‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’.
For the tens of thousands if not millions who are involved in a long distance relationship, this adage has brought a great deal of comfort. Many believe in it, several more want to. For these doubting Thomas’, there is finally scientific evidence to prove that this saying is indeed true.
Psychologists Crystal Jiang from the City University of Hong Kong and Jeffrey T. Hancock of Cornell University, co-authored a study about long term relationships, the results of which were published in the Journal of Communication. As per these results, people involved in such a relationship reported higher levels of intimacy and closeness. They consciously made an effort to have meaningful communication in their interactions due to the time and geographical constraints.
Common problems of a Long Distance Marriage
Marriage by in itself is challenging. Add, long distance into the mix and you have a situation that is far more complicated.
People in love get married in order to co-habit and spend the rest of their lives together. When one of these important deciding factors is taken away then of course it throws up its unique challenges.
Distances can be created through one’s job such as an overseas deployment or furthering an education and such. There will be additional problems too if the resulting distance is an unexpected one and there is resentment on account of this.
Expected or unexpected, some of the few common problems in a long distance marriage are as follows:
1. Daily decision making
We all like to have that particular person to help us with making decisions as we live our daily lives. It may be something as mundane as choosing the best internet service provider or asking if it was okay to send our kid to a neighbor’s house for a play-date.
Although, taken so much for granted by regular couples, the pain of not having someone you can depend on to help make these simple day to day decisions is only felt by someone who is in a long distance relationship with their spouse.
2. Lack of support in Emergency situations
Family emergency situations are extremely stressful, to say the least. Not having your partner with you by your side to lean on at these times to help make crucial decisions, can compound the problem.
A spouse living extremely far away leading to different time zones, inability to travel back when the situation requires it and the difficulty to access someone while they’re deployed, such as working on the high-seas can also cause create difficulties in a long distance marriage.
This by far is the most difficult one to handle, especially if a spouse is unable to make it for important family gatherings such as Thanksgiving or the holidays.
Sometimes, it can be even more pronounced in simple things such as going out with a group of friends who are mostly couples. No matter, how much the friends will try to involve a person who has a missing spouse, they will still feel the gnawing emptiness.
4. Managing the Kids
Kids, although a source of great happiness in a marriage, are a handful if you’re trying to raise them single-handedly. Giving how busy children are these days with their homework and extracurricular, it becomes difficult for a single parent, especially a full time working, one to handle the responsibilities alone.
The one person you can absolutely rely on is the other parent and if they are not around to take over the kids from you, it can lead to a very stressful situation for the full-time parent.
Tips On How to Survive a Long Distance Marriage as Newlyweds
1. Good communication
These days with the internet being what is, communicating with others even half-way across the globe has become possible. So take advantage of it to make your life easier.
2. Try to meet up whenever you can
This is a great option while you are still a newlywed and the long term responsibilities haven’t yet set in. Most of the times, the babies haven't arrived yet so it's just you. Try to meet up as often as you can.
3. Stay in touch with family
Often times, the period immediately following a wedding requires the most adjustments. If you have not relocated or changed your job then try to keep your life as normal as possible for you to try to adapt to your new situation of not living with your better half on a daily basis. Keep visiting your family and friends like you used to.
Tips On How to Survive a Long Distance Marriage with a Baby
With a little baby involved, long distance relationships can be particularly difficult for both parties; what with one missing important milestones such as the baby’s first step or word and the other having to be the full-time sole caregiver. At such times, do the following to make it easy.
1. Make use of modern technology
Thanks to modern-day inventions video calls and IM make it possible to have face-to-face conversations with your loved one at the click of a mouse. This way the parent who is away, does not miss the priceless early growing months and years.
2. Make Tons of Home Videos
Make home videos and record your baby frequently and send it across. This way your spouse can pull it up whenever they want to. Regular visual contact will ease their home-sickness and they will not have the will be spared the pain of being so far away from home.
3. Build a good support system around you
For the full-time caregiver, taking care of a young one alone can be very challenging. Build a reliable support system around you that includes family, close friends and a list of reliable baby sitters that will give you the support you need when you desperately need a break.
Long Distance Marriage Quotes
If you’re involved in a long distance relationship, take heart with the following love quotes.
“You’re worth every mile between us”.
“Love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation” – Khalil Gibran
“The few hours I spend with you are worth the thousands I spend without you”.
“Love me through the distance and the world is still mine”.
“I’m jealous of the people who get to see you every day”.
In the end, however, it all boils down to a person's level of commitment and given how statistics for long distance relations stand today, it is safe to assume that you can be far away from your spouse and still be committed enough to be faithful and stay in love with your spouse.