By default, celebrities are often forced to make do with long-distance relationships - or, at least, it seems that way most of the time. Their hectic schedules and often frequent travel commitments make it hard to stay together physically, which is why celebrity marriages are seldom long-lived.
But that's not the case with every celebrity couple, obviously. Some of them work extra-hard to make their long-distance relationships work and end up being married for years and years. Does that mean they've somehow found a magic formula? Not by any stretch of the imagination. All it indicates is that they were willing to go the extra mile to make it work and that they followed some simple principles that helped get them through their darkest hours.
Rather than simply give you a list of celebrity couples who have survived and continue to survive - and even thrive - despite being in a long-distance relationship, we've tried to find some common factors that have enabled them to stay close on an emotional level and overcome the frequent and prolonged physical distance they often have to endure. Even for mere mortals like us, there are some very valuable takeaways from these lessons that can help us power through our own LDR struggles.
Fight for your Man
Celebrities have it tough when it comes to maintaining other, platonic relationships within the sphere of married life. Such relationships have a way of either blowing out of proportion or being taken advantage of. David and Victoria Beckham
are prime examples of a couple both pulling in the same direction to get themselves free and clear of the many scandals they faced. Through all the nightmares, it was Victoria that took a firm stand to fight for her man. When the Rebecca Loos scandal broke, Victoria reportedly contacted Loos, "warning her to back off," according to a story published by News of the World, a news publication that later settled out of court with the Beckhams on several counts.
Victoria Adams (Posh Spice) and David Beckham the Manchester United footballer leave the Hotel near Crewe today (Sunday) where the announcement of their future wedding was made. (Photo by John Giles - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
What's relevant here is that Victoria appears to have done everything in her power to keep the family intact, including moving the family several times so they could be physically together when possible. Beckham did his bit, too, obviously, but it's clear from the many stories and reports that Victoria was steadfast and willing to fight tooth and nail to keep her man.
There are several lessons to be learned here:
First of all, don't listen to rumors. Your story might not make it to the celebrity gossip pages but suspicion and doubt can ruin any relationship. The whole 'he said, she said' route is best avoided. Confront each other about your worries and have an open line of communication that doesn't involve guilting each other at every turn.
Second, and this is a prerequisite for the first, have faith in each other's fidelity. The Beckhams repeatedly denied all the allegations, at one time reportedly telling The Sun: "We have been through a lot worse than this, and we're definitely going to get through this." If your relationship with your long-distance beau is strong, that's all you need in order to keep it growing stronger. That's not to say you don't need to voice your thoughts when they head in a negative direction, but it's equally important to think about the trust that you've built over time and let that be the gauge against which you measure any doubts that creep into your mind.
Third, do whatever it takes. That doesn't mean moving back to be with him, because if that were an option you wouldn't be in a long-distance relationship, in the first place; however, you can definitely try to sync your schedules so you spend more virtual time talking, watching movies, playing online games, or pursuing similar hobbies. The more time you spend with each other using modern technology, the better.
Respect Each Other
That something so simple can be so powerful might be baffling to many. The simple act of not taking each other for granted but rather finding ways to boost each other's self-respect can have momentous positive outcomes. It was among the many things that have kept Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick
happily married for nigh on 23 years - and counting - despite their hectic work schedules and the constant glare of the spotlight.
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 29: Sarah Jessica Parker (L) and Matthew Broderick attend the press night after party for "The Starry Messenger" at Browns on May 29, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
If you go over the numerous interviews both of them have had with the media over many years, you'll see nothing but respect for each other. You might think that's merely a show put on for the public but the thread runs through several years, making a very strong case that it was, in fact, genuine. Here are a few of the things she's said over the years:
"it's because of him that there's this whole other world that I love," referring to her devotion to her family.
Several times, Parker referred to Broderick and his mannerisms as "very charming", "the funniest fellow I've met in my whole life", "so bright, so handsome", and that "he inspires me."
The feelings have been clearly mutual, with Broderick referring to Parker as "a very positive person" and "very unbitchy," the latter being quite possibly the greatest compliment a husband of 23 years can give his wife!
How are they like that? The biggest clue is from something Parker said in an interview about what Broderick had said years before, about being "friends above everything else."
And that's probably one of the most important ingredients in any marriage, let alone one that often involves weeks away from each other. Friends are friends because they respect each other and always showcase their better side in front of everyone else. In Sarah Jessica Parker's and Matthew Broderick's case, they used that as a way to help each other through tough times, of which they've had plenty!
What can LDR couples take away from this amazing celebrity couple?
- Show respect for each other, whether it's in public or in private.
- Find things to love about one another - even if you have to look really hard at times.
- Give yourselves and each other the benefit of the doubt when it comes to emotional situations.
- Never put down your better half to boost your own ego.
- Be a friend first.
The ego is one of the most dangerous things, whether it's in a husband-wife, boss-subordinate, parent-child, or any other type of relationship. Feeling good about yourself by putting the other person down not only erodes the faith and trust between you but also imperceptibly - and often irreversibly - fractures your relationship. You obviously respect each other or you wouldn't be together in the first place, so delve into your past if you have to in order to find ways of building each other up to your family, friends, and everyone in general. It's called edification, and it can work miracles for your LDR.
Keep Communicating Your Love Every Chance You Get
Communication is one of the most powerful forces to help keep a long-distance relationship alive. Keith Urban
knows that well because he apparently leaves Nicole Kidman
a love letter every time he goes away. In a 2014 interview with InStyle, here's what she said: "For every single night he's away, he leaves me a love letter. Every single night of our relationship."
Think about how that would make any woman feel! As a guy, you don't have to send your long-distance woman a love letter on a daily basis while you're away but are you even making a little effort to be more communicative about your feelings for her?
It's hard for a man to wear his heart on his sleeve in the society we live in. Boys don't cry. Don't be a girl. Stop crying, wuss. Does any of that sound familiar? Unfortunately, we haven't yet come to that point in social evolution where it's okay for a man to bare his soul or even his emotions. We might be getting there but we're not there yet. That's why it might take that extra bit of effort to tell your wife you love her on a regular basis.
This sort of thing comes naturally to most women, which is why they expect it from their mates. When you're in a long-distance relationship, you don't have touch as a mode of communication; touch can express love as much as words can, probably more, but you don't have that luxury. Therefore, words are pretty much your most powerful channel of communication, so use it wisely and use it often.
What are the important lessons here for LDR couples?
- Men, communicate your feelings of love to your better half as frequently as possible.
- Don't 'bunch it up' for when you meet.
- Do it every day but don't make it sound like you're going through a chore.
- Women, don't expect it to happen overnight. It's hard for a man to express love - of any kind. Give him enough time and watch the magic happen when he feels the time is right to start communicating his deepest feelings.
Musings on the 3 Lessons from Celebrity Long-distance Couples
Fighting for Your Man -
Boys, that means you, too. It's not just up to the woman to fight to keep the relationship alive; the man is equally responsible for protecting it from negative outside influence. A relationship can come under attack from any quarter, especially (and ironically) from close friends and family members. We could sugar-coat it and say that they mean well; but, in all honesty, most of them don't. There's a strange itch in most of us to poke at a great relationship to see if we can find any weakness. What makes us do this? Is it jealousy? Is it the need to 'protect our own'? Whatever it is, there are certain people close to any husband-wife relationship that want the marriage to fail. Sadly, the effect of anything they do or say is worse on a long-distance relationship because that third-party has close access to either the husband or wife and can put things into their heads. Remember that, as a couple, you're the only 'team' that should matter to you. You ALWAYS have your partner's back, whether it's when someone tries to sow a seed of doubt about the other person or directly accuses them of something. Doing this will help strengthen the bond you have between each other and will weaken the other person's power over where your love life is headed.
Respecting Each Other -
The importance of this cannot be overstated. Remember the time when you were dating and the experience was new? Well, part of the allure at the time was that you had the utmost respect for the other person. You'd hang on every word they said and were interested in their activities and hobbies no matter how little of an interest you had in them. The best piece of advice anyone can give you is to try and regain that frame of mind you were in during those early days of your love. It is vitally important that you maintain that level of respect until the end. You know how everyone admires couples that have been married for decades, right? Well, not every long-lived marriage is filled with mutual respect. Some couples just tolerate each other until they die. You see it every day; sometimes, in your own family. If you don't change your ways and start respecting your partner, that's how you might end up. Take the time to re-learn everything you admire about your wife, husband, or lover if you have to. It's worth the effort.
Communicating Your Love Regularly -
This is probably the hardest part for men, as we saw before. The danger here is when you turn it into an obligation or ritual that you force yourself to go through. Truth be told, it might feel that way in the beginning. Over time, though, that habit will start to take root and become second nature to you. You've heard it said that it takes 21 days for any habit - good or bad - to kick in and become a part of you. The same is true here as well but you need to work even hard because you first have to break the habit of NOT doing it while simultaneously developing the habit of DOING it. That doesn't come easily for many people but it is one of the most important lessons we've learned here today. You can try creative ways of showing your love, like sending awesome little gifts of love
that your lover or partner can find and open daily. However, don't use that as a replacement for direct verbal communication. That's always the most powerful way to make a positive impact.
In summary, these three celebrity couples have lived their long-distance-relationship-like lives in a way that has challenged and overcome the odds. If they can do it despite the tremendous pressure on their marriages, shouldn't you at least give it a try
The Ultimate LDR Gift - Here It Is