to look for a job over there.  I don't know what will happen if we don't close the distance.

Iris Lily has a lot of good advice about trying to make your current situation work for you. I'm struggling with a lot of the same things now, I needed that advice too.

ETA: If you are home during the day, can you Skype your family and friends back in your home province?  It might sounds weird, but sometimes my boyfriend and I like to just have the Skype connection open while we do our own things. He might be working out and I could be reading a book, but we know the other person is there and we could talk if we felt like it.  Or sometimes my mom and I Skype and fold our laundry together.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2014, 09:40:37 PM by neophyte »

kyanamerinas

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2014, 10:48:02 PM »
libraryjoy, you are in a really tough situation ad you are allowed to find it hard but I think you need to stay. Your husband, however wonderful, cannot be everything for you and I'm sure you don't expect him to be. However, I don't think your situation warrants moving away and putting yourself in the long-distance position. Although you would then have friends, I think the toll of being away from your husband would outweigh those benefits. Personally, we have not found distance very hard as a couple but as individuals we have found it very gruelling emotionally. I think you would be exchanging one kind of loneliness for another and if you have to choose one, I think you should stay with your husband so he can help you through friendlessness.
America is huge and I have no idea how far away your family/friends are time/cost wise but if you were there, how often would you see your husband? Presumably there would be a financial sacrifice in this (cost of flights/second apartment) which you have considered. Have you considered making the financial sacrifice to live where you are but go home more often to visit friends/family? Treat them as the long-distance relationship that you need regular time with, even if that requires some financial sacrifice. You'd probably do it for your husband if you were away but this way you still get to be with him most of the time.
I do second the skyping for nothing-in-partic. I used to share a room with my sister and for the first few months of uni we just had skype on even if we weren't talking much, during homework or cooking or whatever.
I have found making friends nigh-on impossible. The only way we have made one set of friends (a couple) in the last 2.5 years is through a bar. We found a tiny bar (someone's front room really) which caters to our interests (poetry/folk). The size and friendliness mean people talk more than usual plus the music means you have somewhere to start from talking. i'd definitely recommend looking for a small bar which feels like 'your people' if you can. even if we don't talk to anyone there, we recognise people because the clientele is small and it feels nice. money again, i know, but looking after your mental health is important.

if you ccan do it, give yourself a break from trying so hard to make friends. i did after a year or so for a few months and spent a little while focusing on developing my own interests. i could think go back to friend-finding more relaxed and less stressed.  take care.

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2014, 11:58:53 PM »
Kyanamerinas, great thoughts, thank you :)
Practical question: how would a mustachian make friends at a bar if she a) doesn't drink and b) is trying to save money? ;) But I will take the spirit of what you're saying to heart, and strive to get out more.

I really am becoming more independent, which is really good for me.

expatartist

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #24 on: October 05, 2014, 12:46:20 AM »
Kyanamerinas, great thoughts, thank you :)
Practical question: how would a mustachian make friends at a bar if she a) doesn't drink and b) is trying to save money? ;)

It is hard 'starting over' in a new place, when it's your temporary, not long-term/permanent home. But yeah our better halves can't be everything for us. Moving elsewhere will mean the increased expenses of having two separate households.

Bars are one option, cafes are another. It's pretty cheap to order non-alcoholic drinks. Keep an eye on sites like meetup.com for like-minded people who organize free activities.

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #25 on: October 05, 2014, 06:25:16 AM »
Until very recently, you had a big project (your wedding) to focus on, and you're probably Feeling some letdown now that it's over. You need another focus, maybe volunteering?

lifejoy

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #26 on: October 05, 2014, 10:11:31 AM »
Volunteering is a good idea.

iris lily

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #27 on: October 05, 2014, 10:24:31 AM »
Volunteering is a good idea.

We live in a neighborhood where people are very friendly, there are tons of activities, and we have many friends and social groups within the neighborhood.

But we developed all of that by working on neighborhood projects: taking positions on the Board of the neighborhood organization, working on fundraisers, running house tours, organizing gardening work days,--etc.  The bonds we made with people were based in work for a common goal: the betterment of our neighborhood.

So yeah, volunteering is the best! It beats sitting around coffee shops and bars. And once you make contacts through your volunteer efforts you can meet up with people at the coffee shops. Just be sure to get into a volunteer project that has people your age, so many of the volunteers are old, like me! :)  Organizations such as "Young Friends of..." the library or the art museum or the historical museum are one place to look.

Cassie

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #28 on: October 05, 2014, 01:01:56 PM »
When I was young I was in the same situation without Skype & long distance phone calls were so expensive that rarely got to do that more then 1x per month.  It's tough but you can do it.  I have been with my current hubby 16 years & he is working out of town about 6 hours away probably for the next 2 years but the pay is fantastic.  I really miss just seeing him on short weekends.  However, since we are not just starting out like you guys it will be easier to do. I remember how lonely I was in young & in a strange place.  Also some places are easier to make friends then others. volunteer & see if that leads you to good things like IL suggested. Take CAre

deborah

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #29 on: October 06, 2014, 05:18:21 AM »
Not currently. We met many years ago. We were in a relationship for 7 years and lived in different parts of town. Then he moved halfway across the world for 3 years. Then we lived together. Then his job relocated 7 1/2 hours drive away, and for the next 8 years he visited me every second weekend. Then I moved there, and we have been together for quite a while.

People are always amazed at how long we have been together - especially given how long we have been apart. Needs dedication and commitment, the ability to be independent and trust. You can get things wrong. Despite us talking to each other just about every night during the breaks, there were things we missed out on communicating, that tripped us up a bit - but trust really helps.

OP talks about not making friends. You need to believe you are staying somewhere to do that. He was always going to be here temporarily - so he didn't develop friends. And driving to another city every second weekend really stops you from putting down any roots in a new place. So when I decided to move here, I was selling his home, and that was difficult. But it all worked out very well, and we both have put down roots here. I think he needed me in the same place to actually have a home.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #30 on: October 06, 2014, 07:23:08 AM »
...Living here is helping me become more independent and badass. But it is hard-won.

Edited to add: my husband is the most amazing person on the planet! I love living with him! BUT I do feel badly that I rely on him to be my friends AND family. I'm an ENFJ and I pretty much wither away when I don't get enough social contact.
I see several things going on here:

-----It's difficult to make friends as adults, we just don't have the same opportunities as when we are in school, thrown among scads of people in our age range.
-----You aren't in career mode, and while that's fine, you don't have a strong focus in your life right now; you are isolated without workmates.
-----You are there for an uncertain time, and that can prevent truly putting down roots. At least for me, it might be hard for me to dig in and get invested in the place I live when I know it's for a short time, and I don't even know for how long I'm going to be there (1 year? 3 years?)
-----The obvious, that you miss the familiar, friends and family.

My advice to you is to strongly cultivate an interest or two that you have personally. This is a golden time in your life, a time of freedom and creativity. You may never have this kind of "me" time again. I know that you work, but that's only part time, right?You are so right that your husband can't be the end all and be all of your social contacts.

I am near to retirement and I absolutely cannot wait for it, and I absolutely want to facepunch anyone who asks me "but what will  you do then?" ACCCK! both DH and I know what we'll be doing, we've never lacked for things to do. One of our friends said "but how will you get to do everything that you want to do, where will the time come from??!!!" and he was right on.

So I have a hard time relating to your situation. But I do remember when I was young and looking for a job, and couldn't really settle in because I knew I'd have to move across country.I remember thinking that I couldn't even start a book because who knows, I might need to put it down to move in a week or two.  It was such a time of being ill at ease, so perhaps that's some of what you are experiencing.

+1, well said iris lily :)

libraryjoy, we are in a somewhat similar situation (although in my case we moved for my job, not my bf's, so it helps that I get to feel like we're here  for a reason and it's that I have a really awesome job). but I hate being so far away from my family, and for both of us Oklahoma is a major climate and culture shock (I'm from the upper midwest and my boyfriend's from Pennsylvania... it's really different here, people are super religious and politically conservative, and very open about those things which is kind of a no-no where I'm from, and we both HATE the hot weather!) and we also have the same weird open-ended timeline... my main goal in taking this job was to get my student loans paid off, which is done now, but now I kind of also want to save up for a downpayment, and then we're both going to have to figure out what kind of jobs we're going to get when we move back up north (which will probably be pretty different from the jobs we have now)...

it's hard, but the biggest difference for us is that we got SUPER lucky and a running club we were in when we lived in PA has a chapter here in our town and it happens to be full of people in their 20s and 30s, so we made a ton of friends through that right away. I know it's cliche but I totally second the suggestions of finding some kind of volunteer opportunity or club (I always think of running and yoga because those are things that I like, but I'm sure there are tons of other options). and I guess I don't really get the "don't want to put down roots because we won't be here for that long" mindset, although I know it's really common. I too am an extrovert, and I wouldn't want to keep myself from making new friends in a place because I was worried about... what? that I'm gonna miss them when I move away? well I already miss a ton of people so I know I can handle that :)

sorry that was kind of rambly :)

jka468

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #31 on: October 06, 2014, 02:05:02 PM »
Swallowtail: I've been following my husband's career and location for two years, going on four. He has no control (right now) where he lives. I've been toughing it out, but really I just want to move back to my home province. But I'd feel like I was abandoning him, or not being part of the team. I dunno!
What's "tough" about being with him? What's so great about your home province over your home with your husband?

Frankly, yes, I  think that you would be abandoning him, you would be breaking up your team. Since you don't have a career or educational goals that require you to be living apart, what exactly causes you to move away from your spouse. Didn't you just get married?  Would you assign a timeline to this living apart, and dictate to him that he needs to get a permanent job in your  "home province" by X time? Is that his dream as well? What have you two talked about doing in the long term re: where you live?

Home province: my friends and family, whom I am very close with.
New province: I've been here two years and have been trying so hard to make friends. I have made some, but often they move away because this can be a hard place to live. (By often, I mean I recently discovered that two of them have moved away and I'm bummed.)

We are here as long as we have to be. (1-3 more years, depending on his medical fellowship). I agree with you - I don't want to abandon the team. But I like dreaming about it, because at times I am so lonely and so, so cold (ahem... 8 months of winter!).

Living here is helping me become more independent and badass. But it is hard-won.

Edited to add: my husband is the most amazing person on the planet! I love living with him! BUT I do feel badly that I rely on him to be my friends AND family. I'm an ENFJ and I pretty much wither away when I don't get enough social contact.

I guess I don't quite understand this mindset, and with the idea of ER here on MMM I think a lot of people would find this hard to understand too. At least to me, ER is so appealing because I have so many interests and hobbies that could take up my day, and with a job it's simply tough to do them all. The fact that many people (too many in fact) don't have significant interests outside of theirs jobs is why the thought of ER is so scary to them and why many people on these boards have heard some sort of the phrase "but what will you DOOOOOO!!??"

As Lily said, you need to find something that really gets you going and that you can delve into to occupy your time. Even better if it adds value to your life, with something like fitness, meditation, learning a language, classical novels, etc. Good luck.

stlbrah

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #32 on: October 06, 2014, 03:19:34 PM »
I am the same age as you. My GF lived in dc and me in st louis for almost a year and we flew back and forth a lot.

We thought we were the exception and it lasted almost a year, but then it still ended badly. We didn't cheat, but its kind of like having fights and not being able to work them out because your apart.

Skype helps

swallowtail

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #33 on: October 06, 2014, 08:47:56 PM »
Can you take extended visits to your home province in the winter?

I agree that it sucks not to be rooted.  I've felt like that for most of the last decade.  Realize that being rooted is a privilege, not an entitlement, and make the best of where you are.  When it is time to finally get settled, it will feel wonderful.  Although who knows, you may wish you had the opportunity to be more nomadic again once you are settled (grass is greener syndrome).  Treat now like an adventure, try to appreciate the things you like about your situation, and note what you don't, so you can envision the type of living situation you'd prefer.  The advice to volunteer and pursue interests  is great.  Also make sure to get lots of exercise to keep serotonin levels up and combat SAD. 

Keep your chin up and Good luck! :)

2ndTimer

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Re: Is anyone married or in a long-term relationship, and living apart?
« Reply #34 on: October 06, 2014, 09:25:09 PM »
We got together to get married one weekend and then immediately went back to work in different cities for two years.  Then we lived in the same city for about a year.  Then we got post docs in different states and were apart for two more years.  Then we decided enough was enough and decided to make the work compromises necessary to live in the same place and we have done that for many years now.  Being apart really sucked.