For the past six months my husband has been working in North Dakota while I stayed home to finish my internship and research project. It was a difficult decision to agree on but after researching and self reflecting we both decided that this decision would benefit us more than hurt us.
We knew that it was going to be hard being away from each other but we also trusted that we would both put in the effort needed in order to make our relationship work. We have been tried and tested but our relationship has strengthened because we worked on what needed to and reflected on what wasn’t working.
Out of the last six months only last few weeks have been the hardest for me. I have been super busy, work has been really draining and frustrating, and I was going through some serious self doubt. I honestly just felt alone.
We talk every night and he does great listening and supporting me but sometimes you need a hug or a good cry to really feel better. I didn’t have time to be social with friends much either so that made me feel even more alone.
I wanted my husband back. But I didn’t know how to tell him without making him feel like he was the one hurting me or that I wasn’t supportive of a job he loved. I always knew he would come home if I asked but I felt selfish and needy and figured this was just a phase I would get over.
He knows me so well because he could tell something was wrong and got me to open up.
He always surprises me with how relaxed and understanding he is. He listened to me complain, validated my feelings, and then discussed it with me. He never pointed fingers or made me feel guilty or for that feeling the way I was.
He just listened.
It was the most validating experience and I can’t stop reflecting on all of the times he has taken the time to listen to me, validate what I was saying, and then bring up his point of view. I honestly can’t think of a time where we didn’t discuss a problem we were having. There is never raised voices or walking away from each other and I give full credit to my husband.
I feel emotions strongly and get very protective so there are times where I can feel myself getting really hyped up. But every time he is able to calm me down and rationally discuss whatever needs to while also validating my feelings but still expressing his own.
Because of these moments we are always able to figure out what the other person needs and strengthen our relationship. Marriage is not easy but long distance marriage is even more difficult.
Sure I get to send him cute packages and am challenged to show my love in more creative ways but nothing can beat a hug after work or cuddling on the couch. And when he comes home on his visits we always make sure we are making the most of our time.
We go out and do things we both enjoy doing and but we also do the not so fun things too. Things such as cleaning the house or going grocery shopping because we know that those things are just as important as the fun tings.
You can’t strengthen your marriage by only doing fun things. That isn’t realistic. You will spend most of your time arguing about cleaning the dishes, running out of cereal, and not having enough time in the day so you need to work on those things just as much as having fun.
When we got married the best advice we got was to do everything together. Now obviously that doesn’t mean work in the same place, take the same classes, etc, and talk to each other about every little decision you make, but it does mean that you equally share responsibilities as well as adventures.
By both going grocery shopping we can hold each other accountable to our spending limit, to eating healthier, and making something mundane fun! It’s these little every day annoying tasks that we do together that strengthens our relationship. There are no secrets and no pointing fingers because we both equally share the responsibilities and have the same expectations.
This simple advice has erased so many arguments that your average couple fights about.
Because our current schedules are demanding and almost completely opposite we don’t get to talk or see each other very often. But every night when we make it a point to talk before we go to bed and we both make sure we aren’t surrounded by distractions and really talk to each other.
This quality time is sometimes short but it makes all the difference. I know for me he is giving me his undivided attention because he wants to – not because he feels obligated to.
I’m very grateful for the opportunities this job has brought us and I am extremely grateful for my husband who is constantly striving to make my happy every day as well as making sure our marriage is everlasting.
And so far, so good.