With our increased ability to communicate with people across the world along with economic issues, couples have more career choices and work location possibilities than ever before. While this can be exciting, it poses as an incredible challenge for couples trying to make a long-distance marriage work. It is important to realize though, that living apart can work for some couples as long they both are committed and use excellent communication skills.
Couples that live together are more aware of each other’s goals and intentions. This is primarily because things are shared on a day-to-day basis. Living apart makes it difficult to remain aware of changes that could occur, which can become a source of conflict. Couples living apart are more prone to experience increased jealousy or difficulty with their commitment, however, this is less of a problem if each individual is aware of their individual needs and voices them clearly.
Couples that are considering living apart should:
1. Have a discussion about why living apart is beneficial. While it is a tough situation, it can work if both partners strive to make it succeed. However, living apart is not a solution for getting away from the other… in this case, it is an unhealthy escape.
2. Make a plan to account for the details. This might be the last thing on your mind, but it’s important to know who will be responsible for financial chores, homekeeping, and other tasks.
3. Check in with your partner frequently. It’s important to understand if the arrangement is working for both of you. After all, in marriage, you are a team. Maintaining relationship morale is important in order to endure tough situations like this. Similarly, if you have children, you should set aside some time every day to talk to them. Daily check-in’s with your spouse and children are important for maintaining a strong, healthy relationship when you are separated by distance.
4. Set up a time for “big picture” meetings. During this time, you can address the progress towards accomplishing the ultimate goal that provided the reason for living apart. For example, moving for a position in order to save money and move your family to another state or country. Living apart is most successful when both partners understand that the situation won’t last forever.
Long Distance Marriages Are Not Easy
If you or your spouse have difficulty trusting one another, are afraid of being alone, have never been without a close physical relationship or have health conditions that require close observation and care, living apart may not be an appropriate option to consider. Rather, it should only be an option for couples that are in a solid marriage where the financial health of your partnership will significantly improve and both individuals are comfortable with the means of communication that are available. While long distance marriages aren’t easy, they can work. In fact, they can make a couple stronger in the long run since it takes a lot of care, attention, dedication and love to make a long distance relationship work. Just remember: regardless of where your relationship is, communication is critical.
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