If you have a spouse who travels for business every week, you know how taxing it can be, and not just on the traveler. While frequent business trips can tire your partner, you can feel even more drained back home. Left to tend to children and other home duties alone on top of your own work and personal obligations can put your well-being and sanity at risk. But don’t let the stress of a partner’s frequent travel get the best of you. These nine ideas will help ease your burden and make life with a traveling spouse positive and peaceful for everyone:
Discuss Your Business Travel Concerns
Does your spouse give you enough notice before leaving on a business trip? Do early morning flights disrupt sleep for the household? Has business travel interfered with weekend plans? Having an open discussion with your partner about specific travel concerns can do wonders to lighten your load and resolve conflict. Talk over your frustrations and see if you can come up with solutions that are agreeable and reasonable for both of you.
Plan Quality Time During Off Weeks
Regular business travelers often have periods where they are not required to take a trip. Capitalize on that time together. Make plans to spend the off weeks doing things that benefit your relationship and home life. Schedule family dinners, work on house projects, or just use the downtime to enjoy doing things you both like, together. Quality time with your partner can go a long way in making up for time spent apart.
Find a Support Network
Coping with a spouse who travels weekly is much easier to do when you have a support network. Enlist friends, neighbors, or relatives to be available to help at your request. If you have young children at home, finding support is especially important. You may need a break from parenting duties or someone to talk to and encourage you while you hold down the fort. Seeking out other spouses in your situation can also bring peace and comfort.
Tag Along on a Business Trip
Ever wanted to join your spouse on a business trip? It can be a great way to see a new destination and experience your partner’s business life firsthand. If time allows, you might even extend the business trip a few days for just the two of you to vacation. One benefit of a traveling spouse is you can earn free flights through airline frequent flyer programs, which can make accompanying your partner on a business trip all the more doable.
Take Care of Your Health
While you’re busy tending to home responsibilities by yourself, don’t forget to tend to your health and well-being too. Make an effort to eat nutritiously, even if you don’t feel compelled to make regular meals. Get the exercise you need and plenty of rest too. The last thing you want to do is wind up sick or overly exhausted while your partner is on travel, especially if you have other family members to care for on your own.
Set Up a Time to Talk Daily
Talking with your traveling spouse every day can make the weeks go faster, plus it gives you something to look forward to each day. Set a time to check in with each other, then use the time to talk about your day and discuss any plans or problems that need immediate attention. Avoid complaining or attempting to resolve large conflicts. Keep the mood upbeat and put bigger issues on the back burner for an in-person discussion later on.
Be Empathetic about Frequent Business Travel
Let’s face it; frequent business travel is hard on both of you. Try to be understanding about your partner’s weekly business trips and why they’re necessary. Keep in mind that your spouse would likely prefer to be at home with you if given a choice. The more understanding you are about his or her travel routine, the more apt your spouse will be to reciprocate the sentiment and show empathy and compassion towards you at home.
Live Your Life Too
Just because your partner is away from home doesn’t mean your life is put on hold. Fill your time with activities that you enjoy doing besides the duties you have to do. Go out with friends, take in a movie, plan an outing with the kids, or immerse yourself in an interesting project or hobby at home. Living life independently is empowering and fulfilling, and you’ll appreciate that you, like your spouse, spent the week productively.
Look to a Business Trip-Free Future
Weekly business travel will eventually come to an end, whether it’s through a job change, retirement, or a shift in responsibilities. Keep the light at the end of the tunnel in view; it will help you stay motivated and positive. You might work on long-range plans for when business trips are a thing of the past. In fact, your spouse’s business travel can provide ideas for places to retire or visit together later in life.
Frequent business travel doesn’t have to cause stress between couples and families. By accepting your partner’s travel schedule and integrating these ideas into your routine at home, you can turn the hardship of having a traveling spouse into a way of life that’s peaceful, productive, and rife with opportunity for you.
About Rory Brown of Charleston, SC:
Rory Brown is a food critic and blogger specializing in healthy diet and lifestyle choices. Beginning in Charleston, SC, he has attracted a large following by offering nuanced takes on fine cuisine with a focus on health. Mr. Brown splits his time between Charleston, Kauai, Sydney, and Lake Como, keeping his finger firmly on the culinary pulse across the globe.