If you need to speak to an experienced counsellor during this time of unprecedented stress and pressure on family life contact:
What are the main difficulties posed by long distance relationships?
The main difficulty is lack of face to face time together to enjoy each other’s company and to be close to and intimate with one another. When couples are living far apart they can miss out on that face to face time together. However couples in long distance relationships can plan in advance to maximize the time they can organize to spend together, and they can also use modern technology to keep in regular contact i.e Skype. It can also be the case that couples living together spend very little time together also due to work commitments and social /leisure/sporting activities
How can each party ensure that they trust the other not to stray while they are not together?
The issue of trust in long distance relationships is not dissimilar to that in other intimate relationships. If those living in long distance relationships keep frequent contact, are open and honest with each other, maximize the time they can organize to have face to face time together they may not have any greater trust issues that individuals living together
What about couples who are trying to maintain a loving relationship while living apart – (Skype, emails, telephone, visits where possible etc).
ACCORD would advise planning ahead for time together. Planning well in advance could give couples an opportunity to maximize whatever time they might be able to manage to get together. Modern methods of communicating long distance can be helpful if face to face time is impossible. They can never replace face to face time. Modern methods like Skype in particular can be good for keeping up frequent contact.
If couples are living at the other side of the world and travel is expensive, should they maintain an open relationship until they can spend time together or is that just asking for trouble?
If a couple are in an intimate relationship and committed to one another it would not be a good idea to have an open relationship if an open relationship means having other intimate partners also. Again it would be best for couples living very far apart to plan in advance to maximize the time they can manage to organize face to face time together and in the interim use Skype and other methods of long distance communication.
If one person is more committed or jealous than the other, will this cause problems?
Yes if one person is more committed it may cause difficulties. In order for relationships to be fulfilling and happy couples need to be equally committed to one another and to maintaining their relationship.
Jealousy is experienced by everyone in a relationship from time to time. It is when jealousy gets out of proportion, escalates, gets out of hand or is unreasonable that it can be very destructive to relationships. Individuals who are excessively jealous can be extremely unreasonable, controlling and destructive in relationships.