I left a piece of my heart in California. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder but, in my case, absence just makes my heart hurt. There is a bleeding agonizing feeling that happens daily. It sounds like an off-beat drum. It keeps me up at night. I miss my husband so much. When we decided to make our move, this bi-coastal thing was only supposed to be temporary. But here we are, almost 2 years later, still doing this thing. I went from seeing his face, hugging him, and kissing him daily to virtual love. Facetime has been good, however, days go by when I don’t get to see his face. This “new normal” is not normal at all. I HATE it with every part of me. He comes home every few months for 2 weeks at a time and then he is gone again. I hate this for us. I hate this for me. I feel like I am missing so much.
Last year he had surgery in California, and I was stuck here in Maryland. I was at a new job and could not take off. I did not have enough leave time to cover his recovery period. I also could not leave our teenage son here and go be with him. It’s my job as a wife to take care of him and I failed. Days after his surgery he was up making food and washing clothes when he should have been in bed resting. Those were the things I should have been doing as his wife. I wanted to ask how he felt about me not being there to care for him, but I feared his response.
This year I plan on finding ways for us to date across the coast. I have seen a few couples online that go to the same restaurant and facetime each other like they were at the restaurant together. What I loved is they would have the waiter set the table as if the other person was in attendance. The key to making the dinner work is getting dressed and doing everything as if you were both on an actual date. It seems a little corny, but I am willing to try anything. I miss going out with my husband and this would help a little. The emptiness in my heart when he is not home is taking a toll on me. Finding a way to make this “new normal” work is the most important thing for us.
I will say that this bi-coastal love has enhanced our communication. Since we don’t see each other every day we have so much to chat about when we do. We are more expressive with each other. Our conversations go deep. We chat about our goals for ourselves and our marriage. We come up with ideas and projects we plan to do in our new home. Don’t get me wrong we still have disagreements, but we are able to talk through them instead of walking away and going into a separate room since we are on the phone. I know it would be easy to hang up the phone, however, that was one of the rules we came up with when we made this move. One thing that has worked is watching tv programs with each other. We find a new show to watch (usually start when he is home) and we continue to watch with each other via Facetime. We are not allowed to watch the show without each other. It’s like date night for us.
Some of our friends think we are crazy for still doing this long-distance thing. They don’t get it. They say there is no way they could do it. I get asked all the time if I ever get concerned about infidelity or if he does. The answer is always No. We love each other and the commitment we have made to each other can never be taken for granted. Now, I can’t lie and say that jealousy has not reared his ugly head. For example, we are season ticket holders for the Rams football team. He gets to go to all the games and always takes friends and family with him. They get to spend quality in-person time with him, and I don’t. He will send me photos of them at the games having so much fun. That mess sucks. That’s when my heart starts that off-beat drum sound. I finally got to attend a game on Christmas, and I felt so out of place. All of his “friends” were chatting with him. They have built this awesome friendship and I was not a part of it. I felt left out like I did not belong. When I mentioned it to him that night, he was like I talk about you all the time at the games…but that still did not matter to me. I did not like it.
It’s not easy but we are doing it one day at a time. 2 coast + 2 hearts = 1 Love (Spencer Love)