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I can't deal without him

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  August 30, 2010 08:49 AM

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Good morning.

Q: Hello Meredith,

I am a long time reader of your blog and find that you and your commenters have sound advice and plenty of experience with almost every subject. I have noticed that the last few letters have been about passion vs. love and I wanted to first share my experience but also find out what to do now.

My husband and I met while we were both in the military reserves. Almost nine years ago, we attended a two week course together. I was living in the Midwest at the time, he was living on the East Coast, and we were both married to different people. We fell in love at first sight at that school; passion like you would not believe and a biting realization that we had both married the wrong person because we didn't wait long enough for the other to come along.

Following that school, my then lover deployed overseas with the military. We wrote e-mails and old fashion letters to each other and our bond grew closer and closer. Just as he returned back to the states, it was my turn to deploy. We continued writing and I called when I could. Meanwhile we both filed for divorce from our then partners.

I returned from my deployment and we both found ourselves in Boston. This was six years ago and we have never looked back. Each day with him is more thrilling than the last and every moment is full of excitement. I never believed in soul mates until I met him. We complement each other like ice cream and cones, like Oreos needs its icing and like peaches with cream -- we are ALMOST inseparable.

Last weekend he deployed again. Leading up to it we both thought it wouldn’t be so bad, we got through it once before, we could do it again. Since he left though, I've been just a wreck. He had become such a huge part of my life that I find it difficult to do anything on my own. We had always thought of it as a beautiful symbiotic relationship, but now I am feeling more like a parasite without a host. He seems to be dealing just fine with our separation, but I can’t seem to carry on.

How does one move on from a "break up" when you haven't truly broken up? How do I learn to love him during our year apart that doesn’t leave me in tears? How do I deal with his calm, cool attitude to focus on his mission when all I want is for him to break down and cry for me too? How do I turn passion into love?

(A note for your commenters: I know how much they hate a cheater, so I wanted to add that we have both reconnected with our exes, who are both re-married and have loving, wonderful families. We all got married too young and to the wrong person and all four of us are more than happy with the eventual outcome.)

– Many Interesting Stories Start "How I Met…"

A: You have a person addiction, MISSHIM. You're addicted to the love of your life. That's not the worst thing. Beats heroin.

Yes, a year is going to be huge -- and it's terrible and annoying because you've grown accustomed to a routine. But you're in the military. This is what you signed up for. For now. You know the drill.

He's coping because he has to, military-style. Not only that, he changed his scenery, whereas you're stuck in the same place, just without him. That's why he can play it cool.

You say you feel like a parasite without a host. Sounds like you could use some time to figure out how to deal with life by yourself just a little. Make some new friends. Find some military wives to keep you company. Fantasize about what it will be like when he returns. Take a class. Write long letters.

For the record, after six years, it's love, not lust. You've already past the passion point. You're just a little obsessed with this love and now it has been taken away from you for a year. Give this some time. Your reaction sounds pretty normal to me.

Readers? Is she right that her passion hasn't turned into a more appropriate, mature love? Is there something she can do to cope with the year-long distance? What does it mean that she can't deal with life alone? Today's letter soundtrack? Share.


– Meredith


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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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