Saturday, April 15, 2006

Personal -- long-distance love advise


I can't be too specific -- but it looks like hubby will be taking a one-year job elsewhere next year. This job is kind of planned to morph into tenure track status when his dissertation is more or less done.

The job is at his undergraduate school in a city where we lived happily for many years. The department there really wants him to come -- and they keep making it a better deal for him. So good, that he really can't say no.

Of course, this puts us in an akward situation -- I have a good job, with (knock on wood) tenure at BNCC. I make pretty decent money and it will be hard to give it up. I'm also not done with my dissertation, and thus not very competitive on those merits for the three tenure track jobs that will be open next year (I've checked my sources, I taught adjunct down there while hubby finished undergrad and I finished grad classes).

My grad department pretty much said that -- even though I got NO support from them to do my coursework -- now that I'm DONE with my coursework, there is no reason for them to give me a TA position... aaak. So -- they have someone who is more likely to finish if given a lousy TA position, but they'd rather take a risk on some new kid -- nice.

I think we can use his new salary to put ourselves in pretty good financial shape --- paying off bills etc... so that in a year or two I'll be able to move down there no matter what the job situation is. I've been pretty much promised a course by his department (our fields are related) and they said that the philosophy department owes them, as they've been employing a spouse for the last three years or so...

We can also afford some airline tickets between -- or, drive if necessary... it is a 5-6 hour drive from here to there and our teaching schedules allow us decent weekend time.

I guess the thing is that I just know how much I'll miss him on a daily basis. It is nice to know that he's sleeping in the other room now, that sooner or later he'll get up and stumble out to his computer to check e-mail and that we'll have a more or less lazy Saturday together.

We've done the long-distance thing before... that time I did all the travel, as step-dad worked for an airline. I know from the person leaving side how hard it was to go --how much I just wanted to get back in my car and drive back to him once I got to the airport and how hard it was to say goodnight on the phone instead of in person --- and we were only dating at the time.

The rational side of me says that this is a good thing. My friends tell me that it is a good thing -- but, especially Dog Mom put it best, "you wish away the days until you can see him again" -- she knows, and will know that since her new hubby has to be here until December, she starts her new school on the east coast in September.

Wise Woman reported a different experience when she and her Sweet Baboo had to be separate so that she could teach... she said that, while they'd prefer to be together the being apart wasn't terrible. I marvel at the differences between her relationship and mine... she's been with SB much longer than I've been with hubby (almost as long as I've been alive! --), they can't get married (damm laws!) but probably wouldn't if they could -- they are both very independent... I know why WW is that way (hard childhoods do that to a person). Hubby and I aren't that way... sadly, it will be WW who sees me mope around the hallways next year missing hubby.

I feel kind of like a selfish-jerk being sad about this. It is great for hubby and as such great for me. It isn't like we are breaking up and he'll still be alive, just living in another town. We have good friends there as well as here -- so I know he won't be too lonely, and I'll have a support network up here. Hubby's Best Friend will be here to help with stupid shit... I'll give him an extra key to my car and to our apartment -- in case I do something dumb involving keys....

So ---- any advise? Ways to make it work? Things you've done that haven't worked etc??

If you are long-distance loving, how often do you see eachother? Do you plan to see one another and not do work -- or when you visit, do you bring work etc??

How and when do you talk / communicate when you are apart?


purplehyacinth said...

That is a really hard situation. Especially because you know the hardships facing you since you've already done the distance thing. If we overcome the distance, I hope to never go back. I see DB about every month. He's 600 miles away though, alternating months as to who visits who. We talk anywhere from every night to 2 times a week. It's hard. But you'll probably hear the same things : email, IM, sending cards and text messaging makes things easier knowing that someone is thinking about you.

When does your hubby go? Is it certain that he is going? Or is it still a decision that you two are still making?

In any case, I really hope things work out for you, Philosophy.

T-Mac said...

Wow, that sucks....ummmmm....just try to visit as much as possible and talk online a lot. Hang in there!

Dr. Lisa said...

Homey and I lived apart quite often when I was in consulting. We commuited to see each other whenever we could, and we also made extensive use of technology such as videochats. It really did help.

App Crit said...

Good luck working it out. I've only seen one academic couple in recent years make it work where both wound up at the same campus in tenure-line positions, and it wasn't even through spousal hire.

I just came back from a conference where some friends of mine (recent PhDs still navigating the adjunct market) are thinking seriously about the private sector in order to take a job near already-tenured academic spouse. Tough market, but times are tough in the humanities. What an industry!

But, it can and does work out. You two seem like you've got a few cards left to play. Hang in there!

Cheers. PS great blog.

Natalie said...

Interestingly, this month's Real Simple magazine has romance tips for long distance love.
I don't have anything very helpful to offer, my attempts at a long distance relationship while first in grad school in TN failed miserably.

Andrea said...

If you still read these comments -

We saw each other at least once a month. Every time it was longer than 4 -5 weeks we ended up in a terrible mood, caved and bought a last-minute ticket, so then we started planning better. When we visit we DO bring work, it's usually unavoidable, but not so much that it's a whole weekend of work. Then we take a set time to work in the same room, or work apart but take breaks for cuddling or whatever.

We talk on the phone twice a day - some people can get along with less but I can't. One short check in during the day and a tuck-in at night. IM if I can get the time during the day, otherwise a couple short emails back and forth during the day, just to say silly things that happened or that we thought of.

We aren't much for cards and presents while apart- feels more like a dating thing. I don't need him to impress me, just talk to me.

Best of luck. Congrats on his job opportunity, it sounds great.