Eat Drink & Be Mary: Tips for Succeeding in Marriage after a LDR


Tips for Succeeding in Marriage after a LDR

Marriage is an adjustment no matter how prepared you are. For my husband and I, the biggest adjustments came with moving in together and getting to know each other on a deeper level. We found that there were a lot of daily habits that neither of us were aware of before or that we didn't realize would affect our relationship the way they did. If you have ever read our love story (I'll wait while you go read it if you haven't), you know that Joe and I lived two blocks away from each other, so our relationship was anything but long distance and we saw each other every day. Even so, because of my educational background, career choice, and the fact that Joe and I didn't live together when we were married, I feel like I can safely say that these four things will set long distance couples (and really anyone for that matter) up for success in their marriages.

Talk About Expectations

Don't just talk about the obvious topics, talk about the little things. They may seem petty now, but they could become huge issues later on! Share your expectations for finances, intimacy, religion, and future family size. How will you split up household chores? Who will be in charge of cooking dinner? What TV shows and movies will you watch in your home? Do you want pets? What do you want to do when you retire? Don't just think about the here and now, think far into the future. Keep a list of things you think about throughout the day and discuss them the next time you see each other or when you chat on the phone that night. Joe's biggest pet peeve is people who brush their teeth outside the bathroom. If I'm brushing my teeth in the bathroom, he's fine, but the minute I walk out of the bathroom to slip on my shoes, grab my phone, etc. he gets annoyed. I never would have known that if we hadn't had a random conversation before we got married.

Schedule Time Apart

I know, I know, you just spent weeks, months, or even years apart, and you want to spend every minute possible with each other. I completely understand! Quality time is my love language and with our busy schedules, I look forward to every moment that I get to share with Joe. I can promise you though, if you don't take any time for yourself, you will start to miss your freedom and the days when you were on your own doing whatever you wanted every day. Those are the moments that you want to avoid in your relationship, they don't end well. Pick a night every week where the two of you plan your own thing. Go out with the girls/guys, spend the night with your favorite book/movie/meal/treat/hobby that your spouse may not enjoy, or spend time in opposite sides of the house and work on your own projects/watch your own shows. Maintaining your individualism while becoming one as a married couple is possible, and important!

Communicate Openly

One thing that I always feel like Joe and I are pretty good at, is our communication. If one of us has a problem with something that the other has done, we are completely comfortable letting them know. We may not always been the most civil about it, but we've learned that talking about an issue when it first comes up is a lot better than waiting to discuss it after it's been on our mind and we've let it silently irritate us even more. Good communication isn't just for problems in a relationship. Like I said in the first tip, talk about everything, leave no stone unturned! Your relationship will be stronger, you'll adjust more easily to living with each other and you'll learn more about yours spouse than you ever thought there was to know. Don't be afraid to share what's on your mind, but be willing to let your spouse do the same and respect what they have to say in return.

Be Patient

Relationships take work, and no marriage is ever perfect. You can be constantly bettering yourselves and working toward your idea of perfect on a daily basis, but realize that it's not going to happen all at once. Some moments are going to be frustrating and others will be extremely rewarding. Enjoy the journey that you're taking through life together and live without any regrets. Be patient with yourself, be patient with each other, and be patient with your relationship! Marriage is going to be an adjustment, but marriage is the best big change that you can ever make in your life!


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