17 April 2014

Surviving Long Distance Marriage: Part 3

Welcome back to my marriage series on surviving a long-distance marriage. This is part 3 of the series. Other posts in this series can be found here. To find out more about how we ended up in a long-distance marriage, click here



Today we're going to talk about intimacy. Let's be honest, it's one of the most common topics I get asked about when people find out my husband and I live separately. How do we maintain a sense of intimacy when we're 1400 miles away?

I guess it's the same way that we would maintain intimacy if we were right next to each other, really. We flirt with each other. Hector is much better at this than I am, to his frustration sometimes, but I get so tired from working full-time and doing the mom things. We court each other. We talk on the phone. We send each other sexts. It's frustrating and humiliating to have to have a marriage be like this. That is probably why I go to visit as often as I can, sometimes every 2 months. Because I really do love waking up next to my husband.

Again communication is KEY. Communication is probably more important in this area than in any other area of a long-distance marriage. It's LITERALLY all you have. And I'm not very good at it, but I guess I'm good enough at it because Hector keeps me around (Just kidding... I love you Babe.) Hector and I have also been together long enough to know that long-term love, is equal parts passion, commitment, and intimacy. It's not all-passion like when we first got together. We are comfortable in our relationship with each other, simply because we've been together a long time. A dirty text message? Yeah, those are fun (and make me blush believe it or not!) but sending a text that says "Hey love, I'm thinking about you while I'm at work." is still loving and a great way to show that there is still a spark, especially when one of us is feeling very discouraged in our positions in life. Intimacy is less physical and more emotional as time goes on.

So here are my intimacy tips for a long-term marriage:

  • Flirt- make flirting a priority. I know I just said intimacy is less physical and more emotional, but I didn't say it was ALL emotional. Tell your significant other something you know will make them crazy and make them really miss you. 
  • Communicate- communication has come so far in the last decade or so. Now we have Facetime and Skype and video chats all over the internet. You can save money by using Skype, rather than using up all of your international minutes (like I did).
  • Speaking of Skype... if the kids are in bed and it's just you and hubby, why not give him a little tease of a show?
  • Don't "let yourself go"... I have no room to talk because I gained 40 lbs and I now only wear yoga pants and maxi skirts. Don't be afraid to make yourself pretty. Don't be afraid to brush your hair or get it colored when it needs it. Don't be afraid of wearing nice clothes. Make him feel like he's lucky to have you. And don't forget to let him know how lucky you are to have him.
Hopefully your separation from your special someone is only for a short period of time- once you are reunited, you can spend the rest of your life with them, building intimacy the ways that normal couples do.

How do you maintain intimacy with your spouse during separation (or after several years). Do you have any traditions or date night ideas you think someone else could benefit from? Let me know in the comments! 

See you next Thursday for installment 4 in this series.

3 comments:

  1. I had no idea all this had happened - I wondered why you went to TJ so much. This is pretty amazing, Andrea. I argue constantly with Nathan who sits inches from me most of the time, but you are raising two kids and trying to sort things out from a thousand + miles away.

    As far as keeping intimacy alive, Nathan and I had to go to therapy for that. We have been together for almost 8 years. We did learn that trying new things and different types of date night really help. Not just going to the typical movie or whatever. When he is on the road (which pales in comparison to your separation) I find that sending flirty texts and being fun always helps keep things alive.

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    1. Sara Sara Sara (I totally sang that)... have you and Nathan really been together for 8 years already? What's your favorite kind of date night (so far) besides movies?

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    2. Haha! Everybody always sings that song...but it was actually Sara, Smile :P

      Yeah, 8 years in August, married for 3 in July. (give or take those few months we broke up...ha)

      Anyhow, as far as new dates, we agreed to just try new places. I'm a picky eater and Nathan loves trying new things, so we agreed that we would try out some of the places we always drive by and wonder about. Of course it's always nice to have a movie night, but I think it livens things up a bit to try different places.

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