Traveling for work might be putting a strain on your relationship.
You and your spouse are recognizing that it’s tough to find a balance between business travel and family relationships. You barely get to see each other already, now add in one of you being in another state (or even country) for a large portion of the year. It’s beginning to really put a strain on your marriage.
Maybe this is new for your and your spouse, and you’re finding yourself running through the “what-ifs” and worst case scenarios of you both being apart so often. Maybe you’ve even google-searched phrases like traveling spouse divorce rate wondering if you need to prepare yourself for the inevitable. You might be feeling pretty nervous about how to handle all the time apart.
You want to talk with your spouse about how you both can handle the days spent traveling, but you don’t want it to turn into an argument. You want to trust them, and maybe they’ve given you no reason not to trust them. You just can’t help but worry anyway.
Maybe you’re the spouse who stays home more, wondering how you’ll deal with the quiet nights alone.
Or maybe you’re the spouse traveling, wondering how you can stay connected to your partner while you’re gone, knowing you’ll miss the comfort of home.
In either situation, you might likely be experiencing the stress of trying to figure out how to prioritize your relationship while work demands keep you both apart.
Traveling while in a relationship, or being the one who stays home while your partner travels, can be incredibly challenging.
You don’t know how to have quality time with each other, how to express love over geographical distances, and maybe even how to stay connected when you’re time-zones apart.
Remember, your relationship is a priority to you. So find ways to make it a priority on a daily basis, and to let your spouse know you’re thinking of them.
Here are 5 simple ways to keep your relationship connected when at least one of you is traveling.
- Set check in times. You each have your different daily schedules. And if you’re going to be in different time zones, it might be even harder to have those schedules line up. Before the traveling partner leaves, sit down together and come up with a plan for what times of the day you’ll each be able to talk. Schedule that in your calendar and prioritize it when it happens. Even if it’s just once or twice a day that you’ll both be available, make it happen.
- Create some guidelines together on what each of you are comfortable with when separate. Of course, you want there to be trust and honesty in your relationship. If each of you have mutual understanding and agreement on what’s ok and what’s not ok when you’re apart, you can have open lines of discussion when a challenge arises. Whatever the boundaries and guidelines are that you set, make sure they are communicated clearly and kindly with each other.
- Find ways to express love. Even though you might be hours apart, find ways to express love to each other before, during, and after traveling. Maybe leave a thoughtful treat for your spouse to find at home. Or put a kind note in your spouse’s luggage for them to find later. Send a sweet message during the day to let them know you’re thinking of them.
- Schedule date nights, especially if one partner travels for even longer periods of time. Maybe they are gone for a few weeks at a time. In the days that you do have together before and after the trip, commit to having a date night. Go ahead and schedule it. This can also create some excitement if you both decide to plan something fun that you don’t often get to do.
- Prioritize the time you have together. When at least one partner is traveling frequently, the time you have together is limited and likely stressed. Make the most of it. Even if you’re both just at home. Turn the tv off. Talk with each other. Catch up on life. Stay in tune with your partner and their needs as they do the same. When you’re truly listening to each other, you can learn more about your partner’s thoughts and feelings. You both can prepare for the stress of traveling, knowing how you can better connect with each other when you are separate.
Finding a balance between traveling and prioritizing your marriage is also a personal challenge.
So remember, in order for you to be engaged and connected in your relationship, you also need to take care of yourself. So when you are alone, make the most of your alone time. Maybe you’ve been missing out on time with friends, or maybe you’d like to take up a hobby. If you’re the traveling partner, maybe you want to do some sightseeing when you visit new cities. Either way, when you aren’t able to talk with your spouse or spend time with them after work, do some things for yourself too.
Having your own individual hobbies and activities not only gives you more to talk about with each other, but is also good for your soul and your self-care.
What all of these steps come down to is you and your partner both having an understanding of each other’s personal needs and the relationship’s needs. If you find any of this to be difficult, and would like more help keeping your relationship connected while one of you is away, try talking with a therapist to work through these challenges.
If you’re in Greenville, Mauldin, Simpsonville, or other surrounding areas of upstate South Carolina, feel free to reach out to me today to see how therapy could help you and your marriage.