I was thrilled for my friend when she announced at a get-together that she was getting married.
But no sooner than I had extended my congratulations, she announced that they were going to have a long distance marriage.
“For how long?” was my prompt question.
“Well, as of now, it seems like a long-term arrangement. I have a great job here and he has a stable job in Chennai. Neither of us can quit our job at the moment, especially since we just invested in a house and we both need to put in EMIs” she said.
“Are you fine with living separately? I mean how will you two get to spend time together?” asked another friend.
“Well, some weekends I will fly down and on some he will come to Delhi. We will manage,” the bride-to-be said with a sigh and a smile.
That night I couldn’t help but wonder how malleable relationships had become.
There were times when one couldn’t think of couples living separately. But today due to jobs and financial pressures, it was becoming more of a norm than an exception.
Take the case of Nina, who had a well-paying job in Mumbai. When her husband found a job in Delhi, Nina decided against moving along.
“My son was studying in a good school here; he and I had friends and family here and my job covered my medical insurance and provided other perks. I could not leave all that to move to another city where I may or may not find a job that gave me all this,” she said.
Her husband felt the same way, since it was a start-up company he was joining and he was not sure about how long it would take before he could be sure that he could ask his family to move.
So they decided to stay in two different cities, talking to each other over skype and whatsapp.
Counsellors say that it’s not easy for couples living apart. And yet, they say it may work out if the couple communicates regularly and stays committed to the relationship.
“It was only because we constantly stayed in touch and were honest with each other that we could keep distance from creeping into our long distance relationship,” says Nina.
Experts say that when couples live apart they can be quite vulnerable to friction. Having to deal with daily issues and problems alone can be quite a challenge and often couples tend to take it out on the other partner.
But counsellors opine that since staying separately is very often a conscious decision, it’s important for couples to keep their channels of communications open and to stay connected.
What is striking is that many couples today seem to have cracked the code of staying separately and yet staying connected – and all because they are committed to making their marriage work – despite the distance.