My husband and I are blessed with three children who are 10, 8 and 2. I am 34 years old and we have been married for 11 years.
Some time back, my husband moved to another town in search for green pastures. He started farming and doing some businesses. He became very successful. At first, when he moved, he would come home every weekend. As the businesses expanded he started coming home after two or three months. I understood the schedule was tight and he was working hard for us.
Recently, he came home for two months and for that entire time, we did not have sex. Every day he had an excuse and often left very early in the morning for work meetings. When he went back to Nakuru where he was based, he stayed there even during the December holidays. This is now the fourth month since he came home. I live in Narok, so he is not that far away. Do we still have a marriage or should I quit and raise my children? Please advise me.
Distant relationships are not just tricky to maintain, but a season where the relationship lacks presence. As such, most of these relationships require more effort and investment if a couple expects to arrive at the desired satisfaction and promised affection.
For the two of you, there was a need to establish how the relationship will be managed to achieve the desired goals. Without these, each spouse drives their life as they see fit. As a result, issues of couple synergy, accountability and intimacy can fall through the cracks.
With distance, spouses easily create for themselves a level of independence and routine that is devoid of normal expectations and chores. Sadly, for some, they end up feeling a level of freedom as though they have been released from prison.
In addition, many partners working away from their spouses create new friendships that become part of their social life. This could be advantageous or dangerous to the marriage depending on the values they embrace. He may be telling the truth that the work keeps him busy.
However, I am of the opinion that your husband’s being away should have been countered by compelling reasons that would make him feel the obligation to pay the price of staying connected with you and the kids. It is apparent that with time, other things became more important to him than you and the children.
On the other hand, was his place of stay welcoming enough for you to visit? Distance relationships work better where both spouses take visitation as a priority and personal responsibility. Therefore, if he fails to come, are you allowed to visit?
In relationships, discovering that we are imperfect people in an imperfect world will help us manage the stresses, flaws and effects associated with distant relationships with wisdom. Most times, inner conflict can intensify because of distance. Particularly where spouses are unable to engage regularly through calls and texts which enrich as well as repair the relationship.
Otherwise, it is possible to allow negative feelings associated with your husband’s failures on the issue of visits to cause strife and jeopardise the harmonious flow of good feelings in the relationship. This is exactly where the two of you find yourselves.
Distant relationships that will stand the test of time will require the use of creative skills in discovering the gaps and looking for creative ways to mend them.
You may need to ask questions like, other than visiting, do you have any problems with your communication? How welcoming is the home environment? These questions are key and necessary if the two of you will grab the chance to repair the relationship.
Additionally, since distance is the cause of the dilemma you face, how about embracing technology more in bridging the distance gap by making phone calls, video calls or making impromptu visits. In this case, you may need to visit a few more times if he is not making the effort. This is one of the ways you can make discoveries on the issues ailing your relationship.
If he is keeping away for selfish reasons, I am of the conviction that every couple has an inbuilt capacity of demanding responsible behaviour from each other. From a marriage stand point, once your husband committed to the relationship, it is important for him to show with actions that this is so.
Two people who expect their relationship to grow, thrive and stand the test of time, must be willing to demand of each other a lifestyle that is in keeping with their vows. It is not therefore too much to ask him to make certain sacrifices for you and the children.
For him to give work as the excuse for not visiting home falls short of what is required of him as a husband and father. Both of you should have the opportunity of asking questions and get satisfactory answers. It is very easy for both of you to get into the habit of pointing a finger, and finding fault instead of repairing the union.
Negative habits will only wear both of you out. Whether it is yourself or husband, taking responsibility will lead to accountable actions. It must be seen to work both ways. If indeed work has kept him away, I suggest then that you come up with a creating schedule of visitation. Someone will need to make the sacrifice.
I realise that both of you are drifting apart as time goes by. This does not rest well for the marriage. Looking at the distance between your work places, with sacrifice, it is possible to have visits without straining your work schedule. Take time and revisit this.
Finally, taking each other or the relationship for granted works negatively for any relationship. One of the greatest relationship killers is the feeling by one partner that they are not valued or no longer belong.
Such a feeling may arise from perceptions, be they right or wrong. Such partners may question whether their voice or contributions are important. If not tamed, this feeling can spread like cancer.
Slowly, the offended spouse starts to drift away. This leaves such a spouse vulnerable to temptations and feeling empty. I am convinced that embracing a learner’s attitude will attract growth regardless of the challenger so long us both feel each other’s attempt to remain in the boat.
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