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Tips for Surviving the Traveling Spouse

Mukta Gaikwad
A long-distance marriage can be tough to handle, with mammoth amount of multitasking and domestic chores especially if you have kids and a career. It can take a toll on the person holding the fort, while your spouse is away on a business trip. Read ahead for ways to deal with the same.
Distance between two hearts is not an obstacle; rather a beautiful reminder of just how strong true love can be ~ Unknown
Marriage comes with a great set of expectations, underlined by togetherness. We look forward to those small moments spent together after a day at work, cooking together, having dinner together, a quiet stroll in the night and a peaceful sleep, listening to those promises of tomorrow.
If you have kids, add a small expectation of a bedtime story. These are the sweet things, we believe, what marriages are made of. However, when the stark reality of your spouse's career stares at you, this picture you painted can shatter. A job that keeps your spouse away, can take an emotional and physical toll on you.
No matter what reasons you may find to console yourself, a spouse being away, for the better part of a month, is not a picture anyone desires. So, what do you do? How do you survive this sudden change of expectations from your marriage? Well, all you need is a pinch of creativity and some out of the box planning, to make your marriage work.

Set Aside Some Time

Many people would ridicule the fact that you need to make an appointment with your spouse to have a decent conversation. But then again, they are not living your reality. When your spouse is on the road, especially traveling outside the country, it becomes increasingly necessary to catch up with each other.
You could go for days without talking to each other. This can create a serious disconnect and a resentment. Thus, fix a time during the day which you can dedicate to each other, without any distraction.
Of course, there will be days when you might not be able to talk for certain reasons. However, there is no harm in trying an arrangement that might actually work for the two of you. In fact, it might benefit in more ways than what you can imagine.
Virtual Dates
A phone call or a Skype call everyday can get boring. Talking about what happened at work or at home can get monotonous. Add an element of surprise to the call by planning a dinner date, a movie time or reading a book together over videoconferencing.
If the two of you like to write, you can share an online document and maintain a diary or share a travelogue. This is a fresh perspective on how you can connect, besides the usual telephone calls. Sharing moments of the day with each other will allow the two of you to imagine or visualize what the other person's day has been like.

Plan for Things To Do

Missing your spouse to a point where it hurts, is quite natural in a situation like this. Most times, when they are away we keep imagining things we would do together. While you are on those phone calls plan for materializing those list of things.
It could be something as simple as trying a new restaurant or traveling to a desired location. Such plans add to the memories and enable you to spend some important quality time with each other. This will also help you get over your resentment of being left behind.

Leave Voice Messages

Smartphones have now become an integral part of our daily lives. Making smart use of it to keep the connection in your marriage would be rather clever. With various voice message applications, we can send sweet loves notes at odd hours, without having to worry about disturbing the other person.
If you have kids, you can record bedtime stories, let them know that you love them and that you will be home soon. The key point here, is to express your love and the fact that you are missing your family. Just saying these simple things can make your spouse's day and let them know that they are cared for.

Treat Yourself

Staying back, being alone, managing the kids, and a job, can be a laborious job. When your spouse goes away, you can take a day off, sit back, catch up on the reading with a cup of coffee while your kids are away. Also, when one person is away there is one mouth less to feed.
You can take this opportunity to make simple dinners, or take your kids out for a dinner. Simple treats like this will help you relax and find your peace and quiet.

Get Your Kids Involved

The other repercussion of your spouse being away is that your kids start interacting less with the parent who is away. Thus, it is important to talk to your kids about your spouse's travel plans and kind of work they do. This will help your kids to understand and respect their parent's need to be away.
Make them a part of those timely phone calls, voice messages would also be a good idea to help them connect.

Find and Pursue a Hobby

Our parents have pushed us to do this all our lives. This advice may come in handy right now too. If you've found one, then pursue it. Or find one and pursue it. A hobby will help you take your mind off your troubles and worries. Joining a class is also a great way of meeting new people and opening doors to new forms of happiness.

Rituals of Sweet Nothings

Everyone has their own way of showing love. It can be 'love you' at the end of a phone call or a way of greeting every time you see each other. Similarly, make a goodbye ritual. For instance, never leave without a kiss, take a picture every time you are about to leave, slip a love note in his wallet or other sweet nothings that will make goodbyes happier.
Being home while your spouse travels can be very frustrating. Try not to be lonely, by making plans with friends and family. Accepting the nature of their work, and helping yourself and your kids to accept the change, is an important move in balancing life when your spouse travels a lot.
Losing your calm over your spouse's travel will only drive a wedge in your relationship. Remember, the bigger picture of your marriage matters above everything else.