Spouses/SOs who travel for work…looking for solidarity

posted 2 years ago in Relationships
Post # 2
Member
892 posts
Busy bee

I work on the road and have done for half of our relationship.  Our one month anniversary was yesterday and I’m out of town on a shift.  It sucks, we are newlyweds and we will only have a few days together over the next few months. I can’t say it gets easier, pretty sure it will always suck.  I cope by working more hours, staying busy seems to help.

Post # 3
Member
1792 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

futuremrspk :  I travel for work but not as much as your hubby does. Sorry bee! It sucks. And it doesn’t really get better, imo. It sucks so much that if lots of long periods of travel was a condition for my employment (and I had other options), I would turn down the job and take a different job even if it paid less. Constant travel  causes such a strain on your relationship…some couples can navigate it but for others, it can be permanently damaging. Fpr me, this is a case where money isn’t everything applies.

Post # 4
Member
597 posts
Busy bee

My Fiance works for a government organization for a country that has virtually no labour regulations, so I haven’t seen him since May, and I won’t see him until December. That’s not what he signed up for. They are breaking his contract by not giving him his time off and there is nothing we can do about it. It is HARD. We have a five year old, so it’s even worse that they miss each other so much. I think we are at a point where we all cry pretty much daily. We video chat on WhatsApp In the mornings and all evening. December can not come soon enough. 😢

Post # 5
Member
237 posts
Helper bee

My husband is in the army and is currently deployed, so I definitely can relate. I do think that it gets a little easier as you get into the swing of it, once you just sort of accept that that’s your life and stop fighting it, it really does get better. The best thing I did was find a tv show with lots of seasons and spinoffs that my husband would totally not be into (Star trek lol) so while he is gone I have a show to watch that I have no guilt of watching without him, and I took up a couple different hobbies too. I personally think that this deployment with Darling Husband, even though it sucks massively, has really made our relationship stronger. I definitely had the same anxiety as you before about what is he doing who is he with kind of stuff, but again it gets easier with time as long as your SO can continue to prove himself trustworthy. But in the big picture, our relationship has actually benefitted from the distance, because it makes us really have to make the effort to communicate and be a team, and it feels really good to work out that sort of teamwork together and know that we arent just together because we exist in the same environment, we’re together because we are drawn to each other, even from worlds away. I hope things get better for you bee, feel free to private message me if you want to comiserate together! Lots of virtual hugs to you !

Post # 6
Member
238 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

I travel a lot for work (used to be for 2-3 weeks straight every month, now Mon-Fri every week).  For what it’s worth, I generally work long hours, maybe have dinner with some of my coworkers, and then watch netflix on my laptop or use the hotel gym.  Really not exciting.  Constant work travel is pretty exhausting, so there really isn’t the time or energy to be going out or doing anything suspect.

When I was away for 3 weeks at a time, SO and I would have “date nights”.  We would both cook or order the same food and facetime and then watch the same movie or tv show on netflix and talk about it afterwards.  It gave us a sense of closeness.

As the other bees have said – you should use this time to invest in yourself!  See if you can enrol in a course of some description: sewing, cooking, intro to rock climbing, a beginners ukulele group, anything.  You will then:

  • force yourself to get out of the house one evening a week;
  • meet more people in your new town;
  • have the opportunity to practice mindfulness (cooking is great for this!) so help tame the anxiety;
  • have something fun and new to talk to your partner about; and
  • you’ll have a cool new skill at the end of it.

And even if you hate it, it’s only for 4 or 6 weeks.  You’ll get through it!

Post # 7
Member
90 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

futuremrspk :  Oh I feel your pain! My Fiance is a naval officer. In the 4 and a bit years we have been togehter he’s spent 10 months + another 4 months on a submarine (virtually no contact and a one week trip in the middle), 7 months in the middle east (supposed contact but time difference + terrible wifi meant Skype etc didn’t work and we were mainly reduced to texting and a single call a week).

 

Then, when he is in the country, ie now; he works too far away to commute and we only see each other weekends! Thank goodness he does finsih work at noon on Fridays so is home around the time I finish work. Realistically this is the best case scenario for years to come plus he may deploy again eventually.

I only have a small group of friends and they do keep me sane. When me and Fiance are doing the weekend thing they are great at understanding that I prefer to hang with them in the week and keep my weeeknds free.

 

One thing that really helped me was getting a personal trainer who comes to my apartment once or twice a week. She’s become a friend to me too, but is separate from my other friends. By having her sessions booked in, I can’t bail out like with the gym and it forces me to keep the apartment tidy too haha! It means I know I won’t have a week of evenings in front of the tv if my friends are busy or away.

 

You’ll make friends too I’m sure – do you have any hobbies or could you try a gym class etc? Volunteer to walk a dog for an elderly neighbour?

And believe me, I have been there with the anxiety – having a Fiance away with ship’s company of 110+ men, who all go wild drinking as soon as they see dry land again… not easy! It definitely helps to be doing your own stuff and not just waiting to hear from him etc!

 

Post # 8
Member
70 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

My SO doesn’t travel nearly as much as the rest of yours (about 30% of the year, for usually around a month each trip) but I was also in a new area and removed from my normal support systems when he began his new job just over a year ago. We moved after college to a new state and my coworkers aren’t really in a similar age range, they’re all significantly older than me, so I didn’t really have any built in friends. I don’t have anything really new to add but would have to say that meal prepping and really taking the time to indulge myself (doing face masks, watching romcoms, tending to the balcony garden and taking the time to work out) help the most. One of the things that I really struggle with is being home alone, I have a hamster (because I’d always wanted one as a child) and even though she’s not as interactive or affectionate as a cat or dog it’s comforting to not be completely alone. Is it possible for you to get a pet? Taking care of another living creature is also really rewarding and a good distraction. While he’s away we usually text sporadically throughout the day and facetime every night if possible. Now is a good time to reach out to your friends/family.

Post # 9
Member
6867 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

My Darling Husband actually used to travel a good 9+ months out of the year. Usually gone anywhere from 10 day – 3 months at a time. His current job is the first job he’s had in our whole relationship that has his “home” a majority of the time. Even still he travels a lot.

It’s just such a normal thing for us that you really get used to it. It helps I own my own business and am very independant, plus I have our home and two dogs to take care of. I like my personal time and can easily fill my free time with either relaxation, work, or hanging with friends. It helps that many of my friends also have spouses in the same line of work so we all “get it”.

Honestly, this new job that has him home a lot is actually taking a lot of getting used to. I am really used to having a lot of free time to do things that I want, and now I have to remember to take him into consideration. It actually kind of stinks. I know that sounds bad…lol.

Post # 10
Member
760 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016 - Wedgewood Las Vegas

It does stink…but it does get easier.

My hubby has traveled for work for nearly the 7 years we’ve been together. At one job, he worked at a man camp, and would be gone for 28 days in a row, and then back home for 14. Currently, he’s starting up his own business, but most of his clients are on the opposite side of the country from where we live, and he can be gone for up to 6 months at a time, with only brief and sporadic trips home. In the future we may move to where his main clients are, but that won’t be for another couple of years at least.

The biggest thing that helped me was having scheduled contact time. He calls every night (his choice), and talk to me for an hour if his schedule allowed it. Knowing that I would get that time to connect to him everyday helped me get over the loneliness I sometimes felt. We started this tradition when he was at his man-camp job, and he’s kept it up every time he leaves home.

When he comes home we try to have at least one special evening or day where it’s just us. Could be dinner and movie, or couples massages, etc. Usually we plan it out ahead of time, which helps with my anxiety as I have something to look forward to as well.

Post # 11
Member
2599 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

Can you make it fun? I love it when Darling Husband goes away for a week(!) I have days out in my own space. Nothing terribly special but I love it. I go to the theatre/cinema, go shopping, get my nails done, go to the gym, take a book and get a coffee or a cocktail, go to dinner, and so on.

Darling Husband likes it when I send him photos of my random outings too. You could do some meditation if there are any local classes too. Try something new!

Post # 12
Member
4582 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

My husbands last job had him interstate about 1-2 full weeks out of the four. I know this isn;t helpful, but it did not work for us at all. We are both homebodies and the stress associated with the work itself and the travel meant he got quite unwell. He quit, and now does the same type of work much closer to home, and it is such a relief. 

Post # 13
Member
5958 posts
Bee Keeper

So, one thing I like about Hs job (he doesnt travel, just works a later shift) is that I have evenings free to go hang out with other people. We usually spend our weekends and days off together, so I spend my evenings catching up with friends, doing ME things. Why dont you and your one friend go to evening activities? yoga, spin, pottery, paint, even just a local pub or something. Something like trivia nights at pubs are such a good way to meet people, super random too lol. 

Post # 14
Member
6078 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

My Darling Husband has almost always travelled for work, and still does. He is gone about 30% – 40% of the time, sometimes more. Fortunately, he is usually home weekends (except with overseas travel, which happens several times a year), and he makes a real effort to be home for things like the first day of school or the kids’ concerts. He cannot always be home for things like that, but he tries.

The thing that helps make a difference for us is that I used to travel for work, too, before we had children. I KNOW that it isn’t fun and exciting and romantic and touristy (you would be surprised how many people think it is). Many people who have never travelled for work think it’s not “really” work if someone is travelling and wining and dining clients. But it is. Darling Husband doesn’t want to be gone anymore than we want him gone. It isn’t free time or like a vacation to him, and I know that he would much rather be home than away.

But the other thing that makes it tolerable is that DH’s company often gives us perks. They have sent us (at no cost to us) to the Netherlands, Florida, Mexico and more. So all things considered, we can live with it.

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