During the 4 years I was in my LDR, I got asked quite a few times about faithfulness and if I ever worried about it. To those who have never been in an LDR, the idea of being apart, and having complete trust in your partner, was a hard concept to grasp, not because the assumption was that partners are unfaithful, but more to do with the fact that there was a misunderstanding about how exactly an LDR works – and far from being annoyed or upset about the question, I understand why people were curious, it is just hard to explain succinctly sometimes.
The first misunderstanding is that an LDR is not an actual relationship, or rather, it does not operate in the same day-to-day way – which of course it does not, but you make it work the best you can, just like everybody else. The level of emotion, love and feeling invested in it is as deep as a face-to-face relationship.
The second misunderstanding is that because you are not with your partner all the time, and have large gaps before you see each other, that you can never really know if they are being faithful – that somehow it is more prevalent in an LDR. Infidelity can happen in any kind of relationship.
Another piece of misinformation that I have encountered is that you do not get to know someone properly if you spend so much time away from one another. This all comes down to not realising how communication is developed within an LDR, how you become flexible at spending time in any way you can, that you hone the skill of talking honestly and openly about all the important things.
So, how did I answer the question about faith and fidelity when I was in my LDR? Simple. I trust my husband implicitly – like anybody in any relationship, you spend time getting to know them, you develop a mutual love and respect based on shared values (fidelity being one of them), and if you have a partner, whom despite the distance, is putting in the same amount of effort as you are – you trust them.
Trust is earned, maintained and respected, or at least it should be, in any relationship, long distance or not. If you do not feel you can trust someone and you always have your doubts, it does not make for strong foundations to build on and maybe is not a good place to start, but – if it is there, and you trust the one you love (and they trust you), an LDR can be fulfilling and strong.
Thanks for reading!
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To get more advice from Molly and to take an inside look at how she survived her own LDR, visit her website The Move To America!
photo © 1970 Florida Memory, Flickr
Thank you for this Molly. I too am in the UK and seeing my beloved who is in Austria (Central Europe) for over 2 years now, with no end in sight. (This is mainly due to us both having a small child and a difficult ex.) Trust is probably the hardest part in some ways for me, even though he gives me no major reason to mistrust. Fear of losing the best guy that ever happened to me is far greater when I don’t see him every day, he travels a lot with his work, and he lives in a city chock-full of very beautiful women, BUT he seems to still be just as keen as when he first travelled the 1200 miles to see me over 2 years ago, and we have seen each other 26 times during this time. He spends a lot of time and money on us seeing each other, usually about once a month. Everything you say is true – there are so many misunderstandings and assumptions about LDRs. Well done for sticking out the 4 years and marrying your man! It gives me hope.
You are more than welcome – I hope it helps in any way it can.
Trust can be very difficult, but it can be done and I am sending you all the best for everything you go through. An LDR is a unique experience and I hope that yours gets easier – if you ever need a bit of advice or support, I am happy to help!