Distance Marriages - The Truth
Just over 2 years ago my husband had to retire due to his illness. We had to move out of the house we were starying in as it was part of his pay package. Luckily I still had a job and the pay was good, but not good enough for us to afford to rent or buy another house in the lovely leafy suburb we were staying. So we started to look out for something we could afford which we found in a small country town, 150 kilometres drive from the city.
This meant that I would only be able to travel home over weekends as I now became the sole breadwinner and had to stay behind in the city. Luckily we did not have any kids in the house anymore. They have all left and are living their own lives now. I found myself a small little garden flat which would not cost me an arm and leg and that is when our Distance Marriage started.
As the weeks went by I realise that it was going to be difficult for both of us but we just had to accept the situation and made the best of it. It is breaking my heart to leave my hubby every Sunday afternoon at home to do the trip back to the city. I miss watching the garden develop into an eden. I miss all the bird song in the big trees on our property. I miss enjoying my home at full as I cannot attend to everything over weekends, there is just not enough time. I miss my four-legged children - 4 Jack Russels and a Chihuahua and they miss me too during the week. One has to see to believe how glad they are every Friday afternoon when I arrive back at home. Now I know how it must feel for a father to be away from his kids and not be there all the time to watch them growing up, see their first steps, hear their first words......
I know that my Hubby also misses me tremendously. Sometimes when I say goodbye to go back to the city I can hear the sob in his voice. As he cannot do any heavy work anymore, he started to cook jams, canfruit, curry beans and all those nice things in order not to feel lonely and useless. He is very good in the kitchen...... has always been. I brag all the time to my colleauges how good he is with cooking. One good thing, I do not cook at all during weekends, that is now his department and he loves doing it! But I do the dirty job - washing the dishes.
What we both have realised in a distance marriage was the following:-
Couples living apart as a result of one spouse working in another place or country in order to give his or her family a better life is quite a difficult situation and to have this marriage last, is a real challenge.
When you love someone deeply and having to be apart from them for a period of time, is agonizing. Both parties will have to make extra efforts to nurture their relationship while they are apart.
Mutual trust is one of the most important factors in such a relationship. A long distance marriage will fail if there is a lack of trust between the partners.
Another important fact is to be honest about your whereabouts and to talk about things that matters to your relationship.
Be honest about your concerns and fears about your separation.
The key is communication. Keep the lines of communication open on a daily basis. Make time for one another, either by telephone, email, sms, etc.
Me and my hubby speak to each other on the phone at least twice a day, early in the morning just to say hello and then at eight o' clock in the evening when we tell each other about our day. In between we send sms's, poems and mms photo's to each other.
Don't rush into getting things done around the house right away. My hubby gives me some time to adjust to being back home. We also try to plan a short trip or some fun activity to do during the weekends.
At this stage we both realise that there is a possibility that this separation could be a long term arrangement but we both try to stay positive. We pray to God to help us through this period in our lives and know that at the right time He will open a door for us so that we could be together again all the time. At least we see each other every weekend, but the travelling to and fro does get tiresome which is why there must be the willingness and determination in order to have a long distance relationship work.
May our love and respect for each other which is still strong as it was 22 years ago, help us to survive all of this.