Struggling with Distance

Charleston Wedding Reception
I’ve been debating sharing this post for a bit now. Everyone has their own opinion of what to share {or not to share} online. What’s too personal? What’s not personal enough? Ugh, to be honest it can be a bit overwhelming if you dwell on it all. I felt compelled to share some thoughts with y’all today, partly as a way to hopefully encourage a few of you, that you’re not alone in your struggles and it’s ok to talk about the not-so-perfect times in life. Secondly, it’s therapeutic for me to put thoughts on paper – something I don’t do often enough these days. And lastly, to shed some light on why I’m back in South Florida for a bit and why you haven’t seen or heard me talk about the hubs much lately!

In all transparency, the last few months have been well…tough. Without getting into specifics, life just hasn’t been going the way we {Sterling + I} expected recently. It’s really just felt like one blow after the next, on multiple fronts. And I know that’s just life sometimes, and I know this too shall pass, and I know God has a plan for us, but sometimes all the logic in the world doesn’t make it any easier to deal with what’s right in front of you. Especially when you’re going on 6+ months of the same old same old. I’m human, and sometimes I let my emotions get the best of me. I’m sure some of you ladies can relate to the emotional rollercoaster from time to time. Those nights where you go from high to low in .2 seconds?? You know what I’m talking about. Haha.

I’m struggling not because Sterling and I aren’t doing well in our marriage per say, but because we’ve been apart SO much lately. I’m talking we’ve barely seen each other for a week each month {a couple days sprinkled here + there} for the last 3-4 months of so. I know there are thousands of couples that have long distance relationships, it’s just not something we’ve ever had to do, nor is it something we signed up for. So yeah, it’s been tough. I’m in a new city, where I don’t feel fully established just yet – I’m taking care of Parker, trying to get the new house in order {contractors, furniture delivery, you name it}, I don’t have a core group of friends, or a crazy built-in support system. I’m getting there, but building relationships takes time, and I don’t have my best friend by my side to help conquer with me! Meanwhile, he’s basically stuck in South Florida dealing with work, feeling unsupported and frustrated he’s not able to be home more.

We had this idea that moving to Charleston was going to be a fresh start. A change of scenery. A new chapter. Something we had been looking forward to for years. Yet, just as the plan seemingly became reality, Sterling was pulled back to obligations in Florida. A place neither of us enjoy much, and honestly a place that feels suffocating and a bit toxic – hence the move. We knew it would be challenging, and there would definitely be lots of things to figure out along the way, but I don’t think either of us thought it would be this difficult. It feels like the rug had been ripped out from under us, and we’re just struggling to find our footing again.

With all the separation, we decided it would be best for me to come to South Florida for a bit. Sterling’s work needs him here for now, and I want to be supportive of that. So here I am…sitting on the couch in our little South Florida apartment. Missing our Charleston home so much, but so happy I’m back with my best friend for several consecutive WEEKS! Weeks on weeks on weeks, people! And it feels so good.

I still don’t know exactly where we go from here. The goal is of course to get us both back to Charleston more full-time, but that’ll take time. It’s a journey we’re trying to navigate day by day, but at least being physically¬†together and able to support one another on a day to day basis is helping us both feel a bit more stable again. The commuting back and forth between states may just be a more regular thing then we anticipated.

Charleston Wedding Reception

I’m sharing this with y’all, not looking for pity, but because life isn’t always perfect and I think it’s ok to admit that, and to support one other through it. In a world FULL of styled instagram posts, and picture perfect snaps {which I do love}, sometimes it seems like everyone is living their best life and no one struggles. I hope sharing my story can bring some comfort that you’re not the only one if you’re going through something tough as well. I’m FAR from perfect, but we’re all doing the best we can over here.

If any of you are in long distance or commuter-style marriages/relationships, I would LOVE to hear any thoughts/recommendations on how you make it easier for you both! How did you establish a healthy back and forth schedule, how do you continue to support one another from afar?

photos by Mary-Claire Photography

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    Comments

    Leyanis

    I am so happy to see someone post about tHis. I defenitely understand. I am currently commuting between atlanta and miami, while my husband works in atlanta. When im up in atlanta i feel like im missing out on All my family and frienda in miami, but when im in miami i desperately want to be back with my husband. Its an impossible situation. Best advice i can give you is try to stick together no matter what. It will all work itself out in the long run.

    cecilia

    I’m always thankful whenever i read posts like these, you are so right, instagram or other social media makes leads us to believe everyone else has their life together and when you are going through a rough time like this it can be super frustrating and DISCOURAGING. I myself can relate to what you are going through, having started our relationship while living in diferente states was DEFINITELY challenging but once everything settled it turned out perfectly. I read once “if you can conquer the distance, you can conquer it all” and this really gave me another perspective and gave me so much strength when things got rough. Hope you are enjoying your weeks together!!!

    Em

    It definitely is tough. Me and hubby had to dO the long distance for almost 10 months and it was the hardest thing i ever Had to do. Constantly communicating and having long skype sessions (i git to hate skype because if that – too much of it) helped. You just have to look at things being temporary, that there is a finish line to the separation and take it day by day. You and your live is strOnger than distance! Hang in there. I was a mess myself but boy, fid we learn to appreciate each other and ouR relationship after It all! Stay strong!

    Sarah h.

    HEy kristin! I haven’t done long-diStance but i know if ryan is even gone for 48 hours, i am strugGling. Thank you for opening up to us. I think You’re making an incredibly wise deCision to dedicate a long strEtch of time to be with steRling in person, especially with the unpredictabIlity each day brings. You’re Doing a great deed for your marriage. All our loVe!

    Liz

    There is nO real answer to long distance relationship. All you have is love anD trust that it will all work out the way you envisiOn it to.

    Im 35 and from 15-32 my husband and I had a long distance. We were both MILITARY and later in life he was a contractor overseas and i was still in the militAry. We went from 4-11 months without seeinG each other. For Few years we didnt see each other no more than 30 days out of the year. But ill tell you what we both believed, understood, ans whole heartily believe in the good we were doing. Appreciating life.. having life, being able to breathe and see our loved ones safe was all we needed for our love and marriage to survive it all. We buried one too many friends. thEy did not have the chance to make it as far as we have anD for thAt reason we try to live life thanking our lucky stars for having each other to love anD to hold.
    I hope your long distance relatiOnship is shoRt live and you resume to all that makes you two happy. If you have health, life, and each other all is possible.

    Molly carey

    LOve your post! I have been dealing w a long distance relationship for almost a year and a half. It started as distance so perhaps that’s a little easier tHan your situtation, but i can totally reLate. MY boyfriend lives in atlanta and i’m in south Fl. I have always despised s fl and wanted to move to atl long before i met my bf. We both got divorced and have kids, he works in s fl a few days out of the month, and we have gone through oir share of ups and downs. What has helped me is to focUs on “this is temporary” and really making the time we spend toGether meaningful and fun. We spend a lot of time on facetime haha! We talk about our dreams and goals for the future…i think that keeps me from losing my kind at times. The haRdest part for me is feeling liKe our families are Divided….sometimes we don’t get to spend holidays together, etc. but the times we do i cheRish and keep reminding myself, it’s only temporary. The decision to move to charleston was an amazing one and I feel the same things you do about s fl (i have been here 14 years). Keep your head up and kee visualizing your life in charleston together, and everything will start Falling inTo place! Good luck girl! XO

    @kristinclarkfsu