I or My partner travels all.the.time. It is hard/good on our relationship because...
Hi, My name is Jules and my husband is gone all the time.
(say it with me) "hi, Jules".
Let me start by saying that my spouse is rarely further than 30-45 minutes from our house while he is traveling, and most nights he is home. That said. He is rarely home from the end of February until the end of November. I spend those months acting more like a single parent then not.
Now again - let me step back - as I know my hubby will be reading this too. Let me state, he is gone because he is working. He is not out with the guys. He is not 'doing his own thing, he is working. (well except in November for hunting season) He works a full time job (teaching) and then goes from work to do more work. He is busy running our businessselling/ installing / removing/ repairing docks and boat lifts. He works therefore he is gone.
Alright - all bases covered? - moving on.
The question is - is it hard or good on our relationship. Wow....
What to say? It is hard on our relationship in ways. But it is necessary. It is a lot less trying on our relationship then not being able to pay our bills would be. It is less difficult then issues other couples face in their relationships. But, it is hard none the less, and although I like my space, and hate to feel like my every move is being watched and analyzed, there is a limit to the amount of time I want to be alone.
::The hardest part of it for my husband (I believe) is that when he is home he can not relax. The little bit of time he is here he notices what is not getting done around the house that needs doing. Like now - winterizing the summer equipment and getting the winter stuff out and ready is a task being neglected. So there is no down time. If there is down time it is done with frustration - frustration in wanting to just relax, yet not fully relaxing because all the stuff that needs to be done is on his mind. This makes it hard for him to be home.
::For me the hardest part is - well - being alone all the time. It is hard being the parent around, when the other isn't. A lot of our parenting decisions have to be made with him on the phone - when I can reach him. (That is the other part. I can't reach him most of the day because he is in class. At night he doesn't have his phone on him because he is in a lake) The 1/2 hour we see him in the morning and the hour I see him at night ends up being a debriefing and briefing of the day and next day. Not much quality time in that.
::Then there is another problem. When he is finally around - say for a weekend or even a night. Or now, as the dock season is finishing and hunting is ending. I find his presence larger then it really is. He doesn't quite fit in the groove of what we are doing. He is unsure of the situation and what has been discussed before. He is unclear on why I lost it at that little issue, because he doesn't know it is a part of a whole big issue we have been dealing with. He has no idea what goes into getting them ready for school the next day or out the door in the morning. When he first starts being in the house more I find myself jumping when he walks around the corner - or that he is in the way in the kitchen. There is an adjustment period. A period where I am maybe even a little cold toward him. I try not to be (honey, I am sorry for this part of the process).
::Yet, it all goes back to money. I am blessed to be able to stay home with our children. He works and then works some more and then takes on another summer job (at a juvenile detention center as a teacher) so I can do this, for me, for our kids. (were those commas misplace?)So, when we get our $1112 house insurance bill or our $950 house tax bill in the mail it does not send us into a tizzy. When these bills land in the mailbox at the same time as the tabs and insurance for the vehicles it does not send us begging to our parents - it comes out of the business account. When we can't take it anymore and we have to get out of dodge for a vacation we can. We use the extra cash from installing docks and we drive for a week or so. It affords us our cell phones and our internet. It pays the extras that we can't afford otherwise, and some of the necessities. So, while work = him being gone, it also = us being able to live.
::I used to cry when he would be gone a long time or when he was leaving. I would throw a fit at the fact that I was home slaving away and he was off driving around from lake to lake or at work chatting with adults and so forth. But, I came to realize that we both are sacrificing for our family - that is what parent's do. That is what we do. That is how it works around here. Now I walk him to his truck, kiss him, tell him I love him, and that I appreciate what he is doing for our family, and try to send him away on a good note. Because I have come to realize that he is making the ultimate sacrifice for us - his family. He is not having fun being away, he is not enjoying himself. He is working.
::However, if and when he retires he may die an early death at my hands .... after all I have gotten used to him being gone (Start thinking of a hobby now dear). It has become part of my insane sanity now ;)
You can read more of Jules' wit, wisdom, and incoherent babble here: Just Jules
p.s. I just read Sage's perspective after my final proof read. I want to state I wrote this whole post before reading his. I say that because they echo each other a lot. Scary.... be very very scared... I am
(p.s.s. I am not Sage's wife in disguise - promise - I can't be because I don't know how to talk Redneck, I have never eaten anything 'collard', I have never traveled further South than Iowa, I don't like biscuits nor do I know how to make them, I have all my teeth, and none of my relatives are married to each other.)
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