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Managing an LDR

September 6, 2009

LDR – Long Distance Relationship; an acronym that isn’t in the military dictionary…but should be!

So sometimes I have to remind myself that I fit into this category. One of the things I highly recommend to any of you with deployed soliders is to pick up a “questions book.” There are a zillion different kinds you can find on Amazon.com or on BN.com. Barnes & Nobles website will allow you to check to see if a book is in stock at a store near you. If the book isn’t available, you can order it and have it sent to the store at no extra charge.

These books have conversation starters and are a good way to pass the time and get to know your soldier on a deeper level. For those that are married, I’m sure it’s hard to keep the spark and passion ignited while your service member is deployed. For me, sometimes because he calls in the morning and then we Skype in the afternoon…we don’t have a whole lot of the days activities to talk about so the question game helps pass the time. We laugh, we smile, we dig deeper, we explain things…it’s awesome.

Here are few examples of questions out of the book called “The Book of Questions” by Gregory Stock, PhD:
1.) Were you able to wake up tomorrow in the body of someone else, would you do so? Whom would you pick?
2.) Would you prefer to be blind or deaf?
3.) Would you be content with a marriage of the highest quality in all respects but one – it completely lacked sex?
4.) What do you like best about your life? Least?
5.) You are given $1,000,000 to donate anonymously to charity or to a stranger. How would you dispose of it?

So yeah…you can see how fun and interesting it can get. If you want to focus more on love, sex, and marriage…they make question books specifically for that. I’m going to pick up one called “101 Questions to Ask Before You Get Engaged” by H. Norman Wright. Since my soldier and I will be headed down that road eventually I’m sure…it’s important to me to discuss the essential things together before making that decision. So for you military girlfriends who know you are headed that direction also…check into it.

I’ve noticed there are other books on managing Long Distance Relationships on Amazon.com as well and I’ll post the links at the end of this entry.

Being in an LDR is tough on everyone and being in one with a service member can be even more difficult…if you let it. My soldier and I choose to think that we are lucky. Our story is very different from most, so perhaps that makes it easier for us to feel that way. But, you can choose to look at the seperation as a positive thing. Yes, you aren’t together to make memories and keep the romance alive in person…but you can use this time to communicate on a deeper level. Sometimes this communication gets ignored and is one of the most essential things in keeping a relationship of any kind together. I understand that communication is also difficult depending on your soldiers MOS or location, but we all know it’s best to make the most of the time we do get to talk to them. If you don’t have the chance to talk on a regular basis, perhaps print out a list of questions for them to answer…mail it to them and ask them to mail it back. You can do the same. Print out the same list of questions and mail your answers to them. Just a thought…

Another fun thing we did together is a relationship assesment. I know, I know it can be a little scary at first but if you’re confident in your relationship with your partner…what do you have to lose? Some of them on the internet are wacky ones made by regular joes…but there are also some made by Doctors of Psychology that can be pretty right on the money. If you can’t find one, try eharmony.com’s free personality profile. It’s very long so plan on an hour or so at least but it’s very, very accurate. Compare answers and see what areas you might need to work on and what areas you both are alike. It might make you realize things you never even know about yourself and your partner!

Anyway, I hope that’s one idea that some of you will consider. It’s been so amazing for us!
~Shan

Long Distance Relationship Resources
Amazon.com – Question Books
Amazon.com – LDR Books
Center for the Study of LDR’s

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 18, 2009 5:44 PM

    My LDR is with a sailor who works for the USS Enterprise. We talk on the phone daily, which can sometimes be a struggle. We often laugh and say “I don’t have anything to talk about– just wanted to hear your voice!” Still, it’s nice to know some one’s thinking of you.

    One way we connect is through snail mail. We ask each other a series of questions and tell stories about our lives, our thoughts on different things. Plus, it feels good to get something other than bills in the mail.

    Sometimes it helps to remind yourself that it won’t always be an LDR. This is just something you have to get through together.

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