Long-distance relationships can be challenging and unbearable. When you marry, the last thing on your mind is being apart from your partner. Unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances — job relocation or caring for an ill family member in a different location — can cause distance between you and your spouse. Then, there is the long- distance relationship in which your spouse is in the armed forces. How can you cope with such challenges?
I am friends with a couple who are miles away from each other due to a six-month job assignment. The husband is in Florida and the wife remains in New York with their two children. At first, the distance took a toll on the couple and kids. But as time progressed, the family adjusted to the distance by communicating every evening and sending each other messages throughout the day.
A long-distance relationship seems impossible, but it doesn't have to be as long as both parties are willing to make it work. By following these suggestions, coping with a long-distance relationship can make handling the distance easier.
- Chat as much as possible. With the technology we have at our fingertips nowadays, there is no excuse for not communicating. There is texting, email and Skype. Chatting over Skype, not only allows you to speak to your spouse, but it also allows you to see him. And if you have children, Skype would be a fantastic form of communication for them. They can see their parent and keep him abreast of what is happening in their lives.
- Surprise each other with a visit. Whenever an opportunity arises to get away for a few days, take advantage of it. Once together, surprise your spouse with flowers or a special gift that brings meaning to the relationship. Be spontaneous during your visit. Do as much as possible before it is time to depart, again.
- Date night via Internet. Agree on a specific date and time to log on to Skype or any other form of communication. This may sound unusual, but both parties should dress for the occasion. Before the date, decide on what you want to do that evening. Perhaps you both want to create a meal and eat together. It’s all about creativity. Keep your dates spicy and intriguing.
- Send gifts — not only on occasions — but unplanned. The gifts do not have to be expensive, but should be meaningful. Demonstrate that thought was put into choosing the particular gift. It wouldn’t hurt to personally craft a special gift for your spouse instead of purchasing one.
- Honesty is the best policy. Distance can cause temptation. Do not hide anything from one another. You do not want a relationship based on lies or deceit because there is a distance between the two. If something is bothering or concerning you, speak with the truth. Chances are a long-distance relationship based on dishonest behavior will not last. Always maintain honesty and respect in the relationship.
Relationships based on distance can be difficult to cope with, but can definitely function if both partners are dedicated to make the marriage work. Maintain the faith and love for one another, and everything else will fall in its rightful place.
Mayra Bitsko is a freelance writer, the author of A Second Chance and The Past Beckons and holds a master’s degree in business administration-accounting. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.