You, or perhaps your friends, may have discussed doubting the strength and longevity of long distance relationships. Don’t write them off just yet! They can, and DO work…it just takes a lot of effort and dedication. It’s certainly not for everyone, nor is it the easy road, but love knows no bounds, right?
As a Marine spouse, I see my husband generally half of the year when he is not deployed. When he is deployed, he’s gone for most of the year and in another country, overseas. Needless to say, he’s not around as much as civilian husbands are. Now that I am a mother, long distance is more difficult than it was when we were just dating. However, we do make it work–and it works well for us. We will be together almost five years, married for two this August.
Communication is key–however you two can manage it. When the Mr. is away, we text and talk on the phone as much as we are allowed. Sometimes e-mail is the only way we are able to communicate, and we fully take advantage of that too! You should see my sent email inbox–my husband and I e-mail back and forth all day. If you aren’t in communication with each other than it’s simply not going to work. Skype and other video chat options are also great! Especially for us military spouses. This is a neat way for the kids and you to see your husband “face to face.”
Now what about the time you and your significant other are together? My husband and I make the most out of that time too–but not to the point that our much needed solo time (sans-baby) will suffer. We make sure we still are able to get some “alone” time with ourselves, and each week we alternate watching our son while the other person goes to Jiu-Jitsu, gets a massage, or a mani-pedi. This makes our time less stressful when we are together, because we’re still able to continue our hobbies and personal interests. It’s a sanity keeper for me as a mom, I’ll tell you that much!
Dinner time is around the table, at the same time every day. We only go out to eat once or twice a month, and I cook every meal at home. I find this “family time” a nice way we can talk about our day and unwind a bit before getting the baby bathed and ready for bed. Once the baby’s down, its our time. Friday nights we watch shows we DVRed earlier in the week, and we’ll just veg out together on the couch. Sometimes we’ll give each other massages! It’s nice to dedicate one night a week to relax together since we’re always on the go. Other nights he is home we study the Bible together before bed. This is a great way to connect with your husband on both spiritual and personal levels. It’s amazing to know my husband inside and out, and I truly value this time I can continue to grow with him in God and as a wife.
You and your husband may have other interests–so pursue them together. We don’t have the luxury of having family close by to babysit. If you have a babysitter or family member close by, make sure you two take time when you can to “date” each other again. Go to a movie; participate in activities you both love and enjoy. Rekindle your romance as often as you can. The more time you put towards something, the more dedicated you are to it. This goes with school studies, fitness, and love. Make time for those you love.
Remember, it can be stressful on the other person who has to be away. They shouldn’t be faulted for that, and your attitude can make or break their day (as well as yours). Stay positive and motivated. Surround yourself with positive, healthy people who will only lift you up and not put you down. This mentality is extremely important in surviving a long distance relationship. Set goals or plan things in the future. If you are always looking forward to something, you are staying motivated and on track. Cook him his favorite meal when he’s home, buy him the book or CD he may have been talking about– little things to show you care.