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Staying Connected When One Spouse Is Traveling

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Travel is tough on a marriage. But with a bit of planning, you and your spouse can stay connected when one of you is away from home.

I’ve spent the past 30-plus years traveling for speaking engagements — one or two nights at a time, sometimes up to a week. In the early days, I assumed I should focus on my work while I was gone and reconnect with my wife, Diane, when I returned home.

That didn’t go well. The longer my wife and I had been disconnected, the harder it was to reconnect. During those trips, we both functioned as single people on vacation from each other. It wasn’t intentional, but it didn’t occur to us to nourish our relationship while we were apart. I might call to check in, but it was out of a sense of obligation rather than a priority.

Mark 10:8 says that when a couple marries, “they are no longer two but one flesh.” When I nurture my spouse, I nurture myself. When I ignore my spouse, I damage myself. At our wedding, we committed that we would be each other’s top priority. Anything that keeps that connection from happening is a problem — including travel.

Travel isn’t the enemy, and it’s possible to strengthen our relationship while one person is away. The key is to pay attention and be intentional about staying connected.

Pay attention to the small stuff

I used to assume that I didn’t have time to stay connected because I was focused on my work. Eventually, I realized that it didn’t take a massive amount of time; it just took a mindset of attention. I just had to intentionally keep Diane on my mind throughout the day and find simple ways to let her know.

When Diane travels, she reaches out in the same way. We let each other know with the simplest of gestures that the other person is more important to us than whatever we’re working on.

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Ways to stay connected

Try some of these ideas when you’re apart:

  • Plan ahead. Coordinate your calendars before the trip and make appointments to talk every day. Treat the appointment with your spouse like any other appointment. Make these appointments a priority. If you have to reschedule, don’t push it off to another day. Even a short late-night check-in does the job.
  • Surprise each other. The traveling spouse can leave sticky notes with a simple heart or “I love you” in random spots (the sock drawer, the refrigerator, a cellphone charger) where the spouse who stays home will find them. The “left-behind” spouse can hide notes in their spouse’s underwear or shoes that are packed in the luggage.
  • Text often. Send photos of things you want to share — a sunrise, a bird you don’t have in your state or a sign that makes you think of your spouse. Start and end the day with a “good morning” or “good night” text.
  • Discuss something you’ve both read. Pick a relationship article to read and then schedule a time to discuss it on a call.
  • Have dinner together. Set up your phones at dinner and use a video app to have a meal “together” (at the same time). Dress up and buy flowers or something significant to share with your spouse virtually.
  • Keep a list of things to share. Jot down the little things you think of throughout the day to have an agenda for your calls. It shows intention, and you don’t have to remember it all.

Make communication a creative priority, and your time apart can be an amazing time to bring you together!

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Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
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Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

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