“How Do I Stay Faithful When My Husband Is Away Months At A Time”
By: Ronke Alao
“It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him” (Gen 2:18 NLT). And so the story goes of how the woman came into existence. We are made to love and be loved. It is evident that marriage was designed so that both husband and wife can have companionship at a level deeper than what each of them would share with any other human being. They are to live together, love and support each other.
Today we live in a world where the ‘live together’ part isn’t always the case. At least not 100% of the time. A number of married people now have to live apart from their spouse for a period of time mostly due to work. There are women who now have to “hold the household” for an extended period of time while their husbands go to work or serve in the military. This can sometimes create a strain in the relationship or leave the woman feeling alone and overwhelmed sometimes. Even if it doesn’t, there are still other challenges that threaten the life of a marriage. Like when you get so much attention from another man. What woman doesn’t like been paid attention to?
If your husband works away from home or in the Military, you know what I mean. My husband isn’t in the Military, he is in Nigeria and wasn’t able to come to the U.S as fast as we envisaged. He is not on the battlefield, yes, but not being able to put a date and time to when we might finally be together can be hard as well. In fact, we have been married for 2years, together for 5 years and out of those 5 years, we’ve only been in the same country for 16 months! Do you think I didn’t have distractions or male admirers during all those years? Of course I did. I still do. So how did I stay not just focused but faithful? Through God’s help and wisdom. I will share with you a few things that helped me.
1. Occupy your time with valuable activities. Spending time working and attending personal development seminars are some of those things that not only helped to fill my time but it helped me develop myself too. Do the things you’ve always wanted to do. Learn that new skill. Take that swimming class. Add value to YOU.
2. Get out of your shell. When the one you love is away, the easiest thing to do is to feel sorry for yourself and bury yourself in work. Take time to socialize with your friends. By the way, this is the time to really evaluate the kind of company you keep. Are they the kind that hold marriage in high esteem and even believe in marital faithfulness? If not, you might be setting yourself up for failure. Don’t just keep “fun” friends, have friends that bring out the best in you.
3. Get help with the kids. If you have little ones, that just makes coping on your own that much harder. Don’t try to do it all. When we are stressed, we make irrational decisions. Whenever you can, find time to get away and recuperate from the stress. Sometimes as women, we feel guilty about letting other people take care of our kids even for a short period of time. God knows you still need to have a life even with kids. Don’t try to be honorable by turning down babysitting request from people who care about you.
4. Communicate as much as possible with your spouse. Thanks to technology, we have phones and the internet. Make talking to your spouse often a priority. Make the most of the time you spend together. Try as much as possible to be part of each other’s day. My husband and I discuss everything from work to even the most mundane things. It helps us to feel involved in each other’s lives. Spend time planning what you will do together as a couple when he gets back.
Think of happy memories you’ve created together and day-dream of the happy memories you will create when he is back. I do that all the time.
5. Always keep in mind, (never lose sight of) the reason you said “I do” to your husband. Out of sight isn’t out of mind. I know how good it feels to have male attention when your husband is gone for extended periods of time. Just to have someone show you some care and attention can be very tempting and flattering. Don’t throw away what you’ve been building with your husband for sheer excitement. Women often find it easy to slip into an emotional affair where they become emotionally attached to some other guy. We feel no one is getting hurt so it’s not a problem.
When you open up your heart to someone you aren’t married to and think of him often as if he is your husband, that is an emotional affair.
Don’t play games with your marriage. Keep your wedding ring on .
6. Pray for strength. If there is one thing that has kept my marriage going strong with my husband living on the other side of the world, it’s prayer. Pray together with your hubby whenever possible. Praying together has a way of drawing us close and knitting us together in love.
7. Guard your heart. You might think this is not that important but our hearts are the engine rooms for actions that we later carry out. What do you dwell on? If you find yourself listening to songs, watching movies or soap operas that glorify marital infidelity, with time, you will start thinking of it as something that isn’t really bad. You may even buy the lie that it would enhance your marriage,(whoever came up with that lie clearly had his or her head in the wrong place!).
Always remember, it’s just a phase. It will pass. You don’t want to do anything now that you will regret later. Believe it or not, absence can make your marriage stronger and make you stronger if you “sail your boat right.”
“Absence does for love what the wind does for a flame; it extinguishes the weak and feeds the strong” – Unknown
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Ronke Alao is a writer who gives time-tested and simple principles to help women enjoy their relationships and marriages. Her methods teaches women how to get past the confusion of dating and getting to the place where they really have fulfilling relationships and marriage.
She is known for her ‘up-close and personal’ style of getting her message across and drawing lessons from her personal experience. She is married to her best friend, Wale, who is her biggest cheerleader. Her online newsletter, EveryWoman’s Heart, is read in over 72 countries.