Wednesday, September 24, 2014

3 Lessons After Three Months of an Overseas Relationship

Elise is our newest guest poster. She has been in a long-distance Navy relationship for two years now and she and her Sailor decided to continue on despite the increasing long distance created by an early transfer overseas. Here she is on her lessons learned after the first few months.

By Elise
A Navy Girlfriend w/Cred 

Falling in love with my Sailor was one of the easiest things I've ever done. Though loving him is easy, its the surrounding circumstances that make it such a challenge. We have been together for almost 2 years living long distance, but this was, and still is all so new to both of us. The communication is much shorter than we are use too and with the time difference it makes it a challenge to keep in contact. I forget half of the exciting news I wanted to tell him and he is so tired when we do talk he is hardly in the mood to share what he has going on. Fortunately weve adapted well thus far.
 
This is a wreath I made for my Sailor a couple weeks ago
to symbolize my patience and pride for the one I love. 

Its a given when you hear deploymentor transferthat you are gearing up to board this roller coaster of emotions and loneliness. To say I didn't weigh my odds after finding out he was to leave would be a lie. Im young and have a child. I have other things I need to worry about. I knew it was going to be ruff, but with knowing all that, it didn't take long for me to conclude what I wanted.

Weve made it almost a quarter ways through the first year and with the many misconceived notions about what to expect and what is to happen, you dont have a grasp until you’re actually in it. Sometimes I want to kick myself for feeling SO emotional, and the outburst of attitude doesnt help either. These circumstances have brought out a side of me Im not too thrilled with, but despite those unflattering traits, I have learned a few lessons from these ups and downs in the first few months.

1) You have nothing to prove:
A veteran Army Wife had expressed this to me a while back when she was still in the states. She had continued to say don't lose who you are trying to prove your loyalty.I never truly understood it then, but it makes sense now. With the distance, not just physically but emotionally taxing, a relationship with these courageous service members is no walk in the park. As a girlfriend I feel we feel this need the worst. The need to gush over our men a little louder and find ways to remind the world that Im still here! See, I am different, WE are different!These actions should go unsaid yet we make it clear to anyone who will listen. Not just for ourselves but to prove to our men and everyone else that we are not the breezy, attention hungry, lonely women that they left behind. However, we are more than just Mil-SOs.

Its like water cooler chatter. I heard of someone who was dating this chick, and while he was away, she…” Our men talk and hear this heartbreak all the time. This again gives us more of a reason to be loud and proud, to instill their confidence in us.

People hear girlfriend and the preconceived notion is that we are temporary. For example, I went to buy a car recently and in small talk, was telling the salesman about my boyfriend.

Later in conversation he said ...If it doesnt work out with your boyfriend or he stops talking to you one day…” and he proceeded to tell me of his supposedly handsome single son. I was a little offended to be honest. I smiled and politely told him wed been together a long time. I know he didn't mean anything malice by it, but this frustrated me. In my head I wanted to be like listen dude. Just because I do not have that Mrs. on the paperwork doesnt mean I am less committed to my man and ready to run off with the first person I see OR that he is going to just dump me like a hot potato cause we chose not to run to the court house before he left.I didnt say that, but I did feel if we were married that comment would not have been shared. I had just met this man; he didn't know me from Adam.

Yet still, I don't need to shout my commitment from the roof tops or dawn a neon light above my head. My love knows I'm not going anywhere. Expending my energy to tell everyone else is a waste in my opinion, and I believe that is what that lady was trying to tell me. He is all that truly matters even if Id be more than happy to shout it anyway.

Do—You:
We have a saying, anytime either of us are doing something for ourselves we joke do you boo boo.For instance when I told him that Id be writing for this blog. This is our way of encouraging each other. Hobbies and interests are normal and healthy. Whether its your career, fitness, painting, weekly brunches with your girls or nail appointments, we all need something. As long as it isn't hurting you, your relationship or your family, it is not selfish. It's necessary. Make it a game, see how many books you can read before he comes home or how many cupcake recipes you've come up with and can't wait for him to try. So the next time he shares what he's been up to, to keep himself equally as occupied, (Like the Madden tournament he won at his boys house.) share your accomplishments and repeat, do you boo boo, because I've been doing me.”  :-)

Reflect on the positive:
Attitude is everything. You may not choose who you fall in love with but you can choose how it affects you. I have the most amazing man to love; my choice is to be thankful.
Dont get me wrong, I have those days I really need to remind myself the point of it all. If you have a hard time with this during deployment, check out some of these resources:




Excellent or Praise Worthy I just started this 40 day love dare for deployment. Upon my many cries for sanity, I stumbled across this site. Its very uplifting and a great way to stay positive. I plan on doing it more than just the 40 days.


One of my favorite verses in scripture is 1 Corinthians 13: 4-6 Love is Patient, Love is kind.This has several meanings to me, all derived of what state I am in my life, but overall it is a reminder that love takes time. When you do love, you are patient and understanding, and also love is not rude or hurtful. It is uplifting and positive.

About Elise

Hola! I am a God fearing 28 year old single mother who lives to love, and loves to live. My journey started almost 2 years ago, when I met my boyfriend online. Despite the hour and a half distance we made it work! I grew up in a patriotic home, but I didn't know anything about the military lifestyle, this was all new to me. He however, had been in the Navy for 12 years upon us meeting. About 6 months into our relationship we found out he was to be transferred early overseas. That is when I quickly grew accustomed to the demands of the service. Any plans to move in together were put on hold. We continued our long-distance relationship in anticipation of him leaving.

He’s only been gone a few months and we have at least 22 to go… Its been a roller coaster of emotions. During this short time I can certainly relate to the feeling of being unhinged. Coping with these emotions would often be followed by disappointment for allowing myself to be affected and seemingly weak. Its very lonely, which is what encouraged me to reach out to the internet. Given that we had never shared a home, it has made sleeping alone a little more bearable. It also gives me something wonderful to look forward, for when he returns home.

When I'm not holding down my man or my household, I work full time in the medical field serving others. My son is diagnosed with ADHD and has a mild intellectual delay; it poses its own challenges but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I love to learn and ask a lot of questions! I am outgoing, expressive and a bit feisty. I've still got a long road ahead and a lot more to learn, but I am hopeful of the outcome!

4 comments:

  1. I love love all of this!!! You've inspired me! I've been nervous to reach out to something like this! There is so much to learn it's crazy! I jumped a whole heck of a lot faster than you, but such is life!!!
    <3 Ash

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    1. Hey Girl!! I am so glad that I inspired you! You should totally reach out, it can be a bit over whelming facing this all alone. If you ever want to vent or have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. I may not know all the answers but I can at least help you to find them... You know how to get a hold of me :-) XO

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  2. Thanks for this! It's a good reminder that military girlfriends go through just as much as the wives do. Our current babysitter is a Marine girlfriend whose boyfriend is also (like my husband) on deployment, and even though I'm sure she thinks I am just horribly old and she will never be like me, I hope I have been at least a little encouraging!

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    1. Thank you for commenting Andria! Im happy to hear you enjoyed the post. Its awesome that you and your babysitter have eachother for support. I'm sure you have been very encouraging to her, especially being that you have experience. Sometimes it's encouraging enough to just see that someone else has, is and continues to endures these ups and downs, while keeping their relationship in tact. You're a walking testimony, reminding her that everything will be ok :-)

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I love, love your comments and questions! Just remember to not mention any security info about your Sailor! Thank you!

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