Does Your Marriage Feel Like a Long Distance Relationship?


Most couples expect that marriage will guarantee increased physical and emotional closeness in their relationship. I don’t believe this is a far-fetched assumption. Marriage provides a shared home, children, interests, and activities.

Many of my couples are reporting distress due to the unanticipated physical and emotional distance they are experiencing in their marriage while living under the same roof. I’ve begun to normalize their distress as a result of modern day marriage dynamics.

Modern day marriage dynamics consists of daily long commutes, long work hours, having more than one job and traveling for work.  We can no longer consider the typical idea of a long distance relationship as the only culprit to feeling distant or disconnected.

Below are strategies to maintain the emotional closeness in your marriage and avoid feeling like you’re in a long-distance relationship.

  • Commit to connecting daily while you’re away by phone. Be intentional about providing words of affection to your partner instead of just logistical jargon. I also recommend connecting by sending thinking of you gifts or flowers or simply connecting in any unusual way that your partner would find loving and thoughtful.
  • Manage your time wisely when you are both at home by scheduling time to discuss business affairs of the family, updates and time with the children, chores, and repairs. This will allow both partners to participate in managing their family and avoid feeling alone or overwhelmed.
  • Plan weekly date nights, short trips and extended vacations months in advance to help feel secure about intimate time together in the near future. This will also help to limit the number of individual activities planned, which could lead to feeling like you’re living separate lives.
  • Take some time to process and explore what you are feeling in regards to your modern day marriage. Instead of taking your frustrations out on your partner, talk to a trusted friend or a therapist. Be open to learning new ways of managing your emotions and asking for what you need.

Written By: Porsha Jones, LMFT