Having a spouse who travels 50-75% of our lives is beyond difficult. He misses out on major events from time to time, but more than anything he misses the small things; the inside jokes as they’re being formed and the breaking news as it happens. It can feel like we spend the first 24 hours of his being home, just catching him up on the family and then wave good-bye as he leaves for his next trip.
For years I suspected my guy created travel situations just so he could take a break from us, particularly when the kids were young. Most of the reasons for his trips were vague and nebulous, and I often would question why he had to be there in person. To this day I am floored by the concept of flying across country, or to another country altogether, to attend one meeting and return home. How important can one person possibly be?
A few years ago my guy started to tell me more about his work, the challenges and the thrills of it all. I began to become more interested in the details and asked questions. Over time, a great thing happened, we got on the same team. We were out to dinner one night and he really let me in, explaining the obstacles they were trying to overcome in a foreign country with different rules and regulations. The answer was suddenly very clear to me: “Sweetie, you need to go to Australia. They need you to be there in person.” He couldn’t have been more surprised with my declaration, nor could I.
The interesting thing is this: when my guy fully let me in to his world, I responded as someone who wanted him to succeed. In the past, when he simply announced his agenda I responded as someone who wanted life to be easier. Now I was rooting for him, and was willing to sacrifice to help him meet his goals. This had to make his life easier, and it brought clarity to me as to why we lived this crazy lifestyle.