How to Keep Your Marriage Strong When You Never See Your Spouse

It’s series time!  Everyday this week I’ve got guest posts coming at ya from experts in the field of keeping-a-strong-marriage-while-rarely-seeing-their-spouse.  We’ve got a military couple, a couple fresh out of a medical residency, the wife of a lawyer with a demanding work load and some wise words from spouses who both work full time.

I seriously felt like I could have asked almost every. single. couple I know to guest post on this topic.  Well, I guess off the top of my head, I can think of like four couples I feel see each other quite a bit, but basically everyone else I know very rarely sees their spouse.  Sad!

We’re all in good company here.  Let’s help each other out.

I was thinking about how important this topic is while I was reading the book 7 Principles For Making Marriage Work.  Over and over again Gottman talks about how important it is to be REALLY good friends with your spouse.  To keep tabs on their daily fears and successes.  To know and care deeply about their goals and dreams.  As a really good friend would.

And I was thinking, gosh, that’s hard to do when you never see your spouse.  Especially because it’s not enough to keep tabs just once in a while.  Our daily fears, successes, hopes and dreams are constantly CHANGING, and we’d better keep our spouses close or pretty soon we’ll be completely different people and think, “Hey, who is this person I married?  When did they become so different?”  Or we change so much that we feel misunderstood or unheard.

Growing apart from your spouse can be really scary.  When Rich and I were first married, we were totally in the same boat with just about everything.  We were both students, we both had the domestic habits of teenage boys, we had the same friends and we mostly shared the same views on politics, morality, life goals, etc.  We had the same schedule and led very similar lives.

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See how similar???
Fast forward a few years and we are living very different lives.  Rich goes to work everyday and has friends, conversations, goals and struggles that I always don’t know very much about.  His daily life looks a little something like this:
Whereas mine looks a little more like this:
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Livin the dream.
If I don’t tell Rich about my daily struggles, successes, encounters, it’s easy for me to feel like Rich doesn’t understand my life.

The things that used to be so important to me (world issues, community issues, any issue other than those directly affecting my children and their sleep patterns) just aren’t on a daily basis to me anymore, but they are to him.  When we talk he’s like, “Hey!  This political thing is really important, don’t you read/care about it?”  And I’m like, “Hey!  This parenting thing is really important, don’t you read/care about it?”  Oh, marriage.

Left unchecked, these differences could grow into mountains.

Good, solid communication is crucial to develop when you don’t see each other much.  When all we’re left with are the dregs of our energy when we see our spouses, it’s so easy for marriages to drain themselves of mutual affection and support.

If we have to be apart most of the day or most days, we’ve got to find ways to connect and be friends.  Thank goodness we live in a time when this is actually pretty easy.  Texts, emails, chatting and calling to check in or send nice words can do wonders when you’re apart.

So thems my two cents.  Stay tuned for words of wisdom from people who know much more than I do on this topic (and all other topics).

8 thoughts on “How to Keep Your Marriage Strong When You Never See Your Spouse

  1. This is so true. I was married to a military guy for a while… we’re still married, just not in the military anymore, and it was so weird not seeing him often. Sometimes we’d fight just because we couldn’t see each other. It’s so hard to grow together when you’re apart.

    1. “It’s so hard to grow together when you’re apart” Beautiful! I may be using that quote some time this week . . .

  2. Celeste, this is such a great topic! So many of our friends’ marriages have fallen apart/ended in the last few years and it’s heart-breaking. I love that you’re doing this series, I think it’s really helpful and I haven’t seen this specific topic discussed anywhere else. One couple we’re friends with deal with this because he’s a pilot and she’s a SAHM. I know they’ve figured out how to make it work really well for them vs. letting it create issues that turn into big mountains of separation. Looking forward to the rest of your series!

    1. Thanks Brooke! I’ve been meaning to get to this topic forever because I’ve seen it ruin marriages as well. We’re all too busy 🙁

  3. For years, my husband traveled for work Tues thru Thurs and had very busy church leadership callings. I was so thrilled to have a husband serving in the church and excelling in his career, yet I struggled without him. Life alone with my young son was hard sometimes. And we had moved out of state. There were lots of big challenges all at once, but we made it. Now he has a job where he doesn’t travel and is home every evening. His church callings coincide with our son. And we’ve moved back “home.” Sometimes you have to change your circumstances to help your marriage and family. Do what it takes!

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