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If you are married and you or your partner needs to move away for a while, you should know what to do to make it work.
Married couples sometimes find themselves in a long-distance relationship due to work, job relocation, travel, or study. To make a long-distance relationship work, you should know how long it will last and how you can maintain a healthy relationship online.
In this article, you will have an overview of what it is like to be in a long-distance marriage. You will also learn how to stay emotionally connected with your partner when you are physically apart.
What Is a Long-Distance Marriage?
A long-distance marriage is a relationship that a married couple has while being physically apart from each other.
A long-distance relationship is a romantic relationship. Like any romantic relationship, it requires physical intimacy, which can be scarce in a long-distance relationship. Lack of physical intimacy is one of the main reasons couples struggle to maintain a long-distance relationship.
A long-distance marriage is a long-distance relationship with a more serious commitment. Commitment is what separates a long-distance relationship from a long-distance marriage.
In a long-distance relationship, couples can easily separate if their feelings change or if their long-distance relationship is no longer working. However, it is a bit more complex in a long-distance marriage.
Commitment in the long-distance marriage creates an extra barrier to separation if a couple feels that their relationship isn’t working. In other words, if you are married and in the long-distance relationship, you may neglect your feelings to maintain their commitment to your marriage and your partner.
Is a Long-Distance Marriage Possible?
Long-distance marriages are possible for some couples in some circumstances. Like other long-distance relationships, it shouldn’t last a long time. But just because a long-distance marriage is possible, it doesn’t mean it’s healthy.
The way you feel in your marriage and about the long-distance should take priority in your decisions. There are many circumstances in which your feelings might take second place.
For example, if your partner gets a better job offer in a different area, and has to be away for a few months before you can be reunited, that’s okay.
What makes a long-distance marriage possible is the fact that you can maintain communication via online means.
If you and your partner really want to make your relationship work but need some guidance, here is our complete guide that includes all you need to give your long-distance marriage the best shot.
Is a Long-Distance Marriage Good?
Long-distance marriage can work well for a little while. Married couples tend to get used to having each other all the time. When you have someone most of the time, you forget how to appreciate them.
A long-distance marriage can give your relationship some space.
You can use the time extra time for yourself, to catch up on your personal life goals or do something fun activities with your family and friends.
Long-distance marriage isn’t good when you have to be away from your partner for an extended period. The more time you spend away from each other, the more likely is that you may grow apart.
The key to making your long-distance marriage work is by knowing how to handle the distance. Here is our step by step guide to help you and your partner manage the distance in your relationship.
Benefits of a Long-Distance Marriage
Here are some benefits of a long-distance marriage:
- You have a lot more time for yourself.
- You can spend extra time doing things and catch up with your hobbies.
- Being away from your partner gives you a chance to reflect on your personal life and your personal goals.
- The distance can give you a different perspective in your relationship.
Challenges of a Long-Distance Marriage
Here are some disadvantages of a long-distance marriage:
- Being away from your partner can feel strange and confusing.
- To maintain a healthy long-distance marriage, you have to be honest with each other and have excellent communication.
- If your long-distance marriage lasts a long time, you risk growing apart.
- A lack of physical intimacy in a long-distance marriage can leave you feeling sexually frustrated and prompt you to look for a company with someone else.
- If you have children, you have to consider how this situation affects them while you are in the long-distance marriage.
- A marriage is a commitment of seriousness to be together. The long-distance can question that commitment and strain your relationship.
Intimacy in a Long-Distance Marriage
Intimacy is one of the things that will make your long-distance marriage hard to maintain. When you are married to someone, in most cases, you are together a lot of the time. You see your partner every day and share your thoughts and feelings with them regularly.
In a long-distance marriage intimacy is a luxury. You can only experience physical closeness when you visit each other. If you have the means and time to visit your partner as much as you’d like, this issue isn’t a big deal.
Intimacy can be emotional or physical. To maintain emotional intimacy in a long-distance marriage is easy through phone calls and video calls. In comparison, you can only maintain physical intimacy by visiting your long-distance partner.
While it’s easy to communicate online, how you communicate – is what’s important.
For your long-distance marriage to work, you need to have trust and understanding. As well as clear and honest communication with each other.
Intimacy issues is one of the biggest struggles for long-distance couples. To help you feel close even when you are physically apart, we have created this step by step guide on how to be intimate in a long-distance relationship.
Communication in a Long-Distance Marriage
Communication is the key to making your long-distance marriage work. To maintain an emotional connection, you must be able to express yourself freely, without the fear of conflict or judgement.
It would help if you have clarity in your communication to have an understanding of your long-distance marriage. Apart from physical intimacy, effective communication is another big reason married couples struggle to have a healthy long-distance relationship.
Communication in a long-distance relationship is different from the way you interact when living together.
In a long-distance relationship, you rely on text messages, phone calls and video calls to express yourself. Putting your thoughts and feelings across to your partner via online means is more challenging than telling them face to face.
Here are some tips for maintaining an effective communication while in a long-distance relationship:
- Take care to write the messages in complete sentences with correct grammar.
- Take time to read your partner’s messages carefully, rather than skimming them.
- If in doubt, ask your partner to clarify what they are trying to say.
- Confirm what you understood from your partner’s messages.
Applying these tips to your communication, it will bring clarity to your long-distance marriage and will help you avoid unnecessary confusion, misunderstanding and unnecessary arguments.
Here is a workbook to help you and your partner maintain effective communication while you are in a long-distance relationship.
How to Make a Long-Distance Marriage Work?
It would also help to have a plan on how and how often you will communicate with each other while in a long-distance relationship.
Last but not least, you need to plan regular visits, which will take time and money, but are essential to maintain a long-distance marriage.
A lot of couples struggle in a long-distance marriage because it is such a significant change from what they are used to. You can’t hug, hold, or touch your partner sometimes for several weeks. This inability to maintain a regular physical closeness can create a degree of space in your relationship.
If you’ve been married for a long time, a little bit of personal space can be a good thing.
In a long-distance marriage, you get a lot of time to spend on the things you enjoy, like your hobbies or interests. A long-distance relationship is also an opportunity to reflect on how much you want this relationship and how much it means for you to have your partner in your life.
Check out this article for all the ins and outs on how to make your long-distance relationship work.
How to Survive a Long-Distance Marriage?
After a few months of being in a long-distance marriage, you might find yourself struggling to maintain the connection with your partner.
The continue struggle and hardship of being in a long-distance marriage can make you feel that you are trying to survive this experience. Relationships shouldn’t be about survival.
When you marry a person, you are committing to helping each other and being there for each other. A healthy marriage is the one where both you and your partner are happy and joyful from being together.
If you feel that your marriage has become a struggle and survival, it’s time to reassess your relationship to decide if it’s worth it or not.
The first thing you could do is to share your feelings with your partner and ask them how do they feel about this long-distance relationship.
If the distance is making it hard for you to maintain the connection and both you and your partner feel that you’re growing apart, you have several options.
- Find a way to reunite as soon as possible.
- Have an open long-distance marriage, which admittedly isn’t for everyone.
- Take a break from your relationship.
This process is easier for couples in a long-distance relationship who are not married. If you are married, separation is a bigger deal because of the amount of commitment you and your partner have given to this relationship.
But, if you’re unhappy in your long-distance marriage, and you don’t have a way to reunite and live together, you should reassess your marriage with your partner and decide the best way forward.
Take care of your feelings and the feelings of your partner. If your marriage is unhealthy and you’re not happy being together, perhaps a separation is something to consider.
What to Do if a Long-Distance Marriage Isn’t Working?
Long-distance marriage can give partners a different perspective on their relationship.
Some people discover that they were not happy in their marriage, and the distance brought up the issues that perhaps they have ignored were living together. Others realise how much their partner contributes to their personal growth and development, and their life in general.
Long-distance affects couples in different ways. After a few months apart, some couples discover that they no longer want to be together. Other couples realise that being together is what makes their life wonderful.
If you find yourself in a long-distance marriage, one of the primary things you have to do is, to be honest with yourself. If you feel that your long-distance marriage is no longer working, try to understand why.
Whatever feelings, thoughts, and doubts in my head about your marriage, you should share them with your partner.
If you have trust in your relationship, you should be able to express your feelings to your partner honestly, so you can decide together on what is the best thing to do for you, for them, and your relationship.
How Can I Fix My Long-Distance Marriage?
If your long-distance marriage is falling apart, you can either try to fix it or separate.
To fix your long-distance marriage, you should understand all the issues that exist in your relationship. In a long-distance marriage, problems can be with your marriage, over the fact of being physically away from each other.
The only way you can fix a long-distance marriage is by being honest and having clear and open communication. At least, it would help if you were willing to hear and understand each other.
Sometimes your feelings may change, and you may no longer want to be with your partner. If that’s how you feel, it’s okay. Where people go wrong, it’s making decisions on their own without sharing them and discussing them with their partner.
As long as you’re married, it would be best if you made all your decisions together.
To do that you must feel free to express your feelings, without the fear that your partner will judge you.
If you can freely express yourself and hear your partner, you can work out most of the problems one way or the other.
Fixing your marriage as always begins with effective communication. Your very first step is set your emotions aside and objectively discuss your feelings and circumstances.
When things get heated, it can be quite a hard thing to do. So to help you get the right conversations going and discuss your relationship here are the two workbooks that will set you in the right direction. One is for you to assess how healthy is your long-distance relationship and another is a guide on what you can do to make it work.
An Open Long-Distance Marriage
An open long-distance marriage isn’t something that many couples consider.
Generally, when two people commit to each other to the point of getting married. They make a promise to be together. In most cases, this promise signifies that they now belong to each other. However, this idea of ownership is the one that can create many issues in a relationship.
The fundamental thing to understand is that when a couple forms a relationship, married or not, they choose to share their time and space. By no means, they declare the ownership of one another.
The idea of ‘I am yours, and you are mine’ may seem romantic. But in a long-term serious relationship, this type of thinking may lead to jealousy, cheating, and inequality in a relationship.
As we have mentioned, one of the problems in maintaining a long-distance marriage is the lack of physical intimacy. To be physically close to someone is a basic human need. When this need is unfulfilled, it can lead to stress, as well as emotional and sexual frustration.
When someone is deprived of this need, as one can be in a long-distance marriage, there is a temptation to find a company of someone else outside the relationship. People call it cheating.
However, cheating is a combination of distrust and the need for physical intimacy. In an open long-distance marriage partners may agree to see other people physically. As long as they are honest about their feelings and actions with each other, a healthy relationship is still on the table.
On the other hand, if a partner is deprived of sexual intimacy because of the distance, they may seek a company with someone else without telling their partner. This would be an example of this trust, and therefore a sign of an unhealthy relationship.
To avoid cheating and distressed, you could share your doubts, feelings, and concerns with your partner as they arise. If your partner doesn’t know your struggles, they won’t be able to help you. But if you’re sure what’s going on, you can find his solution that works for both of you, when nobody has to get hurt.
Before getting into an open long-distance marriage, check out this article about open long-distance relationships.
And perhaps consider this workbook to address any intimacy issues you may have.
Gifts for Long-Distance Marriage
Sending gifts and care packages is one of the ways you can maintain the sense of physical closeness in a long-distance marriage.
It can mean a lot to receive a physical gift from your long-distance partner. Having something tangible will remind you that they exist in your physical world.
An ideal gift would be something that you and your partner would associate with your relationship.
If you want to show commitment to your relationship, consider getting this workbook. It will give you various ideas on how to spice up your relationship and will bring you closer in process of working on it together with your partner.
Long-distance marriage can be hard to maintain, but it’s not impossible. Most couples can do their long-distance marriage work if they have a healthy relationship with good communication, trust and understanding.
If you’re married and you find yourself in the long-distance relationship, you should agree on how long your relationship will last and have a specific date for your reunion.
It will also help you to have a plan to maintain your communication while you are in a long-distance marriage as well as a timeline for visiting each other as often as you can.
While in a long-distance marriage, you may find that your feelings change and you may no longer want to be in this relationship. Before you jump to making decisions like separating, you should consider yourself, your partner, and children if you have any.
Marriage is a commitment, and a long-distance marriage will challenge this commitment. While it is important to fulfil the promise to your partner, it’s also vital that you recognise and give value to your feelings. One way you can do that is by sharing how you feel and things that are on your mind with your partner openly and freely.
If your relationship is based on trust and honest communication, you can fix most of your problems. And even if your relationship comes to an end, you can still be loving and respectful towards each other.
How Healthy Is Your Long-Distance Relationship?
If you are having doubts about your long-distance relationship and are not sure if you should try to fix it or let it go, here is our step by step guide to help you and your partner reassess your relationship and make an educated decision that works for both of you.
Relationship Coaching for Long-Distance Couples
Long-distance relationships are hard to maintain without knowing exactly what they involve.
However, once you understand what long-distance relationships are, what they are not and how to navigate them, you are a lot more likely to make it work.
We specialise in helping long-distance couples create and maintain a healthy relationship by building intimacy, trust and effective communication.
If you are starting a long-distance relationship or are already in one, send us a message to book an individual coaching session for yourself or a couples coaching session for you and your partner.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do marriages last longer if you live together first?
Living together before the marriage will give you an idea of what it’s like to be with the person with whom you are planning to spend the rest of your life. If you get married before living together, you may find that you are not compatible with living together. This can result in many arguments and make your relationship an unhappy one.
Should married couples spend time apart?
Spending some time apart can be very healthy for any relationship. If you’ve been married for a long time, having some space in your relationship will give you a different perspective and appreciation for each other.
How much time should married couples spend together?
Married couples tend to spend most of their free time together. But every person needs to have some personal space to pursue their individual goals and personal development.
Should I marry my long-distance girlfriend?
If you start a long-distance relationship online, you should live together at least for a few months before getting married. While marriage can sound very romantic, living together with someone requires a lot of understanding of the things that are important to each of you.
Why should couples not live together before marriage?
Couples definitely should live together before marriage. When you live together with someone, you discover what it is like being together. You learn about each other’s habits and preferences. And it would help if you make sure that both of you are okay with each other’s way of living and doing things before committing to spending the whole life together.
Can you have a long-distance marriage?
You can have a long-distance marriage as long as it doesn’t last for a long time, and you have a plan to maintain communication and visit each other regularly.