While it takes effort for marriage to work, it takes a whole lot more effort for a long distance marriage to work, and this is because apart from factors that militate against the success of marriage in this day and age, distance itself is a major factor militating against the success of long distance marriage.
Given this, you need all the weapons in your arsenal to make your marriage work. You are going to have to be more committed, more intentional, and more loving. Some of these weapons that you need are what I have written out for you that you can use to make your long distance marriage a success.
Can A Long Distance Marriage Work?
A long distance marriage can work provided both partners are intentional, committed, and serious about making the marriage work. This includes making sacrifices, being there for each other, and being honest, open and vulnerable with each other.
What Keeps A Long Distance Marriage Strong?
What keeps a long distance marriage strong is the intentionality of both partners. The decision by both partners to make the marriage work and the commitment to pursue that decision to the letter. Also, what keeps a long distance marriage strong is the acceptance that love is not a feeling, love is a choice you make and stick to.
Why Long Distance Marriages Fail
These reasons why long distance marriages failed are what I have seen over time as a counselor, and what I have experienced with most couples.
1. Long Distance Marriages Fail Because Of Lack Of Communication
Lack of communication is one of the main reasons why long distance marriages fail. While it is true that it is not easy to maintain communication over time, it is also true that nothing good comes easy and one of such is the success of a long distance marriage.
Most couples start with great communication but over time, it’s difficult to keep up and thus becomes strained. Each person gets tired and it’s easier for them to relate to the person who is nearest to them physically than their partners who are distant apart. This is one of the major long distance marriage problems.
2. Long Distance Marriages Fail Because Of Lack Of Intentionality
It’s one thing to decide that you want to have a long distance marriage, it is another thing to decide that you are going to make it work. This is where many couples fail, they think it’s something they can just easily sustain only to find out that it’s not as easy as they thought. They don’t take the necessary steps to adjust to the new realities.
This is the reason why they are not intentional about making it work because they have not accepted and made that decision to follow through.
3. Long Distance Marriages Fail Because Of Unfaithfulness
Understandably, humans have needs. Men and women have s#xual, physical, and emotional needs. It is also true that when you have a long distance marriage, you factor in the knowledge that your partner will not always be there to meet your needs.
Many couples do not bring this fact into consideration while they’re trying to adopt a long-distance marriage and it follows that due to lack of discipline, they end up cheating which leads to breakup or divorce.
4. Long Distance Marriages Fail Because Of Prolonged Absence
Absence makes the heart grow fonder but it does not work with prolonged absence in long distance marriage where there is no specific end date.
Prolonged absence in long distance marriage is one of the reasons why couples end up divorcing. It is easier to gather strength and run if there is a finish line in sight than running without knowing where the finish line is. This is something that most partners in long-distance marriage fail to consider.
They fail to consider the fact that long distance marriage is not a forever thing. It should be as temporary as possible because prolonged absence makes it feel permanent, and that is why couples end up losing hope and parting ways.
5. Long Distance Marriages Fail Because Of Lack Of Planning
It is not wise not to count the cost before committing yourself. Many couples make that mistake. They jet off to other parts of the world leaving their partner without any concrete plan, information, or communication that they can always fall back on and this is what makes it look like the marriage is heading nowhere and one couple ends up opting out.
18 Ways To Make Your Long Distance Marriage Work
These 18 ways to make your long distance marriage work are what I have used on most of my clients and it has produced beautiful results that have helped them maintain, increase their love, strengthen and uncover other beautiful parts of their marriage.
1. See It As An Opportunity
Long-distance marriage is never favorable to either of the partners because it means you are going to be away from the person you claim you can’t live without. However, if we keep focusing on the negative without looking at it from the positive, we might just end up making mistakes that would cost us.
One of the tips for making a long distance marriage work is to see it as an opportunity; an opportunity to strengthen your love, learn more about your partner, find creative ways to communicate and maintain intimacy, and show your partner how much you love them; thus become a better lover.
2. Lay Some Rules
The purpose of rules is to keep us in check. In long distance marriage, when you lay down some rules, it helps you have peace of mind concerning your partner, it keeps both of you in check, and makes you more considerate of your partner.
Laying down some rules could involve deciding that you and your partner will not keep late-nights, would not allow the opposite gender to spend the night alone with you, you both would make sure to talk for at least 30 minutes every day, and not allow your conflict to last more than a day.
When you do this, you find yourself bound to your partner by the integrity of your word and because you do not want to hurt your partner, you are not going to break these rules.
3. Take On Tasks Together
This is totally dependent on the schedule of your partner and how much free time you both have. When you take on a task together, it creates a feeling of intimacy and proximity, and that is something that you want to inspire in your partner at all times. It is one of the best ways on how to maintain a long distance marriage.
Taking on tasks together helps keep your partner on your mind and vice versa. It is also a great way to connect on a deeper level. These tasks could include learning how to knit, and knitting something you can both give each other when next you meet. Learning how to play a game, and the goal should be that when you meet you play it together.
It can be anything ranging from intellectual to mundane activities as far as it’s something that you are both interested in.
4. Find Creative Ways To Communicate
One of the things that long distance marriage will do is stretch your patience. Consequently, it builds your communication skills. At this point, you have to find creative ways to communicate with your partner. The focus shifts from the routine “Hellos, how are you doing? Have you eaten? How is your day?” to something creative and spontaneous.
Communicating creatively includes sending nice photos of yourself randomly, sending a picture of the meal you ate, a funny video, a line from a song that reminds them of you, or a podcast that you both relate with.
Doing this will help you spark up conversations that do not have to start with hellos and follow a routine pattern. Therefore, making it not feel like a routine conversation.
Best Long Distance Marriage Tips
5. Talk D#rty And Video Chat
As I said earlier you need to pull out every weapon in your arsenal and this is one of them. If you are not the type to talk d#rty or chat half-naked or naked then you need to throw your modesty into the bin because you need to find a way to release your s#xual tension, and this is one of the best ways to do so.
Doing this helps you achieve s#xual intimacy as though your partner is around. It is also a way for your partner to meet their s#xual needs because you are the object of their desire.
Also, s#x chatting is one of the best tips for keeping a long distance marriage healthy and spicing up your marriage.
6. Have Dates; Virtual Dates
You can have dates online, and while it is easy to think that it’s not possible, long distance couples do it.
Having a date online includes watching a movie together, having a dinner date, wine tasting, or gaming with your partner. You do all these while on video with each other. There are a lot of other online dates you can have with your partner. The purpose is to recreate that feeling of intimacy and proximity that physical couples experience with each other.
If you need ideas for online dates for couples or virtual date ideas, I have written the best list of virtual date ideas for couples.
7. Make Time Out To See Each Other
Making time out to see each other is dependent on your schedules, your funds, and how much you really want it. One of the reasons why you should make time to see each other is to confirm and strengthen the feelings that you hold dear.
When you make time out to see each other, it strengthens your love and fills your love tank which helps you go on another time without seeing your partner and yet knowing that you are loved, you are appreciated, and you are cared for.
8. Leave Some Piece Of Yourself Behind
When you have the time to visit your partner, one of the things that you should do is to leave a piece of yourself behind; you don’t always have to take back everything you came with.
You can leave some things like your hairbrush, perfume, clothes, panties or boxers, and bra. Leave anything that you feel would remind them of you and make them feel like they are not alone.
We can have the Tessa and Harry kind of thing going on here. Tessa always wants to wear Harry’s clothes because it makes her feel closer to him. This is the idea behind leaving your things behind to make your partner feel closer to you and is one of the best tips for making a long distance marriage work.
How To Make Long Distance Marriage Work
9. Avoid Dangerous Situations
Avoiding dangerous situations is staying alert and not putting yourself in a position where you would have to make your partner doubt your faithfulness. It is not going where your partner would not want you to go, not talking to the people that your partner will not want you to talk to, or not staying with the people that your partner will not want to stay with.
Also, not going to a club because you know that anything can happen at a club, you could get drunk, and one thing can lead to another.
Furthermore, avoiding dangerous situations is not bringing the opposite gender or being too close to the opposite gender when you know that your partner is far away from you. Also, lying to your partner about your whereabouts or where you are.
When you avoid dangerous situations, you save your relationship the stress of ingenuine reassurances because your partner is not worried about your faithfulness, respect, or loyalty.
Doubt is a seed that grows fast, once you start giving them reasons to doubt your faithfulness and love, it doesn’t take much time before they actually decide that they want to break up with you because no one wants to be in that constant state of doubt that their partner might be cheating on them.
10. Have A Goal
You need to ask yourself why you are adopting the long distance marriage thing. You can not decide to adopt the long distance marriage idea without a goal in mind; What is your goal? When do you want to end the long distance? Should it be temporary or permanent? You need to set goals.
This way, it is easier for your partner to keep up the hope in loving you, staying committed, and staying faithful because they know that in a while, they will see you again and that will be the end of it.
11. Stay Honest
Trust is very important in a relationship, trust is a pillar in long distance marriage. It’s a proven fact that they are factors that militate against physical couples, how much more couples who are not together physically? So you need to fight the best you can to ensure that you increase and sustain your partner’s level of trust in you.
You do this by staying honest with your partner and learning to communicate with your partner in clear terms. Being honest with your feelings, honest with your whereabouts, your friends, your interests, and your job. This will make your partner have more trust in you; knowing that you are not hiding anything from them.
12. Lean On Family And Friends
Leaning on family and friends is a great way of maintaining ties in a long distance marriage. When you lean on your partner’s family or your family, it is easier for your partner to feel at peace knowing that they left you in safe hands.
For friends, you might have to be careful if there is the presence of the opposite gender because you can’t always control your feelings and your feelings cannot be trusted not to go haywire sometimes. With your family, you are always safe because you know that your family has your best interests at heart.
Leaning on your family for support is an easy way of alleviating the discomfort that comes with long distance marriage.
How To Survive Long Distance Marriage
13. Understand Each Other’s Schedule
One of the best long distance marriage tips is understanding your partner’s schedule. You might be trying to communicate with your partner and your partner is unavailable to communicate with you. Understanding your partners’ schedule will help you make calls at the appropriate time, help you understand your partner’s life, and prevent you from making hurtful accusations.
When you understand your partner’s schedule, it makes you an integral part of their life and makes you feel like you are part of their life, thus supporting their aspirations.
14. Remind Yourself Why You Are In The Relationship
Sometimes, it gets tiring and frustrating because your partner is not there to meet your needs. This is a decision you made and you have to stick to it. So when the going gets tough, what do you do to remind yourself why you are in that relationship? How do you remind yourself? This is one of the tips for a healthy long distance marriage.
You can think about all the time you have spent with your partner physically, you can think about the qualities that attracted you to your partner, you can go to your scrapbook or photo albums to see how far you both have come, you listen to the song that you both enjoy together. This is a way of telling yourself that it’s just a phase and it’s going to pass, and you’re going to come out stronger with the love of your life.
15. Create A Bucket List
One of the reasons why couples create a bucket list is to help them spend as much time together as possible.
This is one of the things you should do when you’re in a long distance marriage, you need to create a bucket list and it can range from intellectual to mundane. As long as it’s anything that interests both of you, creating a bucket list will help you get closer. The purpose of a bucket list is to build intimacy and make the long distance marriage all the more worthwhile.
If you want to learn how to survive long distance marriage? Create a bucket list. Need some bucket list ideas? Check out these 100+ bucket list ideas for married couples.
16. Be Random
Sticking to a routine is not exactly going to make a long distance marriage enjoyable. You both need to be as spontaneous as possible. Even in a marriage where the couples are physically close to each other, spontaneity is encouraged.
When you are in a long distance marriage, make it a habit to break away from routine and inculcate some level of spontaneity. This includes sending random photos to your husband, sending love text messages to your partner, and showing up randomly at their door. It’s all a good way of maintaining and spicing up your marriage.
How To Keep A Long Distance Marriage Strong
17. Stay Positive
Social media is a place where fake news always flies around and most of what we see are cheating and unfaithful partners. One of the ways on how to keep a long distance marriage strong, you honestly need to stay positive because social media can feed you all manner of negativity if you allow it to. Looking at the positive side of things and seeing your partner in a positive light is all you need.
18. Have Other Interests
If your life revolves around your partner consistently, you are not exactly going to find it easy with the long distance marriage thing. One of the tips on how to make long distance marriage work is that you need to have a life of your own, you need to have your other interests.
If you have never had one, now is a good time to look for things that interest you. It could be a painting class, a ballet class, or going to the gym. Just look for interesting things that you can do to keep your mind off your partner and help you to be less worried or less alone.
In Summary: Ways To Make A Long Distance Marriage Work
I do not advise any couple who are in a long distance marriage to take it lightly because marriage ordinarily is not something to be taken lightly. These long distance marriage tips are what I have given most couples who are in a long distance marriage and they have praised the effectiveness because it has helped them build their marriage and keep the spark alive.
Are you in a long-distance marriage? I’d like to know which of these tips you’re implementing right away in your marriage. Share with me in the comments.
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