When Work Travel Creates Distance in Your Relationship

Some careers require a lot of travel and sometimes that can mean not as much time with your spouse or kids as you’d like. Or if you’re the one at home, you may be feeling a little neglected. But just because you are physically distance while one of you is traveling—it doesn’t mean you have to grow distant in your relationship.

We hear from truck drivers and from people who fly across the country every week. They’re separated from their spouses and from their kids for lengths of time. And you know what they tell us? They say that one of the most important things to do is to connect emotionally to your spouse and your kids on the telephone every evening.

Photo by Roman Carey from Pexels

Photo by Roman Carey from Pexels

That means connection— not only sharing data about what you did that day, but also sharing emotions and feelings. In fact, one person told us that he would make that connection by saying to his son, “If you were here right now, I would be tickling you and chasing you around. Then I’d carry you up to bed and tuck you in. I will do that again when I’m home on Thursday, okay?” 

Help your spouse to stay connected. Encourage him or her to call home when the kids are still up. Send e-mails. Write notes. Always be available.

If you’re the one traveling, make sure your spouse and kids know that you can be reached at any time. If you have a cell phone, tell them to call any time. If you’re in a meeting, you will call right back. If you don’t have a cell phone, leave as many phone numbers as you can. Your spouse and kids need to know that you are available to them anytime, anywhere.

*For more practical marriage advice, check out The Great Marriage Q&A Book. It's available in our online bookstore!