How to Stay Sane When Your Spouse Must Travel for Work
The “normal” picture of marriage probably looks like this: one or both spouses arrive home from work, share a meal, tell each other about their days, maybe watch some TV, and then crawl under the covers together…rinse and repeat! However, for individuals that require frequent travel for their job, that picture of marriage may be quite far from the norm!
In marriages where one of the spouses must travel for work, the other spouse is often left at home to take care of the housework, kids, and possibly work themselves. These daily tasks fall heavily on the spouse that doesn’t partake in business trips and can lead to feelings of loneliness, jealousy, or resentment if the couple doesn’t work to avoid it. Lucky for you, we’re sharing 13 insider tips to having a solid marriage, despite business travel!
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Benefits of Having a Traveling Spouse
It’s no secret that having a spouse who often travels for work can be challenging! But, when both partners are on the same page, there is no reason that your marriage can not only survive but THRIVE.
This may be an unpopular opinion here, but your marriage may grow stronger when one partner is away on a business trip! Think about it. There’s a reason for the old saying, “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” right? When you have time to miss one another, you might appreciate the other person more. Or, you may value your marriage in a way you never did. When you are finally reunited, you might even experience the giddiness you felt during your dating days. Maybe you’ll even bicker less or enjoy better intimacy. It sure isn’t a bad way to keep your marriage simmering!
How to Cope When Your Spouse Travels for Work
When you have a spouse who is away frequently for business travel, there are many things both of you can do to keep your marriage strong! Here’s what you can do to get through the challenging times when you are apart:
- Communicate, communicate, communicate – First of all, communicate about the job and travel requirements together. Make sure you’re both on board with the arrangement. Secondly, keep the line of honest communication wide open at all times. Make sure your needs are clear and that you’re also checking in with your spouse regularly.
- Focus on your friendships – This is the perfect time to draw your attention to your friends! When else will you have endless opportunities during the day to meet up with them to catch up? Also, making plans with your friends while your spouse is gone will give you something to look forward to while you’re alone. Even if your kids have to tag along with you, opt to meet somewhere like a park. Your kids can run freely while you chat with your besties!
- Meal prep – No one likes cooking for one, am I right?! So instead, do all your grocery shopping and prep some freezer meals before your spouse leaves. Doing so means you’ll have one less thing to worry about once they’re gone. You can even whip up some simple crockpot meals that stretch for a couple of days!
- Enjoy some hobbies – Use this free time to partake in hobbies you love! Even better if they are things your spouse would never want to do! This may include crafting, biking, baking, or reading. Save some special “me time” activities for when your spouse is gone! It will help you to look forward to those lonely days instead of dreading them.
- Avoid romanticize your traveling spouse’s work life – When all we see is them jet-setting off to cool locations, eating out at fancy restaurants, or sleeping in luxurious hotels, it might be easy for us to become jealous and resent them for it. Work travel may look fun, but it’s definitely WORK! They never get to explore, often live out of a suitcase, don’t eat home-cooked meals, and their days can be lonely. Try to keep the perspective of “if they could be home, they would” and focus on when you’ll next be together.
- Communicate daily – Whether your spouse is gone for two nights or two months at a time, you both must make an effort to communicate with each other every single day. Texting and calling are great, but we think FaceTime is even better! Seeing each other and fueling that bond will help keep you both close and in tune. Even if it’s just a few minutes a day, try to make time for connection.
- Give yourself grace – You are not Superwoman (or Superman)! Learn to let things go if needed. For example, if you’re too tired at the end of the day, leave the dishes in the sink. Or better yet, let that pile of laundry sit on top of the dryer for another day. As long as everyone is clothed and fed, you’re good!
- Spend intentional time together before the traveling spouse leaves – This will be so important to help you both get through the time spent apart. You can share a special dinner together, put away your phones for a romantic date night beforehand, or have breakfast before the traveling spouse leaves.
- Enjoy your alone time – Sleep in, binge your favorite movies in your pajamas, or order a pizza! Whatever you decide to do, try and enjoy this time you have to yourself. It can definitely help to recharge your batteries!
- Write notes to your sweetie – If you have the time, an old-school, handwritten note sent by mail would be incredibly thoughtful. Your spouse will so appreciate the gesture! If not, texting or emailing works just as well too! If you want to kick things up a notch, you can even write them in secret every time they leave. Then, you can compile them all into a notebook and gift it for a holiday!
- Try to make special plans while you’re home alone – If you have kids, this may mean taking them out for ice cream one afternoon. If you’re flying solo, consider taking a shopping trip and treating yourself to a new outfit. Again this will be something that helps you to look forward to these work trips a bit more!
- Work on projects you may have put off – You know those Pinterest boards you created forever ago titled “DIY Projects/Crafts”? Well, there is no time like the present to tackle one of those. You’ll feel so accomplished after repainting your old dresser or creating that hanging family command center you’ve always wanted!
- Experiment with sexting – If you’re looking for ways to stay intimate while your other half is out of town, try sexting! It can be a fun way to keep the flame burning while you’re apart. Not to mention, it may just make your reunion that much steamier!
While the idea of keeping a marriage strong (and keeping yourself happy) when you have a traveling spouse might seem daunting, it definitely doesn’t have to be! There are so many benefits to every situation. Anything is possible when you go into the experience with the right tools and attitude!
If you’re searching for additional ways to stay connected with your spouse while you are apart, check our Long Distance Date page! We have tons of ideas for long-distance dates, gift ideas, romance, and advice. It’s so good that it’ll make you both forget you’re even apart!