Sunday, March 24, 2013

When Dad's Away, The Mice Will Play......Handling Life With a Traveling Husband

My husband has had to travel a few times a month since he started working in the hotel business 17 years ago.  I have to admit, I didn't use to handle it near as good as I do now (not that I really handle it very well now either : ) But  God has given me grace and it is easier with older ones in the house to help.  My husband has had to travel a bit more lately and I also have a good many friends whose husbands have had to travel for work a lot lately as well.  This got me thinking about some things that have helped me and my marriage through days and nights of a traveling husband.  I do think that traveling can really wreck havoc on a marriage and is something the enemy uses to destroy godly marriages.  It's only by the grace of God and having Him as the center of a marriage that any of us can stay married in this day and age.  We also should pray for good solid jobs for our husbands that do not require too much travel, as well as making our homes such that our husbands don't want to travel ;)
Anyway, here are some things that have helped us through the years when it comes work related travel:

1.   Always try, as much as possible, to have your husband leave on a good note.  Try to mend any quarrels and certainly don't start an argument right before he leaves.  Have him leave with a smile on your face and a good long hug and kiss.

2.  Leave him notes in his bag or suitcase.  This helps connect him to you and home.  My husband is so good about leaving the kids and me notes around the house before he leaves too. 

3.  I rotate kids sleeping in the bed with me when he is gone.  It's something for them to look forward to and I have a running list of whose turn it is to sleep with mom.  They all have done this until they were about 14, at which point they out grow it : (

4.  Many times we make the evening kind of special when my husband is away (not that we are celebrating or anything, it just helps the evening not seem so sad and lonely.)  We will make cookies, maybe even watch a movie and some times pick-up takeout for dinner. 

5.  My husband and I make sure that we talk on the phone at least once a day when he is out of town. This is usually in the evening just before bed.  I think this is really good for both of us.  We also text each other more than usual during the day.

6.  We plan a date night for the weekend after he has been gone.  I know this is sometimes hard when he's been away from the kids too during the week.  But really, your marriage is the most important thing and the kids need to see Mom and Dad wanting to spend time alone together.  This makes them feel secure and know that they are in a home with a loving, healthy marriage.

7.  Make sure you know in advance when your husband will have to be gone.  This has helped me prepare my weeks and just mentally prepare.  My husband is usually pretty good about letting me know and sometimes I'm not too good at writing it down.  I'm trying to get better.

Well, this is all I could think of at the moment. But please, if you moms have any other tips, chime in!!!


  1. This post has been so helpful! My husband is going out of town for the first time in a few weeks. I will definitely remember these tips!

  2. Hello Rebecca,

    I was wondering, do you celebrate your children's birthdays also if your husband is not there or do you wait until he gets home again or your 3 college kids.
    How do you handle the day with visiters if your husband isn't home.

    I have the luxery that my husband is always at home when the kids have their birthday.

    Two or our friends husbands travel for their work, they don't have the luxery being home for their children's birthdays, they have 2 and 3 kids, so when everybody is coming over whit presents and eating cake, we help out, so the mother can drink her coffy and eat cake.

    I love your christmas foto's

    Love Jolien

    1. Hi Jolien, no we never celebrate our children's birthdays when my husband is gone. Rarely is he ever out of town on their actual birthday (because he doesn't travel that much, he makes sure he is home on their brithday.) But we usually have a family birthday party on the weekend so my older kids can be there and also my mom who lives near us. You're so sweet to help out your friend. Blessings!

  3. My husband is away from home for work 95% of the time. I won't say it created havoc in our marriage, but it did have reprocutions. We have felt the sting of disconnect, the lure of temptations, the sadness of separated lives, the challenges of agreeing and working issues out from a distance. The lack of communication and inability to communicate well due to distance and time constraints has been the biggest issue. Lack of marital intimacy and connectedness has been a big hurt, too. Currently, hubby is able to be home and he has had to train up the children who have developed some behavioral issues because of his being gone and because of me being so completely overwhelmed and over worked. I also spent the last year on pregnancy bed rest and then I had post partum depression, which rendered me pretty much useless.

    Above all, God reigns, though. And while hubby and I dealt poorly at times with our stresses and acted selfishly, over all, we always turned to God (many times after our foolishness bit us in the backside, but we still turned back to God). We renew our commitment to each other and to God regularly.

    I do NOT recommend married couples live separately due to work nor should a spouse travel often if it is possible to avoid.

  4. Becca, you're doing a great job with this blog and hitting on so many interesting topics! Ah, the traveling hubby. Indeed, what a crazy world we live in; I'm amazed at the sheer numbers of business travelers we see every Monday morning at the airport. The recession has hit marriages hard in this way, and we are all believing for better times ahead. But overall, as with other challenges, God is in control and can use these less-than-ideal circumstances to weave threads into His lovely tapestry. Instead of despising this detour, we have learned to be thankful for it, because we know God is at work. My husband and I have been able to make the best of our longing for each other during our separations, and our hearts have indeed grown fonder. There has been an incredible re-kindling of romance and desire. And we have become much more intentional about our relationship and staying close. I am thankful for that.


Thanks so much for your comments! I love them and they keep me writing. I really do read each one.