Speaking of which, I was in San Diego last weekend visiting McDreamy. For those just joining us, I have a boyfriend in the Navy. He goes where the Navy sends him, because they get all court-martially when people disobey orders, and they sent him to San Diego. Also, his ex-wife moved their children west after the divorce, so this puts him near his kids again, which is undeniably a good thing. Unfortunately, I live about 3,000 miles away from San Diego, and I can't move because of my ex husband wanting to be a real father to his children (maturity is SUCH a bitch). So, McDreamy and I are in a long-term long-distance relationship for the next ten years (when Tink finishes high school), unless circumstances change. It's not ideal, but we don't really have a choice, and oddly, it seems to be working.
Five years ago, I would never have predicted that I would be doing this. I was married with preschoolers and slowly losing my damn mind, but to an external observer, I'm sure I appeared to have a very solid setup. Believe me, I am so much happier now, with this weird, unconventional situation, than I ever was then.
I miss McDreamy very much, and this is not the way I would have chosen to arrange things, but there are some upsides to this situation.
- I get to visit San Diego regularly. I love San Diego. And also the opportunity to make frequent Anchorman references.
- We don't get bored with each other. Every time we get to see each other - about one weekend a month, with longer vacations in the summer - we have a wonderful time because we always re-discover what we love about being together, much of which entails being really goofy and somewhat off-color. Hence the Anchorman references.
- We keep short accounts with each other and work out disagreements productively and efficiently. Whereas in my first marriage, my ex and I never fought because he did what he wanted and I was passive-aggressive about it, this time around we don't ignore problems. At the same time, we don't waste energy on petty stuff, and we try to come up with a solution that will work for both of us.
- Technology makes it easy to keep in touch. We send each other sweet texts and e-mails and pictures or links to things we think are funny or interesting. I think that because we're not going to see each other at the end of the workday, we communicate a lot more frequently throughout the day than we otherwise would. I like feeling that we're present with each other even when we're not in the same city.
- We have our own friends and interests, and we have time and space to pursue them. I think a lot of married couples, especially moms, lose those parts of themselves when they have children.
- All of these things are teaching us skills that will, I believe, make us successful whenever we are able to be together more of the time.
If we were in our 20s or 30s, my outlook would be very different. Now, though, because we've both already hit the "adult" milestones of getting married and having kids, we're not under any pressure to do those things again. The beauty of stepping off the beaten path is the perspective it gives. We can simply do what works for us within the constraints we have. And this, for now, is working.
*These are real foods, not euphemisms for le sexytime. Though if your mind went there, good on you.