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My hubby travels. He travels a lot. This month he will be gone every week except for weekends. Can I get a shout out from all those with a traveling spouse! With him gone, it means I fall into the role of stay-at-home-mom/single-parent. This role is temporary until he returns home to our crazy house. With travel comes lonely and tired couples when the traveling spouse returns.
Due to his schedule, sometimes it is hard to connect. On the weekends when he is home we have family functions, kids sporting events, church obligations, a social event, and MAYBE a date night or date coffee, etc. I know you can relate with your crazy weekends. All these things make it REALLY difficult for us to connect and sometimes we don’t connect at all and then he’s off again. This made me think, I should really do something while he is gone to help him feel loved so that when he comes home on Friday we aren’t struggling to reconnect.
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Here are a few ideas I came up with
- Email them. I know, I know, email is so archaic in today’s world of technology. But email is how business’ still communicate and sending an email to their work address will put a smile on their face. When they see your name pop up in their inbox, it’s a moment they see you thinking of them. Thank them for being a provider for the family. Say an encouraging word, share how much you miss them, share something about yourself. These simple words can help them remember why they are where they are and help them get through their day.
- Put a little note in their luggage so that when he gets to his destination he sees it that night or the next morning. Maybe stop and grab a card at the grocery store that you can stash in his bag. I know these ideas are cheesy but think about when you were dating and how you bought that card just because it made you think of them. Another option is post-it-notes on his laptop. You could write a little note and when they open their laptop they will see the note. I like to use these: post-it-notes post-its
- FaceTime, Skype or whatever you want to call it! This little piece of technology is Ah-Maz-Ing! It has allowed me to be able to look at my husband and see his facial expressions so I know how he is really feeling about a work situation. On top of that, my kids pick up the phone or IPad and FaceTime him. They love being able to see their Daddy before bed. I think hands down this is one of the best features of technology today.
- Pray for him. Pray for his day, for his co-workers, for his influence with the people he works with. Pray for him to be in love with you when he returns home. I have been reminded of Proverbs 19:22a that every person desires unfailing love. This love should first come from Father God, but we also look for it from those closest to us. By praying for them you are sharing your heart with Father God and He then shares His heart with you regarding love.
- Anticipate how tired they will be on Friday when they get home and prepare something for them to help them relax. For me, I have come to realize having dinner prepared and almost fully ready helps him to relax. He then knows we don’t have to go anywhere for dinner. He can sit, relax, chat with his children, talk to me and decompress. I can only try and figure out how to help him feel loved when he walks through the door.
- Ask them what they would like you to do to help you stay connected while they are traveling. They may have other ideas that you haven’t thought of yet.
These are just a few ideas to help with re-entry and staying connected while the spouse is away. The goal is to stay connected so that when they arrive home you both feel loved so you don’t think about how lonely and tired you both are. Yes, implementing these ideas into your routine will take work, but think about the return value of your investment.
Also, don’t expect a connection to happen overnight, or over the course of the week. If your connection is already a problem, creating a new path of connection takes time. It takes time to create a new habit, 21 days to be exact.
I want to encourage you to just try something. Try to create the connection with your husband. Remind him that you chose him and you want to be that person for him. He will be thrilled to hear that. Especially if he misses you as much as you miss him.
Stephanie has been blogging at Sticky Note Mom for 4 years. Before starting her blog she worked in the finance industry working on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade to working for major financial institutions with personal financial planning and the mortgage industry. Now she shares all she has learned about frugal living to help others learn how to stop spending and start saving more.