I’ve been married 10 plus years, so you would think by now that I’ve got my husband figured out. We’re both military and have endured many separations for long periods of time, months…a year…the list goes on. He’s been gone three months and we have three more to go. He tells me he loves me everyday on Skype but I am still lonely and missing him.
I asked him to talk to me more about wanting to do things with me…you know, sexually. (Even if we can’t I still think about it and need to know he still wants to; otherwise what am I waiting for?) I have tried to tell him I need him to flirt with me OR just talk about what we’re going to do when we’re together again. I even sent him a list of things he could do to put me at ease and make me feel more secure about our separation (i.e. Text me dirty messages or something) I’m not asking him to have cyber sex; I just need to be reassured I’m still the one.
I don’t believe in cheating and feel like we have a solid relationship but it seems the more I try to tell him how I feel, and what I need, the less I get. He’s not in a combat zone and has his own room in a physical building this time, so it’s not like he would be embarrassed by the guys if he sweet talks me. I just dont understand; I’m not a sex addict; I think we had a good sex life before he left —probably average for couples who have been married this long—but I feel like I don’t know how much longer I can hold on without resorting to putting up my wall. (Which I’ve done and actually seems to draw him to want to be closer to me but makes me miserable.)
I won’t cheat—I’m not a cheater— and he is a good man who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but I find myself depressed which I don’t understand because after all these years you would think I’ve gotten used to this. I am in such a funk I don’t know what to do or how to get myself to snap out of it. Should I just accept what he can give me while he’s away? I just don’t know if I’m going to be able to make it 3 more months at the rate were going.
I stay very busy at work and make sure I don’t put myself in any positions that could compromise my vulnerability and only hang out with female spouses who share the same committment as I do, but lately I find myself fantisizing about other people. (Not anyone in particular, just someone who tells me he wants to rub his fingers through my hair or how nice it would be to make love until the sun comes up – when at my age 45, that’s stretching it.) I’m not going through menopause or a midlife crisis—already been there/done that—and I’m confused as to whether he is just bored with our relationship OR is in love with someone else…I know he loves me but I don’t feel like he’s in love with me anymore. I would appreciate any help you can give to help this separation come to a happy ending.
Thanks for your question.
You almost talk about your husband as if you don’t know him that well, as if you have to play some game to get him to notice you. Why is that? You talk about putting up your wall, but that seems kind of rash. (Unless you suspect him of cheating. Do you? Has he given you a reason to wonder?) From our perspective he seems like he’s pretty good at communicating. He seems committed to you; he tells you he loves you everyday; he makes an effort. Maybe you’re not feeling the spark right at this moment, but that’s the way it is with long term relationships. The spark ebbs and flows. And distance tends to amplify every issue that comes up. If he were home, you may not even be thinking about this; but the fact that he’s away makes this seem like it’s a colossal problem. We don’t see it that way.
Has he ever been the kind of guy who feels comfortable getting intimate via phone, Skype, email, text? A lot of people aren’t. He sounds like one of those people. So why are you putting so much pressure on him to be a certain way? What’s really going on here April? Are you starting to question the foundation of your marriage? And what do you mean when you say you don’t know if you can make it 3 more months at the rate you’re going? We’re confused about that. What do you plan on doing?
Fantasies are normal. They are not necessarily a sign that something is wrong with your relationship. In fact, people who let themselves enjoy their fantasies, often have healthier and happier primary relationships. It’s about acceptance. Accept the fact that this is going on for you and relax about it. No, we’re not saying cheat. Turning fantasies into reality is a whole other ballgame. We’re not suggesting that in the least. We are suggesting that you need to try and accept how you feel right now, and not focus on what it means, but understand it’s part of a continuum. And that you’re in a dip right now understandably. (Your husband is away and you miss him, the intimacy, the sex, everything that comes with loving someone.) But also understand that in a few months you’re likely to be back in the flow, and then happier and more balanced.
In the meantime, snap out of it. If you really have issues to work through, you’ll work through them when your husband returns. For now, let yourself feel how you need to feel, but don’t give it greater meaning that what it is.
Please keep us posted on how you’re doing. And feel free to ask as many follow-up questions as you’d like. We’d also love to hear your responses to some of our questions, so we can offer some more feedback.
All the best,
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