Thursday, November 29, 2012

10 Tips for the Traveling Husband to Keep His Marriage Vibrant

If you travel for work a lot, you basically live in two separate lives - one is hotel rooms and one is your home. When you return from a trip, you want to be appreciated; you want to feel your family has missed you and are glad you are back. You want to feel you still count as head man in the family. Yet, that often is not what happens. The kids and wife have learned to live without you. Many men say they call home regularly, even every day, but these calls may feel more routine or mandatory. Your wife complains about the kids or problems at home; you tell her information about your business and people she may not even know. The calls are not be satisfying; you don't feel she really cares what you have to say. They don't leave each of you with that loving, fun, special spark that brought you together in the first place. It doesn't have to be that way if you are willing to be creative and go beyond your typical routines. Yet, the rewards of doing just that may make it well worthwhile. Here are 10 tips that will keep you very present in your home life while still traveling in your work world. 1. Telephone calls home need to be more useful and personal. Not only should you ask about what is happening at home and talk about your work and meetings, but share something personal about yourself. Your wife will feel more connected to you when you are speaking about yourself not your work. Ask more personal things about her, not just problems and kid-stuff. 2. Make sure some of your calls are loving, something more than a quick, "I love you," as you hang up. Speak about what you miss or love about her. 3. Make sure some of your calls are sensual - not just sexy. Giving explicit details of what you'd like to do with her is not the same as talking about how much you miss touching her soft skin, kissing her, enjoying her twinkly eyes. 4. Every day or two, send her an email or text with loving thoughts. They don't have to be long. Even a quick "I love you and miss you." Or, "Can't wait to see your smiling face," Or, "This city is so lovely, I long to share it with you someday." 5. Before you leave, hide funny or loving notes in different places that she will find. It might be inside one of her shoes, under her slips, etc. 6. Leave her with a treasure hunt. Each day you text her clue where to find something special from you. They could be little notes or small gifts that are funny or special. It is best if they are not expensive or big ones. That way she'll not feel you are buying her acceptance of your traveling. She'll know you are doing this because it helps you think about her every day. 7. Write a continuing story; each day you alternate writing a paragraph. Even though you are busy all day, you can always find 5 or 10 minutes before collapsing into bed to do this. 8. Play chess or checkers by computer or phone or email, where you each make one move a day. Again, you can always find 5 or 10 minutes before collapsing into bed to do this. 9. Leave funny or loving messages on the phone when you know she will not be there. 10. Take turns having a joke or story for each other on alternate nights. Dr. Karen Gail Lewis has been a relationship therapist for 42 years, practicing in Cincinnati and Washington, DC area. To learn more about relationships from her, including articles and free videos, go to

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