The physical separation between husband and wife for financial reasons is an all too common theme in our country. Although working abroad may provide monetary benefits for your family, it also introduces a range of potential problems. For example, distance may dramatically decrease the opportunity to communicate and nurture relationships. Expressions of love and concern become limited to scheduled visits and calls. Mutual emotional support and bonding are also difficult to sustain. Even the closest of couples may soon find themselves strangers to each other after an extended period of separation.

Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut advice for couples undergoing such trials. The future of your marriage depends on how both of you envision and value your relationship and how willing you are to work on things and understand the costs and benefits of your actions. In the process, you will need to answer some tough questions that can help you face the consequences of your choices:

(First published as "Can Our Marriage be Saved?" an entry in the "Keep It Real" column in the "Good Family" section of Good Housekeeping Philippines' Jan-Feb 2008 issue. Adapted for use in Female Network. Photo by mrhayata via Flickr Creative Commons.)

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