03 April 2014

Surviving Long-Distance, Part 1


Hector and I married at The Chapel of the Bells in Reno, Nevada because Nevada has some of the most lax marriage license laws in the country (Thank you, Nevada!). I was 20 years old, he was 26. We were both idiots.

When I got married I had only the vaguest idea of what being married meant. I knew that Hector was undocumented and I also knew that he was going to be ineligible for any type of papers. Did I think that he was going to end up being deported? Never. It literally NEVER crossed my mind. I thought that we were going to live off of his Burger King wages and eventually I would become a nurse or something, and we would live happily ever after like that, in Portland. I was so naive to think that I would end up spending 3 out of 5 years of marriage separated from my husband.

Hector and I are best friends. There is literally NO ONE else on this planet for me, even though people's opinions would love to have me question otherwise. Hector is confidant. When I have a problem, he reminds me that I can't handle that on my own and that I need his help. When he has a problem, I try to talk to him with a level head. But it's not easy when you're 1400 miles apart. Skype loves to not work. We can't hold hands or spend long hours gabbing to each other like we did when we were first married.

This was going to be a single post- but I've decided to make it into a series simply because there is a lot to say about this. Today, I'm focusing on the most fundamental part of keeping us strong: communication.

All that BS about "Communication is Key" is semi-true. It's more like "Communication is THE key...(to opening hearts, to calming storms, ect.). A long-distance relationship CANNOT survive without communicating. Which means that we have to make time to communicate.

  • Take Turns: Communication is important. You have to take turns talking. Sometimes we are so upset we just start yelling, or we're so excited about something that neither one of us can shut up. Usually I just ramble on, and never give Hector a chance to say anything or even think that Hector might actually want to say something. I am super guilty of this, all the time.
  • Avoid Accusations and Admit Failures: We suck at this one, too. BIG TIME. We fight A LOT. Mostly out of frustration I believe. I forget my phone sometimes. To me, it's not a big deal, I've got other things going on. For Hector, who else is he going to call? What else is he going to do? I've got my parents here to talk to; he's got me. When I get my phone, and he's upset, it's easier for me to yell that he's being unfair, I'm human, blah blah blah. But it's better if I admit that I screwed up and acknowledge his feelings. He feels heard, I can examine myself and my actions. I can check myself before I wreck more than myself. 
  • Be Honest and Open: Everything eventually comes to light, so it's best to just be honest from the beginning. Telling little "white lies" to avoid a big argument just lead to a bigger argument down the line. It's best to just tell the truth from the beginning, let the other party get a little mad, then let them get over it. It's much better than making them A LOT mad and breaking their trust.
  • Forgive Each Other: We are not perfect. We are far from it. We are not a model couple; we are simply a married couple consisting of two regular people. We screw up. We make mistakes. We get frustrated with each other. However, a relationship cannot move forward without conflict resolution and forgiveness. We do not forget each other's screw ups, for good reason. We have to learn from them and encourage each other to make better decisions in the future. But we cannot learn from them, if we never give the other a chance to learn from our mistakes and grow. We have to forgive each other for our mistakes. 
Selfie with the Bestie
At the end of the day, we still love each other, even after almost 3 years of barely being in the same bed. This is not for the meek. Long-distance marriages only survive if they are truly meant to. Each person has to be 110% committed, or it will fail. There are so many things in the world that will try to sway you away and break you apart. If 50% of regular marriages fail, I'm scared to look at numbers for our type of marriage. I'm just glad that it is almost over and that I will be living with my husband again, soon. I miss him each and every second of every day.

2 comments:

  1. Communication is definitely THE KEY!! We even went to a counselor to help us work out our communication issues because I am very thick headed and know it all and independent and he was probably thinking I was a crazy white lady in the beginning. We've definitely worked through our troubles and understand each other much better now. When he gets frustrated or impatient, I just ignore him now and give him space, lol.

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    1. I think that is how Hector thinks I am- the crazy white lady. I've started to give Hector his space, but it's hard because I like to be in control of the whole situation. I know that I'm the person with the communication problem though.

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