Is Your Child’s Behavior Ruining Your Marriage? Don’t Let It! (First Part)

 

 

If you ever feel remorseful for thinking that your kids are causing marriage problems, well, don’t be guilty. Sometimes it is the case. A child’s disposition and the behavioral condition can throw things off.

 

That’s something in your life that you should be open about and probably accept. Defiance has become a trademark quality of kids these days. Somehow we feel like we have to live with it and just let other “things” adjust.

 

“Things” Like Your Marriage

Relationships and kids are two massive things to juggle, but for superwomen like “US,” it’s doable. Jeffrey Bernstein told us valuable secrets in his book titled “10 Days To A Less Defiant Child.” By following specific rules and transcending some of your emotions, you can get the best behavior out of your kids.

 

With that, your relationship with your husband and your marriage will be stronger. You’re on for a happier life.

 

 

 

When Wives Become Naggers

But at times, being a goody-two-shoes wife and mother is overwhelming. When kids are rebellious and misbehaving, the mother is often left all alone to manage the situations. It is important to note that husbands must also participate in childcare and rearing.

 

It doesn’t mean that because the mother is the primary carer, she is to be left to tend to your children by herself, ALL THE TIME. You are their dad. It is imperative that you help out with the control and disciplining of your children.

 

It is one reason why the moms often switch to their “nagger” mode. They need help. We, the moms, need help from the dads. Your marriage will be much better if you, the fathers of our children, will be “there” to provide additional support.

 

Acknowledge Your Spouse When Necessary

Who doesn’t want appreciation especially from your spouse, right? To the outside world, recognition may come in small packages but in relationships, acknowledging good things that your spouse has done must be a habit. For example:

 

Your husband watched your 3-year-old for 30 minutes so that you can clean up the mess she made in the kitchen. It was your husband’s time to watch his football game, but he took your daughter and gave her a bottle of milk to calm down. She needed changing, but he didn’t notice that and continued watching the game while the little girl was on his lap.

 

How do you proceed with that?

 

You: Thanks for helping out, honey. It means a lot to me that you’re holding her while I clean her mess.

 

And stop right there. Control your tongue. No more talking. The less you say, the better. But if you must, you can tell it like this:

 

You: Thanks for helping out, honey. It means a lot to me that you’re holding her while I clean her mess. Oh, I think she needs changing. Can you help me out with that?

 

If he says, NO, you can do this:

 

You: Oh, ok. I can change her, but will you help me with the kitchen? Please? I would rub your feet later if you help me out with this.

 

One way or another, he will have to move and help you out. But you have to ask nicely and without the quizzical look and tone.

 

I know, it’s hard!!! But you have to do this to maintain your sanity, and the peace within your home. Think of this as putting deposits in your marriage bank accounts. For it to grow, you would need to feed it.

 

Your goal here is teamwork and support. Never forget that parenting is hard and that no matter what you do, things may or may not work, and for that, you would need to lift each other up. You’ll be surprised how simple declarations like “I’m on your team” or “I can see that you’re frustrated, let’s talk” can go such a long way.

 

 

I am not fond of writing long blogs since I don’t want people to get bored while reading it. And so I decided to publish another post shortly after this one to conclude the topic of interconnecting your kid’s behavior and marriage.

 

For now, I leave you with these thoughts, possible scenarios, and practical solutions that may save your marriage amidst the kids (and you both) ruining it unconsciously.…

Is Your Child’s Behavior Ruining Your Marriage? Don’t Let It! (Second Part)

 

 

 

This blog is a continuation of the previous blog I posted titled “Is Your Child’s Behavior Ruining Your Marriage? Don’t Let It! (First Part).” In the last blog, I mentioned essential matters like how your kid’s behavior can influence a gap in your marriage and things that you can do to enhance your relationship with your husband by not nagging.

 

Here, I am still going to provide some sound advice, as per my experience and from the thoughts of those who have been married for more than 30 years. I hope it can shed light on some of your queries.

 

Accept That Sometimes You Think You’re Going Crazy And That’s Okay

Boom! “Crazy,” that’s a big word. But when you have children who are exhibiting tantrums and such, you’d be that kind of mom.

 

On the topic of acceptance, when it comes to parenting there really are tough pills to swallow – the CRAZY pills.

 

Craziness is relative. If you think that a particular family is breezing through life with an “easy” kid, then, re-check your judgment. They may have a quiet kid, but it doesn’t mean that their situation is a lot better. Many parents may appear replenished when they go outside, but indoors we are all just the same crazy moms (and dads) especially when the kids are at war with us.

 

How can we go about it? Be yourself. Accept that life can be crazy with kids involved. Don’t get “wacko” on your spouse. Let it go – this is life.

 

 

Play To Each Other’s Strengths

I mentioned in the other post that says “I’m on your team” and it can go a long way. Well, in parenting every statement should be backed up with an equal action.

 

As for you and your spouse, you are a team, and you have roles to fulfill when it comes to dealing with the kids. Play to your strengths, and if you can make your kids calm down with your cooking abilities, then do it. If your partner is the type to drag your kids around the park effortlessly, then use that method as well. You are a team and playing with each other’s strength is your best chance of surviving this phase.

 

If your partner is struggling in one aspect and you think that you can help them by taking over, don’t hesitate to do it. You have to talk to your spouse about assisting, as well. Letting things be while your spouse struggles can spell D-O-O-M for your relationship.

 

Call It When Needed, But In A Private Manner

Family dinners, vacations, strolls, and family time, in general, can go the wrong way at times especially when young kids are involved. In those cases, it might be better to pull away a bit and distance everybody from one another.

 

Furthermore, you can try planning out things. As Jeffrey Bernstein put it in his book titled “10 Days To A Less Defiant Child,” an unruly child will not be like that forever. To put things where they should be, you can discipline your child without other people seeing it. You have to build the child’s character at home so that when you go out, he will know how to behave. Just in case your child needs reminding, do it privately.

 

Get Professional Help

I’ve told you that going crazy is a part of things when you have kids and that parenting is tough. It can even break up your marriage because it’s too much to handle. Now, at times, you suck it up. But if things go way out of hand, then by all means, get help.

 

A child psychologist named Mike Fraser explained that a third party could put things in perspective. This professional with a trained eye can assess your situation. He or she will help you towards a therapy or counseling plan specific to your needs.

 

For example, your child is the type of kid to explode and who turns a perfect weekend into a disaster. (Believe me. There is a kid like that.) Professional help is about preparing for that kind of situation and knowing how to handle it when the need arises.

 

 

I know. This blog is long too, and as I said, I needed to divide it since I don’t like writing long articles! Anyway, I hope this blog has helped you in a way. Maintain a loving and understanding relationship with your spouse, even if your child is over the top in unruliness. You can survive this!…

Anxiety Disorder: How My Misunderstanding Of My Wife’s Behavior Almost Cost Me Our Marriage

“I didn’t know that my bubbly, fun-loving, and larger-than-life wife would ever have an anxiety disorder. She was a positive person, in her old life, before the “incident” happened to her. She was mugged right outside our home one night almost two years ago, and the animal also stabbed her in the belly. My wife was carrying our 4-month-old baby inside her at that time and lost him. I was too selfish to believe that she’d be fine just because she told me not to worry about her.”

Stress In A Marriage

 

 

Marriage isn’t a one-way express ticket to a happily ever after. It is a road that is continuously in construction. New paths are created, but there will always be bumps up ahead. Sometimes you’re left facing with a dead-end and with no way of knowing where to go or what to do.

 

In relationships, conflicts are inevitable. However, when not adequately dealt with, it can cause a lot of stress on the marriage, threatening its stability. Challenging and stressful issues will arise, and it is essential to know the causes behind it and how it affects a marriage.

 

Causes Of Stress In A Marriage

Finances

Most wives worry about financial support. Under difficult economic circumstances, couples can easily break down under pressure. Paying for bills, putting food on the table, childbearing and rearing, and even education; everything involves money. Issues like these can easily spark “bad blood” between partners.

 

Lack of communication

A relationship is built on trust and connection. Without communication, misunderstandings and arguments can arise. The way a couple sees each other may also change negatively and increase the chances of separation and divorce. It becomes more difficult for a couple to see problems clearly and they are blinded on how to resolve it.

 

 

Children

Having children is a gift, but it can also add stress to the marriage. Having kids means changing lifestyles, routines, and even habits and behaviors. Miscarriage or death of a child is also a traumatic event. Moreover, if you have children, there is always the need to be sensitive, considerate, and understanding at all times, which can be very mentally taxing.

 

Work

Work demands a lot, whether it’s part-time or full-time. Pressure may come from not being able to spend precious time with family or being irritable at the end of a hard day’s work. It takes a toll on one’s emotional and physical health.

 

Differences

There have been instances where one wakes up and realizes their partner beside them is too different. When you’re married, you understand things and learn more about who your partner is as a human. Being married comes with a lot of changes, which may seem like a whiplash of reality for some couples when they see that their partner isn’t who they thought they were.

 

Impact Of Stress On Your Marriage

First of all, conflicts will arise. Irritation that comes with stress is often taken out on other people. In relationships, arguments happen because of a slight change in tone or words said out of frustration. The intimacy between the couple can also weaken.

 

Couples may often grow sick of each other’s presence or adapt the mindset of “we’re only in the same space.” The worst effect of chronic stress in a marriage can be separation or divorce. The lack of communication increases conflict, and negativity can influence or push the couple to seek a divorce. It’s imperative for the couple to be able to see problems clearly and solve them together, but with stress plaguing both, it is a long shot.

 

 

 

Don’t Let it Wait

If you think that you and your partner are under stress or feeling the pressure, it’s essential to reach out to others. Marriage or relationship counseling is an excellent way to find alternative measures to deal with the stress. A couple is supposed to be a team, and it’s essential to go through hurdles together while they walk hand-in-hand every step of the way.…

Living A Sexless Marriage – How To Fix It

 

 

Sex plays a huge role in an intimate relationship. It is a human’s way of expressing their intimate emotions to their respective partners.  However, there comes a point in most couple’s lives wherein the intimacy spell fades out, leaving the relationship utterly sexless. This issue, of course, affects not just the physical contact between the couple but their relationship as well.

 

 “Having a sexless marriage can feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders.” — Lisa Thomas LMFT

How Does Lack Of Intimacy Affect Both Partners?

For men, intimacy issue is a big problem. It can lead to heightened frustration, anxiety and even trigger insecurities. It can put considerable damage in their self-perception. Between a man and a woman, the man is more sexual. Thus, this is a big issue for them.

 

For women, intimacy problem is also a dilemma. But the impact is not as profound as that of men. Women can divert their sexual urges to simple emotional connections with their partners and be contented with it.

 

Can A Sexless Marriage Survive?

Every married couple is unique. There is a significant number of marriages that have overcome sexless relationships and remain married to each other. They are still together due to culture, duty, religion, and obligation. In some cultures, they believe that marriage is more than just sex and that is why they choose to be together than be overwhelmed with physical problems.

 

How Does One Cope In A Marriage Without Sex?

Intimacy drops and rises. There will come to a point in one’s life wherein sex life becomes a chore and later on becomes stagnant. But there’s always hope in every situation. People have different ways of coping with this type of situation.

 

 

“Couples in sexless marriages offer the Anti-Magi gift; they figure out what the other most desires and withhold it.” — Laurie J Watson LMFT, LPC

Tips To Fix A Sexless Marriage

Just like any other issue, sexless marriage can be fixed. However, effort should be exerted in both parties. Below are some tips to rekindle back the fire into your sex life:

 

  • Determine the factor that gets you and your partner into that situation.
  • Have an open conversation with your partner.
  • Don’t play the blame game. Instead, ascertain what you have contributed to the issue.
  • Control your temper.
  • Make a goal that you and your partner will fix the intimacy problem.
  • Start with the primary physical contacts like holding of hands, etc.
  • Tell your partner how you miss him whenever you are apart from each other.
  • Do things together – talk, be in each other’s arms while watching a movie, etc.
  • Make yourself attractive to your partner. Get fit and maintain a healthy physique.
  • Do not complain too much, nag, or be too clingy.
  • Share your fantasies with your partner, whether they are sexual or not.
  • Leave old issues, bitterness, resentments, and unpleasant memories behind. Treat your partner with love, affection, and kindness.
  • Forgive your partner for his shortcomings.
  • Make an effort in serving your partner.
  • Be adventurous, experiment some sex games.
  • In every success, celebrate.
  • Have time to get involved in marriage or couple retreats.
  • Spend holidays and weekends with lots of memories and fun things to do.
  • Recall the times when you both were so into each other. Bring that passion back to present times.

 

If you need more guidance or if you feel that nothing works, seek professional help. Intimacy problems can be resolved. However, it requires the two of you to be involved. Be optimistic and work hand-in-hand with your partner. These problems can be resolved if there is love.

“Physical intimacy cannot be resolved without emotional intimacy, so take the courageous step and voice your concerns either to your spouse or a trained professional.” — Sam Louie MA, LMHC

He Doesn’t Love Me Anymore

 

 

It’s the little things that you do which keeps me wondering – do you still love me?

 

He asked me if he can sleep in the guest room because the baby was keeping him up all night and he had to work early every morning. That was three years ago, but until now even if the baby is a toddler and doesn’t make a sound at night, he still sleeps in a different bed when he’s here.

 

I said “when he’s here” because as of two years ago, he went back to his hometown for work. As if the distance between us was not enough for him, he had to move 500 miles away from me. We only see each other every other weekend, and every day I had to text or call him first so that we can talk.

 

It was excruciating for me that he was there in the guest room. I know he wanted his rest, but I wanted to rest too. And I needed his presence while taking care of a newborn at 43 years old. Was it too much to ask? He even made a life decision without my say. My husband wanted to work in his hometown, and I was forced to accept that fact. I did it without raising my voice because that’s what he wanted – “I’m going back to New York. I have an offer there. We’ll just set up our schedule.” What else can I say but “okay?”

 

The pain of him “working far away” was unbearable. It was crushing my being, and I felt like he was leaving me for good. But what can I do? He wanted to work there and as his wife, I had to be supportive.

 

 

On the reverse, shouldn’t he be supportive of me too? Why is it that I always had to give and accept? What about me? What about what I want and need from him?

 

Am I overreacting? Is this a little bit dramatic? Am I a drama queen? Is it too bad to desire for your husband’s attention, care, and love? For so long, I didn’t feel that. I remember back then – I would cry during our intimate act because of how much I love him. My whole body trembled because of happiness and pure bliss. Now, after 5 minutes of quickened activity, he would rise after he kisses my forehead. Where is our intimacy these days, huh?

 

What is going on? Something is happening here that I don’t like. I don’t like it at all. It’s not what I expected, and this is not what I want. Do I even matter? My heart tells me to scream, shout, and get angry at this whole messed up situation. Isn’t it my right to tell him how I feel? What will he say about it? I guess it’s time to find out.

 

“You’ve been ignoring me lately, and I don’t get to see you as often as I want to, you know. Can we make an effort and do something about it?”

 

“What are you saying now? You’re not making any sense. What effort? Am I not feeding you and the kids? Are you saying I lack in the provision department? Don’t I give you what you need every day? Three meals and some?”

 

And so, I know now. I wished my husband would have reacted differently, but he saw me like that – a provision – his burden of 3 meals and some.

 

How do I proceed now? Tell me. I can’t think straight, and frankly, my numbness is sinking in.…

Ask Yourself These Before Considering Couples Therapy

“Safety and trust in relationships go hand-in-hand: Safety lays the foundation for trust, and trust over time morphs into safety.” — Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W.

Most people find it weird and frightening to bring in someone who can mediate and give your marriage a fix. That was then. Now, the stigma has increasingly been lifted, and a lot of couples have experienced awesome results from their therapy. Even those who have great relationships go into counseling just to look for advice on how to strengthen their bonds. However, not all couples have found it easy to begin with therapy, just as not all have gotten positive outcomes after going to their therapist.

Before you and your partner decide to be mediated with a couple’s therapist, here are some question you can ask yourself to make sure that couples therapy will work for you.

“Maybe other issues of trust, safety, or security have come up that haven’t been thoroughly resolved. Couples who struggle with sex are often the least likely to talk about their struggles thinking it’s a no-win situation.” — Sam Louie MA, LMHC

When Is The Right Time To Seek Help?

Some couples ask for professional help when the pain has gone overboard, and the argument becomes too difficult to manage. Both parties are overwhelmed with what they might have said or done to each other that they decide to look for someone who can ‘fix’ them.

The wisest time to seek guidance and help from a therapist when you and your spouse can’t find concrete solutions to your marital problems, or if you have decided that your marriage goals are impossible to achieve. Do not wait for the whole misunderstanding to blow up, and violence comes in. When this happens, there might not be any chance for reconciliation at all.

 

What If My Partner Doesn’t Want To Go To Therapy?

It is typical for a husband to be less interested in therapy than the wife. So if you think that you need to see a therapist for your marriage problems, one way to involve your partner is to tell him that he must be there with you, which is true. But just a fair warning: If you are currently seeing your therapist, your partner might be intimidated that you’re all too familiar with the process. In this case, you can let your spouse choose a therapist for both of you, someone that you will see for the first time. Also, your partner will have a hard time arguing with you if you tell him that you want to know how to make good things become the best. Don’t focus on the negative things that you are about to divulge to the therapist!

How Do We Choose The Right Therapist For Us?

Don’t worry. You’re not obliged to sign up immediately. In fact, most of the therapists have free consultation via phone interview, so take advantage of it. Tell him a little about the problem and observe if it is something that he has extensive knowledge in. You can also listen to the voice – if it’s gentle and the talk is not very fast, the therapist may be a patient one. If he talks fast, maybe he’s more interested in getting to the end of the session! Find a sense of connection between you and your therapist.

If you’re lucky to get an initial face-to-face consultation, the better, you can determine if both you and your partner can get honest and unbiased explanations from your therapist. You’ve got to listen to your instincts.

How Do We Know The Therapy Is Working?

The first determinant of whether it’s working or is not if, after a few sessions, you begin to feel warmer and more comfortable with your partner. This means that your therapist has effectively broken into some barriers that you both have for each other, probably due to the constant arguments and misunderstandings.

“Trust requires a willingness to accept less than 100 percent certainty — otherwise it would be called verification.” — 0 PsyD, CST

Finally, if you are not comfortable with your therapist, it is wise to just look for someone that you share warmth with, someone that you and your partner can fully trust. Additionally, if your therapist is a professional one, then he must inform you if therapy is not working.

 

 …

“Cheaters Always Cheat And Liars Always Lie?”

 

 Many women – and men – have at one point in their lives been victims of infidelity. In fact, surveys say that more than 20% of married men and 15% of married women have had affairs. Does this validate the cliché ‘cheaters always cheat and liars always lie?’

Here are some collected opinions gathered from therapists and psychologists on whether or not a cheating spouse can turn around and never cheat again, or if it strengthens the notion that cheaters and liars never change.

“Research almost universally suggests that somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of people in committed relationships, both men and women, cheat on their partner.” — Robert Weiss Ph.D., MSW

The Cliché Is Biased. Once we expect that because he cheated once, he will always cheat, then we are belittling a person’s capacity to change for the better. Those who say this have perhaps never felt the guilt that comes after a one-night stand or a short-lived affair. The terrible feeling of having hurt your spouse and your kids has left me unable to sleep for weeks, and it’s the worst feeling ever,” said Tom, a husband who once was tempted to date her secretary while her wife was gone for a business trip. He claimed that it was the only time he was unfaithful and will never do it again.

Cheaters Have A Chance To Work On His Issues. Couple’s therapists have witnessed divorces that happen because of illicit affairs. They’ve also seen couples that decide to stay despite infidelity problems because they want to work things out. A therapist told the Huffington Post that a simple method of determining if your spouse will easily cheat again is if he confesses to his fault and takes full responsibility for what he did. This may happen spontaneously or after a few sessions of counseling. If he does this, they probably won’t cheat again. But if he continues to deny what happened and even gets angry if he is confronted, there’s a very slim chance for change from him.

“As I have observed the fallout from infidelity from the discovery throughout the lengthy process of healing, I have noticed that, even when couples are devoted to rising above adversity, facing their demons, keeping their hearts open, working through pain, grief, anxiety and loss, the process is incredibly difficult.” — Michele Weiner-Davis LCSW

If There Is No Remorse, Change May Not Be Possible. Hats off to spouses who would willingly sit it out in therapy for weeks. Obviously, they want their marriage to work, and they do love their partner. There are still many couples out there that would give anything to rebuild their marriage, and they can do that as long as they feel the remorse and guilt of hurting their partners. However, some simply brush the issue off after a few weeks of committing the infidelity. They want their partners to forget it quickly and may sometimes even blame their partner because they probably needed attention that their partner couldn’t give. When you hear that, you’re in for a serial cheating game. Give it up.

The Cheating Spouse May Be Motivated By The Hurt He Has Caused. This is possible for someone who isn’t used to cheating. He can’t believe that he was able to do that to his partner and his family, and he is very willing to make up for what he’s done. Guilt is an effective motivator for positive change. Perhaps your spouse had to be unfaithful for him to realize that he might lose everything. It is likened to a person who is charged with a DUI. He won’t promise to drink again unless he is detained for a night in jail and is forced to sleep on the floor.

The Betrayed Spouse Needs To Forgive. The cheating spouse maybe 100% sure that he won’t cheat again, but if the betrayed partner can’t forgive, there is no peaceful reconciliation. The mantra that cheaters always cheat and liars always lie alters a person’s capacity to realize that their partner is human, forgivable, and most of all, imperfect. Once the hurt spouse accepts this and opens his or her mind that marriage is precious and needs a second chance, then there is no second chance. But if he or she can move past it, the couple can definitely recover, heal, and be happy again.

“Essentially, rather than trying to control or punish a partner away from infidelity, it is more effective to reward and encourage their faithfulness and love.” — Jeremy Nicholson M.S.W., Ph.D.

 

 …

Does An Open Marriage Really Work?

 

What is the concept of marriage? As far as I can remember, when I married my husband, the vow was to be united and become one with him, to be true and to be intimate only to him. However, it seems some couples want to make their vows AFTER their marriage because they think it will make things better. To stop the arguments and infidelity issues, they decide to go into an open marriage. But can it possibly resolve anything? Can it save a distressed marriage?

“A marriage is only as strong as the two individuals. A great marriage – not just a good one – is one where each man does his own inner work and supports his husband to do the same.” — Mark O’Connell LCSW-R

In actuality, the idea of an open marriage is not as new as we think it is. This type of relationship has been seen years back, although not as prevalent as now. The increasing number of couples who want to try an open marriage maybe because as infidelity heightens, couples want to justify their actions and would rather find a reason to save the marriage than resolve the matter. If the intimacy is gone between the couples, then perhaps an open relationship would solve it, as this is only a sex issue. But would it work?

The most deafening answer is NO. It won’t help strengthen a marriage, nor does it encourage honesty in the relationship. Here are a few reasons why.

  • Rules Don’t Equal Real Emotions. When a spouse cheats and tells his partner that he loves her no matter what, they think that their love and trust for each other sill encompass anything, which is why some of them are willing to permit others to ‘join’ the union temporarily, just to fill in what’s lacking in the marriage. But we all know it’s easier said than done. Remember that emotions don’t mind the rules. If a spouse sees another to fill in the gaps, the rule here is, of course, to not get emotionally involved. Eventually, he gets attracted at a deeper level; the rules will be so much harder to follow. Instead of helping the marriage, the only thing it will do is to worsen it.

“Needs vs. wants—it’s not just semantics.” — Catherine Aponte Psy.D.

  • Jealousy Is Inevitable. Envy is one of the things that an open relationship wants to avoid. If the couple says, they truly love each other, letting another person in the relationship will not cause any jealousy – or at least that’s the rule. But humans are innately possessive, especially when it comes to things and people we love. No matter how modern or open-minded you think you are, it won’t be easy to acknowledge that you are sharing your spouse to another – your lifetime partner and father of your kids. If you are not at all affected by it, though, you might want to assess your feelings towards your spouse. Perhaps they’ve gotten cold because of what you’ve been through.
  • Self-esteem Will Absolutely Suffer. Having friends and significant others is an important part of one’s life simply because you can’t find everything in one person. But when your spouse talks you out of wanting to connect with another physically or intimately apparently to ‘save the marriage,’ and you reluctantly agree, it will slowly devour you and your self-esteem. You start to wonder why he asked for it in the first place, and then you think that you are not enough for your spouse. To solve this, you may seek attention from others and will push you to see others as well. The vicious cycle continues and will ultimately destroy the marriage.

Final Thoughts

If you and your partner are considering open marriage, perhaps you should think twice or thrice before doing so. It might look like a promising solution to your marriage problems, but then again, it may only be a temporary mask to the real issue at hand. It might even add more insult to the injury that your marriage has already gone through.

“Accepting concepts that have been considered blasphemous by some in our culture—like making it okay to marry for money, having term limits, or opening our minds to open marriage—would make marriage more practical and realistic.” — Susan Pease Gadoua L.C.S.W.

 

 

 …

Surviving A Long Distance Marriage

 

You may not have chosen to be in a long-distance marriage when you exchanged vows with your spouse, for others living apart but together is indeed a reality. It can be because of a family emergency, an inevitable move of your spouse’s company, or any valid reason. Whatever it is, you have got to try and make an effort to make your relationships thrive and survive.

Below are some tips that we have gathered from various marriage therapists on how to navigate a long-distance marriage and make it last.

“Weddings are not the end, but a stop on your train. A significant, theatrical, moment during which you receive recognition for who and what you are.” — Mark O’Connell LCSW-R

  • Take Advantage Of Technology. There are times when you need to step back from social media and smartphones, especially when you’ve had too much of it for a day, but for long-distance couples, you can use it to your advantage. Skype and Face Time are free mobile apps that you can always use during your free time. Schedule your talks when you’re done with work, or when you’re at home cooking dinner so the kids can join in the conversation. When you miss each other while working, maybe you can slip your phone and send a sweet message with love emoticons that will assure your partner of your love for him. Stay connected, so you’ll never feel as though you’re miles away.

 

  • Post Photos Of You And Your Spouse. If you’re living in a remote area for work reasons, clip some great photos of you and your spouse in the edge of your mirror, or put them in an album and display them by your bedside table. Don’t let the cliché ‘out of sight, out of mind’ beat you. Though it takes more than photos to strengthen your marriage, it does help in reminding you that someone’s waiting for you and trusting that you are keeping the love alive.
  • Play The Role Of Couples Living Together. Talk about pretending that you lived together so that when you are in your corresponding places, it won’t seem like you’re very far from each other. The distance will create different lives for you, and if you allow it to destroy your marriage, it probably can. This task is simple, and if you are ready to do anything for the marriage, this you can do.

“The idea of partners having things they want or prefer in order to flourish as individuals and as a couple is a better way to promote a good marriage.” — Catherine Aponte Psy.D.

  • Do Not Assume. Don’t make any assumptions just from your spouse’s tone of voice, emails, or text messages. A lot of these are easily mistaken, depending on the way you read them. For instance, you’re trying to call, but he’s not answering. He might be in a meeting, and suddenly you receive this automatic message that says, “I can’t talk right now.” Don’t overreact and think that he’s rejecting you or he’s not interested. Wait for him to call you or ask him when you do your usual video calls. You mustn’t get your insecurities in the way of your relationship. Agree that both of you will mend misunderstandings not through texts but through video conversations where things are clearer.
  • Make A Commitment To End The Distance. Work and family are important, and partners must try their best to understand that as much as they can. But in the end, there must be an expiration date to the long-distance contract. Although you think you can do it, it isn’t right to be away from each other forever. Do what you can. Save up while you’re away for your future. Finally, live together as a family because you ought to.

“While I see these nuptial changes as positive evolution, I feel that we still have a one-size-fits-all model for partnering in a culture that increasingly celebrates our differences. These newer proposals are simply time-limited and toned-down versions of the same thing with the same expectations.” — Susan Pease Gadoua L.C.S.W.

 

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