I don’t like distance in my marriage, whether physical or emotional. This week I want to talk about physical distance and next week we will look deeper into emotional distance.
Couples can find themselves apart for a night, a few days, or much longer. The reasons for the physical distance can vary but what if we looked at those as times to actually grow our marriage instead of putting it on hold? In the early years of our marriage, I took a business trip to Toronto. I was never crazy about being apart from Nancy and this time I was headed to a foreign country which, for me, might as well have been on the other side of the world. I dreaded the trip. This was before cell phones and long distance calls out of country were expensive. I knew our times to connect would be few and short. As I arrived at my hotel in Toronto and began unpacking, I was feeling really homesick. Then I found something special. Tucked in with my clothes was a note from Nancy. It was sweet, funny, and just what I needed. I read it every day of the trip. It helped me refocus. I could do what I needed to do, enjoy the trip and still feel connected to her. It was awesome.
Today there are so many ways to connect that distance only becomes a problem if we let it. You can Facetime, text, talk, write emails, read YouVersion plans and pray together. The list is long. If we are proactive, we can close the gap and connect every day. One couple I talked to shared that connecting while apart heightened the excitement of eventually being face to face again. It made them appreciate each other more and actually made each a better spouse.
Are there times you are apart from your spouse? Do you use those times to grow your marriage or do you put it on hold? Why not be very intentional about growing your marriage? Having an Awesome Marriage takes effort every day whether the two of you are in the same place or miles apart. Never let distance get in the way of the marriage the two of you are committed to build together with God. The effort is more than worth it!
Mastering Your Engagement: For Military and First Responder Couples by Baylor University's online social work program provides actionable strategies for couples trying to build strong relationships and set realistic expectations for when times are tough. This guide contains information about the stressors military couples face and tips for how they can develop effective communication plans.