4 Steps to Make Your Marriage Work with a Traveling Spouse

Recently, while I was out to dinner with several friends, one of them lamented the strain that her husband’s frequent travels for work were causing in their relationship. As a couple’s therapist, I knew a great deal about what she discussed because I have seen innumerable couples express the same difficulties.

You just articulated in five minutes a dynamic that has been happening in my marriage for years that I have never been able to put words to and that I could never fully understand. This was her response when I described to her the dynamic that I see play out regularly in my office between spouses when one travels often.

The dance between couples when one spouse travels frequently for work:

To varied degrees, the at-home spouse feels overburdened by the weight of caring for the kids and the house while their partner is away. Most will just put their heads down and get through it, doing whatever needs to be done to keep things at home going.

When their spouse returns, they frequently feel as though they can let go and hand things over to their partner, who is now at home and able to assist them. However, they frequently have preconceived notions about what and how their spouse will now accomplish these tasks.

The spouse who has been employed frequently feels disengaged and exhausted.Most people don’t view business travel as the glitzy vacation or “time to oneself” that their spouse at home frequently thinks it is.The partner who has been away has been dealing with their own stresses and frequently feels unneeded or detached from what is going on at home.Their family is missed. When they do attempt to assist, they are unaware of the customs that have developed during their absence and the extensive list of tasks that has collected.

They are supposed to stand up and assume control, but there are strict guidelines for how they are supposed to do it. According to the spouse who has been managing things at home, the majority of them fail.Concurrently, they encounter the animosity of the partner who believes they have had it easier in contrast because they haven’t had to handle all of the household duties by themselves.They frequently believe that there is little to no understanding of how exhausting and difficult travelling for work may be. Now, both partners are mired in a routine of bitterness and fury as well as feeling alone and alienated.

Fortunately, there is a method to break out from this cycle and spouses can take steps to minimise the stress that travel takes on their relationship.

These are five strategies to help your marriage succeed when your partner travels.

1. Recognize that work travel is hard on everyone

It’s not a competition to see who can work more. It is difficult for you both. It helps a lot to be able to communicate to your partner that you understand this.

2.  Be vocal about your needs

Talk with your spouse on what you will need from each other when the travelling spouse returns as the time of re-entry draws near. If there are any chores that need to be completed, please specify them.

3. Be collaborative and offer to help

Discuss together how you might each obtain what you require. Consider how you may help the other person meet their needs as you approach this talk.

4. Accept that there is not one right way to do things

Be adaptable in the way that you offer assistance. There is no one “right” way to do anything, so if you are the one making the most sacrifices, be prepared that your partner may have a different approach, and that’s good too.

Last Words

Thank your partner for their efforts. Recognise the contributions each partner makes to the family when on business trips. To maintain harmony with your spouse while travelling, adhere to the four guidelines listed above.