Loving Your Road Warrior: Connecting from Afar

“Absence is to love what wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small, it enkindles the great.” Roger de Rabutin

After you get used to your spouse traveling frequently for work, it’s easy to get into a rut and get caught up in the day-to-day craziness and activities of parenting alone. In my humble opinion, unless you work at your relationship through positive communication tactics, absence really doesn’t make the heart grow fonder. It makes the heart resentful and lonely. And, it takes an effort by both partners to keep the heart of your relationship beating steadily on.

So instead of shelving each other during absences which can create dangerous fissures in your relationship, find simple, meaningful ways to say “I love you” from afar.

Photo courtesy of Michelle Meiklejohn.

Thanks to today’s various technologies, my husband and I never feel like we are that far away from each other. Typically, our phone conversations are good for checking in, but aren’t usually very lengthy, at least during the hustle and bustle of the day. Let’s face it, with little kids in the picture, someone’s bound to be screaming about something or mischief-making. (Like the time I walked in on my supposedly napping 2-year-old to find him engrossed in a painting project in his bedroom, using vaseline as his medium of choice. What a mess!) It’s often easier to exchange text messages and email throughout the day and early evening hours to stay connected.

My husband is exceptionally good at staying in touch with us with reminders that he is thinking of us. He will send me links to our favorite songs and make personal phone calls to each of our kids. Or, he’ll send them a picture message of something he sees that interests them, like an airplane or snow on the ground, and so forth. I’ll send him picture messages of our kids engaged in their day-to-day activities. And without fail, unless he’s stuck on an airplane in mid-air, he makes it a priority to call our children at bedtime to say good-night.

From time-to-time, we also take advantage of Skype, which is a free webcam service. Skype works especially well when my husband is gone for longer periods of time than normal and that way we can talk to him and see him!

Photo courtesy of jscreationsz.

Technology is great, but don’t forget about good old-fashioned pen and paper. An occasional handwritten note can make the recipient feel extra special, supported and loved. A friend of mine, who frequently travels for her job, says she leaves “I-love-you” notes around the house for her family to find while she’s gone. Slip a love note into your partner’s suitcase before he leaves for a trip. What a sweet surprise when he opens his luggage in his hotel after a long day far away from family and the familiar comforts of home.

What are ways you and your family stay connected with your spouse while he or she travels?

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