6 Tips to Survive Long Separation in Marriage

Today’s society finds mobility of family life a blessing to the intellect. It has obviously helped to broaden people’s minds. But what does the mobile society do about a person’s emotional life?

Many people are on the move together — father gets a job away from home and takes his family over to his place of work. But for a vast majority of couples, mobility means leaving wife and children behind as the husband tries to cope with life single-handed. Airline pilots, sailors, salesmen, journalists, news photographers, soldiers know what it is to be separated from their families and if medals were awarded them for good service, they know that their wives deserve them too.

Departures and arrivals are always exciting but the lonely waiting in between cap put a strain on marriage. It can be agony for the wife who not only has to deal with loneliness but worry about her husband and discharge parental duties alone. So what does a woman do to occupy herself while her husband is away? How does she manage to continue feeling as intensely about him as she did before?

Short separation is seldom a problem and can even be a refreshing experience. The first time the husband is away on business for a few days, his wife and children realize the extent of the gap he leaves and feel how much they miss him. Some couples find being separated, even for a short time, intolerable. Newly married couples feel it, unless separation starts early and become a constant feature in the marriage. If a wife is too dependent emotionally on her husband, separation can lead to such a state of insecurity for the dependent partner that either her nerves or the marriage breaks down.

For the survival of any marriage that involves long separation, it becomes essential to:

1) Sort out the right balance of dependence and independence. When they’re together, each partner should be dependent on the other to keep the marriage from turning into an emotional vacuum. But when they’re apart they must be capable of an independent life. It may take years of experience to get the right balance but patience helps.

2) If the wife is merely keeping the home fires burning, her personality is in danger of disentegrating, and she may center her life around her children while her husband is away. But too much of it has its dangers for the wife and the children.

3) The safest course is for the woman to find some interest, work, or leisure, that will absorb her mind sufficiently for her to think of it as an achievement of her own. For some wives, a full-time career may be necessary.

4) Communication is of vital importance. Letters and phone calls provide continuing contact and prevent a couple from drifting apart during a lengthy separation. They must keep in touch with each other’s thoughts and activities to prevent resentment from over taking place.

5) The question of fidelity during long absences may be solved by a tactful acceptance that the partner’s own conscience can be trusted. Maintaining a not too rigid concern about the other’s activities based on the assumption that he is trying to cope with the difficulties of a lonely life, also helps.

6) Talking to other wives of absentee husbands will help ease the loneliness and keep the wife’s personality as alive as her husband’s when she welcomes him home.

Separation is a severe test of marriage but if the couple is able, to cope with it, the rewards are high. Although good-byes can be painful, hellos can make a couple feel like newlyweds again.

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A Guide on Being a Stay-at-home Husband – Part II

This is the second part of the serial “A guide on Being a Stay-at-home Husband”. Make sure you read first part – A Guide on Being a Stay-at-home Husband – Part I

4. Don’t succumb to idleness and boredom. – Domesticity is never synonymous with dormancy. Even if you’re tied up with all those menial jobs at home and have plenty of time to spare, you shouldn’t give in to the pull of boredom. The buzzing atmosphere in the office may be what is missing at home, so it is up to you to simulate your all-busy surrounding to bring out your inner zest for other activities. Instead of sitting in a rocking chair after washing the dishes, for example, open your computer and answer your emails. After bringing the kids to school, play badminton in a local court. The operative phrase is to stay active.

5. Make yourself reachable to the outside world. – A stay-at-home husband is not a hermit, so stop thinking of living like one. Open your doors to people even if many of them disagree with your decision to let your wife occupy the driver’s seat. Anyway, you’ll only be liable to yourself in the end. Don’t hide from the clutches of civilization. Let other people know where you are. Make them feel that you value your job as a house caretaker on duty and they’ll never ridicule you for being one.

6. Do your chores with the best of your ability. – There’s nothing belittling in doing domestic chores. Otherwise, women will all be ashamed doing these home must-dos. Household chores are special. You have to enjoy them to lighten their loads. Their gratifying effect may not be as significant as when you’ve finished a major project at work. Nonetheless, you have to give the best of your ability to maintain a level of consistency in whatever you do. If you allow yourself to get used into finishing tasks with no glitches and without wasting too much time, you’ll find some sense of success from it.

7. Don’t envy your wife. – Initially, your ego may be pricked somewhat by the fact that it’s your wife who’s bringing home the cash. Your self-esteem dives into an all-time low. Your drive to succeed melts down. All of a sudden, the idea that you’ll be leaning your back on your wife becomes a frightening scenario. Things could even get wholeheartedly give in to your wife’s pleadings to let her work, then you have no right hitting her in the end for becoming a certified success. Brush that envy off your skin.

8. Believe that your situation is just temporary. – Nothing goes on forever. You may not like the idea of being grounded at home, but if you pour in the effort to regain a seat in the employment arena, your travails may soon be over.

A Guide on Being a Stay-at-home Husband – Part I

A family man’s world, apart from his house, is usually the workplace. It is in the place where he pursues his professional aspirations, practice his school training and earn a decent living that will provide for his wife and kids. It is in its four corners where he carefully charts his future.

Some men though mold their dreams differently. They don’t leave the house to seek livelihood. They don’t stay in the highly competitive confines of the office. Instead of spending most of their waking hours inside a cubicle, they spend them in the comforts of their home. These men have been domesticated; they stay in the house for good. They do the laundry, cook food, mop the floor, brush the toilet and monitor the children. They do these while their wives do the working during the day.

Stay-at-home husbands assume responsibilities to household chores and their number is growing big. Some of them do it because of their own choice. Some are forced to do it by circumstances. For instance, some men get tied up to homely assignments because they have been either laid off from work, recuperating from a serious illness, asked by their wives to temporarily accept a special arrangement or resigned from their job while awaiting a call from a foreign employer.

Surely, some narrow-minded people may cringe at the very thought of men letting their partners earn a living while they themselves watch over the kids at home. Let them think what they want to think. As long as you know that you’re not turning into a complete slob, that you’re doing this only for the time being, and that you’re not abusing your better half, then there’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s no mean feat to stay home and be the caretaker of the family. It’s a full time job, in fact. Be proud of being a stay-at-home husband.

1. Don’t feel degraded. – Well-meaning guys may give you insulting comments. Some male career go-getters may laugh at your decision to switch roles with your wife. Your family may even find it rather bizarre to lock yourself up at home and not practice what you have learned from school. Through all these discouragements and shocked reactions, never feel degraded at all. it may be unusual ‘in a society that engages in gender bias to see a man give up his career for a chance to raise his family on-hand. But there’s something heroic in doing the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of keeping one’s family together. Indeed it takes a courageous and secured man to surrender a potentially prosperous career. Consider yourself as one and you’ll boost your own morale.

2. Continue honing your skills. – Being relegated to a domesticated role doesn’t mean that you have to let go of all the things that you have learned and would like to learn. There will always be room for improvement. There will always be time to dip your hands on other worthy activities. During your idle time, when the kids are fast asleep, sharpen your existing talents like reading articles about the advancement of technology in your field. Or continue doing what you used to do at work to keep your skills very much in place. You can also discover other things that you thought you could never do before. This way, you won’t get rusty. You’ll be a rolling stone that won’t gather moss.

3. Know your responsibilities. – A responsible man knows very well that he’s got to do well in whatever undertaking he picks. Thus, he devotes time and effort to ensure that he gets his desired outcome. Your job as a hubby is not for the squealers or the faint-hearted. It involves deep sense of loyalty, bravery, patience, resiliency and determination to succeed. To be an ideal stay-at-home husband, you have to master your duties, understand your capacities and acknowledge your possible weak points.

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