It is never easy when your partner is far away for significant lengths of time, and with marathons organized nowadays in every country, the possibility of spending time apart from your loved one dramatically increases. Spouses should use communication and planning to maintain strong relationships. Here are few simple tips to better face the temporary separation.
Intensify communication - When "the unknown" becomes a factor in the future of a relationship, it is important that partners don't just internalize their fears and hope for the best. Both individuals have many thoughts, concerns and opinions about the situation, and these need to be discussed. Set aside one night each week or a few minutes each day to discuss your feelings and just enjoy each other's company.
Don't fear preparation - Wishing and pretending that separation won't happen is not going to change the odds at all. Even while you are hoping for the best outcome, you need to be proactive and plan for different possibilities. It is important to talk about changes in lifestyle if one partner is away for an extended period of time. Talk about the tasks that person handles and make sure everything will be taken care of in his or her absence. Make sure both partners know where important financial and legal documents are located. Planning ahead will not predict the outcome, but will make both parties feel more secure and prepared for any situation.
Create a virtual home - With modern technology, many runners have access to the Internet. Create your own homepage and post important information, events and photos. This can allow the far away partner to catch a glimpse into their family from thousands of miles away.
Prepare to share - Many couples fear that, after a long period of absence, the relationship or connection will have changed. Yet just because you are apart doesn't mean you stop sharing in each other's lives. The partner at home can take extra steps to record events and activities, film achievements by children or the antics of a favorite pet, and keep a journal of his or her thoughts and feelings. Make a scrapbook of the time apart so that, when reunited, you can set aside a special weekend to relive those memories together and catch each other up.
Ask for help - It is our nature to want to appear strong when faced with obstacles, but don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Whether it be in handling the emotional aspects of separation or assistance in maintaining a household alone, use your support network of friends, family and, if necessary, professional service providers, to create a valuable support team that will make the process easier.
These tips were adapted from those published by the Equality in Marriage Institute website (equalityinmarriage.org), that Run The Planet thanks for its precious cooperation. Whether you are entering a marriage, long-time married, or divorcing, since 1998 the Equality in Marriage Institute has provided information, support, advice, and much more. Illustration © 2003Run The Planet.