It won’t be news to anyone that a long distance relationship can often (though not always) add strain to a relationship. Celebrity couples whose work demands them to regularly be in different parts of the world frequently cite their all too regular times apart as a key reason for their divorce.
For many other people, it is often their work, or education or family issues that require them to live apart whilst still trying to maintain a happy and healthy relationship.
One of the most common hurdles for these relationships is how to maintain good communication. Conversations that would have taken place at home over breakfast or while watching television now need to be consciously organised – especially if there are different time zones to consider. Technology has helped people to see each other while they speak over the internet, but it’s still up to the couple to make sure those conversations continue. Communication is also most important for addressing another very common cause of strain, trust.
Perhaps the less commonly cited strains caused by long distance relationships are cost (finding the money to travel to see each other can cause strain), time (busy lives now need to make space for regular communication) and expectations (one partner may expect very different things to the other from their long distance relationship). Additionally, the strains can be more subtle. By simply not being able to see light at the end of the tunnel and know that the time apart has an end in sight can slowly destabilise even the most solid of relationships.
What also can’t be overlooked is that when a couple are reunited after living apart, new strains can appear in the short term. If the couple has been apart for quite some time there may be a need for some re-negotiations – after getting used to living apart, both parties may then have to remind themselves of how to live together.
Unusual as it sounds, some couples who have been on the brink of divorce then have their lawyer document the way forward that they have agreed as the basis for a new start.