DEAR HARRIETTE: I am starting to resent my boyfriend for spending so much time away from me. I knew when we started dating that he was in the Navy and that he would be out on deployment for months, but things are so much more difficult than I anticipated. Sometimes they lose Wi-Fi on the ship, and I’m not able to speak to him for several days at a time. They recently docked in another country and were able to spend a few days on land; in that time, he had access to Wi-Fi and phone signals, and still I heard nothing from him. All we have is our communication, and since that’s fleeting, we have nothing. What should I do? -- Deployed
DEAR DEPLOYED: Being apart for so long has got to be hard for both of you. If you are expressing frustration whenever you speak to him, that is not helping matters. If your tone sounds anything like it reads in this letter, chances are, your boyfriend may dread it a bit when he talks to you because you always seem upset. That may be why he hasn’t called when he had access to Wi-Fi. I know that is upsetting to you, but it could be the case.
When you next have a chance to talk, let your boyfriend know how much you miss him, but don’t attempt to place demands on him. Ask him how he is doing. Listen to see how he is managing right now. You may want to agree to communicate once a week -- Wi-Fi permitting. If you establish a pattern, it may be easier to follow through. What's most important is for you two to work this out together. Don’t try to force him. That will not work.