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ADVICE: AUNTIE AGNI

September 10, 2017

Asalam-o-Alaikum Auntie,

I am 25 years old and, around five months ago, I got married to a working woman. I am still struggling to settle in my career and I am very confused about my life. A month after the wedding I got a job away from the city my wife works in and I can only meet her once a month. She doesn’t want to leave her job nor do I. We fight on the phone almost every day, though I don’t want to pressurise her to leave her job. I don’t know what to do.

A puzzled husband!

“My wife and I are in a long-distance relationship and it’s not working out”

Dear Husband,

Long-distance marriages can work, but they probably take three times as much work. Most people in our culture grow up dreaming of happily-married lives and when realities such as yours hit, it can cause problems in a marriage. I hope both of you understand the importance of prioritising your relationships and having some kind of plan to be together sometime in the future. This is very important. You have to figure out how the two of you can be together. And if you are prioritising your marriage then one of you may have to make a move and build your career in the city where your spouse works.

In the meantime, while you are apart, work on building trust. This is incredibly important; however, a lot of couples avoid talking about this. Trust is the basis of your marriage and you both need to be very honest with each other about all aspects of your life.

Now for the good news: You live apart, but you are living in an age when communication is a click away. So use lots of FaceTime and Skype. Stay in touch and talk regularly even if not for too long. Send each other cards and presents that show that you are thinking of your partner. Make your snail-mail communication personal and intimate. Share photos and share every notable event (good, bad and ugly) with your wife. Use technology to do things together. These could be deciding to read the same book at the same time, reading the same article or even learning a new skill together. You can even play online games together.

Now for the good news. You live apart, but you are living in an age when communication is a click away. So use lots of FaceTime and Skype. Stay in touch and talk regularly even if not for too long. Send each other cards and presents that show that you are thinking of them. Make your snail-mail communication personal and intimate.

Also what you do together does not have to be romantic. You are husband and wife and that is not always romantic. For instance, you could Skype with your wife while you go about your chores (don’t do it while driving though!). And finally do try to meet as often as possible and make the most of your visits; for instance get to know each other’s friends both online and offline. And finally please put together a plan about when both will be together asap.

Here’s a head up: Even living together someday may not be easy, and will take a lot of getting used to. However knowing that and looking for solutions to your issues will always help your relationship.

Auntie will not reply privately to any query. Please send concise queries to:
auntieagni@gmail.com

Published in Dawn, EOS, September 10th, 2017