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traveling spouse

Do You Have a Spouse Who Often Travels for Work?

It is never an easy situation for anyone whose husband or wife travels for work. There are fears, insecurities, emptiness, and a mixture of uneasy emotions that can arise. However, the spouse at home is not the only one who might dislike the situation.

traveling spouse

My husband and I met in a plane back to Orange County (our home town) from our job assignments.  So there were no surprises about the travel situation.

At the time, I was traveling 90% of the time with my job requiring me to be in an airport on Sunday morning to get to whatever state I was assigned to travel to and be back home on Friday evenings. My husband had been running a company whose headquarters was in Europe. So he didn’t have a lot of choices either, with his clients spread out in different parts of the country.

After being together for a year, we both became victims of the economic crisis and lost our jobs. Long story short, I decided traveling was enough for me, while his title in his new job required him to continue to do so.

There are times he is gone for 2 days and sometimes for an entire month. His traveling never bothered me until after my son was born.  He was asked to attend a mandatory meeting in Chicago. He left when my son was 48 hours old and came back 4 days later.

I know it’s not easy for him to be gone all the time. Traveling for work, though it might sound like a great experience for those who don’t do it, is utterly exhausting. Getting through airport security, sitting in an uncomfortable position for 2, 3, 4, or more hours, and then having to sleep out of your comfort zone is not all that fun. There are perks, of course, because you get to see other places. But I try to think of the days I used to do it and make myself understand that he’s not out there to have fun. He’s out there to provide for his family.

There are times I have my secret bits of insecurity, though as I remember an incident I had when I was single and working. I met a man, while I was on assignment in Houston. He was really handsome. So I didn’t hesitate when he asked me out to dinner. It wasn’t until we were sitting down having a meal that I spotted his wedding band.

“You married?” I asked.

“Yeah, but it’s cool,” was the response I still remember.

Funny thing was that his hotel room had been right across from mine. After dinner he invited me to his room. Naive and stupid, I entered and he immediately started kissing me and trying to get me to do more. A bit freaked out, I left.

Although I trust my husband, many people don’t ever really know what happens when they aren’t with their significant other, do they? I can’t help to think about it, but it’s just another one of those things that I know is part of the package, I guess.

When my husband is gone for days at a time, I get so many mixed feelings. I could relax, because I know he’s not going to nag me about anything around the house. I could have my own schedule without worrying about what he’ll eat for dinner or the time he’ll be home. I could pretty much do whatever I want as long as my son is fed, clean, and ok. I like my bit of freedom, but I also love the security of his presence.

I like having something to be excited about when I know there’s only an hour left before he comes home from work. I like knowing he’s sitting on the couch, relaxing. I like having someone appreciate the meals I make for dinner. I like his company, and just knowing there is an extra hand around if I need it. I like feeling safe when a strong figure is laying next to me at night. I just like him around and miss him terribly when he’s gone.

Tomorrow, my son and I will be driving to LAX to pick him up after being gone for 10 days. “Just one more sleep,” he would say the day before coming home. One more sleep and I get to hug and cuddle him as much as I want.

Karlyn Bishop

Karlyn Bishop

Karlyn Bishop is the proud mommy to little Oliver and wife to hubby. She is a resident of Laguna Beach and a big player in the web's large social media circle.


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  • Well not really because we tend to want to talk to them, miss them, we want that energy to flow continuously because that’s the major impact that keeps the relationship or marriage going, and this actually happened to me. in my situation i have a 2 year old daughter when he used to take trips and i asked him why he was always away he acted like it wasn’t a big deal, there was a time i called his work to find out he wasn’t in and these happened more than twice, then i had someone tell me about a certain computer engineer with degrees who i met with as he was in the states at that time, he helped me discover my husband’s secret- i didn’t want to do this at first but i thought of my daughter and happiness in our life so i did a check up on his device i only wanted to see his messages at that time until i got more information from nick telling me he’s got more evidence for me i had his GPS, whatsapp and proof that he was involved in a past relationship before we met. I have no shame telling you my experience and i’m proud i confronted him with the help of his younger brother and he begged for my forgiveness and we’re good, well i’m just saying we can check on our husbands if we feel something suspicious or negative attached to it

  • This really hit home, because my husband travels all the time. A lot of times I find myself resenting him for having a quiet hotel room all to himself while I am at home with a toddler and a full-time job. But I know it’s no vacation for him either…When he first started to travel I really underestimated the effect it would have on our son, but I had to realize that the whole situation is perhaps the hardest on him. I don’t have any good answers, just lots of patience and making the most of the time we have together as a family.

  • That’s pretty much all I write about on my blog. I’m married to a professional mariner, a tugboat captain in the Merchant Marine. He’s been gone this time since August 20 and I expect him home FINALLY this weekend. I write about the trials and tribulations being the spouse who is left at home and what my life is all about. It’s not easy, it tests the relationship, but often in a good way, too.

  • Thank you for sharing this, I do trust my husband whether he is travelling or not. But I do get concerned about him when he is gone. It is hard for him to rest/sleep and he is working the whole time where as when he his home at least he has some relaxing time before bed each night and he is here.
    It is a bit scarier when he is gone and I am home alone with the kids – what if something happens? At least with him here there is another parent in case of emergencies, and so far nothing horrible has happened while he was on a trip – but it is something that worries me from time to time.

    • Thank you for sharing Susan. It really can be difficult. It’s also sad, but sometimes I think about all those women in the military who have husbands that don’t come home for months at a time and THAT’s even more scary. I just thank God that he has been safe and here for us.

  • My hubby doesn’t go out of town but he works two nights a week late shift…so he’s not there or he’s sleeping if he is home—there are defiantly mental struggles when you feel “alone”

  • It must be hard for you especially because you have a child. Trust and communication is really important. I’m sure once he’s with your family you often make the most out of the time to make every moment special.

  • Such a hard situation. My hubby, then boyfriend, went to different universities and i only got to see him on weekends. It was hard. I can’t imagine not having him around with the kids

    • It’s definitely difficult when you’ve got kids. When I was single, I had other things I was able to do and occupy myself with that was fun. Now it’s very limited. 🙂

  • Such a candid post. I understand how you feel. My husband went out of town shortly after we had our 2nd child. I still feel bitter about it, but I know it wasn’t his fault. He was providing for our family. Glad you have “just one more sleep.” That’s the light at the end of the tunnel!

  • Funny, I’m up reading this as I wait for my husband to come home from a business trip. Thankfully, he likes being home as much as we like having him so the trips are always short (not more than one week).

    Due to the nature of his business (self-employed), he doesn’t have much choice and like you, I knew that long before I met him and had kids. I’m so busy now that I hardly notice the time going by.

    Having said that, I’m looking forward to having him home. I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow. Only one more sleep.

    Besos, Sarah
    Blogger at Journeys of The Zoo

  • I used to travel a lot for work before I was married, so I think it gives me a good perspective on when my husband has to do it now. Staying in a hotel and eating out is NOT like being on a vacation 🙂

    However, I don’t do that well when he is gone. It’s not as much the insecurity, although that is part of it, it’s more that our house just seems out of balance when he isn’t here.

  • Sometimes time apart isn’t so bad! Maybe it will make you guys appreciate each other even more when you both finally get to a point where you don’t have to travel anymore.

    • We went through it for a year and a half without travels. It was nice. That’s how you know when you’re meant to be. When you can miss them so much but also be absolutely ok with them when they’re home. 🙂

  • What a great post! Mine just took a job where he will have to work out of town. I do not know how I feel about this yet. We have never been apart, so I am not knowing what to expect. i know we need the money, but I am so used to seeing him everyday, I cannot imagine what it will be like!

    • I dread the times we’re apart or when I know he’s going away, but when it does happen, it can go by really fast. You just have to keep yourself busy and full of activities. Before you know it, he’ll be back home. 🙂

  • My fiance travels every few months for work, but only for four days at a time. It was only a few states away, so I have always piled into the car with him and hung out in the hotel room while he was working. But this coming October he will have to travel most of the country away and I can’t travel with him so it will be his first time traveling on his own for work and the longest we have been apart since getting together almost eight years ago. I’m not looking forward to it, but I don’t think I will have insecurities when the time does come. We have been through so much in the years we have been together that I know with everything in me that I have nothing to worry about. And that is how I know I am making the right decision to marry him in a few months.

  • what a soul searching post! I feel for you and for your child.. Life is sometimes hard.. But I guess your husband needs to be away because of the job. I hope you find the strength to pull through this..take care. God Bless.

  • I have never been married-never met Mr Right–plenty of Mr Wrongs who I lived with (actually they moved in with me) for extended periods of time. I can understand where you are coming from–when ever one or the other of us had something we had to do–I used to wonder as they did about me–not a very comfortable feeling!

  • LOL! I had to laugh when I read the title. My husband is a Marine and has been deployed, in the field or on temporary duty away from home for a cumulative 10 years out of the 19 1/2 years we have been married. He is often gone for 6 months at a time. Although the separation can be stressful, it also strengthens your relationship because you appreciate the time you do have together.

    • Oh! It must be so difficult for you! Having a partner in the military is a completed different subject. I really commend you! I’ve already heard that it can be difficult once they’re home too because they don’t know how to handle home life very well. So it can be hard on the whole family.

  • My husband and I have been married almost 23 years and I just started traveling extensively this past year. It’s been an adjustment for our family — certainly the kids notice a change at home. But, the safeguards he and I put in place when we got married are such a part of our lives that he does not worry about me. Just as I don’t worry about him). Our rules, absolute and non-negotiable are:
    1. Never dine alone with a member of the opposite sex.
    2. Never ride alone with a member of the opposite sex. I even struggled on a cab ride with wanting to follow that rule, though he knew I would need to make that trip.
    3. When exchanging numbers with members of the opposite sex, tell spouse who it is and why.
    4. Share all passwords for phone, computer and websites.

    We could break the rules, obviously, and the other might not be the wiser. Because we have these rules, there are no secrets and our marriage is always in the front of our minds.