Am I doing everything wrong?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2008
Am I doing everything wrong?
Wed, 08-12-2009 - 4:01pm

OK, this could get long, but I need to give all the details.....

I met S online, we hit it off right away. We both agreed that it was as close to "Love at first sight" that either of us had ever encountered. He is 37, I am 39. He asked me within the first week to be exclusive with him. He works for the Dept. of Defense, and as a condition for his employment, he must also be in the National Guard. Hence, after 2 weeks of being with him, He found out he was being deployed to Iraq for a year. We both wanted to make it work, and 5 months later he left. It has been extremely difficult having him gone, I miss him terribly. When he first left, he was at a base in Oklahoma (we both live in Michigan) and would call me whenever he got a chance (twice a day), I also received gifts, flowers, love letters, etc. He asked me to marry him when he was in Oklahoma. He has been in Iraq for 4 months now (altogether we have been a couple for almost a year) We still talk about getting married when he returns. he tells me that he is buying me a ring and making it "official" during his midtour leave (4 weeks from now)

My problem......

For a period of 2 months, probably the whole period of June/July ...we have been arguing quite a bit over the phone. He gets up at 4:30 A.m. (9:30 PM my time) every morning (he starts work at 7 a.m.) to call me, and we usually talk for an hour or so. even when we were having a difficult time of it, he still calls. We finally came to a breaking point about 3 weeks ago where we decided that we had to either break up, or make the commitment to find out what was making us argue, and to work on it. This is my "reason" for arguing: When he got to Iraq, things changed drastically. I was sending him cards, letters, care packages (weekly). But his letters stopped, he stopped calling me twice a day (was still calling me once a day for an hour) I know that this is actually a lot of communication for someone who is over there, but in the beginning, he made such an issue of keeping in contact with me and said that he actually got upset if he couldn’t. Today was his day off, and he didn’t call. I called him, and he was watching a movie. I told him that things have changed so drastically from when he first left. He says that he is just exhausted, that he still feels exactly the same way about me, but that I don’t give him a chance to “do” the things that he used to do. What is wrong here? I may be leaving some things out. But I guess my problem is, I was not the least bit clingy when we first started the relationship, now I feel that because of how he was…. (calling, texting, writing, etc) and the fact that it has all changed, I am now clinging and wanting that back. What should I do? What I want is for him to feel that way again. I feel like he doesn’t care as much. I guess I’m not happy with just the phone call. I can’t exactly “back off” am I supposed to not answer when he calls? I don’t want to feel like I am playing games, but why am I so upset? I have told him my feelings, and what I need, but I feel like he is tuning me out, even though he tells me that he understands. What should I do?

Avatar for mhash
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 08-12-2009 - 7:24pm

So you two have actually been physically together for 5 months and for the past 2 months or so then it has been a phone relationship?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-18-2006
Thu, 08-13-2009 - 10:26am

What you should do is refocus your thoughts, instead of thinking about your needs (which is what most of us girls I don't blame you)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2006
Thu, 08-13-2009 - 10:35am


Welcome to the board! I can understand how you are feeling. You never really got to enjoy the happy and new feelings that come with the new relationship. This is the getting to know you phase and you guys are attempting to do it while he is thousands of miles away.

I know that it must be hard on you, but please try your best not to argue. Instead find a way to effectively communicate your feelings to him. I'm sure the arguments stem from fustration, anger and confusion over a situation that cannot change at this present time.

When my cousin was deployed, he did his best to stay in contact with his wife. It wasn't as much as she may have liked, but the communication was there. And yes, he had free time where he would not contact her. Technology over there isn't what it is over here, and plus there are many other soldiers making homesick phone calls to their loved ones back home.

What he is doing is what I consider an honorable thing, and one that is very difficult as well. If his focus is on the task at hand, he may not have the time or energy left to call/write you so you can feel secure at this time.

I agree with mhash that maybe you need to develop hobbies on your own. Take some new classes, reconnect with old friends and family. This will not only keep you busy but can make for great conversation when you are in contact!

Again, please try your best not to argue. I understand your fustration, and I am sure he does too.If you still feel insecure and unsure, then maybe you need to rethink if this is in fact right for you.

Good Luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2009
Thu, 08-13-2009 - 12:34pm
I think it would be a great idea for you to talk to someone who has been in his shoes as far as being over there and having a loved one back home too. Your feelings are totally valid and understandable. I think once you talk to someone like him, you'll stop feeling as bad and will feel more inclined to distract yourself with fun activities at home.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2008
Thu, 08-13-2009 - 12:36pm

We dated for 5 months, and he has been gone for more than 6 months. at the end of this month, we will have been seeing each other for a year.

To reply to some of your responses.... He is an aircraft mechanic, and never leaves the base. I realize that that does not mean that he doesn't have his fair amount of stressors, but he does not see combat, dead bodies, and there is a very low probability of him losing any friends or developing PTSD as he is in a relatively safe area. I have done tons of research on Men coming back from the war, I receive all the info from FAC and FRG regarding such. This is also his 4th tour (although his first to Iraq) I'm also friends with several of his buddies that have been over there. I am IN NO WAY demeaning or debating that what he is doing is an honorable thing. I am extremely proud of him.

As far as communication goes, he has satellite internet in his room, and calls me for free using skype. Our only limitation is when the internet is down, which happens sporadically.

With running a company, two children, and a house that I am remodeling, and staying in shape, believe me, I couldn't fill much more of my time. My issue is more the distance, trying to carry on a relationship from so far away, and most of all.... the big change of him not calling when he gets back to his room. I know it seems small, but the change concerns me because HE was the one .... up until the arguing.... who made such an issue of wanting to hear my voice. Things have been going well for the past 2-3 arguing. I guess I'm still just struggling with how it makes me feel. And no matter how busy I am, I can't turn my thoughts off.....