Got a long-distance marriage ("LDM")? How is that working for you? Why LDM's may be a recipe for divorce

Are long distance marriages more divorce prone?
Personally, I’m of the school of thought that if you’re not going to be there in my bed to keep me warm at night, EVERY NIGHT, what’s the good of having you call yourself my husband? The idea of the long distance relationship or marriage is totally lost on me. Not interested. But on this score, I seem to be in the minority because a lot of people are just fine with long  distance marriages, thank you very much, and they seem to defy divorce a  lot of these folks: military personnel, sailors, actors, NASA space shuttle engineers, CEOs of multinational corporations, musicians, drug traffickers, cruise ship workers and foreign service workers for the federal government, among others. These folks all seem to master the art of the long distance marriage and are perfectly happy to have sex by skype.  hahahahaha 🙂 (wonder what that would look like, quite seriously?)
Sorry. I digressed. So, these long distance spouses. Their left behind spouses are quite alright with the set up and may even secretly revel in the prolonged absences.
It seems that these types of people are also quite alright with the “open marriage.” They don’t realistically expect their husbands (or wives) to stay “faithful” during these long periods apart. Nor do they particularly cater to the one-man, one-woman rule themselves.  And in a bizarre way, this seems to fuel the union and keep them going. It somehow makes them more “appreciative” of the time they do get to spend together. At least, for some people this is true.
For others, it is more than they bargained for a lot of time. All those absences start to accumulate into a big situation that leads, inexorably, to divorce. And it’s not hard to see why. A real and true marriage is a living, breathing organism that requires nurturing, attention, love, involvement, physical presence, emotional presence, regularity of affection (hugs, kisses, sex, etc), and all the other minutae of the everyday events that’s called life. If someone is largely absent for a significant amount of time, none of the natural interplay that is absolutely essential to a successful marriage can be attained. As a result, what you end up with is some sort of a relationship, perhaps; but not a marriage. IMHO.
What do you think? Does absence make the marriage stronger? Or is it a sure-fire way to drive your spouse into the arms of another man or woman? And thus, render you’all yet another divorce statistic to be unceremoniously dumped  into the international dustbin of failed marriages?
Originally published February 25, 2011