My poor wife had to cope with me being in the USA shortly after I started my new job. I am sure she would have agreed with a woman who was quoted in the telegraph as sayinghaving his comatose body home two days ahead of his mind drives me nuts.
This was certainly true of me after that trip! In fact I slept for ages on my return and twice thought I was in my hotel room on waking up. One of these times I was convinced I had another woman lying next to me in bed. I couldnt understand it as that really isnt my style! It took me almost five minutes to realise I was in my own bed with my own wife next to me!
Since travel is part of the job, what can a spouse do to lessen the stress?
Rita Yee, of ExpatCoach.com, recommends that partners talk beforehand about the impact business travel may have on the family and the relationship. “Get it all out and be heard,” advises Ms Yee. “As much as possible, be clear about when the trips are coming and how long they will be since no one likes last minute surprises. The spouse who stays home has to prepare for the trip too. Talking about the travel, rather than ignoring it, will help couples come up with a healthy coping strategy for both pre-departure and during his time away.”
Ms Yee also offers the following helpful tips to spouses:
Do make sure you’re prepared to handle whatever might come up while he’s away. Know who to call if a pipe bursts. Let friends and neighbours know you’re home alone.
Don’t play Superwoman. If you need extra help with the children while he’s away, reach out and ask. Martyrdom will get you nowhere.
Don’t brood while he’s away. Be so engaged in creating a life you love that you don’t have time to wallow in resentment.