Hey, lovelies! It’s been a little while since I’ve sat down to write a post, but I’m happy to be back sharing this one with you! Alex and I have just finished a move to a new state, we bought a new home, and we are currently in the process of selling our other home. I’m stationed away from our house for a little over a month in order to train for my new job, and Alex has been traveling a lot for his work as well…so it’s pretty busy over here!
Being separated from my husband has been pretty darn difficult. I’m the wife that will get some serious separation anxiety if I’m away from my man for too long. What can I say…he’s a super hottie, and I just love him to pieces! However, I’m handling this long distance thing a lot better than I thought I would, and I’m discovering some tricks for surviving the separation after my first week away. There won’t be a video to go along with this post (I don’t have all my normal blog equipment with me), but if you’re curious how to get through a long distance separation in your marriage, keep reading!
Decide on a Plan For Phone Calls
When you’re separated from your love, it’s pretty obvious that you might be talking on the phone more than you normally do when the two of you are together. Easy day, right? If you or your spouse aren’t big on the whole talking on the phone for hours thing, it can become a big problem source in a hurry. BEFORE the long distance starts or on the first day or so, come up with a plan for how frequently and when phone calls are going to happen. In our marriage, I’m the talker. I can talk and talk and talk and talk and talk, and I would prefer if Alex were the same way. He’s not that way. Ha! We have found that a quick phone call during the day or in the morning to say I love you + a longer 30 min-1 hour conversation at night works well for us. It gives me enough talk time to feel loved, but also gives him breathing room to not have his phone attached to his ear all the time. (This is also a great time to maybe think about investing in a bluetooth device if the non-phone person would find it easier to talk hands-free. Alex enjoys being able to do other things while we talk, so this works well for us.)
Another thing to think about when it comes to phone calls is what the conversations are going to look like when you’re on the phone. In addition to not being a big phone call guy, Alex just isn’t very talkative in general. If I were to expect him to get on the phone and gush about his day, I would be very disappointed most days. I’m the opposite. If he were to get on the phone and expect me to be quiet or state a point without repeating myself a thousand times, he would be upset to discover that I literally can’t do that. 😉 The main thing here is to talk about and manage your expectations. Discuss what each of you needs in regards to talk time, and find something that falls in the middle.
Make a Music or Podcast Playlist
This one is so fun! When Alex and I left Virginia, we both were driving to separate states on the same day. I eventually flew home to see him before I started training, but we were both on the road for a few days separately. During those days, we each added about 10-15 songs to a playlist for each other to listen to. It was so fun to hear the songs that he picked, but it also gave me an insight into how he was feeling depending on what type of songs they were. You can make this fun and light by adding some upbeat or silly songs, or you can go the romantic route by adding plenty of love songs for your spouse to enjoy. We landed somewhere in the middle with a bit of both in our playlists, and it was a blast! I felt so connected to him when I was listening to the songs even though he was actually driving farther away from me. You can do the same thing with podcasts if your spouse would rather listen to speaking instead of music!
Get Creative with Date Night
As I’m writing this, it’s actually only my second weekend away from home and my first full week away. AND Alex is actually coming to see me for 24 hours later today, SO we haven’t had to have a creative date night, yet. I’ve got some ideas that I’m really excited to try, though! I don’t think that date night should be skipped just because you and your spouse aren’t in the same space. It’s super important! Alex and I normally do a date night once a week, but will probably do one once every two weeks while I’m away.
“How do you have date night when the two of you aren’t in the same place?”
I’m glad you asked! I’ve got two ideas so far! The first is to grab dinner to go (or make it if you have access to a kitchen), and video chat while you eat. It sounds a little awkward when you first think of it, but this can be a great time to get some talking done without being on the phone, and it’s like you’re having dinner together! The second option is to watch the same movie at the same time. Decide on a movie to stream, synchronize when you press play, and text each other throughout the movie. Neither of these are the same as being together, but it’s something! If you have any other ideas for date nights, comment them below, please. 🙂
Be Understanding and Save the Meltdowns
I’m speaking straight to myself with this one. First, be understanding. When you’re separated from your spouse for a long period of time, both of you are going to have to find new routines and possibly will have new schedules. This means that either one of you might not be available as much as normal, might be more or less tired, and might be more emotional during the long distance. Whatever the case, be understanding with your spouse. Try not to jump the gun and assume the worst if you haven’t heard from your husband all day (Carisa…seriously, don’t. LOL), and try to understand if you spouse needs more or less from you to cope with the distance. Basically, a lot of things are going to be different from what you’re used to, and getting upset with your spouse won’t fix anything. Remember, you’re on the same team!
The second part of this may not apply to you if you’re not prone to anxiety like I am, but if you are, keep reading. When you are dealing with distance away from your spouse, it can really take a toll on your emotional state. The person that you probably confide in most is no longer available in the same space as you. It can be really rough, I know. One of the things that has made this separation easier for us is that I’m paying close attention to my emotions and keeping them in check as best I can. I’m doing my best to handle problems and emotions that come up on my own first before I dial the phone to cry to my husband. Why? Because he’s already stressed as it is dealing with the separation in his own way. I need my husband to know that I am a strong woman that he can trust to be stable in hard times. This also helps him to be charged up and ready to handle anything I throw at him, when I’m having a harder than normal day and need to cry or vent. Some days are a little hard, and some are super hard. If I handle the little ones myself, he’s better able to help with the super ones! Hope that makes sense 😉
There you have it! My long distance survival tips! Comment below if you have found something else that works well in your marriage! 🙂