My husband and I have been together for more than 4 years now, and married for 1.5 years. Together, we have celebrated countless birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, successful semesters, job offers, weddings, engagements, etc. We have also been each others source of comfort through equally difficult times. Through financial struggles, death, and fears of inadequacy (mainly the result of painful law finals). My biggest accomplishment in our marriage, however, is knowing that we have grown more and more in love each day, even without the opportunity to live together in the same continent for more than a few days at a time.
We have a relationship that spans 6000 miles, 8 hours, and many countries. While we physically see each other only 4 times a year on average, we never use that as an excuse feel unconnected.
It was only after a fight (and make up) session on Skype the other day that I realized how vital this technology is to our relationship. How it brought a sense of normalcy to our otherwise-abnormal setup. How it allowed us to go through the motions like any other normal couple. When we first started talking in 2006 (pre-video chats), our relationship never seemed to go beyond a superficial “so what’s-your-favorite-movie” level. When we reconnected in 2010, all it took was a few video chats to really understand who he was; what made him happy, what made him sad, how he threw his head back when he laughed, the distinct look in his eyes when he talked about his dreams and aspirations. I knew within the first few months that this would be someone special in my life, and without all these new technological advances, it may have taken years to figure out the same thing.
As family members settle farther and farther away, these advances in technology have kept us all together. My husband and I have discovered new cities together in real-time through because of smartphones. My sister in the Midwest and my husband in Dubai have simultaneously participated in every single one of my birthday celebrations in New Jersey. And most importantly, it’s a platform through which I can make my husband wear a monocle and he can’t say no (just like he can give me one heck of a beard).
That is a beautiful thing.