Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Dealing with the Distance

What I always found a challenge with my marine was the distance apart.  In distance, I not only mean physical distance when he is deployed somewhere in a far off country or place, but also physically when he is up close.  My marine does not show alot of PDA and he is not affectionate. 
Some of my friends happen to have partners that are more accessible. They have regular jobs and are available to spend alot of time with them.  In my past relationships I was able to enjoy alot of face time with my partner.  Granted,my partner was an beta male and didnt work half the time.  This is why he was available to hang out with me.  My best advisor, good old mom, told me once ( about my marine) " you want a man who is accomplished you need to understand that he will be buzy at work and doing his things so he wont have alot of time with you... but if you want the other kind of man, a lazy one... he will have plenty of time.. and you dont want that right?"  Although she imparted very wise wisdom, I still had a hard time with his being away from me.
Somewhere along the line, I felt he was an avoider and I questioned why I would want to persue someone who doesnt have or make time for me.  I pursued nonetheless,and someone told me "you seek closeness with this man who is unavailable because you seek the relationship you never had with your father".  Those words resonated in me.  I gave alot of thought to the question ' why wait and whine and pine over this one... that's right, I never knew my dad, I never had a relationship with him'.
My dad was not a military man,though he served a few years in his younger years in the military, as was customary for people in his country.  Growing up, there were too many kids competing for Dad's attention.  Dad spent most of his time at work, at school, at a part time weekend job, in ministry and the remaining time, from what I remembered was that he slept.  I remembered growing up thinking that my dad didnt make time for me.  He didnt attend my school events, my recognition ceremonies.  He didnt even attend my graduation from high school or college. He was buzy working.  At the time, I thought he was insensitive and inconsiderate. Now I see that he was showing his love for me by working to provide for me.  Poor guy had a low paying job and so many mouths to feed. When he was done working, he would work some more and learn some more.  He would get home so tired and frustrated he would bark orders at us then go to sleep.  I see that now, but at the time,when I was little, I thought 'Gosh, Dad is home... better make sure we arent breaking the rules... he will spank us!... eeek! no hugs and kisses, just do this, do that!' So it makes sense that growing up, I pursue a man who doesnt show alot of affection.  It makes sense that I am needy.  I never thought that I felt the love of my father, that he was proud of me or that he cared for me much.  I never knew him.  
Now as I am older and spent the past few years reflecting on my past hurts and why I am the way I am, I also learned that my dad did love me.  He worked and worked to provide for me.  He was protective over me which resulted in his strictness. He was tired from the day and didnt have much flowery words to give me. He wasjust tired. 
Similarily, my marine,pre-deployment was very buzy with his training and checklists and assessments.  His days were filled with stress.  He didnt have a regular job where if he overlooked something or did it half assed a widgett would be made wrong or shipped to the wrong place.  No, if he did something wrong, someone could lose their life. After a long day,he doesnt have time or energy for a lot of fluff and flowery things, let along to tend to my neediness. I understand where he is coming from and I needed to be sure that I got my love from elsewhere, friends and family, so that there is not such a burden on him to fullfill every need I had.  Now, when I talk about love here,it is not sexual. Its love as in, attention, time,things, and acts of service. 
It helped that I reconciled my feelings about my dad so that I can continue to love my marine without resentment. 
In my last bout of lonliness and longing for my person ( my marine), I told him about how I felt.  He assured me that now that he is transitioning out of service, things will get better.  I also told my mom that I really like this man and that sometimes I feel alone.  My mom said " even though there is a distance apart, the love we have for others and the love they have for us, its still there..." Then she confirmed the feelings I had in Faith about knowing that despite my fears of the future, God is with me.
Since my talk with my marine, he is making efforts to connect with me more.  He lives far from me and he is buzy with work and school now,but he is making efforts to talk more and see me more and to be part of my life. This relationship with him is teaching me alot about, Faith, patience,understanding, sharing my heart, and communicating my needs.  I love it!

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