Ask AOW: If you love them, do you let them go?

Readers, today, we need you.

Laura wrote to us asking if she could ask for some advice from you wise lot,…and of course we’ve made a bit of a name for ourselves what with calling on our readers in emergencies, and of course Ask Anna and Ant. Laura wrote previously about the fear she feels at getting married and the response was, it’s fair to say, overwhelming. I can’t even begin to imagine how I would deal with the choice Laura outlines below, but I know what I’d tell her to do (advice is so much easier when it’s not you going through it). Laura’s choice raises issues around whether you should follow your dreams at the expense of your marriage, whether you can have it all, and the thorny issue of long-distance relationships.

I know you’ll all have a lot to say on this, so over to you, Laura. And thank you:

21 May 2012

Dear AOW readers,

What is the ideal marriage – is it no arguments, living together in harmony and loving each other unconditionally? Is it letting your partner grow, and accepting that you may not fit 100% into their plans? Is it having a family, protecting them and loving them? Is it all of these things?

How do you decide which of these aspects takes priority?

As you know, we are well into our wedding planning. Next week, the Mr leaves to work on the other side of the country and will be gone for about a year. Due to our own various commitments I cannot go with him and so we shall be packing up his things from our little flat and moving him out to his new place. What had been our home will become mine, and I shall be living on my own for the first time in my life, in a city which is not my home town and where many of my friends no longer live.

This will be our first attempt at a long distance relationship, a time which I am sure will only make our relationship stronger and the wedding will be a glorious celebration to not only mark our commitment to each other, but also to celebrate him coming home to me and moving back in.

This is not a year I am worried about – we both need time to grow and spread our wings, to work on our careers and to do those things which are necessary to keep ourselves challenged.

It is the year after which concerns me. Our first year of marriage which I hope includes a honeymoon, a new house and a new start with a new surname.

However, there is a possibility that he will change jobs just as we get married. Where I am longing to create a home together and start our first year of wedded bliss, he is keen to spread his wings further. If he takes this job, he will be overseas for about 8 months at a time, with no doubt that I absolutely cannot go and will have little to no contact with him.

We have reached the stage in our lives where there are cross-roads, just as everybody encounters. Our relationship is amazing and there is no doubt that I will marry him and love him for as long as I live, but we need to make a choice about our future and it is proving difficult.

Do I let him go and wait for him to come home to me for the next 12 years, potentially postponing having a family and creating our home together, or do I ask him to stay in a job which does not fulfil his dreams and leave him with the thoughts of what could have been?

I understand that on many levels marriage is a compromise, but how do you decide who must bear the guilt? He says he will feel bad for leaving his new wife in a town she doesn’t know on her own for months at a time, whereas I cannot even imagine how I could deal with preventing him from perusing his dreams.

I understand this is a very bizarre and somewhat cryptic post – but I am eagerly searching for the answers or even some guidance that I know the AOW readers may be able to help with.

Laura x

Categories: Ask Anna, Ant and AOW, Family, Friends and Relationships
43 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Anne
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    First off, disclaimer: this comment comes without knowing you in real life, so I’m not familiar with any more detail than is above or any of the nuances. That said, perhaps the question is about how willing he’d be to give up his dream: as willing as you? Relationships can be all about balance – and honesty. Making yourself the martyr just to prove how much you love him, if you see what I mean in the extreme, would not end well for you.

    To be even more provocative – in the hope that it helps crystalise your thoughts and give you an answer – but why is he marrying you if his dream for your first decade together is to spend it somewhere you can’t go with him?

    • Posted May 30, 2012 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      I think your first point kind of hits the nail on the head! I would never give up my dream for anybody, even him. And I wouldn’t dream of him to do the same for me. Yes, we are getting married and we love each other but that doesn’t mean we want the other to drop things for our benefit. Just the opposite I suppose, we would like the other to support us in following our dreams.


      • Anne
        Posted May 30, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        It feels like your dreams are verging on being mutually exclusive though… How is him living his dream supporting yours?

        • Posted May 30, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

          I disagree I’m afraid. He wants a good job he enjoys to a) support us financially and b) not come home to me in a bad mood after work everyday.

          • Anne
            Posted May 30, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

            Don’t worry – I am being purposefully provocative. In a way though, is that your answer then? :)

  2. Rebecca
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    This is a very difficult decision and I don’t envy you having to make it. Without knowing (understandably) the full ins and outs of the situation it is difficult to advise. You say he is moving to the other side of the country next week, and I wonder if this gives you the opportunity to see how you cope with being apart? Of course you will still be able to keep in touch when he is in the UK but you won’t see each other everyday in the same way.

    The success of situations like this depends very much on how you cope with being apart I think. Some couples I know cope with very few problems, for others (myself included) being apart for a long period would (and has) had a destructive impact on the relationship.

    Sometimes situations arise in relationships where it appears one person is “giving up” their dreams in support of the other partner. People I know who have done this certainly do not perceive it as giving something up though-rather they see it as contributing to their relationship.

    I hope you are both able to work through this and arrive at an outcome that will make both of you happy both in the short term and throughout your marriage.

    • Posted May 30, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      i love the point about contributing to the relationship. Even though he will be away a lot, the pay is amazing and he has said I can use it to create a family home for him to come home to and for us to enjoy when he leaves that particular job. Perhaps it is a sacrifice to benefit us both in the long term? something we both have to endure (not just me) so that we can love comfortably in the years to come. We will, after all, only be 35 when he leaves.


  3. Posted May 30, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Really good comments so far. It is an entirely personal problem that rests completely on how comfortable you both REALLY feel about it, what your motivations are, what your personalities are like, how your relationship is. All of this is impossible to gauge without knowing you personally, so I can only offer anecdotal advice.

    I know for a fact my husband and I don’t cope well for long periods without the other one – that’s just how we’re built. Three years ago, before we were married, I made a decision to stay with him when I could have gone elsewhere and pursued my dream. From a career point of view it was a big sacrifice, but I definitely made the right decision for us. The most important part of all is that I still don’t feel resentful about making that decision, because I knew in my gut at the time (and now) that it was the right one for us. Other people make long distance work, and they come back stronger, but I don’t think we would be together now if I had gone, we certainly wouldn’t be married.

    Listen to your heart but use your head too – think of the strengths and weaknesses in your relationship. Think how well you’ve coped with situations in the past, and the things you’ve argued about, the things you’ve agreed on. You don’t want anyone to feel abandoned, held back or resentful over this – whatever you decide, you need to be content that you’re equally on board.


    • Posted May 30, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      You are right Penny – this year or so apart (and getting married when we won’t be living together!) will tell me how I am going to handle his change in jobs. I like to think I am a strong, independant woman, yet I find myself a bit stir crazy when I’ve not spoken to anybody in a few days. We all need company. I’d like to think we have enough trust and love between us to deal with it and cope, but i have made him promise if he goes, he’ll buy me a puppy just to soften the initial blow a little!

  4. Steff
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Laura I really feel for you. When we were engaged we did 3 months apart while he moved to the far south to work so I have a bit of an idea of what you’re going through. It was always temporary for us though so I never had to face quite such difficult decisions.

    I, like you, was going to be living on my own for the first time. Responsible for everything and, aside for not eating quite as well as I should have due to a complete dislike for cooking, I flourished. By 1 month in friends were commenting on the change in me. I was more confident, more independent and had been given the chance to discover who I was outside of our relationship.

    All that being said, when it came down to the decisions to be made after the 3 months when he was offered a permanent job we said no. There was never any option of him living down there and me up here, or us both moving down there, it just wasn’t for us – for a variety of reasons. He gave up his dream job in favour of making a life with me in our home town. I never stood in his way though, if he’d wanted to do it I’d have supported him but ultimately his priority was me, our life together and our future family rather than his career.

    Always remember that what’s for you won’t go past you and that everything happens for a reason – they’re cliché’s for a reason. Ultimately you need to weigh up what all the options are together and work through them until they fit you. There are always options, even if a little compromise is required from both parties, think outside the box, speak to people who’ve done it.

    Just because it wouldn’t have worked for us doesn’t mean it won’t work for you, I’ve known plenty of army/navy/oil families where one partner is absent for long periods of time and while it’s obviously difficult at times they make it work out of a mutual respect for each others needs and wants.

    You never know, you might find you like having a bit of freedom while still being safe and cosy in your relationship like me. It makes having them with you at home all that more special and awesome.

    • Posted May 30, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      I’m looking forward to seeing if, like you, I change at all when he moves out on Tuesday. I’ve never liked being apart before but when it becomes a little more long term perhaps I’ll learn to enjoy the freedom (and the ENTIRE BED TO MYSELF!). Was it strange when he moved back in?

      ‘I’ve known plenty of army/navy/oil families where one partner is absent for long periods of time and while it’s obviously difficult at times they make it work out of a mutual respect for each others needs and wants. ‘

      In essence, this is us. I think perhaps I need to respect that this is his career and just as I have one and he has to cope with my cr*p, I’ll deal with his.


      • Steff
        Posted May 30, 2012 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        It was like he’d never been away, except that I ate full meals again instead of beans on toast :)

  5. Posted May 30, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    This is such a tricky situation to be in and I know from twitter how much it’s obviously upsetting you. I think the thing that makes it hardest is that these aren’t permanent moves where the two of you could move together, it’s medium term and sporadic which makes it limiting in opportunity. I’m sure you’ll get through it just fine, but I do think you need to have the ‘in 2 years time what are we going to be doing’ talk.

  6. Katy W
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    This is really hard and like the other commenters it’s difficult without knowing more about the situation etc, but I’m with Penny – personally I think that Mr W and I wouldn’t be able to be apart for long periods of time, so if I got offered a dream job that involved us being apart, it wouldn’t be my dream job (and I am pretty sure he thinks the same).

    However, I would say that Mr W and I met each other at the end of our twenties, when we’d already both got well established in our chosen careers, and had both spent quite a lot of time living alone in our own flats before we moved in together. Certainly from my point of view, once I had found Mr W I didn’t then want to spend years apart from him – but I had already spent my twenties concentrating on my career (not that I would ever describe it as my dream job!). This sounds quite different to your situation (am I reading it right that after the potential 12 year job you’ll both be 35?) and I do understand that for both of you, now is probably the time to make big exciting career jumps, rather than necessarily settling down straight away. The year apart that you have coming up will also be a good test of whether you feel you can both do this long term.

    What I am not quite sure about – is the only choice to stay in his current unfulfilling job OR take the other job that means being away 8 months a year for 12 years – is there nothing in between? It seems quite a stark choice for you both. I am also interested to know whether you knew this would be on the cards when you got together?

    Finally – living alone can be fantastic, I loved it – but yes I agree with Steff, you may find yourself eating beans on toast quite a bit more than you do at the moment!

    Good luck and I hope you can find a way through this that works for you both – now, and long term. Keep us posted!

    K x

    • Posted May 30, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Katy, yes we will be 36 actually with the correct maths when he finishes (i’m young, yes). It is a big and exciting career choice you are right. We are both at the point where these decisions have to be made and I know that for lots of people being married doesn’t mean being settled, and doesn’t mean you have to make a home and have babies straight away. There is lots of time to forge your own path.

      He can stay in his current job – he hates it – or take the new one which will involve a lot of time apart for no less than 12 years. As far as we have discussed there is no middle man. I hope one appears though – a nice compromise would be lovely!

      When we first got together he had been offered the job to go away, and he turned it down to try the job he does now first to see if a) he liked it and b) so that we could live together for a while longer. It was a bit of a hit and miss situation, I hoped he would stay in his current job and all would be rosy, but always knew that there was an option that if he didn’t like it he would go back to his first choice.

      I feel like I’ve made him miss an opportunity so much already it would be selfish to stop him pursuing it now?


      • Posted May 30, 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink

        Obviously I’d not read this properly as I’d not noticed the 12 years bit hence my comment was next to useless.

  7. Posted May 30, 2012 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    I missed the bit about 12 years – obviously wasn’t paying enough attention, sorry – so my earlier comment is next to useless. As long as you go in to it with your eyes open I still think you’ll be fine though.

  8. Posted May 30, 2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    First and foremost, you and only you (obviously together with your hubby) know what you are made of as a couple and if this situation can work for you. Don’t get put off by other people saying it wouldn’t work for them – we are all different and would cope differently! If you try to take on board what we all have to say on the matter you’ll drive yourself nuts and miss a lot of the fun stuff along the way.

    Yes it would be lovely if you could plan out the next few years and know what was going to happen, but sadly that isn’t life. Sometimes plans come together and all work out happily ever after, but more often than not they don’t. We all have to adapt and change in the face of what life throws at us. As I said to you earlier and I mean this 100% every single person is just trying to muddle their way through life and find out what works for them. Yes some of us are able to offer you our views with the benefit of experience and hindsight, but underneath all our very wise exteriors we too are just winging it! (I hope that isn’t just me…)

    If there’s a chance that this is going to work for you then go for it. Embrace it. Make it a time when you can find out more about yourself and what you want to do, while he does the same for himself. You’ll both be so much happier for it, and so grateful to have each other to come back to. It’s better than one of you (or both of you) being miserable and resentful, but together – at least from my point of view.

    And as you point out, you are so lucky to have found each other so young (I don’t mean that to sound patronising as you know I’m the same!). 35/36 is nothing. Some people haven’t even found their life partner before then, let alone be married, have life experiences under their belt and a family home that his job has allowed you to buy.

    Yes it’s different to your view of newlywed life and it will offer you challenges, but hopefully also lots of unexpected rewards.


    • Posted May 30, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      All of this. All of it. God Hollie you are amazing.

      36 Is nothing you are right. I don’t want children now or in the forseeable future so perhaps now is the time to do what we want to try, see how life treats us long distance, enjoy moving around with work, embrace being together weekends or the days when he isn’t away.

      I need to kick the ‘old married’ (not that anyoone on here is an old married!) out of my head and try and embrace the 23year old who still has everything ahead of her.

      *deep breath*


      • Posted May 30, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

        Amen to that. You can make marriage mean whatever you like – there’s no rule book that comes with the certificate. Make that your mantra! xx

  9. Kate
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    First off repeating what everyone else has said about it being down to the individual so it’s hard to comment properly.

    Me and my husband were long distance for the first 3 years of our relationship and it was great because we were both still so young so we had the chance to have our separate lives for a while before settling down – but I wouldn’t choose to do it again. However, T does work really long hours and sometimes for months on end I won’t see him for more than an hour whilst he’s awake which actually felt worse than when we were long distance.

    I wouldn’t apply for jobs that would mean us living apart and the same is true for T, I see our life as being together and that means – for us – living together but it works differently for everyone. I don’t see it as giving up on dreams, even though it does mean my career is slightly limited by not moving abroad like most of my peers, I just adjust my dreams – I think there’s more than one way to feel completely fulfilled by your job/life so I just find an alternative path.

    I suppose to decide you have to be really really honest with yourself about what you want in those 12 years, if it means delaying having a family until after that is that ok for you? Will you feel your life is “on hold” waiting for those 12 years to come to an end? What if the contract is extended? Is there any chance of getting out of it early if he wanted?

    If this was me…which it isn’t so this isn’t real advice…12 years is a very long time, with not much contact and little face-to-face time I would worry that instead of growing together we would end up different people and it could take time and be difficult to settle back into life together.

    This isn’t a negative comment though – it’s just a tough decision but I’m sure you’ll make the right one!

    • Posted May 30, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      At lot of these Qs I can’t answer I’m afraid! I don’t know if my life will be on hold – I hope not! The contract might be extended, but if it is we know he will based more where we will live so the travelling away would dramatically reduce.

      The last comment about growing apart is true – and it is a slight concern. But would this happen anyway? If it is going to happen I think it would happen anyway, and I wouldn’t want to spur it on through him upset he didn’t take the opportunity to follow his dreams.

      I just hope that the trust and love we have carry us through. :) x

  10. Vivienne
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    12 years is a long time for you to have to make the sacrifices you will for him to pursue his dream.

    You are young, and while children may not be on the radar whatsoever at the moment, there is nothing to say your mind won’t change in say 5 years time. Then you are bound for the next 7 years while all your friends start families until he returns until you can even begin to think about it. There is the possibility that it could cause you to feel a lot of resentment and bitterness towards him, even if initially you were on board with his plans.

    You say little to no contact – how long for? I couldn’t physically go for months on end not talking to my spouse, he is my other half and I would feel like a piece of me was lost unless I could speak to him regularly.

    And how will you feel being possibly alone for the majority of your marriage for the next 12 years….being the sole decision maker, having to deal with the day to day doldrum of life without anyone to come home to?

    If you feel you are strong enough to make it through, then go for it, if it’s going to make both of you happy. But it isn’t something I could do….no matter how much I would love to think I would be able to let my husband go and do his ‘thing’, I really couldn’t do it to this extent

    • Posted May 30, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      If I decide i want children in the next 5 years, then I’ll have to be a mum on my own for a while. The sensible person in me would understand that it would still be a possibility when he returns though and wait until then.

      Little to no contact as in, I can send a one-way message once every few weeks. Email and phone a possibility occasionally but unlikely.

      I think the guilt I would feel if I prevent him from going, would far outweigh the sadness I’d feel when I miss him.

      L x

  11. Cat
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    I agree with all the comments so far which have been great, My only comment would be around babies and starting a family.

    I’m 37, have personal experience of infertility and have watched more friends than I care to mention hold off (often for extremely good reasons) and really struggle to get pregnant. For some, and for me, age was an absolute factor. I agree 36 is young, but as I was told recently, in fertility terms it’s ancient. I know that sounds harsh but had I known now, the fertility problems that I and so many friends have encountered by putting off having children until our mid thirties, I would have absolutely prioritised starting a family in my 20′s.

    I guess my point is, are you happy to take a risk with your fertility? Because leaving starting a family until you’re 36 is definitely a risk, but you may decide it’s a risk worth taking and only you will know how strongly you feel about that.

    One other thought – and this is very personal – would you feel as though you would be putting your life on hold for the next 12 years or would you feel that you would be living your own life and pursuing your own dreams in tandem with your husbands? It was your comment about ‘waiting for him to come to me’ that made me wonder this. 12 years is a long time and none of us know what’s around the corner.

    I hope that I haven’t come across too negatively – I wanted to give food for thought more than anything else. Good luck! xx

    • Posted May 30, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Cat – truth is I can’t really talk about fertility and babies. I believe at the moment that I don’t want children until I am at least 30. I understand this might make conceiving difficult but I can not even consider children currently. It is not something i want, and I especially don’t want to do it alone if I change my mind. I will wait, and then take the outcome as it comes.

      As for my dreams you are right – if he is off doing his thing, I need to make sure I am following my own. I need to take the freedom and opportunity while I can and do my thing! I don’t know what that is at the moment but by the time he goes away I will be at the point where it will be clearer to me.

      Food for thought indeed x

      • Posted May 30, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

        I always believe in doing what’s right for you right now. You can assess the risks and benefits of a situation that you know, but you can’t predict what might happen in the future so I’d try not to worry about the ifs and maybes.

        • Posted May 30, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

          This is true Amy. Ifs and Buts I think might just cause my head to explode?! x

  12. Posted May 30, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Also, just quickly (I know I’ve said my bit already!)… I think we all need to remember that this is a difficult choice for both of you. It’s easy to think that because it’s his dream that he’s following that it must have been a simple decision for him.

    But I for one, can’t imagine how painful it must have been for him to have to tell you (and make the decision that he wants to follow it through). Also there isn’t a chance in hell that he isn’t going to miss you as much as you’ll miss him! In some ways there will be times when it is easier for you actually – surrounded by your friends and family in the comfort of your home with lots of people to support you and empathise with you. Lots of people will view him as the ‘bad guy’ in the situation and perhaps will get less support as a result (from people more widely, not you obviously).

    Relationships are complicated and nobody outside of them can ever understand exactly how they work or what makes you both tick. So long as you are both true to yourselves and to each other, you can’t really do much more xx

    • Posted May 30, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      And high-kicking, pom-pom waving, splits-pulling Hollie gives forever positive advice :D x

  13. Bella
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I have kept most of my comments to Laura personal, but one thing I will quickly say is I hope and pray that as my own relationship develops, flourishes and changes my husband and I always have the faith, bravery and sheer balls to be honest about what our dreams are and have the strength of character to admit they might not always be easy and perfectly aligned. That’s what is so important in a marriage, surely.

    • Bella
      Posted May 30, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      By personal I mean private…

  14. Cat
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Laura, you’re obviously putting so much thought in to this that I’ve no doubt you’ll make the right decision for you. Fortune favours the brave! x

  15. Emily
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Excellent advice so far. Another perspective though: I am a Forces wife (I suspect maybe a different Force??) so this will effectively be my life too, though the absences will be more like 6/7 months and hopefully only once every few years, if that.

    I also kept my job (higher earning, pretty much no chance of finding anything where he is currently based and with the prospect of being moved to another area of the country in 6 months anyway) so weekly commute with one day working from home, which is what we’ve done ever since we met. However for us the weekly commute will be a short rather than long term solution.

    I get very sad every weekend, I dread him going abroad, and I miss him terrribly when we’re apart – it isn’t easy. But I’m 32 and lived on my own for 10 years, some of that abroad, so have a strong network of friends and a very close family and am pretty self sufficient. We plan to start a family (if we can) while he is in the same job, and if he is away I will hopefully cope! So I don’t think you need to put your life on hold for 12 years, as long as you accept that you will have to do some things on your own. I would try to make new /keep up with your existing friends so you have support and also a fun time while you’re on your own so you aren’t just waiting for him to come back.

    I think it won’t be easy, but if you go into it with a positive attitude, communicate as much as you can (even if one way) so he knows what you are up to at home and that you are as happy as you can be, and love and trust each other, you have the best chance of making it work. Really good luck!

    • Posted May 30, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      That is good advice Emily, thank you. It is nice to hear it from someone who is in a similar situation and how it works for them, rather from a hypothical point of view :)


      • Emily
        Posted May 30, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

        Just to clarify – we have only been together for 3 years and married for less than 2 months, not 10 years…! xxx

  16. Frances
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    I think, like many others have said, that as long as you are both going into this with your eyes wide open then you will make a decision that is right for you. To me, twelve years seems like a very long time, but you are both young and should embrace the adventures that this is going to bring.

    Having been seconded abroad for work recently, I also second the point made above that this is possibly going to be even more difficult for him than you. Work colleagues, however lovely they are, are not the same as being surrounded by friends and family. The positives to being apart though are that hopefully you will enjoy your time together even more – I know we did. Good luck!

  17. Posted May 30, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Only just had a chance to sit down and reply properly to this, ultimately I think that it is between the two of you. I don’t know if I could consider what you’re considering, a lot of people above have said that they couldn’t be parted from their spouse for that length of time, and at first I thought “I totally agree, I could not live so far apart and separated from my partner”. However, I’m not sure that’s true. I think, if it came to it, I’d rather have 12 years spent apart from him followed by a lifetime *with* him. In short, I’m not sure I could manage that separation, the thought of it makes me think it would be impossible, but I know for a fact I’d rather have any part of him than none at all, and that I would manage it if I had to.

    With that in mind, if this is what will make him happy, and it is the only thing for him at the moment, then I think you will be surprised at the strength of your own resilience. I think it will be godawful at times, truly testing for both of you, but if you’re both prepared to fight then there’s no reason you can’t make it.

    My only remaining doubt is this, in the past 12 years I have changed immensely. In the past 6 years I have, even in the past 2 years. My main worry, if it was me in this situation, would be how the two of you can change and grow together, not apart, when you are so distant. But again, I think you just both have to go in, eyes wide open, determined to make it work. To grow together as much as possible and to accept changes in each other as they come.

    I truly hope you make this work Laura, I think you’re phenomenally brave and in love to be doing this.

    K x

    • Posted May 30, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      Thats a lovely comment, thank you. Consider my eyes so wide open I look like a bush baby on a sugar rush.

      If you had asked me before I met him whether I would do this I would have been all ‘hell no!’, but I think, as you have said, people change and I have definitely changed to a more accepting and liberal person. i hope it stays that way!

      :) x

  18. Liz
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Having thought about this, I don’t think it something I would personally want for my relationship however I know that it can work for others. My cousin was a submariner for the first 5 years of his marriage, during this time he and his wife had 2 lovely children. So it is totally possible to not put things on hold whilst all this time is passing. Albeit it means the person at home having to rely on increased support from friends and family, and the person away accepting that there will naturally be things that they will have to miss out on, including family events and just being there to physically support the other when time are tough.
    I think if you and your husband want the ‘dream’ enough, then you can totally make it happen but have to accept (as it seems you are already well aware) that there will things which you will have to sacrifice.

  19. Emma
    Posted May 31, 2012 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Dearest Laura,

    There have been many great perspectives already shared, but I would like to add one suggestion that might lighten the burden of your decision…

    If he is living so far away from you for so many months a year and for probably more than a decade, I’d say the fair compromise is YOUR choosing the city/house you live in while you miss him.

    I can say after 8 years of long distance love that what makes it the hardest is being miserable where each of you are and not actually the fact that you are apart to begin with. Does that make sense? Example: when I was in Paris and he was in Toronto, we coped very well. When I was in Washington and he was in Ireland I coped hardly at all! The key to handling long distance is being able to enjoy YOUR time and YOUR life….after all, you are who you spend all your time with :)

    A happy wife will have happy things to share with a happy husband, right? Make yourself happy darling!

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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