Long distance marriage? Is there even a word like that? Well, the world seems to have evolved to a point where marriages now happen with couples living miles or even continents apart. More than a dozen reasons exist why couples have to live apart. Many of us never even imagined we would be caught in between two homes.
But here we are, and we have to live with it. Well, the separation is not always a continuous one and at some points in our marriage we must always experience the joy of companionship. But the silent prayer most of us pray is to have more times together as a family than away from each other.
One of the primary reasons why we get married is for companionship. Then we also desire that procreation makes the family set up complete amongst other things that people expect in a marriage. But when stuff like job, business, school, or some other reason keep us separated from our partners, getting the fulfillment we need in a family could be very difficult. The journey of loneliness during such moments could be very rough, but there are things we can do for ourselves to make the ride less stressful.
For couples that really love and appreciate one another, emotional stress might be the major challenge, alongside physical stress and other forms of stresses you could possibly imagine. Below are a few tips that can make coping with a long distance marriage less stressful for you.
- Trust: When dealing with a spouse in a different location from yours, the issue of trust becomes much more important than ever. In fact, this is the first major cure to emotional stress. Whatever the communication, complication or whatever may be making your long distance marriage like hell on earth, if you have an inner trust for your partner, it makes you even stay healthy enough to tackle the issues.Trust in this context involves not trying to monitor your spouse to see if they are doing something behind your back while you are away. It involves giving them the benefit of doubt at all times; taking their word for it and just believing that they can never do anything to hurt you.
Most often, we push our spouses into shady deals or we make mountains out of mole hills and create an unquenchable fire in our homes because of lack of trust. One danger in snooping around is that you might end up getting a heart attack even before you get to the bottom of the matter or you might just be moving faster than your shadow and creating issues between you and your spouse where there is none, because, perhaps they were already planning to let you know about what you just found out, at their own time. So, my advice is, be patient with your spouse and trust them completely; no reservations.
- Honesty: While you are busy trusting your spouse, you should also expect them to trust you. So, be honest to them and don’t give them a reason not to. Whether you are two seconds away from your spouse or you are 20 hours away, holding back information from them or keeping ‘little secrets’ will always feel like a load on your chest. If you really love someone, not telling them everything feels exactly like not telling them anything. Get the load off your chest. Save yourself and your spouse the stress. Be honest.
- Keep the communication lines open: Speak your mind as often as you can. Your spouse is not seeing or living with you at close range, so, expecting them to understand you by some magical means, is almost impossible. Don’t be too busy to communicate. Remember the times when you were still dating? You couldn’t get enough of your partner’s voice. For a long distance marriage, frequent communication via the most convenient means available, should be a compulsory routine. You can’t think everything through alone; at least now that you are not single or not a single parent. By the time talking to your spouse feels more like stress to you than a stress-relief, then you should know that your heart is beginning to drift away; and that is very dangerous for your marriage.
- Mind your friends list: Marriage is not a joke or a play ground and should not be treated as such. Marriage is a serious business of commitment and love. You can’t have a spouse miles away from you and start keeping one ‘best friend’ of the opposite sex within reach. That friendship is very suicidal to your marriage; a marriage that is already at the mercy of time and space. You are not a robot so stop playing hard to bend! One day your emotions might just get the better part of you and you might end up cooling off in the arms of your ‘best friend. Be careful. Don’t gamble with your marriage. You might do yourself good by even making your spouse aware of those friends of yours. That should keep you in check to some extent.
- Channel your emotional energies: Don’t let yourself wallow in self pity at not being in total control of your family life. When you feel lonely and in need of a family time you can’t get at the moment, immediately think of stuff that can keep you busy. Of course, I’m talking of good and legit stuff. Keep yourself around friendly groups, develop a talent or engage in an hobby. Just do something to take your mind off the dull moments. Make them productive, adventurous and happy moments.
- Pray: I won’t end this piece without saying this in all honesty. Pray for your spouse, your marriage and your family. Prayer will help you have the peace and calm that you earnestly desire, while living apart from your spouse or family. Prayer strengthens you to face the day to day challenges of running a home without a partner beside you. So, while you are trusting, being honest, communicating, minding your friends list and keeping busy, please don’t forget to put all your fears in prayer, trusting God to see you and your spouse through the lone times.
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