After twelve years of marriage, Vanessa Haydon Trump, the wife of Donald Trump Jr., filed for divorce on Thursday afternoon in a Manhattan court. The couple has not shared their reasons for the separation, but friends say they were having trouble for quite some time. There have been reports that the couple had been living separate lives, and that Donald Trump Jr. travels a lot, keeping him away from home and his family and making it difficult for he and Vanessa to work through their problems.

While many people are in this situation, and it doesn’t always lead to divorce, couples that are often apart and unable to share physical space with one another consistently face an added challenge in their marriages. Distance places a huge strain on couples, and unless both partners are committed to doing the work of keeping the relationship healthy, often times these relationships fall apart.

Let’s face it though, many couples must live somewhat separate lives due to career choices and finances, and are unable to bridge the gap of distance for their relationship. When both partners are fully committed to making the relationship work, there are things they can do to help stay connected and happy.

 

Here are 5 ways to manage long distance relationships successfully:

 

Consistent and reliable communication– Each person is dedicated to staying in communication with their partner, remaining a constant presence in their life, even though they are not in the same physical space. Especially when there is conflict, which inevitably arises, couples need to go out of their way to address and work through the situation. With video conferencing abilities now, this has become a great deal easier and is a wonderful tool for couples to use to stay connected.

 

Scheduled visits with one another – Human connection is important, especially in intimate relationships. Scheduling time to be together, even if only for a quick weekend, can help keep couples connected and looking forward to seeing one another. This sense of anticipation can actually be exciting and work in the couple’s favor.

 

Making one another’s presence known to outsiders – It can be very easy to fall into the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality, especially when two people aren’t living in close proximity. Talking about your partner to co-workers and friends and giving them a sense of who your partner is and the relationship you share, will help you to stay connected to their energetic presence even when they are far away.

 

Set and honor boundaries with one another – Both need to be honest with themselves and with their partners about how they feel and what they need in order to feel safe in the relationship. This is true for all relationships, but especially where there is distance involved. Setting clear boundaries and committing to honor them, allows the couple to trust in one another and relax into the situation at hand. Openly communicating about these often can help assure both parties of their commitment to one another.

Remind one another of the benefits the long distance offers – Although the distance adds a challenge, it also provides the couple the ability to focus on themselves, their personal growth, and really learn about whom they are and what they like to do. The happier each person is with themselves, the more joy and connection they can bring into the partnership.

 

Living separate lives as a married couple may not be the optimal choice for a successful marriage, and unfortunately for Donald Trump Jr. and his wife Vanessa, it does not seem to have worked out for them, but it is possible to navigate with the right tools.