Miner's Girl Sarah Long: all you need is trust

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Hi! I'm Sarah Long. I arrived in Australia from the UK in early 2010 and met my Mr Miner soon after. We're based in Sydney and he does drive-in, drive-out (or DIDO) to Orange in country NSW. I came out here as part of a six-month backpacking trip around the world, and never went home!

As I wrote the title for this column, I realised that 'trust' isn't a very exciting word. The original Beatles song All you need is love evokes a much more romantic image. Trust isn't sexy, imaginative or thrilling, it didn't even make it into the traditional wedding vows, and yet in any relationship it's so important.

One of the first things people seem to comment on when I mention my long-distance relationship with Mr Miner is trust. "Do you trust each other when you're apart so often?"

I realise that I am lucky in my relationship with Mr Miner, as trust has never really been an issue for either of us. Having said that, I don't think it's all down to luck. It's not even that we're both really laid back people. I've definitely had trust issues in relationships before, but in our case we've never given each other reasons not to have trust. Even when we first met and I was an excitable traveller discovering Sydney and he was away for up to four weeks at a time, we seemed to know our boundaries and stay within them.

Now we are even comfortable enough to joke about having another boyfriend or girlfriend and I often ask him how his Orange girlfriend is ('Orange' referring to the NSW mining town, not the colour, although I do like to think of her as an Oompa Loompa). In fact my trust in Mr Miner had never wavered… until the other day.

I was discussing with a friend how things between me and Mr Miner had improved since we moved to Sydney, including our sex life. Without thinking, she made an off-the-cuff remark about how it was like when men in TV shows or movies have affairs and suddenly start paying more attention to their wives because they feel guilty. I laughed along, but once she'd put the thought in my head it was hard to shift.

Now, the likelihood of him having an affair in Orange is almost non-existent if I consider it rationally. Firstly, he's only there for four days at a time. Secondly, when he is in Orange he's basically either at work or asleep. And thirdly, but most importantly, the combination of two of his strongest personality traits, shyness and laziness, mean that it is extremely unlikely that he would approach another girl, even if he did get the opportunity to do so.

The trouble is that sometimes I am not the most rational thinker. I think it's the writer and romantic in me that likes to get carried away with these silly ideas. It's the same reason I don't watch scary movies, because once someone or something has put the idea in my head I tend to overthink it.

So I decided the best thing to do was to bite the bullet and ask him. Next time he was home I just came out and said what I was thinking: "I just have to ask you something. Why do you want to have more sex all of a sudden? Are you having an affair?"

He looked at me with the same weary expression that he uses when I've told him I've broken something or lost yet another phone/wallet/personal item, and said: "Surely if I'm paying more attention to you it would be because I've just stopped having an affair?"

And that was all I needed. That response, with all its bluntness and rationality, made me remember why he's my other half.

Obviously it would be different if we didn't have trust in the first place, it's much easier to dispel concerns or rumours if you are usually open and honest with each other. I think the fact that we communicate, so that we don't need to be constantly checking in or checking up on each other, makes it less stressful when doubt raises its ugly head.

A few nights later he went back to work and texted me to say, "Don't get too lonely without me." I replied, saying not to worry and that my other boyfriend was coming over to keep me company. I couldn't help but laugh when I read his response: "Can I just ask you something? Are you having an affair?

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