If you have to be away from your spouse for an extended period of time, it can be a very trying thing. I have known many military families in this position. Every deployment stretches them and requires them to be very intentional in their relationship.
I invited Rebekah Sirly on to share with us some of her advice on this subject. Here’s what she has to say-
It’s an unfortunate fact of life that many people now have to work away from home for long stretches of time. If this happens to be the situation for one party in a marriage, it can be tough on the relationship. Many work-away relationships are actually strengthened by the time spent apart. It does take some hard work and determination to keep a marriage strong when long distances are involved.
Understand Their Motivation
If you’re the partner who is staying at home, it’s important that you try to understand why your partner wants or needs to work away. It might be that he or she has been offered their dream job, but it involves a lengthy stay overseas.
It could be that it’s the only way for them to earn money to support the family. One you know why they are doing it, it’ll be much easier for you to process your emotions and accept the situation.
Sort Out the Practical Stuff
If you are going to be spending several months of the year apart, it is important that you first take the time to work out the practical stuff like paying the bills, making tax arrangements and sorting out your insurance. Once you have dealt with the administrative side of things, that’s one less thing for you both to worry (or argue) about when you’re apart.
Communication is a vital part of any happy marriage, and although you might be physically apart, but it has never been easier to stay in touch. Thanks to smartphones and apps like Skype, you can see and speak to each other over long distances at little or no cost to yourself. By doing so, you will ensure that your bond is not broken. Although, it won’t totally stop you from missing your spouse, it will make it less difficult.
When you’re apart, you need to find new ways to keep the romance alive, and a great way to do this is by sending your spouse little surprises in the mail. There are a number of websites that will deliver flowers. Food hampers and all manner of other things internationally and international gifts delivery is more affordable than you might think.
So, let them know you’re thinking about them by sending them something they’ll love. If you have the spare cash, surprising them with your presence will blow them away and give you some time to reconnect between official trips home.
Invest In Yourself
If you’re used to spending most of your time hanging out with your spouse, it is so important that you develop new hobbies and interests that can keep you occupied. At least some of them should involve getting out and socializing with other people. This will stop you from becoming isolated and, if you’re busy, you’re less likely to dwell on how much you’re missing your spouse.
Have you ever been in a long-distance marriage? How did you make it work for you?