How to Keep Your Relationship Strong When One of You is on the Road
- Monday, February 25, 2013
Make a special effort to call each other at bedtime (even adjusting for time zone differences to have two different conversations at two separate times). It’s crucial to try to talk at bedtime, because that’s when you will each be the most tired and likely miss each other the most. Business travelers who end up engaging in unhealthy behaviors (from looking at pornography to going out to bars) are most likely do to so late at night, and at-home spouses can be vulnerable, too.
Pray for each other often. Stay connected through prayer, as well. Whenever a thought about your spouse pops into your mind during a business trip, say a prayer right then (even if you must pray silently) and be sure to include prayers for your spouse in your daily scheduled prayer times. The more you pray for each other, the more you invite God’s love to flow into your lives – even when you’re far apart.
Set and maintain routines while on the road. While traveling spouses are away from normal routines at home, they’re prone to losing healthy disciplines unless they’re intentional about keeping them on the road. But the more they stay disciplined, the less likely they are to fall into sin while away. So do your best while traveling to stick to the disciplines you practice at home. If you normally begin your days with prayer and Bible reading, pack a Bible in your luggage and set your alarm to get up early enough to have your morning quiet time during business trips. If you usually work out each day, choose hotels with onsite gyms and schedule time to use them on your trips.
Bring your spouse and family along on business trips whenever possible. Be creative about how you can accompany each other (and include your children, too) on business trips. Sometimes companies hold conferences at family-friendly locations to encourage employees to bring their families along (for example, my husband Russ’ company schedules conferences in Orlando, Florida at hotels operated by Disney) and enjoy time together in between conference sessions. Even if you can’t see each other during the day, you can plan to explore an area on your own while your spouse is working during the day, and then reunite at night. This strategy helped us fulfill a dream of visiting Paris, France together after Russ’ company assigned him to teach a course in Paris for two weeks one summer. The free airfare for one person and free hotel room while Russ was teaching made it possible for our family to afford a trip we wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise – and in the process, we enjoyed many adventures.
Spend extra time together after returning from a business trip. Soon after one of you returns home from a business trip, go out on a date if possible to re-connect in an enjoyable way. If you have children, schedule a special family outing all together, as well. The traveling spouse can give everyone souvenirs from the trip and share interesting stories to help everyone better connect with his or her experiences there.
Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and the editor of About.com’s site on angels and miracles. Contact Whitney at: firstname.lastname@example.org to send in a true story of an angelic encounter or a miraculous experience like an answered prayer.
Publication date: February 25, 2013
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