Whether you're hoping that absence makes the heart grow fonder or fearing that out of sight means out of mind, time apart in a relationship requires work as well as patience. Geographical distance from your mate can cause anxiety, emotional distance and multiple frustrations. As the wife of a military fighter pilot, I've been forced to make separation work several times and I've learned ways to cope and even thrive along the way. So, if you find yourself in this predicament, here are a few things that I've gleaned from detachments over the years.
The Last Call of the Night
Whether it's 8 p.m. or 2 a.m. in the morning, that last call to bid each other goodnight is important. It's not about "checking up on one another," it's about staying connected and making each other feel special and important. The couples that stay in touch, bridge the gap of distance and keep the flame burning over separations. It's something I insist upon. It's something that I need and it's actually something my husband needs and looks forward to as well.
The Pressure Valve
It's natural to avoid negative topics of conversation when you're far away from one another. However, whenever you let feelings of resentment and frustration build up over your time apart, bitterness and anger can build up over time. By the time your partner returns home, a powder keg of surging emotion will erupt eventually if you have refrained from releasing the tension during your time apart. So, discuss your unsavory topics rationally over the phone or skype, but avoid pointing the finger. Keep it objective and civil then proceed to more enjoyable conversation. It will save you hours of frustration and heartache as well as ensure a more joyful homecoming.
Related: Make Long-Distance Romance Easier
Slay the Green-Eyed Monster
It can be very difficult to avoid jealousy when you're apart. Unfortunately, enduring a separation with feelings of suspicion is totally unbearable. Take the separation as an opportunity to build trust in your relationship. Strong trust not only gives you both peace of mind, it compels you to be on your best behavior because the trust your mate has in you is so precious. After several deployments and detachments, I can now say the trust in our relationship is stronger than it ever was before he left for the first time.
Send one another photos. Whether it be a sexy pic in lingerie or a funny photo of you and the pups, your man will enjoy seeing what you're up to and will keep thoughts of you fresh in his mind. Encourage him to do the same. My husband sends me photos of his travels from around the world. He recently told me that taking pictures of his random adventures reminds him how much he wishes I could be there. It's like he's carrying a part of me with him, if only in his mind. Send him a couple photos and you'll be amazed how often he will ask for more.
The Bucket List
Make a list of things you would like to do or accomplish while he is away. Take this opportunity to embrace a new workout routine, learn a foreign language or how to play the guitar, take that weekend trip with your girlfriends that you never have time for and indulge in your favorite hobbies. You'll not only have ample things to talk about, but you will look and feel amazing by the time he returns home!
Blog by Meredith Hepburn
Chris and Gary Hills on their wedding day on June 26, 1982.
Chris and Gary Hills in 2012.
John Thottathil and Mary Thottathil on their wedding day on October 7, 1978.
John and Mary Thottathil on their 32nd anniversary in 2010.
Melinda and Dick Johnson on their wedding day on November 25, 1955.
Melinda and Dick Johnson in 2012.
Chris and Cris Dewey, married in Santa Barbara, December 3, 1978.
Cris and Chris Dewey with their five kids in 2012.
Gary and Evelyn Sutter on their wedding day on August 22, 1981.
Gary and Evelyn Sutter in May of 2010.
Linda and Julio Gallo on their wedding day on August 18, 1973.
Linda and Julio Gallo in 2012.
Ray and Bette Wright on their wedding day on February 14, 1947.
Ray and Bette Wright celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary in 2012.
Jeanne and George Everitt on their wedding day on June 26, 1954.
Jeanne and George Everitt in 2012.
Alice and Robyn Goshorn married July 12th, 1971.
Alice and Robyn Goshorn a day after their 41st wedding anniversary in 2012.
Married in Los Angeles, California on July 10, 1982.
Michael and Cynthia Herbert in 2011.
Bob and Lori Howard married on January 31, 1981.
Bob and Lori Howard on their 31st wedding anniversary.
Paul and Clare Leger on their wedding day on August 15, 1970.
Paul and Clare Leger in 2011.
Donald and Azucena Almanza wed on September 14, 1967.
Donald and Azucena Almanza in 2010 at their son Abraham's wedding.
Sergio and Yolanda Melo married on September 12, 1981.
Sergio and Yoland Melo in 2012.
Chris and Beth Ann Chiles married on July 18, 1982.
Chris and Beth Ann Chiles in 2012 on their anniversary trip in Victoria, British Columbia.
Jesse and Patrica Beauchamp married on June 4, 1972.
Jesse and Patricia Beauchamp in 2012.
Svetlana and Nicholas Romanov on their wedding day on August 9, 1973.
Svetlana and Nicholas Romanov in 2012.
Alan Kluger and Amy Dean on their wedding day, December 28, 1975.
Alan Kluger and Amy Dean in 2011.
Hank and Dinny Dreyer on their wedding day, May 28, 1949.
Hank and Dinny Dreyer on their 60th wedding anniversary.
Dave and Jane Soyka married on June 30, 1972.
"On our 40th anniversary! June 30! We celebrated in Hawaii -- Golf at Kapalua!"
"My grandparents, John Clarke, Jr. and Janet Reynolds Clarke, have been married for 52 years. They have had three children, five grandchildren, and countless nieces and nephews. They live in Mystic, CT. Here is a wedding photo..." -- Andrea Simmons
John Clarke, Jr. and Janet Reynolds Clarke in 2002 on a cruise in Alaska.
Jane and Gary Harvey on their wedding day, May 7, 1977.
Jane and Gary Harvey in 2011.
Lauren and Mark Struthers on their wedding day, July 10, 1982. The photo in front of the chapel they were married in in St. Louis, Missouri.
Lauren and Mark Struthers on their 30th anniversary, in front of the chapel they were married in, currently moved to the grounds of a winery in Ste. Genevieve, MO.
Susan and Michael Denney in their wedding day, January 30, 1971.
Susan and Michael Denney in 2011.
Gerard and Carol Terrell on their honeymoon in December 1981.
Gerard and Carol Terrell on March 5, 2011 in Phoenix, AZ at their son's wedding.
Rhoda and James Lynch on their wedding day, December 26, 1971
Follow 29Secrets on Twitter: www.twitter.com/29Secrets