Tips for Making a Long-Distance Marriage Work

There are so many reasons you might find yourself in a long-distance marriage. For example, maybe you’ve moved to another country for more economic opportunities and your spouse stayed behind, at least for the time being or vice versa.

Maybe your spouse is temporarily working abroad, and you have to stay behind for your job. Perhaps there are family obligations that are putting you in different locations.

Regardless of the specific reasons as to why your marriage is long-distance, it’s an increasingly common situation for people to be in, particularly with the globalized, technology-driven world we live in.

The following are some logistical and also some emotional tips for making it work.

 

Handling Finances

It might not be the most romantic area to focus on but it can be the most important—finances. If your spouse lives in another country, how will you send or receive money when necessary? How will the bills be managed and how will your income be pooled? Will you share the expenses in both locations, or will your spouse just help with the expenses where you are?

How much financial independence will you have from one another if you’re living separately and particularly in different countries from one another?

What about tax implications? How will these be affected by you living in a different place and particularly even a different country from your spouse?

A lot of couples who have lived it will recommend that you set your budget as a couple, just as you would if you were both living in the same place.

 

Consider a Roommate

If you’re going to be living apart from your spouse for an extended period of time, it might be smart to consider a roommate. This could apply to both of you. This is a good way to share living expenses, since you’re essentially going to be paying for two different households. It can also be good in terms of having some element of social support when your spouse is away.

 

Maximize Technology

While it’s never going to be easy to live apart from your spouse, technology certainly helps much more than it did at any other point in time.

Rather than spending all of your savings visiting each other as much as possible, make sure you’re being smart with travel costs and instead relying on technology as a way to stay connected to one another.

You can set up date nights via Skype or FaceTime so that you’re sharing time together and reconnecting on a regular basis. You’ll be surprised at how much you really can maintain a connection through the use of technology and in particular, video chats.

Also, this may sound like a strange tip, but share your appointments and schedules with one another via a Google calendar, or whatever format you find is easiest. Even if your doctor’s appointments or your kids’ sports practices don’t directly affect your spouse when you’re living directly, it’s important that you share these things with one another just as you would if you were under the same roof. It helps you maintain the feeling that you are partners.

Have An End Date 

It’s important, no matter the reasons you’re currently apart, to have an end-date to your long-distance marriage. You should have a date or window of time when you expect that you will live together again. It may be after immigration hurdles are eliminated, or once a job completes. Whatever the time is, it’s important to have that so that it doesn’t seem like you’re going to be apart forever.

The important thing is to feel as if your separation is temporary, and then you can make strides toward getting to that end point together.

 

Manage Expectations

The biggest disappointments we often experience in life tend to come from our own inability to manage expectations. When you go into something that can be as challenging as a long-distance marriage, make sure that you are realistic with your expectations.

Know that there will be challenges, particularly when it comes to communication and feelings of loneliness. Have plans in place for how you can cope with the challenges, even if you can’t fully solve them. Also, don’t expect too much of yourself but of your spouse either.

You will also have to leap into a challenge like living separately from your spouse with a sense of trust, and resiliency. Once you can tackle these concepts, you’re more likely to make it work and to thrive while doing so.

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