The Truth About Managing Long Distance Relationships During A Global Pandemic

Cue “Courage” by Lianne La Havas

Because that is what I needed as I boarded my return flight to DC after spending 1.5 months with my husband, Matt in San Diego. If you have been following my blog for the last two years, you know that we have been in a long distance marriage since the day we got married. We have survived graduate school, the military, and living on separate continents, but the Covid-19 shutdown has been the worst of it all. As I scrolled through numerous posts on IG about spending time with loved ones during the shutdown, I couldn’t help but feel sad and angry. Sad because I missed my husband and living alone was now starting to take its toll but angry because there were so many factors beyond my control preventing our reunion.

Matt was actually in DC with me when the world shutdown. We had planned a weekend getaway to NYC to celebrate my 30th birthday including tickets to see Hamilton and Good Morning America. To be honest we needed the quality time together. But as the world shutdown so did our trip and our time together ended. Matt went back to San Diego to continue his duties as an Officer in the USMC and I stayed in DC both mentally and physically lonely. I cried the hardest I had ever did before. I was extremely anxious about Matt’s health and safety. We knew so little about the virus. Plus his career puts him at a greater risk for catching Covid-19 as he is constantly surrounded by people. There was no “work from home” for Matt because he made an oath to serve and protect his country regardless of the circumstance. Something I am thankful and proud of everyday.

But as his wife and a scientist I was scared. I knew the odds were not in his favor. My sadness and fear were heavy and no matter what I did I could not shake the feeling. My anxiety was uncontrollable. It was so bad that my mom had to come stay with me to help me calm down. It is one thing to be in a LDR but it is totally different ballgame to be in one during a global pandemic with a partner who has a high-risk profession. So after a month apart, I boarded a very empty plane to San Diego to be with my husband. As soon as we were re-united my spirit was instantly calm and at ease.

Since the pandemic, I have spent a total of 2.5 months with Matt in San Diego. When people talk about the irresponsibility of traveling by air during the pandemic I just shake me head. People like me have no choice. It was either be miserable and stressed or be happy and at peace with Matt. To all the people currently in LDR’s and unable to physically be with their partner, I empathize with you. I understand the emotional roller coaster you’re on, the constant anxiety and worry of the unknown. I am praying for you. I wish I knew a magic remedy to overcome the emotions but there is not one. Nothing healed me until I was able to be with Matt in person.

From Aeriel, With Love

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