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Living Apart for Year 1

This could be seen as a bit of a vent, and I'll try to be short.

I'm a grad student in clinical psych, and we have to do an internship our final year before we graduate.  The process to obtain an internship is awful, long, and crazy-competitive. In order to try and get one, I applied all over the country.  

Eventually (and I'm cutting out tons of heartache and stress), I did get an internship that is in Los Angeles.   We live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I do not like LA and have 0 plans to make the relocation any longer than the required 12 months.  So, while it would be theoretically possible for FI to move with me (he works for a large, national airline), we have decided that he will stay in the Bay and I will go to LA, since it's definitely the best move for his career given that the move wouldn't be permanent.

We get married May 21st.
I start this internship on July 5th.
I'm there until next June.

Having the benefits of free standby flights because of FI's job is great...but we still will be living apart for a year, and FI doesn't have Sat-Sun weekends because of the job, so it isn't even like we would have two full days together each week or whatever.

We've been together for 4 1/2 years and living together for 3 1/2, so this will be a BIG change for us.
We know we'll work it out, but it just makes me sad.

Re: Living Apart for Year 1

  • This sucks!  I'm sorry that you're going through this, but I respect the fact that you are both keeping your careers a priority.  Personally, I'm not strong enough to go through something like that, so kudos to you and your FI :)

    Just a little encouragement, though:  My cousin and his wife lived apart for almost a year due to career reasons as well.  He got a job in Delaware and she was still living in Upstate New York.  I know it was very difficult for them, but we all said that if they could make it through that, then they could make it through anything.

    And they did.
    She just gave birth to their second child today :)
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  • If we were in your situation that "theoretical possibility" would be investigated from every possible angle.....if there's a way to be together (and have jobs) take it! Careers are important, but this marriage is something you're investing in for your entire life - long after you've left that job, changed careers, or retired. If distance is really the only way for it to work then I hope you navigate that successfully, but I would only be able to accept that after exhausting all ideas for ways to stay together...
  • That is definitely a bummer!

    Like jeferlenda I will relate a story of one of my best friends in med school who has been married for 5 years and because her husband is a marine helicopter pilot who had to do special training throughout the country (and then deploy) they have lived under the same roof for about 1 year TOTAL. There was a point where she was in school in MD and her hubs in CA during her 3rd year of med school where we have 80-100hr long weeks + studying + applying to residencies...(I was amazed!!!!)

    But, they are very happy considering and have a VERY strong marriage.  As you prepare to graduate from medical school you have to go through "the match" which is heinous, expensive (most spend [err, borrow] 3,000-7,000+ to apply) then have to rank their top programs while the programs rank them and they are theoretically "matched" together.

    Fortunately she got UNC and her hubby got a base reassignment to LeJune so they are w/in 2 hours of each other.

    The moral or point is that they both supported each other in the pursuit of their careers and the difficulties both pose. They have made sacrifices and while it may seem that their marriage was one of them it wasn't and they have really grown through all this. Of course they want and are working to a better situation and it looks like hubs may get ouf of the Marines to go to law school but hopefully this serves as an example :-)

    (wow, sorry so long)
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  • I'm so sorry. :( I can't even imagine. But props to you for being an adult, knowing what's best for you and your FI's careers and doing it even though it means pain and heartache.
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  • Thanks for the support, all!

    We know that this is the best choice in the long term, so it should be worth it in the end.  I keep telling myself: "what's one year in a lifetime?"
    We'll be able to fly back and forth easily, but it will still mean not going to bed with him every night.

    @TriSaratops: our process for getting internships is also a very expensive match, and the associations (for MDs and psych) use the same matching service to do it; it's very frustrating.

    Anyway, thanks again, so much!
  • I can feel for you.  Our wedding is May 14 this year.  On October 1, I get stationed in Norfolk (700 miles away) while FI stays here to finish his masters in December 2012. We'll be apart for 14 months, and I'm really just hoping I get deployed to keep my mind off of it. 
  • I have one main piece of advice: use Skype.

    I spent a year studying in Italy, while FI was still in California doing his last year of college. While we weren't engaged at that point, our relationship had already started moving that direction. Skype really helped us. We would set up regular times to video chat and share the news of the week. Granted, with the 9 or 8 hour time difference (if it was DST or not) we had to plan a lot more in order to talk. And with international phone rates, we didn't just pick up the phone to call one another, a fact that sometimes really saddened me. But even with the ability to talk on the phone, there is something about video chat that just helps close that distance gap a little more.

    Yeah, it will still suck. It will be hard. Long distance takes work to keep the magic alive. But in a year, you'll be back living together, so just remember that when it gets tough. You can do it!
  • I agree with the PPs! As of today, my fiance and I have been together for 4 years and 6 months. Of those 4 years and 6 months, we have spent somewhere around 2 years and 6 months apart because I chose to go to college in Maryland and he remained in California. I was terrified for long distance, but I knew we could do it. Of course, being married is different - but I think you'll have so much more confidence once you get through it! I know I have so much faith in the strength of my relationship with him because of all the time apart we've gotten through.

    Best of luck!
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_students_living-apart-year-1?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:684Discussion:61f9b263-df27-482e-a66d-d98fb1848cc2Post:845f97a6-9b38-4e88-ab34-cde671aa90c1">Re: Living Apart for Year 1</a>:
    [QUOTE]I have one main piece of advice: use Skype.
    Posted by Bonzo2011[/QUOTE]

    Definitely will be doing that!  We love Skype already for keeping in contact with family members all over the country.

    Thanks for all the support and suggestions!!
  • Long distance is a hard thing to do.  I have 93 days left of my year long LDR and it has certainly been challenging.  My BF and I were living together before he moved 750 miles away and it was so hard getting used to having an empty bed (especially in the winter).  It is definitely a strength builder in a relationship.  I wish I could say that the year goes by fast, but as long as you keep yourself busy and skype with each other it won't seem too bad.
  • Thanks, amsybot.  I'm hoping that it will go pretty quickly - I should be super-busy with my internship and we're fortunate to be able to fly to one another very easily.

    Congrats to you for getting through it (well, you're almost there, and that counts for a lot!!)!
  • I literally did this exact same thing! except no benefit for the plane tickets! But I would really take advantage of that!! Even if just for half a day!! Surprises mean the most and make it all worth it when you see his face! Thank gosh... My year away from my fiance is ending this Thursday... and I will tell you it was hard as hell and I lived off of Skype. We got to points where we hated cell phones so much that we were getting mad at each other for no reason. But as  long as we kept communicating while we were upset.... and figuring out it wasn't at each other, we were just sick of going from  living together- seeing each other everyday to not at all. Just make sure you keep him updated in your life so neither of you feel that you are living two separate lives. Do letters, skype video. mail, surprise packages... it will be worth it :) Good luck!!
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  • It sucks.  Sometimes more than others.  BUT it will go faster than you think it will. 

    After being in a long distance engagement for the last 2 yrs I am so ready for it to end, but looking back it flew by.  Some weeks much faster than others, but it will work!

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