Posts Tagged 'love'

Real life advice for long distance relationship success

How do you keep a relationship alive when one person is constantly MIA?   Well that’s a million dollar question and I believe I have the answers to it. This is not to say that my advice will please everyone, but, it is a result of my direct experience.

It takes a very special person to be married to someone who is constantly gone. The person left at home has to be self sufficient and independent.  Someone who can be a mom and dad at the same time, an accountant and housekeeper, and in most cases someone who also works outside of the home.  The one at home has to be able to juggle not only their own daily life but also the activities of the children, and any last minute requests made by their spouse or partner.

So how do you prepare for the day when the one you are with leaves for an extended time frame?  One of the most important things to do is to make sure you know where all the important paperwork is—for example: wills, important financial documents, social security cards and anything else you might need handy.  In my family this collection of papers is called the “War Packet.” Created when my husband went over to Iraq, we have used it ever since and update the documents regularly.  (If you need a power of attorney that’s the place to keep those documents as well).

Spend as much quality time with each other as possible—that doesn’t mean go out to dinner regularly, but whatever it is that the two of you do with each other that is special.  Whether you get up in the mornings and have coffee together or lay in bed when the kids are down talking about the day—make it more of a point to do it—but be careful to avoid taking it to a point where having to be together becomes tedious.  The night before the other leaves, help them pack, make sure that they have everything they need while they will be away. If they need a care package sent, write your list at that time and start it the next day.

The most important aspect of keeping the relationship alive, in my opinion, is communication. If the communication dies everything else will fall apart.  Good communication is not just talking to each other, because there are times when phone calls aren’t possible.  Keeping each other involved in the mundane daily things that seem trivial normally are actually very important when distance is between you.  Whether it’s a short email about your day, how the kids are doing (if applicable), or simply how you are feeling.

Just because distance is between you doesn’t lessen the importance of special days and holidays. They are just as important as when you are together, so make sure to send a package at Christmas, or, like in our family, if we can we call my husband, put the phone on speaker while the kids open their presents. This makes the other person feel involved, still an important and vital part of the family.

If your anniversary falls on a day they will be gone, go treat yourself and send them a special email or card. Do the same thing with Valentine’s Day. Basically, just keep them involved in the holidays and birthdays even when they are not there to participate physically in them.

Intimacy is it possible with out the other person physically being there.  How do you go about sexual relations with each other while one is gone?   Well, this is where it takes a creative mind. Yes, it is possible to have sexual relations with your partner while they are gone.  It’s a little different than when they are there (obviously) but it still works.  A few of my tricks to get me through the separation times include, phone sex, web-cam use and cyber sex.  All are very fulfilling and leave a satisfied body in its wake.  The intimacy side really doesn’t change too much because you are still with the person, just in a different form. However, you have to open more of yourself to them and visa versa.

When you have a relationship where one is away for extended periods of time you learn just how much you can take and sometimes have to push past those limitations to forge a stronger bond with your partner. Sometimes it is just a matter of finding the strength deep down inside of you to push forward to another day.

Life keeps happening while the other is away and sometimes you have to face some of your hardest situations physically alone.  Here is an example of facing a hardship by yourself.  Mothers Day ‘08, I was out spending the day with my kids and saw my dad had called, so I called him back after we ate dinner. His roommate answered the phone and told me my dad had died that day!  Ya, it was like a nuclear bomb going off in my heart.  So I went home and call my husband, who even as he answered the phone knew something was wrong, and then knew once he heard me crying what it was.

In the days that followed my father’s death, my husband was my rock. Although he wasn’t there to hold me, he was there to support me, to listen to and reassure me in the ways I needed him to.  When it came time for me to go back to Washington to take care of the arrangements, he offered to come home but I told him no.  It wasn’t that I didn’t want him there but more like I needed to do it myself. He was going to be home in two weeks anyway. However, he called me frequently the whole time  I was there to make sure I was okay and listen to me vent, cry, whatever.  When he came home he held me while I cried and tried to let go.

Just because distance separates you and your loved one doesn’t mean it has to affect you or your relationship in a negative way.  The lessons you learn about yourself and your inner strength are what will get you through just about anything that could happen.  You find that you are stronger than you could have ever dreamed of being and if your life has been built on solid ground then it will stay standing when the storms start knocking at your door.

The homecoming day is one to look forward to for many reasons. It is such a relief to not have to do everything by yourself any longer.  Though there is a transition phase that takes place in my house. He starts to slowly take over the cooking, (THANK GOD) is there to help me with the household chores, and he steps back into the role of dad so I can go back to just being mom.  We make sure we have planned family outings and special time for us as a family but we also set aside time just for us to have quality time to ourselves as well.

Here is the bottom line that I believe most people don’t understand: Don’t take the time for granted that you spend with the one you love. Don’t take for granted their presence in your bed, because if the day comes when they have to leave for real period of time, you will be at a complete emotional loss. Every day you are with that person, be thankful that they are there.

There are people all around the world who see their partners daily but tend to overlook all they have in their presence. If you are a person who has a partner who is gone for extended periods of time you understand that time together is precious. Remember to always celebrate that, because it will be the memory of those times that hold you steady, strong and true during separation.

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