The author is planning a January 2013 wedding in California with her fiance, who is currently stationed in Afg …For most couples, the first year of marriage is usually wedded bliss. As your lives begin to intertwine and mesh into one, it's not uncommon to see the glow on a newlywed's face, long after the honeymoon's over. Although we did have one short week together after getting married, my husband Michael and I have had to experience the aforementioned bliss over the phone, not in person. Like many other military couples, we have to think of creative ways to keep the romance alive.
Related: Why We Married Before My Husband Left for Afghanistan
We talk as often as our schedule allows. However, it's difficult to find time because of our packed schedules and the nine and a half hour time difference (between New York and Afghanistan, where Michael is deployed). We try to talk about twice a week, but we send Facebook messages more often, almost every day. There's nothing like seeing his number and hearing his voice, even if we have to deal with a three-second delay and lack of privacy on his end.
We've only seen each other once since he's left. I learned more about his deployment during those two weeks we shared in New York than I had in six months of back-and-forth phone calls. There's something about being face-to-face that fosters a special type of intimacy where you open up and say things you just can't during a 30-minute phone conversation. I won't experience that again until he comes home for good in November.
We've never been your typical "romantic" couple, but we do try to always be sweet and considerate to one another. Every month or so, I'll send him a big care package that has special treats and necessities, along with something that'll remind him of me. (I'm sure he's building a small library with all the books I've sent him from The Strand.) He told me he doesn't care what I put in the packages, but I'd like to think he appreciates knowing that I'm always thinking of him.
In return, Michael will send me the sweetest, most genuine messages that leave no doubt in my mind where his devotion lies. He's always very supportive of my decisions and talks me through my mini life-crises (which are frequent in grad school). I can't expect to do or have the same things that other couples might have, but Michael does everything he can to show me that he loves me and will always be there for me.
As for wedding planning, I don't share much with him unless we're down to decision time. I try not to drag him down in the details, mostly because I know he will agree to almost anything. Think of it this way: If you were stuck in the middle of a foreign village, with a bunch of other men in 90-degree heat and no air conditioning (making sure you stay alive most days), would you care which font to use in the invitations? His top priority is making sure we have a great party with family and friends. He's also spearheading our honeymoon plans in Hawaii, which is a big relief for me. I think he's looking forward to relaxing on the beach, and so am I.
Tell us: How do you keep that spark alive while planning your wedding?
-Lisa TurnerMore from Bridal Guide: