Check out the top 10 tips for a happy marriage from five real long-distance spouses." / Whether or not you're one of the 3.5 million married American couples who live apart for reasons other than impending divorce, your relationship can benefit from the wisdom of husbands and wives who don't share a home.And never expect digital communication to fully convey your thoughts.All the alone time in a commuter marriage creates the perfect opportunity to find a personal pastime.
Similarly, the same overused gestures lose meaning for couples who share a home. Try writing something on the steamed-up bathroom mirror during his shower, surprising him with his favorite meal or doing as Elizabeth did—laminating notecards with inspiring quotes on one side and a personal message on the other.After writing her husband pages of email, Elizabeth Ann West from Ledyard, CT, felt frustrated when the reply she received was only a few lines long.She was busy with the kids and tending to their home; why couldn’t her spouse put in as much effort as she did, she wondered.You’re not the first couple to experience problems in your marriage.
But if you’re having trouble solving them yourself, look elsewhere.Elizabeth, who grew up in a military family and married into one “knew to reach out to women who had been there, done that with deployments” because it’d be too hard to face living apart without support.Whether you’re dealing with money troubles or infidelity, a marriage therapist can help you through almost any situation—as long as you reach out to one. And if a response doesn’t come as fast as you want one, it’s easy to assume your spouse is angry.To regain perspective, she listed all the reasons they chose to live separately—their child’s education, her heavy work travel schedule, so her husband could better prepare for his upcoming deployment and more.