We often think of long distance relationships only affecting couples, but if one partner or both have children, then their LDR will affect them as well. We may not be inclined to think about how our long distance relationship may affect others, but we are forced to when children are involved.
You may already have children from a previous relationship, may be planning to have children with your long distance partner, or may have children with your current partner but find yourself forced into a long distance relationship scenario due to military deployment or a job offer. In any case, the long distance could have a large and lasting impact on your children. It is something that definitely must be considered carefully.
Dealing With Children in Long Distance Relationships
Many children are forced into having a long distance relationship with one or both of their parents due to divorce. While adults may separate from one another and find new partners, children cannot change who their mother and father are. They are often required to live with a single parent and may only see their mother or father on infrequent occasions. This can of course be quite difficult for a child of any age to understand and deal with.
Those of us who went through or are currently going through a long distance relationship can relate to what children of divorce must often feel. We consistently have the desire to be with our long distance partner that is often far away, similarly to the way a child wishes to be able to see both of their parents whenever they wish to.
In cases where you have children from a previous relationship and are now in a long distance relationship with someone new, deciding to relocate could mean that your children will have to face not seeing you if they will remain with their other parent. If you have custody of your child or children and decide to take them with you, you may be robbing them from spending time with their other parent.
Other couples may have started their family while in a traditional relationship where long distance was never an issue. These couples may have lived this way for years only to now find themselves facing a long distance situation. This can be caused by a new sudden job offer in another state or country that uproots one parent rather quickly. This scenario often happens with professional athletes who get traded to another sports team across the country. Although interstate or international moves for employment reasons may not bring about financial hardship, they can cause a great deal of stress for children. Depending on their age, children may have to switch schools, say goodbye to their friends, and get used to a new way of life. Our kids are sadly forced to accept whatever changes we bring their way.
Military deployment is another common situation where we may have to leave our kids for long periods of time. The emotional stress of a child not having their mother or father with them is only enhanced by the possibility they may never see them again due to the nature of war and combat.
Even if you and your long distance partner don’t yet have children, your relationship can still have an impact on them once you do decide to have them. Let’s say you move to another state or abroad to be with your long distance partner and down the road you both decide to have children. Your children may not have the fortune of frequently seeing grandparents, aunts & uncles, and cousins from both sides of the family. Although this may not create any serious issues, it is something to think about.
When it comes to international moves, you are also deciding what kind of life you want your future child or children to live. For instance, countries like Norway and Sweden offer free university education but a country like the United States makes it often financially difficult to give your children a higher education. Many countries are also far more superior when it comes to providing families with quality and affordable health care. Some countries provide free health care which gives you the peace of mind that you will never face hardship due to unfortunate medical situations involving astronomical bills.
The city you select for your children may also determine what their standard of living will be along with level of safety they will have. The city you choose will decide what opportunities they will have as they get older. That is not to say where you decide to settle will determine what kind of person your child will become or how happy they will be. Kids around the world and from all different backgrounds can experience enjoyable and fulfilling childhoods. There is no denying, however, that certain places will open your children up to more opportunities where they have a greater flexibility in choosing the life they wish to have.
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