Being in a long-distance marriage is a unique experience. You might have thought your long-distance fling was difficult, but this is a whole other ballpark. What makes it hard is also what makes it bearable, and this is the fact that you have both agreed to a long-term commitment.
So, how do you make your long-distance marriage work?
How to ensure the distance does not weaken what you have worked so hard to build?
Here are some long-distance marriage tips that could come in handy, whether you are dating a foreigner and want to marry them or if one of you frequently travels for work.
How To Survive A Long Distance Marriage
Manage Your Expectations
For your long-distance marriage to work, you must be on the same page regarding expectations.
How often do you want to communicate? How often do you want to visit each other?
Most importantly, you need to figure out your end game, so you have a common goal you are working towards.
Find Ways To Communicate
Communication is the surest way to ensure that your bond remains strong despite the unique challenges. Talk as often as you can. It could be anything from a sweet message in the middle of their day to a routine evening check-in phone call.
With a long-distance marriage, it is particularly important to switch things up in terms of the modes used to keep things interesting.
Some of your options here include:
- Phone calls
- Emails and texts
- Writing Letters (snail mail)
- Video chats
- Voice and video messages
Keep Photos Of Each Other Visible
It is very easy in a long-distance marriage to become disenchanted. Out of sight sometimes really is out of mind. The magic of love is something you should never let go of!
The best solution here is to display photos of your long distance partner (and the two of you) around the home as a subtle reminder that you are in a committed relationship.
Be Open About Your Needs
Being married doesn’t mean that all your needs are being met. It is essentially a relationship, just like any other. As such, you are entitled to your needs, and you should make them very clear.
You might still want to have virtual romantic dates despite the distance. Maybe you want your intimate life to be a bigger priority. Be open about it; that way, you will not end up disappointed.
Act As You Live Together
Living apart from your spouse doesn’t mean you have to be total strangers. Treat your partner as you would if they were right there with you. Ask about their day and give details about yours. Nothing is unimportant, including that juicy piece of office gossip or your boring errand plans.
One of the biggest long-distance marriage problems is assumptions about your spouse’s behavior. With nothing but calls, texts, and emails to connect you, you may lose touch with your partner’s feelings and headspace.
No matter how out of the ordinary their behavior is, do not jump to conclusions. Instead, create a safe space to open up and share any creeping insecurities before they consume you.
Negative vibes will snuff out your relationship faster than you can imagine. It could be a lack of satisfaction due to circumstances or general apprehension from the stress that LDRs inflict.
The secret here is a change of perspective. Communicating with your partner about these feelings also helps, as negative emotions mostly stem from insecurities and frustration.
Expect Difficult Times
Long-distance marriages are not all video calls and plane trips to see each other. There will be a lot of silence and emptiness. The separation will be brutal.
These factors add to other marriage problems experienced by non-LDR couples. Preparing for this and figuring out healthy fighting strategies is the best way to survive the hard times.
Keep The Romance Alive
One of the biggest causes of long-distance marriage divorce is a lack of romance. Distance weakens the bond you already have and provides a platform for destructive negative thoughts to thrive.
So how do you keep things hot and romantic in a long-distance marriage?
- Send romantic letters
- Send care packages and gifts
- Plan surprise visits
- Get each other nice treats
- Try Skype sex
Make Your Insecurities Known
Yes! They are built and maintained on trust, more so in the marriage setup. If, for any reason, you have trust issues, then you need to air them as soon as possible. That allows your partner to address them and make necessary changes to make you feel more secure.
Don’t Stop Dating Each Other
Another one of the most common long-distance marriage problems is the neglect of an active dating life. Being married doesn’t mean you stop trying. Go out on dates and make new memories together, and your relationship will thank you.
You are probably wondering how exactly you will do this, given the hundreds or thousands of miles between you two.
Good news – there are many LDR date ideas for you to try! Here are a few fun and easy-to-execute ones:
- Video chat movie marathons
- Virtual room exploration
- Synchronized workout sessions
- Virtual location tours
- Play video games together
- … or any other games for that matter
Visit Each Other As Much As Possible
The value of spending quality physical time as a married couple in an LDR cannot be emphasized enough.
If one or both of you regularly commute to work, you need to find a way to make time for each other. Get vacation days, postpone meetings and do whatever it takes to find that time.
If it is a case of marriage to a foreigner or someone from a different part of the same country, then plan as many visits back and forth as possible. The physical proximity to each other makes a world of difference.
Take Advantage Of Technology
Another tip on making a long-distance marriage work is using available tech. These days, there is an app for everything. These range from messaging apps to applications that help you keep track of each other’s day.
Here are some awesome long distance relationship apps worth checking out:
- The Ice Break
Set An End Date
One of the most difficult things about being in a long-distance relationship is the uncertainty about the future. Like all married couples, you must have an end game in mind where the distance is finally bridged, and you can build your family together.
It doesn’t have to be a specific date down to the day and month. Just give it an estimated year where all your affairs will be in enough order for a stable move.
Work Intentionally Towards A Common Goal
Finally, to figure out how to survive a long-distance marriage, you need to have an end goal in mind. Is one of you going to have to move? Will someone have to have a career change? Talk about this and figure out the way forward; it will help give you peace of mind.
What Are the Most Common Long-Distance Marriage Problems?
Here are some of the hurdles long-distance marriages tend to face:
- The more you stay away from each other, the worse you get at communicating. Either it feels like you have the same tired conversation every day, or you are overcompensating by sharing too much.
- You start growing apart because you’ve been separated for too long.
- Trust issues may arise because distance keeps testing your loyalty and commitment.
- The inability of physical contact and intimacy can lead to sexual frustration and push you into finding comfort elsewhere.
- You feel lonely, confused, and sometimes even abandoned.
- If you have children together, you risk exposing them to the adversities of a long-distance marriage.
- Make sure to read the 3 harsh facts about long-distance relationships.
What Are the Benefits of A Healthy Long Distance Marriage?
- Living in two different zip codes will help you focus on other relationships, such as with your family and friends.
- The time you spend together will be much more meaningful and memorable.
- Distance will teach you the art of waiting and patience.
- You’ll have more time to spend on your interests and hobbies.
- Being on your own will make you more independent and self-sufficient.
- If you play it right, you will both become better communicators.
- It’s a comforting feeling to know that if distance didn’t break you, nothing else probably will.
- Eventually, you’ll figure out if you are serious about your relationship.
- You get the chance to work on your personal growth.
What to do if My Long-Distance Marriage is Not Working?
Some couples grow distant, and others grow stronger. Some realize they don’t miss each other as much as they thought, and others are surprised by how deep their love runs.
Even though you can’t deny the negative effects of time and space, trust, love, and commitment still have the power to keep you together.
Ultimately, however you feel about your relationship, if you are in a solid long-distance marriage, you should be comfortable sharing your thoughts and emotions with your partner.
You can only figure out what’s best for both of you through open communication.
Can I Fix My Long-Distance Marriage?
Two things can happen when your long-distance marriage is going through a rough patch – you either fix it or call it quits.
The first thing to do is figure out what’s causing the friction. What are the most pressing issues that are making you reconsider staying together?
After that, it all boils down to communicating as openly and genuinely as possible. Don’t make the mistake of deciding the future of your marriage by yourself.
Confide in your partner with your thoughts and feelings. Maybe they can give you a different perspective and help you figure out your next step together.
Nothing’s over until it’s over!
How Can I Maintain Intimacy in My Long-Distance Marriage?
One of the biggest hurdles a long-distance marriage has to face is intimacy. and emotional connection. When you live hundreds or even thousands of miles away from one another, it’s pretty hard to keep the spark alive.
While there is a way to remain emotionally intimate through texts, video calls, and verbal communication, the only way to be physically intimate is when you visit one another.
However, thanks to the Internet and modern technology, long-distance couples have a way to simulate intimacy through sex toys. Nothing can substitute human touch, but it can help you deal with sexual frustration and loneliness.
Make sure to read this post, how to stay emotionally connected in a long distance relationship.
How Can I Improve Communication in My Long-Distance Marriage?
Alongside physical intimacy, communication is another aspect that long-distance marriages struggle with. To maintain a strong and healthy relationship, you need to master communicating with each other. The way to go about it is through showing kindness, compassion, and understanding.
Healthy communication will create a safe environment where you can freely express your thoughts and emotions without fearing being judged or misunderstood.
It may seem hard when you are 100 zip codes away, but you can still achieve it with the help of technology. Text and video calls are long-distance marriage’s best friends, so you better become a pro if you want this to succeed.
Is An Open Long-Distance Marriage an Option?
Open long-distance marriage is not for everyone, so before diving into something that may break your relationship, make sure you stand on solid ground as a couple.
The effects of time and distance often cause frustration, jealousy, and insecurity. They can even push you into the arms of another.
As we already said, physical intimacy is one of the biggest problems in a long-distance marriage, and when you are not having this basic need satisfied, chances are you will resort to cheating.
Cheating is not a norm in a long-distance marriage, but it can happen, and one of the ways to stop it is to open your marriage.
And if you stay connected, open, sincere, and truthful with each other, your marriage may grow even stronger.
Final Thoughts on Long-Distance Marriages
Long-distance marriages are tricky but not impossible. If there is love, understanding, and healthy communication between you as a couple, rest assured you are facing a bright future together.
Determine how long you will be apart and set a reunion date goal. Meantime, work out a schedule that will work best for both of you and call/text regularly. Also, visit each other as often as possible to alleviate the negative effects of being apart.
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to speak your mind and express your feelings. Your marriage, even though long-distance, is still your safe space, and together you can face anything.
This way, even if the relationship falls apart, you can go your separate ways gracefully, still maintaining a beautiful friendship.