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Make It Work: Maintaining a Long Distance Relationship When You Have Kids

Written by Jana Angeles  

Long Distance Relationships are no walk in the park. Being worlds apart from your partner and your children can be difficult. In all honesty, you may have to put in even more work in the relationship compared to other people. It takes two to tango, so juggling long distance relationships with kids is like doing the dance but juggling at the same time.

Whether your work requires you to travel abroad frequently or you’ve been given the opportunity to stay in a different country for work, don’t let family slip away from your priorities. Distance shouldn’t get in the way of your relationships if you put in the hard work.   

Decide What Type of Communication You’ll Be Using  

Discuss with your partner what type of communication you’d like to use when maintaining the long distance relationship. With so many apps to choose from, gone are the days where letters and emails are written. You can easily video call each other using Facebook or Facetime, you can download WhatsApp and send each other pictures of things they’ve missed, providing a ‘catch up’ board they can look at.

As long as both of you are meeting each other halfway, staying in touch will help strengthen the bonds of your relationship. Until you see each other again, it will make you thankful that there are so many options out there to keep in touch – you just need to choose which one works for the both of you.  

Give Each Space When Needed 

Although it may seem exciting to share some good news with your partner, recognise that at times, they will need space to do their own activities. Distance puts quite a strain on couples, especially those that live in completely different time zones and work schedules.

The best way to work around it is to plan ahead when it comes to taking calls and also respecting the other person’s priorities. Don’t take it personally if your partner has different priorities and can’t speak with you at this present time. You’ll find the groove in your relationship again; just give each other the space you need to grow as individuals too while being apart.   

Be Prepared That Your Needs Might Change  

Obviously the dynamic between you and your partner are quite different now that you put distance into the equation. You may come up with a few bumps along the way. Whether it be your kids getting unexpectedly sick or going through a financial hiccup, it’s important to maintain an open dialogue between the two of you when it comes to unexpected issues.

Though it can be difficult to keep in touch with each other at times, speak up when needed and don’t try and take on the problems you have and find solutions yourself. Get all the help and support you need from your partner when needed.  

Know That Your Relationship Needs Consistency 

When you’ve been in a long-term relationship for a while, the “honeymoon phase” may have faded. It’s not easy keeping the spark up between you and your partner, especially when you’re far apart. However, it’s no excuse to add excitement to your relationship one way or another.

Doing the little things such as sending unexpected care packages, writing encouraging emails or being available when things get a tad stressful all count. Both of you need to show consistency because in the end, it helps your relationship thrive while also setting a good example for your kids on what a model relationship should be.

Keep The Kids Well Informed and Stay in Touch 

As much as you miss your partner, always get the kids involved. Whether it means holding family conferences on Skype or helping each other write handwritten letters and sending the drawings made by the kids, this will keep them welcome and happy that they haven’t been forgotten by the parent who is overseas. Though the distance can make them feel sad at times, remind your children that it won’t be long until they see the other parent again. It will bring them comfort knowing that they are still loved and cared for despite the distance. 

Long distance relationships can be rewarding because you ultimately place a lot of trust and commitment on your partner and your family. When you put kids into the equation, things can be difficult and there will be times where some problems will arise. Like in any sort of relationship, it’s important to maintain an open communication with each other and to do your best to stay involved in your partner’s and children’s lives.  

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