Ryan and I LOVE to travel and due to the nature of our jobs we’ve been able to jet-set quite a bit these last 2 years.
Ideally every single trip would be together, but that isn’t always possible. So how can we remain connected and together while we’re apart?
I feel like this is something most couples face in our day and age. Travelling for jobs and projects, being away from your spouse and your family – it’s not easy and seems like a necessary evil at times.
My prayer and hope is that there is something in our lives that will help you in yours.
This past week Ryan traveled to Philadelphia to attend and work at the Justice Conference. I’ll admit, it’s nice to have a few days to yourself as a wife, but it got old after about 2 days for me.
Being away from your best friend is not ideal (and not recommended) — I definitely missed him for the 6 days he was across the country, but it was a good opportunity for me to write down some thoughts on how we can stay connected.
Before either of us takes off on an airplane, Ryan and I always make it a point to pray for each other and for the travels ahead. For flights, car rides, safety walking around and above all, for God to use us wherever we go and with whomever we come into contact with.
This past week when he was attending the Justice Conference, I prayed that he and the team would be used. That God would teach them new things, help them make solid new friendships and for the message of justice to be furthered in the world.
Being away from each other presents different battles which require us to prepare.
Preparing to be away from each other means that we are need to set up checks and balances to keep us accountable and to avoid temptations.
Talk with your spouse about what this looks like for your marriage.
For Ryan and I, we make every attempt to not be alone with someone of the opposite sex (in a car, at a meal, etc.) – no matter how harmless it seems, it’s better to take measures to avoid it.
Travelling: Ryan and I never travel alone with someone of the opposite sex. If the trip can’t work with someone else, then it’s probably not the best time for it.
Battles faced while travelling are different than our daily ones. We have more freedoms, less responsibilities which leave us ready to “live a little.”
There’s nothing wrong with having fun, but there should be checks and balances and accountability in place prior.
When I’m away, Ryan is great about connecting with his accountability partners – letting them know that I’ll be away for whatever number of days, and that he will be home or out working.
Pornography is easily accessible from anywhere and one of the major solutions for us has been accountability.
In our marriage, Ryan and I agreed that we should be open and communicate about stumbling moments.
I would encourage every marriage to consider this.
Honestly one of the struggles I face when Ryan is away is spending money that I probably shouldn’t be spending. It’s easy to justify a lunch with friends and a quick stop at my favorite store just to “look.”
Bottom line, it boils down to being honest with each other (as I don’t always tend to mention my purchases, I’d rather show them off). Honesty, open communication about everything is key.
Keep it real and keep it transparent.
Ryan wrote a great blog about being an encouraging spouse on a daily basis.
Being apart is a GREAT opportunity to encourage your spouse.
Whether it’s an encouraging text or cute photo with a loving caption, make sure your spouse is a part of your day wherever you are in the world.
Talk on the phone – it’s still not out of date no matter how many social media sites there are, there is nothing like talking to someone on the phone voice to voice.
Care-packages: Ryan and I often do this for each other when we’re gone for a week from each other (which I do not recommend) – but we will make care packages and sneak them into each other’s suit cases with notes, favorite candies, bible verses, etc. — this is especially helpful if internet/cell phones may not be available (ehm, Young Life camp for me).
Before either of you leaves, make sure you spend some quality time with your spouse. Whether it’s a coffee date, or a date night – be intentional about setting some time aside for your marriage; before you leave and when you get home.
For Ryan and I, it’s sort of comical, but about 80% of the time when either of us gets back from a trip, we typically have a little “tiff” and then we get on with life. It’s something about being back together after a few days that can sometimes initially rub you the wrong way — don’t take it personal and don’t let it fester into something larger than it is. It’s just being back in each other’s space – let it go and get on with life together!
Question: What are some things that you and your spouse do to stay connected while you’re apart from each other?