I am Officially in a Long Distance Marriage

This is the first time I am addressing a topic on my blog that I often try to avoid.

I don’t think I am in a position to advise people how to maintain a good marriage. I may have been married for 10 years, but sharing tips about how to maintain a good marriage is just too contrived for me. Besides, the rule of thumb for a blogger, don’t write about something that you don’t know much about.

I used to think that I wanted to keep that part of my life private from this blog, and have avoided discussing about my marriage in this space. But I think its time to break my silence about it.

I am officially in a long distance marriage, after sending hb to the airport this morning.

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Life from today consist of pretty much just Kyle and I, with my extended family. And communication with Daddy will be limited to Skpe, FaceTime and What’s App daily, with the occasional family time 2-3 days a month.


What transpired?

A few days before hb shared that he will be going to Philippines for an interview. I had a dream that confirmed that we will be separated for a season, I woke up from the dream in the wee hours of the night and sobbed. Amid the tears, I knew this was God’s way of preparing me for the changes ahead, and I said, “If this is your will God, I will accept it.”

A few days after when hb broke the news that a business associate called him up and asked him to go to Philippines for an interview, I vehemently disagreed and told him “No…you can’t leave the country to work and leave us, what will happen to our marriage?” He obviously didn’t have the answer to my question and went for ahead to travel to Philippines for the interview.

Fast forward a week later, he signed the offer letter and he quit his job in Singapore. He shared with me how the whole process had no hiccups. The offer was way above what he initially expected and most importantly, during his days leading up to the interview and after, he had numerous confirmation from God that this was the path that He wanted him to take.

With a dream confirming this ‘separation’ and more confirmations from his end, we both were able to decide together that going to Philippines for work was indeed God’s will for him.

Morever, since July 2013 last year, spending only the weekends together was ‘boot camp’ of sorts to prepare us for the real thing, to face the real challenge of having a long distance marriage.

Why didn’t we go with him? There are several reasons why K and I are not going with him, and don’t plan to in the long haul. Even if this overseas job stint may be for 2-3 years or more, we are planning to stick with the existing arrangements.

Sure, I got my fair share of advice from well-meaning friends and family. But we have come to a point that we are certain that this is God’s will for this season of change ahead of us. I have experienced enough to vouch that indeed, God’s thoughts and His ways are not the same as our ways (Isaiah 55:8)


Two Halves Making a Whole?

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In every marriage, a husband and a wife is often dependent on one another emotionally, that I believe the old adage about ‘Two halves making a whole’ is coined in perspective of that. So often people get into relationships or marriages hoping to find their ‘other half’.

With this same dependence on their spouse, in considering a long distance relationship, comes the insecurities of “What if he/she finds someone else?” or “What if after these few years, we realize that we don’t need one another.”

I think that it is not healthy to look outside yourself to find someone who can validate you, find worth or depend on emotionally. How strong can a marriage be when one party has differing expectations of the other, or the other person could feel ‘drained’ by the dependence?

Nonetheless, I do agree that it will be hard to maintain a long-distance marriage and have this lack of ‘father’s physical influence’ in my child’s life for a time.

Hug 1A kiss from daddy before K left for school

I admit that it has been hard making this change, for all 3 of us. Being the only one left to ‘hold the fort’ here in Singapore, I can choose to let this problem take me down, resent it and then feel sorry for myself, and then dwindle into a pit of self-pity.

And how would the world see me? “Oh it must be so hard to be apart from your hb, be prepared that things might happen” or “Oh your son so poor thing, don’t have his father with him” or the well meaning advise, “Watch him carefully, if he cheats on you, walk out on him…”

This change may have potential problems, but I see them as a perspective-lifters.

Besides, if ever hb decide to cheat. It’s between him and his personal accountability to God.


Perpective Lifters

I have come to realized that I don’t lead a conventional life.

What normal things that most receive easily, often I have had to sit back and watch as “others may, and you may not”. Some people will say that our lives are a consequence of the decisions that we make. I agree that consequence play a part but I think there is a bigger picture in it all.

Is there anything in our lives that God don’t know about? He already know what decisions we will make and have planned it all in the life story that He has written for us.

Lack is a good thing. I perceive this lack as a LADDER. A ladder to enable me to climb up and see my life from God’s perspective.

Why? Lack are opportunities to latch onto God for unashamed dependence. I have learnt that self-sufficiency is a myth perpetuated by pride and temporary success. Happy families, health, wealth, or even life can disappear overnight.

In case, you have an impression that I am a very strong individual. Trust me I am not, I often tell God that I can’t.

The only thing that I have learnt to be strong in, is the awareness of my inadequacy, which I believe is a rich blessing, that trains me to rely whole-heartedly on Him. I rejoice in this insufficiency, knowing that His power in my life is made perfect in weakness.

So life really have not ended for me, instead, life as I know it, has only just begun.

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This song really says it all for me;

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  1. You’re really strong, Rachel! My husband was only away for a week and I completely lost it days leading up to his departure. I’m rooting for you, just like how all the other mommies rooted for me. You can do it! Have faith in both yourself and your husband :)

    And to K, sad as you might be while daddy’s away at work, know that daddy is doing all this for you and mommy! Be a happy boy so that daddy can work well, knowing that you’re taking good care of yourself and mommy! 😀
    Mabel´s last blog post ..ZooMoo Asia

  2. Your line about personal accountability to God struck me–am still learning that it’s all we can really focus on, as opposed to worrying about the what ifs that are beyond our control. Wishing that you’ll be blessed with even more strength and faith as you move along this new path in parenthood and marriage.

  3. Admire ur decision and courage! Jiayou!

  4. There was a group of people in the room and God came in. He told everyone since all of them have been pouring their grievances to him, he made everyone put their problems in the middle of the room. He asked everyone to take a look at the problems and to chose a new one since they didn’t like their own. God walked away and came back, saw that everyone else took back their own problems.

    Rach, remb that he will never give us anything we cannot handle. He plans and gives us problems that makes us STRONGER. This is and is the only reason. Embrace what is to come because the journey will be beautiful and along the way you may even have that time smell the roses that you didn’t realized was there. Come what may …
    florinda´s last blog post ..My 1st post after migration

  5. I am full of admiration of your sensible thoughts and brave front to Kyle. You are a very supportive wife and a very strong woman.
    Christy´s last blog post ..Learn moral lessons at Haw Par Villa 虎豹別墅

  6. You are so brave. It is not going to be easy but it sounds like you are prepared for it. I pray God watches over your family, even when you are apart and multiply the joy during the few days a months you get to spend together.

  7. Hi dear. You & King has stood the test of time for the past 20 years. I am sure this little hurdle will further strengthen your relationship. Like you, I always like to look at the bright side. Absence makes thy heart grow fonder. King is a hood husband & a good father & a very grounded person. You guys can make it through smoothly! 加油 !

  8. Now you have good reason to plan for short getaways and visit all the beautiful islands in Philippine! My friend did that with her 2 boys when his husband was away for more than a year in Thailand. She seems to enjoy it. It’s not easy but you know there are many people rooting for you. Stay positive and enjoy the new beginning :)

  9. Reading this brought back so much memories! Hubby and I were also in a long distance relationship months after my elder girl’s birth…in China, no less! And there were no Skype or Whatsapp then….so it was a tough 1.5 year! We had to sing my firstborn’s 1st birthday song with him over the phone! But with strength, faith, trust and love, I am sure you and your hubby will emerge from it with even stronger understanding and love for each other. Hang in there! Frequent visits from both ends and daily emails and calls help a whole lot. :)
    Linette´s last blog post ..Colours Of Nature: Deserted Island