When people think of marriage it is usually a husband and wife living in the same house. Many people don’t understand how a long distance marriage can work but it happens more often than people realize. I want to share with you 3 imperative strategies to make your long distance marriage survive the distance and also two things that will only serve to ruin your relationship if you engage in them…and it’s not what you think.
One of the biggest reasons, people have a tough time in long distance relationships is because of ineffective communication. This more than the distance is what ruins a long distance relationship. With a long distance marriage there may be more commitment, but communication issues if not addressed can really put unneeded stress on your marriage.
If your partner has just accepted a job offer that is too good to pass up or has moved searching for better job opportunities in a different state or sometimes a different country, it can really be difficult to come to terms with, even if you both agreed on the move. It can be lonely and can cause a lot of anger on both sides due to the separation.
There will be 3 things that are necessary to do to keep the love alive.
This is most important. You actually have to have communication about communication. If you want to be successful in your long distance marriage you have to have some ground rules set before a conflict arises. You will need to determine how often you will communicate, when you will communicate, and how you will communicate. All expectations should be laid out on the table so you and your spouse can agree. It is imperative to also put a clause in your discussions saying that if one party doesn’t feel that the communication techniques are working then you can come back to the drawing board and create new communication techniques that you both can agree to.
This is vitally important also. A lot of marriages end in divorce because of mishandling of money or arguments about money. You will need to decide how money will be handled when you are away. This needs to be done preferably before one person moves out. If your spouse has already moved, a specific time should be set up to discuss how money will be handled regarding bills, including extra bills that will come up because of distance. These include phone bills, traveling costs, and amounts that should be spent on gifts.
Time Spent Together
This might be one that you may not think of until an argument comes about regarding it. When you do meet up, how will your time be split? If your spouse moves and comes to visit you, how much time should they spend with family/friends vs. spending time with you. If you are the one who moved, how will you split up your time between family/friends and your spouse? When you are spending time together, how much space do you give the other person? How are the chores split up around the house? This might not be as big of an issue if your visits are for a few days only. But if you stay a couple of weeks, you want to make sure that duties are shared or that there is some agreement as to who will do what.
Two frequent mistakes that married couples make when in a long distance relationship that hurt and destroy the strength of their marriage is not planning adequately for a long distance relationship and miscommunication through various communication channels.
Most conflicts can be avoided by planning properly for the long distance relationship. If you have already moved and have not done so already, it will be important that you set up a time with your spouse to discuss the “rules” of your relationship. Be sure to also discuss how much time can be spent with the opposite sex alone, if any. In a marriage this will be an important topic because spending time with the opposite sex alone can lead to infidelity since there may be feelings of loneliness and slight depression resulting from the move.
Another source of conflict is hiding how you feel from your spouse in order NOT to have a conflict. This will only serve to worsen things. In a relationship and especially in a long distance relationship, feelings have to be discussed frequently so your spouse knows what type of mood you are in. A lot of misunderstandings happen because a spouse has not interpreted their partner’s mood correctly and might by cynical or sarcastic when the person is just not in the mood. When you are with someone face to face you can kind of gauge their feelings, but in a long distance relationship, this is difficult. So you have to be honest with your spouse about how you are feeling and encourage them to do the same.