Coping when husband is away

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The first time my husband was ever away overnight, I was a basket case. I thought I heard something in the leaves outside and frantically called my landlord, who patiently came over and checked the outside of the house for me. If I had to leave home while my husband was away, when I came back I wouldn’t feel comfortable until I checked every room and even every closet to make sure no one was lurking there.

Over the last thirty years, I have had to get used to him being away from home much more than either of us likes. Thankfully that’s not been as much of a problem since our last move.

Other ladies have sometimes commented to me that they could never handle having a husband travel as much as mine did. Believe me, I didn’t like it! And at the beginning of my married life, I would have despaired if I had known just how much my husband would be away. It is only the grace of God that has enabled me. I would like to share some things He has taught me along the way.

Acceptance

I used to pray that my husband would not have to travel as much. More correctly, I used to whimper and wail and and whine and tell the Lord it wasn’t meant to be this way, that husbands and wives were meant to be together. It seemed like the more I prayed, the more my husband ended up having to travel!

Of course, it isn’t wrong to pray that the Lord would change a difficult situation; but until He sees fit to do so, there has to be acceptance of the situation as allowed by Him. If He allows it, He will give grace for it. We may not like the situation, but focusing on that dislike can cause us to be stuck in discontent, resentment, even despondency.

Loneliness

Women marry for love, of course, but I believe the next biggest reason is companionship. Girls dream of finally being able to “be with” the man of their dreams “happily ever after.” It is a difficult adjustment to realize that the job, the children, and multitudes of tasks and commitments leave very little time to just “be with” each other. This is further compounded when a husband’s job requires him to travel.

While husbands and wives do need to be sure they make time for each other, most wives also have to realize at some point that their primary emotional and companionship needs are not to be fulfilled by their husbands. God has to have first place in those areas. No human being will ever be able to meet all of those needs all of the time. God does graciously give us husbands and friends, but our main fellowship and contentment must be from Him.

Once settled on that point, it is necessary for couples to keep in touch. I am thankful that my husband has been able to call me almost every night he has been away: in fact, sometimes we actually talk more when he is away than when he is home! For situations that don’t allow that, though, perhaps e-mailing or frequent notes would help.

A husband’s absence is a good time to focus on others, perhaps visiting an elderly neighbor or calling a girlfriend. Keeping busy, taking up a special project, or having specific goals of things you want to accomplish while he’s away can help pass the time.

Fear

One of the biggest things I have wrestled with when my husband was away was fear, though I don’t check closets when I come home any more (after 30 years of marriage and three children, there is no room in any closet for anyone to lurk anyway!) And once after checking locks and closets before going to bed one night, I woke up the next morning to find I had left my keys in the doorknob! All my efforts amounted to nothing, but God protected me anyway.

Originally the fears had to do with someone breaking in, but then I developed a couple of health problems which have required five emergency room visits between them; so new fears developed about the possibility of something happening to me when my husband was away. The Lord has dealt with me and helped me from His Word many, many times in regard to fear. Though He uses husbands to protect us, ultimately our protection is from Him. One moment that crystallized that truth for me occurred when I was lying in bed and realized that even if my husband was right next to me, I could fall ill or even die, and he would not be able to do anything about it. Now, that may not sound like much comfort! But it helped me realize as never before that my health and safety are of the Lord, not my husband.

Incidentally, God did allow one of those emergency room visits when my husband was away. When I needed to go, I was able to call a friend who was nearby, who also graciously stayed with me til the early hours of the morning when I was released. My oldest son was old enough at the time to watch the other two; my youngest was already asleep, so he was spared being frightened by the situation. My friend’s husband offered to come and stay with the children. Another friend called while I was at the hospital, and, upon learning of the situation, offered to come over or to come and take the kids to school the next day. God took care of every detail.

Children

I think perhaps a mother with young children at home has the hardest time with a husband’s absence. She looks to him not only for a little relief in giving the children care and attention, but also for adult conversation. When he is away, perhaps trading off babysitting time with another friend would help, or little excursions like going to the park or even for a walk with another friend.

A mother also needs to keep things consistent even when Dad is away. Standards and punishments should be the same: nothing should “slide” when Dad isn’t there. “Wait until your father gets home” doesn’t work when Dad won’t be home for three days and Junior is young enough to need immediate dealing with to reinforce the principles you want him to learn. I am about the most indecisive person I know, and so many situations come when my husband isn’t there that I have really wrestled with knowing what to do. When I can, I wait until I can talk with my husband; but God does promise wisdom when we ask Him for it, and He has given it many times.

It can be easy for Mom to spend even less time with the children when Dad is away, either because there is just more to do with one less person in the house to do it, or because she is keeping extra-busy to keep her mind off his absence. Depending on the children’s ages, perhaps Mom can do some fun things with them to help them with their loneliness while Dad is away: play games, read together more, rent a special video. In our case, there is a nearby pizza restaurant that my husband doesn’t care for but my children love, so sometimes we’ll stop there for a meal when Dad’s gone. This relieves another problem: it used to be that, when my husband was gone for several days, I would be ready to get out of the house and go out somewhere when he came back. He, on the other hand, having been away and eating out for days, was ready to stay home and have a home-cooked meal. So now I try to take the children out if Dad is away for an extended time so we get that out of our system before he comes home. There are also some very simple meals that my children love that my husband isn’t crazy about that we have when he is gone.

Danger zones

Every individual has his or her quirks that make for adjustments in marriage. When one spouse is away, sometimes those adjustments have to be made to some degree all over again when he returns.

We have to be careful not to let resentment build up against our loved one. We need to guard against stray thoughts that can lead to a root of bitterness: “He could have gotten out of that trip if he tried.” We may feel that is actually true. Or, “Why doesn’t he find a different job where he doesn’t have to travel so much?” We have to help our children with disappointments when Dad can’t be there for the big game or the recital. Life doesn’t always work out like the family movies where Dad leaves his company in the lurch to get home at a crucial time. We may wish it did. We, or the children, may not understand why Dad could not be there for the special occasion. It is hard, but we have to accept it and not resent it or him. Beyond just trying to “grin and bear it,” perhaps we can think of fun ways to include Dad in special occasions he has to miss: a video recording of the event (possibly even styled as a news report), or an e-mail write-up including a picture.

Though naturally we will be lonely and maybe even tearful when a spouse is away, we have to be careful not to just give ourselves over to grief and pine away the whole time he is gone. On the opposite end of the spectrum, when we realize we’re not to be so emotionally dependent on our husbands, we can tend to pull back a little too far and become almost aloof in an effort to insulate ourselves from loneliness, or we can get so busy that we’re hardly aware he is gone — and then hardly have time for him when he is home. Our Lord can help us find the right balance.

A friend once told me it was easy for her to get a little too independent when her husband was away for a long time. Though we have to make decisions and direct the family when he is away, we need to remember we are still in submission to him and try to make decisions in light of what we think he would want us to do — and not resent a possible reversal of that decision when he comes home. Once when my husband arrived back at home, one of my sons was due to attend an event soon. My son was displaying a bad attitude, and my husband told him he would not be able to attend that event if he didn’t change his attitude. Immediately I began to think, “That’s not fair! You haven’t been here; you don’t know the circumstances; you don’t know how he has been looking forward to that event!” But I had to rebuke myself, because my son was sinning with his attitude, and even though I would have handled the situation differently, my husband was still in charge. Happily, my son changed his attitude and was able to attend his event, and happily, the Lord set a watch before my lips and prevented me from creating an even bigger problem!

Pray for him

Once when my husband was out of town with a colleague, they stopped to eat dinner. Some time during their conversation, the other man noticed two girls and said, “There are two chicks just ripe for the picking.” My husband explained that he wasn’t interested in pursuing women. That incident jolted me to the realization that I needed to pray for his protection from temptation.

Pray also for his witness. People in secular jobs have an opening with folks who would be unlikely to darken the door of a church, and long hours of travel with a colleague can naturally open the door to talk about the Lord.

Of course, it is natural to pray for his safety, but we can also pray for his health (our family has learned from experience that falling sick while traveling is a trial!), for his business, meetings, etc. to go well.

Conclusion

Some years ago my pastor preached through a section of the Psalms that men sang on their way to Jerusalem. There were a few times a year men were called to go to Jerusalem, leaving their families behind, and those particular psalms were sung by the men on the way. My pastor pointed out the faith it took to go away, trusting God to take care of the loved ones back home. My thoughts, as the “loved one at home,” considered the situation from that angle, trusting the Lord to take care of us at home as well as the loved one on the road. That sermon also helped me realize that, in the providence pf God, He sometimes does call a husband to be away: it isn’t just circumstances or the job. That helped me immensely to trust that He had all things under His control, and to trust that Him for the sufficient grace He promises in His Word for all things: “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work,” (II Cor. 9:8) and “He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” (II Cor. 12:9.10)

This post will be linked to “Works For Me Wednesday,” where you can find a plethora of helpful hints each week at We Are THAT family on Wednesdays, as well as  Women Living Well.

108 thoughts on “Coping when husband is away

  1. I think I just need to bookmark this post.

    Jonathan had to leave on business for a week when I was pregnant with our first. It was the first time he’d had to go away and I H-A-T-E-D it and had a perfectly miserable time of things. Fear. Anxiousness. Anger that he had to be away. Check, check, check!

    He’s only been gone one other time and that was much easier (it was just one night!) but still hard.

    I greatly dislike the idea of him traveling away and I didn’t much enjoy going to BEA last year in part because it meant a separation. (At least I was the one on the move though which made it easier!) Still. I like being together. For the reasons you mentioned.

    Another great post with great advice and if I should have to face the situation again, you can bet I’ll be re-reading this post! More than once!

  2. Oh my! I so relate to this! You have done an excellent job summarizing all the things that go on in our hearts and heads when our husbands travel. I’ll return to this. This is one of those bedrock posts that will minister to many. Thanks, Barbara.

  3. I wish I didn’t need this post so much! But this is lovely; I’ll need to save it for later when I need it!

  4. This is a great post, Barbara! I used to be a basket case when my husband was away too, but a dear friend helped me overcome that when he was in the military and had to be gone several times a year (praise God he was never deployed or had to go on an unaccompanied tour!). I now have a sweet young friend in the ministry reminds me a lot of myself at her age. This would be perfect for her to read!

  5. My husband has worked rotating night shift the entire 25+ years of our marriage. Plus, during hunting season he is often gone at night, so I have learned to adapt. He’s always careful to call every night, and call from work if he is working that night. I have not had the fear issues quite as much because both houses we’ve lived in the past 20 years have had alarm systems. In fact, I almost relied too much on the alarm system, and had to remember that God is my safety, not the alarm!

  6. As you know I relate to all of this…thank you. I had to smile about the restaurant thing…that’s SO true! I have tried to reserve some very special meals for his return; things I enjoy cooking and he enjoys eating…so that I’m not so crazy to go out. AND…I always make sure to plan date nights closely following his returns too.

    I think having a close church family is VERY helpful when he’s gone too. I have friends who have me to dinner or come over for chick flick nights when he’s gone…Stuff like that makes the days go faster and makes me feel more secure in case of emergency.

  7. Excellent job, Barbara! I went through this, too, especially when the kids were younger. It was particularly hard for me because of my husband delivering babies. We homeschooled, and some days, I so needed him to come home and relieve me for a bit. It would be close to time for him to come home, and I’d be getting so excited, and then he’d call and say he had someone in labor. Often times, it meant he was gone the whole evening and even overnight. To say that I was not a happy camper is an understatement, I’m sad to say. As you can imagine, this happened numerous times.

    One thing that eventually helped me was to remember the military wives whose husbands were gone for a number of months at a time. I began to be able to look beyond my disappointment and begin to be able to give thanks that my husband was actually home more nights than he was gone. It also made me pray more for military families and the hard time it is for them to be separated.

    As you mentioned, coming to see that God could and wanted to meet ALL of my needs, and that my husband couldn’t possibly meet all of my needs, no matter how wonderful he is was another great lesson for me.

    I do recommend having a friend or two that you can get together with when the dads need to be away from home.
    It makes the time so much easier.

    It did get better as the kids got older, and I knew that they could offer some help, if there was a problem.

    I had a flashback as I read about you calling your landlord. When we were first married, I was teaching school and Keith was in med school. We lived in a little apt. on the end of a farmhouse. Keith had to go away for a month to do a rotation. Our landlord who lived in the other part of the house told me to call if I needed anything. Well, the first day after Keith had left, I came downstairs, and there was a mouse caught in a mousetrap. I had NEVER taken a mouse out of a trap before, and I thought, “It’s OK, I’ll just tell the landlord”. So, on my way out to go to school, I knocked on his door. I couldn’t even get the words “There’s a dead mouse” out of my mouth before I started crying. I was so humiliated! (of course, you know how easy it is for me to cry) That landlord got more than he bargained for when he offered his help, but the mouse was gone when I got home!

  8. I read this and laughed because it is so true! Amoeba is in Hawaii right now. This time I was actually looking forward to him going — we have been so busy lately we’ve barely had time to connect and I knew that in Hawaii he would call me at least three times a day and that we would really listen to each other. So, in essence, I am missing him less now that he’s gone than I did the last three weeks before he left!

  9. It gives me an added feeling of security that we have a (barky) dog when my husband is away. And generally I sleep better when I have the whole bed to myself.🙂 But that’s the only up side to his occasional trips!

    Great post.

  10. My husband recently joined the military, we moved to the west coast where I knew NO ONE and we have a 3 month old daughter. During this time of transition I have developed many fears. Just last night thinking what if something happened to me and my daughter was left in her crib crying until my husband came home. Then there is the inevitable deployment…all of this we knew before he joined but walking through it is so different. Thank you for you post, it encouraged my heart and calmed my fears. I need to rest that the God who loves each of us more than I could ever know, neither slumbers nor sleeps.

  11. Well, I’ve certainly had my share of living with a traveling husband through the years…and as you know, he is currently gone 4 nights a week…I’ve been through many of the situations you’ve mentioned…we’ve moved to new and strange cities and then he has gone and left me on my own…but then I’m never really alone, am I…God is always with me….
    While I have to deal with a few days absence or even 2 weeks as in the past, I’m reminded often that wives of deployed soldiers face months without their husbands….even in our trials, we can always see others who have it much harder and be thankful.
    Blessings Barbara….its Friday and that means homecoming for my Honey Bear…I await him with anticipation…he is taking Mondays off for the next two months which means 3 day weekends….I’ll meet him at the door as I always do and let him know how welcome he is.
    Mama Bear

  12. Very good post! I remember one time I called my husband in the middle night while he was out of town to say I heard something🙂 He told me to call a neighbor or the police but I was too embarrassed because I wasn’t sure what I heard. It ended up being a floor board that was creaking due to cold weather. So glad I didn’t call anybody. Noises and such you can get used to. Being a single parent is harder. It’s harder to be the mom and dad when the husband is gone. My husband doesn’t travel excessively, but when he does, he is sorely missed.

  13. Beautifully and wisely spoken/written. 🙂 I know that many women whose husbands’ health is failing, especially mentally, have to deal with many of these same issues. My own mom and M-I-L are dealing with this now. I am grateful for your ministry. God bless you, Barbara.

  14. I needed to read this today — thank you!! My husband is a pilot and I am alone very often. It is so hard, and I really appreciate this post. Blessings to you!

    Hugs,
    Melanie

  15. Thank you for your thoughts . . . my husband works in the film industry, which takes him away for weeks at a time. We both struggle with the time apart–most importantly because we miss worshipping the Lord together on Sundays. You’re last paragraph really hit home. What Psalms were you referring to . . . do you recall?

    • Meg, forgive me for not getting back to you on this. I do remember looking it up but then must’ve gotten distracted.🙂 I believe they were the Psalms known as the Psalms of Ascent, Psalms 120-134. Some commentators say that they sang these on the steps to the temple, but others say they sang them on the way to Jerusalem. Maybe both? Of course, women did go to many of those events, but I am sure there were times when they had to stay home (like with young children, such as when Hannah had Samuel).

  16. Wow, beautiful post. We are in the career transition period and my husband is in another country nowadays. The situation is fluid and I don’t know how much longer I have to wait. I am with my parents and it’s been a month already with my husband gone. I really miss having a home of my own, and of course my husband in it!
    The situation can be really painful. And what doesn’t help is that he is not contacting me as much as I would like him too. In the beginning he called daily. I mail and message him frequently. But he can go quiet for weeks. That depresses me and then I do wail and whine to the Lord.

    • I can imagine! I’ve been fortunate that my husband has been able to call almost daily when he has been away. It’s harder when he is in a different country because the time differences can make it harder to find a time — and sometimes his time is not his own when he’s away and has obligations to the people he is with. I hope this doesn’t last too long for you.

  17. I have really enjoyed reading everyone’s posts. I have a particularly hard time getting used to the travel because my husband had 2 affairs in the past. I found out about them and a few other indescressions in Dec. 2008, when he left his email open. We have been trying to get through this ever since. This was before he started traveling. He calls me several times a day, but I can’t help thinking… what if… I’m being fooled again? And if I call him and can’t get him, I’m frightened that it’s happining again. On top of that, I have watched too many crime shows in the past (NOT ANYMORE) and worry about someone breaking in. I feel so alone sometimes!

    I’m in my 50’s and my son is in college. We moved to my husband’s hometown about 6 years ago, and I don’t have any good friends to talk to. I have work aquaintances and his family. My family is several states away, although I do talk to my sister.

    We are under a lot of financial pressure, so I find myself getting jealous when he goes out for dinner and drinks nightly with his co-workers and I’m home eating leftovers. I do go out once in a while, with his mother, but that’s about it.

    What does everyone do to entertain themselves week after week?

    • That would be particularly hard knowing that your husband has had affairs in the past. I don’t know if you’re a Christian, but the verse comes to mind about forgiving “70 times 7” times — and besides forgiveness, I think I’d have to leave it with the Lord so as not to go crazy worrying about it. It does help that your husband is trying to keep in touch several times a day.

      I agree about the crimes shows, and books as well. I gave up a particular author who was an excellent writer simply because reading his books made me afraid to be alone at night.

      I have all kinds of things to entertain myself — reading, blogging, Facebook, online Scrabble with friends, a stack of craft projects, shows I keep up with. I am introverted, and getting involved in the lives of others is something I tend to fall short on except online, but where we used to live I went out to lunch with friends and was heavily involved in several facets of our church.

    • I know that your post was quite some time ago but I’m hoping that this gets to you as I’m going thru the same! I’m becoming more of what’s he doing when he’s gone instead of can’t wait til he gets home and it’s taking it’s toll on us emotionally…

  18. This post definitley hit home for me. My husband works on the road for 3-4 months at a time and comes home for a few days. It’s been like this for the past 2 years, and I’m not sure we can ever get used to this lifestyle. I am a sahm to two young children, that in itself can be trying, but doing it as a ‘single’ parent is even worse. I think the thing that I struggle with the most is that a year ago we moved across the country away from all of our family and friends for his company with promises that he’d be local. About 4 months after we moved here they expanded his region and now he travels even more. So the kids and I are stuck here without our family and without our household leader and I’m torn on whether or not I should just move back home or do I stay here and fully support my husband on the homefront. I have made a few friends, not really anyone that I could count on in a pickle, so I’m not really sure what to do. I don’t feel like I have anyone to talk to, nobody understands. Anytime it’s even brought up I get told that long distance never works… how encouraging:/ I just pray, pray, pray and trust that God has this all under control.

    • That’s really hard, on many levels. I’d definitely advise staying at your new place and supporting your husband — I would think that if you moved back, it might help with everyday support but might not be good for your marriage. Unless it doesn’t matter to the company where his “home base” is and he’d be willing to move back, too — my husband’s job was like that for a while — if he wasn’t on the road, the rest of his work was done via phone and computer, so we didn’t have to move for a while. I hope you’re able to talk on the phone or via Skype with your husband when he’s away.

      Do you have a church that you go to? It takes a while to really feel at home in a new church, but my best friendships and biggest support base have come from my church family.

      The husband of one of the young couples in our church is in the military reserves: he was in Kuwait, came back home, is in another part of the country for five months of training, and will probably be deployed again. I just can’t imagine — it was hard enough when my husband was gone through the week and only home on weekends. But God has definitely given them grace to do what they do. I hope and pray He will do the same for you.

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  20. I am acutally in tears as i read your post, because i am going trhough it right now. I am married for 7 years. My husband just started this new rotational work and he is away like every month and sometimes he is home only for a week with us. I get so sad when he is away, our kids are still small. We have three (6,4,2 year of age).Tthe reason to my tears is that i am so new to this situation and sometimes i feel like God is punnishing me for something in allowing my husband to work so far away form us. We are living in a town wish is far from our family. I am having such a hard time with his absence that sometimes i dont know what to do even to entertaintain the kids because i become so clueless on what to do next to fill the day. I am a stay at home mom and i am a born again christian. i would like to have suppport form an experianced christian woman. So i am glad you posted this and it has helped me alot. may god bless you

    • Hi Gizela,

      I’m so glad you found my post helpful. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. It is very hard, especially with young children. I hope you can connect with some other ladies at church or in your neighborhood. It’s harder now with so many women working away from home but it’s so helpful to just meet at a park and visit while the kids play or even have another mom over.

      I don’t think God is punishing you. I had to wrestle a lot with acceptance, with struggling with the thought that “It’s not supposed to be this way.” But sometimes it is that way, especially in today’s workforce.

      I hope you’ll find some of the thoughts and suggestions in the post useful, and I pray you’ll find sweet comfort and fellowship with your Savior.

  21. I stumbled across your post as I was fully of anger and resentment while my husband was working to take care of our lawn during the short weekend hours he is home. I was overwhelmed with guilt but also relieved that someone finally felt what I was feeling. I quickly asked for forgiveness (from God and my husband) and got on with my weekend. As I am sitting writing this my husband is on his 8 hour drive 2 states away. I re-read your post to feel a little sense of “normalcy” to what I am feeling and realize others go through these same things. I strive to connect with someone that can know how to pray and what to say without the typical “yeah, my husband works long hours too”. As I have read the many comments I am wondering if there is some sort of “group” these Christian women/I can be a part of online to encourage, support, be open with, and encourage each other. I don’t know a whole lot about blogging, websites, or anything of that nature. I just thought I’d throw it out. (Maybe a FB “group”). Anyway, even if this amounts to nothing but a thank you….thank you.

  22. To put things in perspective put yourself in the shoes of a military wife. My friend takes care of her two small children while their father is in Afghanastan . For over a YEAR! In a WAR ZONE. She never complains and rarely allows herself to feel sorry for herself. She does what she needs to do to stay positive and carry on. She is the rock of her family. I am in awe of her and all military wives. God bless them!

  23. Hi and thankyou I read your story and I know its difficult to be alone I have no kids no family where I’m from so I put my trust in god.thankyou I was meant to read this its gods way of talking to me!!

  24. Thank you for your words and for others who shared their responses. Somehow it just helps to know I’m not alone in feeling alone.

  25. Thank you, Annie, Sally, Em, and Pam. I’m glad God was able to use this to help others. Sally, I do feel for military wives. In myself I don’t think I could do that, but whatever God calls us to He enables us for.

  26. Barbara, I actually just went on Googling on support groups for wives that have husbands that travel, and came across this blog. I KNOW for a fact that God used you to minister to me, because this has significantly helped in ALL the areas I am dealing with right now. I have a husband that travels a lot also, sometimes for a month, or for 2 months at a time. We’ve been married for 3 years (dated for 6 years prior to) and got a job where extensive traveling was required. I thought things would change after we got married but it seem extremely difficult for me to handle, especially with the job market.

    I cannot express how this blog has truly blessed me, especially when you spoke about emotions, fear, resentment…everything. It really hit home for me on all levels. I actually didn’t have any hope, and found myself very negative, and resentful. I believe it started to effect my husband due to the fact that he is generally a very positive person. God is doing a work on me right now, especially in not allowing my emotions ruin what God has called me to do, which is to walk in love towards my husband. I’m not sure if you have heard of Christian minister Joyce Meyer, but she recently came in my town, and spoke about walking in love, and it truly blessed me, and now I feel a double dose of faith and hope through reading your blog. God bless you.

    I’m so glad I’m not alone.🙂

    • It’s definitely not an easy road, but God gives grace day by day, moment by moment. Thanks so much for writing — I’m glad this was a blessing to you.

  27. Here is my story,
    My husband left for Afghanistan in July, posted there for a year. We have had separations before from other tours and postings, but what makes this one different is the fact that both kids are out of the house. We had been sort of enjoying our ’empty nest’ last 3 or so years. Oldest is abt 5 hrs away in his 4th yr of university, and his sister also was in university 9hours away, and would be in her 3rd year of school had she not ‘dropped out’ mid way through last year. She stayed in her school city and worked until August this year, but fell in with sketchy ‘friends’, got evicted from her apt, and decided to travel.
    By travel, I mean wander, panhandle, couch surf etc. I fear more for her than I do for her dad who is in a war torn country! I lose sleep and find myself weepy. I have a good cell phone plan with the kids, and hear practically daily from my son. It seems like pulling teeth to get my daughter to respond to a text, and calls are few and far between. With that, I try to not be weepy when I skype with my husband, because the last thing I need is for him to be worried about us, when he needs to focus on keeping himself safe.
    Our daughter is turning 22 this month, and when we talk assures me of her carefulness and safety. She is an adult, it just leaves me with so much stress and worry, I wonder if I am getting depressed. I belong to my church choir, which is good, but I am not very social or one to talk much abt myself, or my situation, I have no family right around here, and my co-workers are co-workers. Just finding this forum and typing this out seems to be helping I think.
    All this is almost embarrassing. We are a normal well adjusted family. Through my husbands other tours of duty, when the kids were home I coped much better than I feel I am this time. I am feeling really alone. Lonesome.

    • That’s very understandable. It would be hard to feel at rest and secure with a child who is in an unstable situation and not keeping in touch well. It would be good to share with your pastor’s wife or with your Sunday School class. Other people’s prayer and concern can be very uplifting. I will be praying for your family.

      I wrote this poem a few years back when my first son was about to leave home: maybe the thought there will be a help, too:
      https://barbarah.wordpress.com/2010/05/08/an-original-poem/

  28. Thank you so much for this post. I read this laying in bed crying because my husband is away again. he travels a couple of days every week. It has been this way for 8 months now, we are only married for little over a year.
    Sometimes I think that I’m used to it, that I can get into a routine of him being gone, but at times it’s so lonely and I just can’t stop the tears. I often think that this is not fair, it’s not what I signed up for, and this is not what I was promised. I think I’m in between the phases you talked about. Still working on acceptance.
    Resently I have been having doubts about God, questioning if He is just a lie people made up to explain things that we didn’t understand. I really have you thank your post, and thank God. For He showed me again and reminded me of his love to me. I might be far from him, but He is always near to me.
    Thank you again.
    Lily

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  30. I thank you 4 your story. My husband just up & decided 2 move away from me & my two boys & didn’t even tell me till a few days b4 he started work there.He’s gone mon -fri & we see him weekends. I went online 2 be consoled by God & He sent me here. I don’t believe my husbands decision is from God(my husband don’t actually consult God b4 making a decision & hasn’t gaven his life to God yet)but I do believe if God didn’t want it God wouldn’t pernit it. We got in a big argument concerning this & his addiction to weed tonight.I don’t know what my husband is going 2 decide 2 do,as we aren’t talking right now(he likes to not talk when we argue)I don’t even know if he is planning on staying in our marriage,& possibly not,but this will certainly help me when he is away.please pray 4 us if u read this & our two sons.this is hard on us all.lots of struggles.I believe God is trying 2 teach me also 2 depend emotionally on Him more than my husband.so I know I need this.but it hurts a lot & he don’t understand how I feel.please pray 4 God 2 bring us understanding & all we need,especially emotionally & spiritually.& 4 my husband & kids to give their lives 2 God. Thank you so much!

  31. thank you for your story reading this and the comments lets me know im not crazy and that other wives feel the same exact way this is the first time my husband has gone away and will be away for 2 weeks and its hard ive cried alot and still cry it is easier when i stay busy im able to video chat with him on weekends but its really hard to be away from him

  32. I just happen to come across this post, it made me cry(in a good way!!) My husband worked out of town 4 days a week for the first 4 years of our marriage and i really struggled with it. In 2011 he quit that job to be home with me (and our newborn). I more or less begged him to stay home with us and he gave up a great career that he loved… anyways we just can’t make it financially, we have struggled to make ends meet for the past 2 years. But God has blessed us so much. On Monday my husband is returning to the same company he worked for before. It is going to be difficult especially now that we have a 2 year old that adores her daddy:) I am determined to cope with him being gone differently this time around. Your post has given me some insight on where/how to begin. I really enjoyed reading this, God Bless.

  33. My husband works for the railroad and this morning left for his 14 week training. My son and I can’t join him until it’s over because of our financial situation… but I just wanted to say that I really liked this and I plan on bookmarking it as a reminder while he is gone for this time and when he actually starts working the weird hours that are sure to come.🙂

  34. My husband isn’t away because of his job. Actually he works near but is mostly gone to have fun w/ friends and left me home alone w/ our kids. We’re together for 12 yrs and are Christians now and things were lot worst before we became. There been betrayal and just like a broken glass, it’s damage forever. I have forgiven him but I can’t make myself forget.

    Anyways, him being apart from me gives me frustrations, anxiety, stress and so on. I think I’m thinking too much when I’m alone. Also, trying to figure it out, It seems that building my world around him too much & got disappointed whenever he falls short. Yes, I must accept that he can’t be around always. He might not want to be w/ me as much as I wanted to be w/ him.

    But its ok, I have my incredible GOD all the time. I’ve realized that it’s important to love God above all. You’ll never be disappointed.

    I also wanted to get my happy life back before I got into this reality. I believe that in marriage, it’s us girls who are adjusting big time! From extrovert i feel like I’m an introvert now. From an easy going girl to a hands-on mom who does everything for family 24/7. SO..Kudos to all the wives who are giving their 100% love.

    Thanks God for giving us wisdom to stay strong. When I’m in pain, I talk to God. And I tell myself that one day he’ll wipe away my tears just as he promised. Everything will be fine just trust Him. He gives me strength..

    Btw, we have 2 sons, 6 and 5 yrs old. I work at home every night through internet. My husband and I started our relationship when we’re in high school.
    He’s now 29, I’m 28 & still got so much to learn. Please pray for us to grow more & more in Christ.

    Thanking God for letting me find your article. Clears my mind! Also thanking all the ladies who are sharing their experiences & thoughts here. May God bless you!

  35. Your post finds me 2 years later but it’s still brings comfort. I am a stay at home mom and I have a 6 year old and 4 year old that I home school and a 1 year old. I watch 3 other young children 4 days out of the week. My husband is a police officer that just left 4 days ago for a 6 week K9 training on the other side of the country. I have never been on my own for more than a couple of days. We live a little ways from neighbors so I struggle with the “what ifs” and find myself reminding myself that God has His blessings over this and that He will keep us all safe. It is so very hard not having my best friend home. Hard not being able to hold him. Talk to him through out the day. But I know that I need to learn to rely on God to hold me and learn to talk to Him more. I need to let God be my best friend. As I type this I have tears pouring, because it’s hard for me let go and let God. I am a “do it myself” kind of person. It’s hard for me to even call and ask someone to watch my kids just to go to a doctor. Your post is one that I will bookmark and read serveral times over the next six weeks. Thank you for writing this.

    • CP–would love to connect! Drop me an email! meghanb “at” hotmail “dot” com

  36. Excellent post! I have scoured the internet looking for support groups/blogs devoted to Christian women who struggling with “distance marriages” issues. I think it’s harder for other people to relate to you as a family if one spouse is not in the military. I do NOT think it’s harder than military wives’ struggles, but I find a lot less sympathy from others when it’s a financial decision or career choice issue.

    My husband works in film/tv and has to travel extensively for productions . . . typically gone one month at a time (sometime more). I would love to connect with other wives who struggle with this issue. Sometimes it is really hard to relate to other women whose husbands work 9-5 M-F.

    Any Christ-loving women who would care to connect . . . I’d love to hear from you! meghanb “at” hotmail “dot” com

  37. My husband has gone to work overseas for 1 year because of working visa issues. It’s only been a week now and it already feels like a year. I have a toddler (almost 4 years old) and infant (4 months old). Before he left I prayed and prayed and prayed that he would not have to leave.. But he finally had to.

    I’m on the edge all the time. I’m exhausted, worried, angry all the time. I get angry at my 4 year old at the drop of a hat. I hate myself for it. I’m so worried and am counting the days of the year praying that this one year will come to pass faster.. Please pray for me..

    • Hi Divya. I’m praying for you. It’s hard, but I think one important thing is to let the anger go. It doesn’t change the situation and just keeps you stirred up internally. For me the best way to do that was to remind myself that if God allowed the situation, He had a reason and would also provide the grace to deal with it. Easier said than done, I know, but He does give grace and support and encouragement and help when we ask Him.

  38. I just came across this post while looking for support groups for women who have husbands that travel for work. Due to unemployment issues in my husband’s field of work the only thing he could find was a job where he has to travel 10 days at a time and be home for 2-4 days. We’ve been married for 14 years and I stay home and homeschool our 3 children. Our daughter is a senior this year and then we have 2 boys, one who is 13 and the other is 9. I have been feeling very sorry for myself and it was so good to see that there are other women and families that are going through the same thing. I can draw strength from that and knowing that I really need to turn to God to help us through. I’m sad that he is going to miss out on a lot of things that will be happening this year but I’m very grateful that we now have an income that can provide for us. I think the hardest thing for me is transitioning to him not being here, it takes several days, and then transitioning back to him being around. Thank you so much for this post and for all the comments. It truly has helped me realize that we can do this.

    • I’m so glad that this ministered to you, Sara. I had trouble with transitioning back and forth, too. I’m not much of a go-with-the-flow person, but God keeps putting me in positions where I need to do that.🙂

  39. I apologize for not keeping up with replying back to all who have commented. I do try to pray for each request as it comes in. I’m so thankful God has been able to use what He has taught me through these experiences, and I pray each of you finds His presence and help and grace.

    • Thank God for this post! I am half way through an 10 week training and we previously spent two full months nursing a foot injury that I was sure could have been avoided by my husband. Prior to that we dated six months than we lived together one year and married just 4months ago. It has been eventful to say the least with both of us being parents we are a blended family of many, we have both had surgery, income struggles and learned we have huge similarities and even bigger differences we have learned and shared alot in a short two years and we can’t live without each other so we think most days. I have struggled with security issues even before my marraige and my husband I both agreed to stay honest and communicate about all things. Since my husband has moved in he seemed to take for granted that we were newly in love and started to resume his life with coworkers and friends without including me. After an up and down battle we seem to have moved past that stage of whats acceptable in the way of friends. Once my husband was hurt and at home he started spending more and more time online and texting coworkers usually females. My husband seems starved for attention at times which is our main issue outside of money. My husband received a promotion which required him to be away for 8 week training. I felt lost for words and emotion and he probably felt it as well I was happy for the promotion but sick over the time apart and with security issues and attention seeking issues upon us Recently I felt this cant be good for either of us. Our marraige being testing at this early stage was not ok. I prayed and asked God to help me. I feel confused and begin to second guess myself my husband my marraige and my ability to decern. The first three weeks my husband was away he called to keep me informed of where he ate who he was with and how his training was going. I should have been happy but I was livid how dare he go out to dinner bowling drinking and whatever with coworkers both male and female im at home waiting for my next check and borrowing simple cabinet items. What’s worse is how dare he think its ok and tell me like I’m going to think its ok. I didn’t like it but I didn’t say anything and during week four I lost it sent him a speech because he was neglecting his family while away. Week five is almost over and I find myself not sleeping feeling anxious and depressed and alone not because I’m scared but because I feel cheated on and alone, not cared for and taken for granted. I decided to Divorce him today, he didn’t call all day which really bothers me its happens too often and I have told him, he texted me after 7pm when he knows I’m busy with nightly routine with kids, and by 10pm I call him and say goodnight- but I’m hurt and angry and I can’t understand what he doesn’t understand I’m in the fight of my life and he seems to not have a care in the world. I decide to write another speech because there are 4 more weeks of training that are gonna be different and a lifetime of unacceptable compromises is not what i want but I delete it because no more speeches I want a Divorce. I’m not happy and I go online to find comfort and here you are. At first I don’t know why I’m reading this because I already said I want a Divorce. Then I see you say pray for him, I’m like I do but then you explain what to pray for. I can’t stop crying because I hear a whisper saying you have tried everything else now try this – I’m going to pray and I want to be specific in this prayer and I want to say Thanks and please don’t stop sharing because this post help me realize I don’t want a Divorce I want trust in Jesus Name and Peace in my heart and mind and I want my husband to be more attentive and for the love of God to consume me. Thank you for reading my story and sharing yours. Please pray for God to take hold of my marraige and more importantly take hold of me. God Bless and many many thanks whew I stopped crying Thank You God my children will be Happy to see I’m a lot better today- Having a voice gives you Dignity

  40. I am so thankful for finding thise blog. I have built up resentment because my husband is gone for work so much. I haven’t leaned on God nearly enough, just wallowed in self pity and sadness. I try to remember that many wives have it much harder but get lost in my own turmoil sometimes. Would love suggestions on prayer and things to stay busy. I have bookmarked your post so I may be reminded and guided to a more positive attitude. Thank you again and God Bless.

  41. So Blessed to read this post & everyone else. It is good to know I’m not alone on husbands working away. Ive been dealing with this for about 10years now. But the last 7 have been the hardest cause of us haveing twins. It breaks my heart when my kids say boy I wish daddy could be here or wish he could come watch me play ball or do my gymnastic. I always have to be the strong one & hold the tears in till the kids are asleep then just cry out to God. I know he has a plan but we have to wait on him & his timeing. I pray for each of you ladies.

  42. For three years my husband has had a traveling sales job. He is gone 3-4 weeks at a time. I’m lucky to see him 4 or 5 days a month – and even then he is checking his email, making phone calls, etc.
    I told him I did not marry him to be alone. I am so lonely, but he does not care.
    He is a good man, and I love him dearly, but I am miserable. He does not miss me at all when he’s gone. He texts me a few times a day, but goes days without calling, and weeks without saying “I love you”.
    When he’s home he tries to do things with me : take me to dinner, go to the park, take me to arts & crafts festivals (which he hates), but then expects me to be ready to have sex with him when I haven’t seen him in three weeks. I feel like a prostitute. There is no emotion in our sex life; it’s nothing but a physical release for him. It’s like having sex with the Terminator – human on the outside, but a cold, heartless machine on the inside.
    I have so much anger and resentment inside me; he thinks I’m being ungrateful. He does not support me financially or emotionally.
    I am his second wife. He pays two bills : HIS child support, and our rent.
    I work full time and pay ALL utility bills, groceries, phone, auto insurance, etc.
    His kids, parents, ex-wife, and job ALL come before me. I am last, always. Two years ago I filed for divorce (we’ve been married 5 yrs). I am nothing but a convenience for this man. The love I once had for him has diminished significantly.

  43. My husband does not travel often, but there are still some 3-5 nights a year. We have been married for 5 years, I am pregnant with our first, and it’s always super hard for me to deal with his absence. Especially since he does not make a point to find time to talk to me. Last time I called him when he was away, he would not say “I love you” back because there were people around in the breakfast place!

    He just sent me an email that he is going away, and his preference is to stretch a day trip overnight… We probably could figure out how to afford me going with him, but he is too stingy to consider that. I am 100% confident in his fidelity. I am also not that worried about security. What gets me most is that “out of sight, out of mind” perspective – I don’t exist in his world when he gets out the door. It’s especially painful because we are otherwise a very close-knit team. We prioritize doing things together, serving together, checking in with each other often at events – and trying to stay near each other. He also texts and emails me from regular office work at least 3 times a day – but when he is away overnight, all of that vanishes as if he needs zero contact with me. Again, fidelity is absolutely not a question. But it hurts so much that he forgets about me. I am just a basket case right now.

    • I hate to play Devil’s Advocate, but you need to check his credit card receipts and statements, his cell phone bill, and itinerary. Something doesn’t sit right with this.

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  45. Thank you for this post. It’s exactly what I needed to help lift my spirits at the moment. I am a sahm to 6 children and am parenting alone. My husband travels for work and comes home almost every Saturday. It’s not enough time to spend with him or even get a break. We also moved to another state closer to his work district but he is all over the place. Sometimes he drives 16 hours to come home after working all day. I always worry about him driving so much. It’s also very lonely because we’ve left our family and friends behind. I need to find a good church home here for support so I’m not so alone. Plus some adult conversation would be nice. Lately I feel myself becoming very sad. I know my husband works very hard to support all of us but I need him here with me. I have noticed though in some ways our marriage is stronger! We talk more now than when we lived together, some nights for hours. Thank u so much for your testimony, God will help me through this!

    • Thank you, Missy. I hope you’ve been able to find a good church and make some friends in your new place. May you continue to find grace and strength in Jesus.

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  47. My husband has become quite seriously ill and it is likely that he will need numerous overnight stays in hospital. The first stay was a about a month ago and although my big problem about being on my own is fear, I think I started to manage quite well. A few days later he needed another stay in hospital, and one night my doorbell rang at 01:50 am. I called out, ‘Who’s there?’ but no one answered. I was really shaken up and spent a hour on the ‘ ‘phone talking to my mother who lives 12 miles away. (I should add that I am a 54 year old woman who should not be so easily scared.) Eventually I rang some friends who came and sat with me until dawn. After that I stayed with my grown-up son for one night though the extra travelling after having travelled to visit my husband in hospital was very tiring. A kind niece stayed another night. Eventually I thought I must tackle this, so I slept on our living room sofa, fully dressed so that I felt less vulnerable. Well, I say slept, but actually I was awake all night. I remember looking at the clock at 6am and then I woke up at 7:15am! I’m dreading the next time my husband stays in hospital. What am I afraid of? I’m a Christian but I still fear supernatural activity – although I haven’t experienced much of that. Just the odd sensation of knocking noises. We’ve prayed around our bungalow. I don’t watch horror films because I know that I have an over-active imagination, but I do watch crime dramas like Miss Marple, Foyle’s War and Midsomer Murders (yes I live in England).
    I really don’t know what to do. The problem is, if I get over-tired I get headaches and I want to be safe driving to and from the hospital every day. I appreciate what you wrote about God protecting us, but I’m finding it so hard to truly accept the reality of this.
    Incidentally (or not) my husband and I are part of a new church plant in our area. We live in an area that is very oppressed spiritually and there is a lot of occult activity. Since we started with this new plant, many of our members (both of us included) have had many physical/mental health problems. No coincidence I think! My husband’s haemophilia has worsened from mild to severe within the last few months and I have had to return to taking anti-depressants again (needed before my husband’s health started to deteriorate).
    Any advice would be appreciated.

  48. Thank you so much for this – my husband is going abroad for an extended trip for the first time ever & I have been despairing so much! Your article gives useful, practical tips that I intend to use to keep it together while he’s away.

  49. Interesting to read these posts and get a perspective from the other side. I’ve been with my partner almost a year and i work a rotation 5 weeks away, 5 weeks at home. She’s been struggling with me being away more recently than before, we’ve agreed it’s because we get closer every time i’m home and then when i leave it progressively gets harder. So i thought i’d google a group for women going through the same challenges she is. We keep in touch every day by texts, or e-mails when i have no service, and i call atleast 3 times a week. I can say from my experience, it is extremely hard for us men too. Working every day with no days off for 5 weeks at a time away from family and friends, in countries at times which you would politely say are stuck in the stone age or are undeveloped, it’s practically like being in prison and at times an overwhelming feeling of isolation. For our partners at home, the luxury of being able to visit family and friends could be taken for granted. Believe me it is not nice being away from home but if any of us had to do it i would rather it be me as i wouldn’t want her to be away from the comfort and support of family and friends.

    • Greg, your comment was very touching. I know that when I left my husband at home to visit my daughter in another country, he felt very depressed and alone. I was only away for a long weekend, but my husband found it difficult. I can’t imagine how it must be for you in such awful places.
      However, in my case (as in the original poster’s comment) it’s a case of fear overwhelming me. I may have the luxury of being able to visit friends and family, but all logic goes out of the window when I’m home alone at night. It’s not always possible to stay overnight with relatives or friends. Fear is a terrible thing and doesn’t take notice of common sense.
      Please don’t think I’m belittling what you do. It’s just that all things are different for each individual and for some of us, being home alone at night is a massive worry and fear.

    • Greg, You do bring up a good point. Some people love to travel. My husband likes to recreationally with the family, but he didn’t like being away from us and never slept well in a hotel bed. Some of his coworkers viewed eating out on the company’s dime as an opportunity to go to a really nice restaurant and order the nicest stuff, but he’d rather go through a fast-food drive through and head back to his room. He didn’t mind the work, but didn’t like the rest of having to travel. It helped me to know that he was missing me and not enjoying his time away to the hilt.🙂

      I agree with Kay, too, that having family and friends nearby is a help, but only to a degree. In my case, we never lived near family, and getting together with friends helped, but one can only bug them so much and rarely overnight.

      Each person in the relationship is affected by the hardships of being away from each other while traveling – their particular trials might be different but they’re equally difficult.

  50. This is so spot on! I can relate to so much of what you’ve shared! I have a 5 week old and am preparing to be solo for 1 night soon – feeling terrified! Really can’t thank you enough for your words at this challenging time.

  51. It is nice to know that I not alone. My husband and I are living in different states right now due to work. I live in Texas with our son and my husband is still in Kansas. We have been living like this since late July. It is horrible and I hate it! We have never really been apart and I miss him so much. We talk every night on Skype an4d text throughout the day but it’s not the same. When I wake up he isn’t here, when I go to sleep at night he isn’t there. We have been to Kansas to visit him and he has been to Texas to see us, but we want him to stay. I pray everyday that God will bring him home to us. This has not been fun for us and we miss him so much. We did find out that God is bringing him home to us very soon! My husband will finally be joining us in 4 weeks! Please pray that God will keep us strong. Please pray that this time will fly by and that we will once again be a family

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  53. This blog is consoling me so much as most of the situations match me.. I am 27 year old woman recently married, my husband left to overseas post 20 day of our marriage for job purpose. It has been 6 months we met each other. Ours is love marriage and he was in overseas before wedding too but at that time I dint not felt anything like below as he was perfect on time for skype chats calls..

    Post wedding:

    He hardly skypes, most of the calls will turn up to fights as he feels I am not taking care of my inlaws. I wonder how a person can even stop the sweet feelings as intimacy, touch eye contacts with so ease. Now all time it should be me who has to ping him first and force to skype.

    It is frustrating me, I even get scared in nights and to talk to my men colleagues in office, I often feel scared to take help from any guy as they may take advantage of my situation. But I cant tell everything to him and will stick to silence for some days if something like this is coming up. At that time my inlaws are show casing as if I am not caring my husband but they are caring him. I am praying GOD, that I should not loose my patience and I am scared if he is going to increase the gap gradually because I Love him so much I have dedicated myself to my husband whole hardheartedly and completely.

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  55. Thanks for this! Just dropped my husband off at the airport this morning for his first work trip…he will be gone 4 days and we’ve never been apart for more than just a couple at a time since we were married 12 years ago. So glad I came across this blog today🙂 Thank you so much for your words of wisdom!!

  56. I don’t understand why you people are complaining. Are you really so clingy that you need him to be there 24/7? I can understand why if you have young children. You are fully competent adults without your significant other by your side. How do you think single women cope or live their lives at all? We don’t even have a partner, so we’re constantly alone. Get a grip.

    • In marriage there is an interdependence that you miss when the spouse is gone for long periods of time, not to mention just missing the presence of that person. No one is talking about wanting a spouse there 24/7, but when you see him at regular times and then you don’t for long periods, yes, there are significant and difficult adjustments. People get married because they want to be together as much as possible, and when they can’t, it is difficult. Saying “You shouldn’t feel that way because single women get along fine” is like saying to someone who just lost a parent, “Orphans get along fine, so you should, too.” Being single has its own set of difficulties, and being lonely is a big part of that, but that doesn’t lessen the difficulties and loneliness these women are talking about.

  57. After reading your post, I was able to relate with your story. This has a resemblance in my life because my husband also works away from us. I learned a lot from this article.

    Thanks and more power!

  58. My husband also works away and it is so hard for me to handle, i am pregnant and i feel so lonely most of the time. i do want him to work but not away from me:(

  59. Wow
    Thank you , thank you and thank you …!!!!
    I just read Stray thoughts
    “Coping When Husband is away “, that article was wonderful and it ministered to me and my spirit . I’m not sure how I decided in my mind that I was the only wife who lives in this situation.
    The knowing that I can make it from the encouraging and ever so empowering article helped me maintain a pace enlightened me to walk this journey of us apart differently. Thank you for sharing your life , that helped my life make a change

  60. Thank you so much for this article! My husband is about to start driving those big tractor trailers. I won’t be able to ride with him until December. I’m trying to prepare my mind now because when he tried this last time, it was so hard for me. We started out our relationship long distance and now for a short time it will go back that way. He will be gone for a month at a time and I had a hard time with 2 weeks before! But he is making a better financial situation for us. Your article is helping me prepare for this upcoming transition. God bless you!

  61. Thank you, ladies, for your kind words. I’m glad God was able to use some of these things. It’s not easy, I know – keep looking to Him.

  62. Thank you for sharing your story and the comments from the others. The stories speak to me on many levels and provide a sense to calm and awareness to my own situation.

  63. This was a great read. My husband is an airline pilot so I know he has to be away but sometimes it’s longer than anticipated. When those situations arise, the first paragraph under “acceptance” describes me to a T! I was having a really rough morning with the kids and this really helped put things in perspective. Thank you!

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  65. Hi, am from South Africa,and it feels as if God has sent me to your article,to get some perspective and encouragement.My husband too works out for long periods of time,and it drives me crazy.He will be gone for almost 8 weeks at a time,come home for a weekend and be gone again.We have been married for 21 years and it has been this way since we have been married.He also used to work for long periods of time in Africa while i raise my two sons,come home for a short while and go again.Work was difficult to get, so he took what he could get,then after 2-3 years left the work there,because i had a motor vehicle accident here with the two kids in the car and that made him decide not to return to Africa,but find work here.He found work,and with this company,doing the work he does,eventually also sending him to work on sites far from home,but also staying away from home for 2-3 months.Reading the comments i now see that my situation was not nearly as bad as some of these women.But it still drove me crazy raising the kids alone,being alone and having no adult companionship,My whole family was on the other side of South Africa and we on the opposite side ,so was his family.I am and was a housewife,deciding that when i got married,that i leave my job to raise my children myself. People around me were all so busy and married and busy with their own lives,i did not want to impose,me with two small kids,so i kept to myself,but suffered in silence. Later ,at a time when he came home again after being away for 3 months,he noticed i got epileptic fits in my sleep due to anxiety and stress.He saw the toll it was taking on my body being apart for so long,but could not give up the job as there was no other job available.Not even i knew i had been getting epileptic fits in my sleep,all i knew was i was far more tired than usual in the daytime and sometimes i could not comprehend why my body felt so sore.He felt guilty leaving me for such long times but did not know what else to do. To this day,even 2 new jobs afterwards ,he still goes away for long periods of time,due to the nature of the kind of job he does. What i don’ t understand is that God gives two people to be together for companionship and that he wants us to be together for companionship, if God wants us to be drawn more to him because we are not doing it, why does he have to send our companion away ,when things are going well in the marriage. All the time apart has amounted to a huge chunk out of our lives together and him not seeing his kids grow up and missing out on life with them. We would improve far more being drawn to God more often, because i would be the one stopping him,doing any more work at home,because it was time for God! But him being
    away he tends to work late and fall asleep in the chair where he is working, therefore he would not make the time for God,because he was so tired. He phones every night but that is not the same as him being at home. I also as a
    partner need adult attention and sexual needs,hugs,holding etc,for that is why i wanted to be married,to be with the one i loved. I would therefore like us as a family TOGETHER all, to be at home to all work on drawing much closer to God together, so why must the husband be sent away for it to happen? Why does taking him away,just make me unhappy,and the kids regretting that dad was not there for them. BUT the kids are 20 years old already.. It is as if we have been divorced most of our lives together and pops in now and again to get a bit of sex,see everyone and its goodbye again.My husband truelly loves me,but has to do what the job insists he do,and that means go away far to work for 3 months. If God has a purpose behind doing this,what could it be, ,because why not let us as a family all be happy and still draw us closer to HIM if we are not doing it? Or if HE wanted us to spend more quality time with HIM?

    Your article is probably what i needed to hear, and felt it was specially sent to me to read to understand some of the things you wrote. My heart goes out to those who”s situation is 10x worse than mine,But why does God want to make us unhappy , just to make us happy much later? For some almost their entire marriage,but how can that be? To be unhappy ,one”s entire marriage,because you could not be with the one you married- surely God wants you to be happy and have a happy marriage.This type of influence on kids will not be good because it will have the same influence as if parents are divorced?? In the end who is the one God wants to draw closer to HIM- would it be the husband or the wife and kids or everybody???

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  67. Awesome! How amazing to encourage so many in this area of their husbands being gone. I definitely related to the fear component as I’ve always struggled in that area, but especially when he’s gone. My husband has a new job and doesn’t travel quite as much–thank God. But I love how you demonstrated all the ways God uses our circumstances to teach us so much!

  68. Great post, Barbara! Good thoughts to consider. My husband has not had to be away very often, but years ago I remember having some fears about it. Learning to trust in God is the best we can do. Blessings!

  69. Thank you… My husband is away for half a year sometimes. I wish I had been able to read your article years ago. I didn’t have any support. I only heard things like that’s wrong, you’re going to divorce, he is going to cheat on you, or worse “I wouldn’t be able to stay away from my honey for so long!” As if I like the situation, as if it’s a piece of cake to be alone for months in a row. As if I am some kind of a strange person who doesn’t care if her husband is at home or not. Now I am immune to all those things. But I used to be so sad all the time. I was on the edge of bursting into tears any time. Sometimes I had to make myself go to church. Each time I had to go through all these questions about my husband’s coming back, and silly jokes. They didn’t mean to hurt me, I know. But all these words hurt so badly. Lots of bitterness. And I couldn’t talk to anybody. I watched couples in our church and thought about their calm hapiness. And I had to endure torture of loneliness each day. I was very unhappy. Thank you for your support. I sort of came to terms with myself and allowed myself to admit – it was very hard, but God never left me and He taught me a lot of things I would probably have failed to understand but for my husband being absent for so long.

    • Thanks for sharing your story, Yulia. It´s good to know I am not alone. My husband is in Italy (because of family health problems, his mother´s) and will be there for about seven months; he has even looked for a temporary job there. We don´t have children in common, I am alone in our apartment. Fortunately, my parents live 20 minutes away from me and normally go to see them during the weekends. I have dealt with all the feelings you described: anxiety, loneliness, sadness and so on, even if we talked to each other by Skype almost every day. I always pray God and ask him to send me lots of patience and calmness. Please feel free to contact me whenever you want to talk,I can send you my Skype address. Btw, I live in Central America.

  70. Thank you! My husband and I have been married just shy of one year, and he travels regularly. He is in seminary and travels 5 times a year with a vocal group that promotes the Seminary it’s very easy for me to mope and cry when he is gone! (And also check all the rooms for lurking creepy people) as I write this my husband has been gone for 7 days. Thank you for your encouragement and Godly wisdom.

  71. 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 Nikolareed377@gmail.com 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

  72. You totally summarised it all. But my biggest fear is that I’m getting used to it. My life and our 4 children became more comfortable when he’s away and this makes me feel awful. When he’s back we all feel confused and the house routine is messed up.
    Also, the emotional roller coaster is too much…. Trying to be positive and accepting the situation , then all the thoughts and feeling of loneliness comeback to you and send you back to square one as if you’re learining to cope from the beginning.
    God help us all in what we’re going through!

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