If you get to spend every day (or most days) with your spouse at your side, it’s really easy to take that closeness for granted.
For many couples, time apart is a fact of life – and they have to try and embrace the idea that “absence makes the heart grow fonder” even when it’s difficult and sometimes downright painful.
Whether you’re serving in the military (thank you!), out of town for an extended business trip or forced to live in a long-distance relationship for any number of reasons, it can be a real struggle.
While we’ve been blessed to never be apart for more than a few days at a time, we’ve learned a lot about this topic from our military friends, family and Engaged Marriage community members.
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There are plenty of challenges to separation, but one that doesn’t get talked about a lot is how to feel close when you’re physically so far apart.
Here are three ideas to help keep the romantic spark going strong from a distance:
1. Communicate in Special Ways
When you aren’t conversing throughout the day or able to see your spouse’s face when you speak, clear and meaningful communication can be a real challenge.
To counter not having your husband or wife right at your fingertips, you can communicate both frequently and in really meaningful ways. As long as their job allows it, try to send plenty of text messages to keep the conversation flowing. If you want to take your romantic text messaging to the next level, you might want to check out Text the Romance Back.
If you really want to deepen your connection and create a heart-warming keepsake, there’s really nothing better than a romantic love letter. We recently put together this free Perfect Love Letter checklist to help you get started and make it extra special.
A time of separation is a period when you need a lot of grace, both with accepting the situation and in allowing yourself to focus on loving your spouse rather than just feeling sorry for yourself.
Give it up to God.
And use prayer as a means to communicate what’s on your heart while you ask for God’s blessing on your spouse and your marriage. Jesus can provide a better connection than any cell service!
3. Become a Better Spouse By Investing In Yourself
While you’re sure to be busy with many things on the home-front or the work-front if you’re the one traveling, you can view your time apart as an opportunity to learn how to be a better spouse. You can certainly start with the 440+ posts here on Engaged Marriage, but there are many ways to invest in yourself.
I’d recommended browsing the top 20 marriage books of all time – you can’t wrong with any of them whether you want to learn about communication, money or personal success. You and your spouse can read the same book for a special connection.
And we’ve heard from several couples who have taken our Intimacy Reignited program remotely. Each spouse reviewed the lesson of the week on their own and then they talked about it by phone or email. It’s a great way not only stay connected but learn how to be a better spouse in the process.
If you’re dealing with separation from your spouse right now or you know that day will come, I hope you can put these tips to good use to keep your marriage strong.
And if you’re a member of the military or a military spouse, please accept our gratitude for the sacrifices you make in your family to serve those you don’t even know.
Better yet, we’d love to give you a gift – if you’re an active military family, please send me an email at dustin [at] engagedmarriage.com so we can get you set up with free access to our Romance the Write Way program. Thank you and tell your military friends to request their gift, too!