Many people would say they wouldn’t opt for long-distance marriage. That is before they fall for someone, and they feel they don’t have a choice.
Studies show 75% of engaged couples were, at some point, in a long-distance relationship.
Long-distance marriage might not be ideal or easy, especially if we talk about long-distance marriage with children. However, it can be more than worth the trouble when you are with the right person.
To aid you on this journey, we have selected the top 20 advice for long-distance relationships you can use in the effort of making long-distance marriage work.
1. Focus on communication quality
Interestingly, some studies show that long-distance couples may be more content with their communication than couples living together, most likely because they know its importance.
Long-distance marriage problems usually have roots in communication, the same as with any other relationship.
Hence, one of the keys to long-distance relationships is to be aware of the quality, troubling differences to in-person communication, and overcome them.
For example, if you don’t have a chance to snuggle before bedtime, think ahead, and send a thoughtful message. Little things like that go a long way.
2. Sync your schedules as much as possible
Variations in work, and sleep schedules and time zone differences can burden the long-distance marriage quite a bit.
To stay emotionally connected in a long-distance relationship, prioritize your schedules, so you are at your best when you talk to each other. Start by asking yourself when I can devote private, unrushed time to the conversation?
3. Rely on more than tech
In the age of electronics, you might feel more connected to your loved one when you disconnect from technology. Write a letter, send a poem, arrange flower delivery to their work.
How to keep a long-distance marriage alive? The answer is in the details like a spritz of favorite perfume in snail mail.
4. Share “boring” daily details
Sometimes what we miss the most is a regular everyday routine where we share small, seemingly unimportant details. How to survive living apart from your spouse?
Include each other in the daily routine, send them a text or a photo through the day, and keep each other updated.
5. Avoid excessive communication
Sharing details daily is great, as long as it is not excessive. If you want to know how to make a long-distance marriage work, focus on communicating regularly without overwhelming each other.
Send pieces of your day, without oversharing. Keep some of the mystery alive.
6. Be their partner, not a detective
There is a difference between check-in and checking up on someone. Take this piece of long-distance marriage advice and make sure you are not investigating your spouse. They will figure it out, and they won’t like it.
7. Talk about boundaries and ground rules
How to deal with long-distance? Through a lot of honest communicating, negotiating on needs, and compromising.
What is accepted in your relationship, and what are some boundaries no one can cross? Flirting with others – yes or no? How many visits, and how do you determine who comes next? Is checking up on each other okay, and in what form?
8. Prioritize trust
Once you decide to be in a long-distance marriage, prioritize trusting each other. Trust is something that you build, and it is more than just sexual fidelity.
Can you trust they will be there when you need them? Will they pick a phone when you are upset, and do they stick to plans made? If you both work on being a partner worth having, there is nothing to worry about.
9. Keep expectations in check
Often, regardless of how much you need them or want them there, they won’t be able to show up.
Long-distance relationships are romanticized in movies, so make sure you are not basing your expectations on those couples. Verbalize your expectations so you can modify them if needed.
10. Don’t idealize each other
Research shows that people in long-distance relationships are more prone to idealize each other. In the absence of seeing them, make sure you are not creating an image they can never live up to in person.
11. Stay honest
How to maintain a long-distance relationship with your husband or wife? Don’t avoid talking about the hard stuff until you are in person. Mention the elephant in the room.
In a long-distance marriage, when you finally get to visit each other, it can feel as though there is no time to waste and stress over how to use it best.
However, downtime is not wasted time. It gives you a chance to connect and be with each other.
15. Enjoy your time alone
Until that moment of the visit comes, enjoy the time you have with your family or friends. How to survive a long-distance marriage?
Work on being happy alone, as well. The more you’re able to enjoy your time apart, the easier it is to survive a long-distance marriage separateness.
If you’re in a long-distance relationship, watch this video.
16. Don’t go more than 3 months apart
There is no math behind this number, only experience. However, your number of months can be significantly different.
If your situation allows, agree on a particular number of months, you shouldn’t go without seeing each other and stick to it.
17. Be flirtatious with each other
This is true for any marriage. Keep seducing each other, keep the fire alive. Flirt and sext often.
18. Do things together
You can’t go grocery shopping, but you can make the lists together. You can play a game or watch a movie. Try to incorporate as many activities that a geographically close couple would have.
19. Bad visit doesn’t equal bad relationship
Sometimes you plan so much and get excited before a visit; the real deal disappoints you. This doesn’t mean you don’t love each other or that you are falling apart.
Ask yourself why else could this be happening and talk it through with your partner.
20. Emphasize the positive
In a long-distance marriage, there are a lot of downsides that keep staring at you. You dine, sleep, and wake up without your spouse.
However, there are plus sides. Before you reach the goal of living together again, try focusing on those. Instead of concentrating on miles apart, concentrate on the chance this challenge gives you to grow stronger as a couple.
Make your own long-distance marriage survival kit
If you are asking “can a long-distance marriage work,” the answer is yes IF you both work on it. Same as with anything in life – when it is worth trying, give it your best, and stay positive.
How to keep a long-distance relationship thriving? Communicate regularly and creatively, trust each other, and share the struggles you are going through.
Sync your schedules and your visits, and have a goal. Figure out what advice works for you and what amount of months you can go without seeing each other.
If you notice there is a need for it, you can always opt for long-distance marriage counseling to overcome the rough patch. Stay optimistic and stay together!
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Milica Markovic has graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy with a degree in Clinical Psychology. She has 7 years (and counting) of Psychotherapy and Coaching education (both Transactional Analysis and Psychology of Personal Constructs) and experience in working with clients. Throughout her career, she has had remote clients around the world facing various personal, academic, or professional challenges.
She finds her primary duty is to establish a trusting environment in which clients can feel safe enough to discuss anything that might be troubling them and grow closer to their goals. She believes that whether you are experiencing a personal, relationship related, or professional challenge, the journey to surpassing it can be made easier with the right help by your side.
Milica is also a strong advocate of lifelong learning and continuous improvement.