Even the best marriage takes work. But a long-distance marriage?

Those are even more challenging. After all, it takes intimacy and communication to keep a marriage growing strong. Couples get divorced every day when they feel like they have grown apart – even when they are already living in the same home. The challenges for a married couple who are separated seem significantly higher.

Fortunately, though, long distance marriages can work. They require a lot of extra work. You may need to find a counselor and get involved in marriage counseling, but you can make it work if you are both invested. Here is a list of important things to remember about keeping a relationship healthy.

Communicate Regularly
The most important thing in a long distance marriage is to make sure that you are communicating regularly. It is difficult to have physical contact from a distance, so you need to make sure that you are doing other things to keep the spark alive. The written and spoken word are particularly powerful here. Be careful what you say. Make sure that you build up your spouse. Remember that anger and criticism will come through far harsher when you send it in writing.

Deal with Your Emotions
It is likewise vital that you take the time to deal with your emotions. If you are struggling with feelings of resentment and abandonment, it may be a good idea to find a counselor. There are psychologists who specialize in these kinds of scenarios. They will help you to understand how to better handle the stress and encourage you to deal with the issues as they arise in your life.

Invest in Your Marriage
A long distance marriage needs tender loving care even more than a regular marriage. You may find that you need a marriage counselor. This is not an admission of defeat or that there is something wrong with your marriage. Rather, a marriage counselor acts as a neutral third party to help you find ways to better communicate and demonstrate your love for one another. In fact, some marriage counselors even specialize in ways to keep the romance alive.

Surprise One Another
There’s nothing like a little surprise to make the day happier. Send your spouse a love letter or a gift in the mail. Make sure that your spouse knows how great your love is. You can both take turns surprising one another. These little things will add up over time. This will also help you to establish positive memories.

Make the Most of the Time You Do Have Together
When you are able to be together, make sure that it is quality time. Don’t let it be sullied by bickering or pettiness. Really enjoy the time. Make powerful and wonderful memories. Get away together and make one another your priority. The one benefit that you have from a long distance marriage is that if you have been faithful to one another and tended the marriage during the absence, it will be that much more powerful and vibrant when you are together again.