I am in a new-ish relationship with a submariner (five months this month). Unique from his other naval counterparts, his work aboard subs means that he can only communicate very occasionally (he’s on a mission right now and I haven’t heard from him since March 3rd, and don’t know when I’ll hear from him next). When he gets back in May, we’ll only have about 5 days together before I have to leave for a 2 and a half month long contract out of state. We live 3 hours away from each other, otherwise, heavily rely on skype for our day-to-day communications, and have managed to see each other on most weekends since we started our relationship (excluding his deployment time).
To stave off the loneliness during his deployment, he and I both have journals in which we are writing to each other while we can’t be together. We’ll swap when we see each other next. This helps to a point, but mostly I’m losing my mind. He is the only one I want to talk to at the end of the day, and I can’t reach him. In addition, I am in a high-stress, mostly unpredictable, artistic field that will eventually demand that I be flexible enough to travel on a regular basis. So, if he and I manage to stick together, I will be putting him through a similar situation of not being around- the difference being that I’ll be able to communicate.
At first, I saw his away time as a brilliant opportunity to focus on what I’m up to, deal with the productions I’m committed to, work in the other freelance business that I run, but I miss him so terribly that it is a distraction. I can’t unwind with him at the end of the day, or ask him for his marvelous advice about how I should handle some of the things I’m dealing with. I feel abandoned, even though, intellectually, I understand that I have not been. And I can feel myself starting to separate myself from him, an understandable defense mechanism. I suspect that were our relationship more long-standing, this Might be easier, but I just don’t know. And I can only fill my time with so many things to both distract and take care of myself (which, believe me, I do).
So, my question is multifaceted. Firstly, does anyone have any suggestions as to what else I might do to deal with the intense sadness that I live with on a daily basis because I can’t talk to my partner-in-crime (and does anyone have any insight as to whether or not this gets easier?)? Secondly, I’m a really strong person and am patient to a fault, but, realistically, I can only take so much- at what point do I declare this unworkable? Should I hang in for as long as I can, maybe wait through his next mission to see if we can come up with another creative solution to handle his time away? Really, how do you deal with the absence of your significant other without feeling abandoned?
I am not one to let my life be dictated by my circumstances. I care about him a great deal, and he treats me the way I have always wanted to be treated in a relationship (such a rare gift). With both of our jobs requiring travel, sometimes at the drop of a hat, I’m not sure it can work, but I really really want it to. Help?