Throughout some marriage, there can be several times when one or the other of you has had to travel extensively. Being away from home brings a whole new set of challenges to a marriage. Household and parental responsibilities fall primarily on the shoulders of one partner. Insecurity, fear and doubt can creep into even the most stable of relationships.
Fatigue and erratic schedules wreak havoc on attitudes and moods. And unspoken expectations can erupt into hostile conflicts. Although, in some cases, this may not bring on added pressure other now the one has to live a single parent lifestyle. You have been able to share the chores or navigating kids to doctor’s appointments, overall not an issue.
But there are some couples out there who do have a hard time with this scenario. What do you do if this is you? Whether you’re husband or wife stuck at home for a week, two weeks or however long, does the added stress get to you? One of the most important things a family can do is to STAY CONNECTED.
You can accomplish this in a variety of ways and modern technology has made this easier than ever. Besides just talking on the phone, you can now email, have an on-line chat complete with webcam, use SKYPE, and keep in touch via social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
These various tools can allow you to see one another while you talk, view the latest photos and even know what your family is thinking about at that very moment! It has never been easier to connect with people. The main point is to make the effort to keep the traveling spouse connected and a part of the family’s life.
Be sure to share the good along with the bad! Make the conversations as normal as possible, but guard against making them feel guilty for being gone. “I miss you and wish you were here” is understandable and even welcomed, but statements that start with, “If you weren’t gone all the time…” should be avoided.
Do it have be said that statements like that make things worse, not sure why anyone would want to add to the stress. All marriages need to be built on a foundation of TRUST. But when one partner is often away from home; even the strongest bonds of trust are put to the test.
They are having new experiences without you and meeting new people that you don’t know. So it is imperative that you voice any worries or concerns. Bring them out into the open so that as a couple, you can discuss them and reassure one another. Reinforce your commitment to each other and your marriage vows and be trustworthy yourself.
Both of you need to avoid compromising situations where your personal integrity could be called into question. Simple things like making sure that your cell phone is always charged so that if your spouse needs you, they can quickly reach you will go a long way towards fortifying trust.
Again, not a scenario that plagues every spouse but some good things to watch out for. Noticing your own feelings and validating them is vital. Couples who are able to successfully navigate through these various issues have the ability to strengthen their family ties and develop skills and talents that may have been hidden.
But it requires flexibility, commitment, trust, support and understanding. The spouse that stays at home may have added responsibilities but the traveling spouse has additional stressors also. They are away from their home, their comfortable bed, their loved ones and their support system.
They are spending countless hours on the road affected by uncertain schedules and weather issues. They are trying to navigate traffic in unfamiliar cities and adapting to working with (and for), new people. So be empathetic on BOTH sides; it isn’t easy for either of you.
Again, for many couples these issues are not issues and the stress is minimal, be grateful. For other it is an issue, a big one, but ask yourself this. Is it only an issues because you perceive to be, is it your thinking that is the problem?