How to Remain Happily Married with a Traveling CEO Spouse | Renée Riley-Adams

– How lonely are you when
your spouse or partner travels for work? How much do you resent
time he or she spends away from the family
while you are working hard to keep things together at home? I’m Renee Riley-Adams from
Balanced Life Coaching, and today I’m going to help you keep your sanity when your
partner travels for work. The basic outline for how to stay sane when your partner travels
includes the following steps. Take one small action to acknowledge that you are on your own. Two, do something nice for yourself while your partner is away. Three, let people know
your partner is away and invite your way into a group activity. Four, leave time to do the things your spouse normally does,
especially in terms of chores. Five, meet at a neutral place
once your partner has rested and appreciate one thing
each about your time apart. My husband was a CEO and
traveled about half the month. While I understood his
work travel was necessary, I also knew there was a part
of me that was deeply sad. I grew up with a single mom and I’d never wanted to
be a single parent myself. I often found myself wanting
to share our home life with him even when he wasn’t home. We led a busy life with two daughters doing all kinds of activities, so it was important to come
up with some strategies to keep our relationship and home life running smoothly. Step one is to take a small action to acknowledge that you are on your own and you can handle it. We exchanged glass hearts
before he would go, and we said something that
we each needed to hear, and also to reassure each other that our relationship was a priority. Another thing I started
doing to acknowledge the fact that he was
away and I was in charge was to put my bath towel
closest to the shower. Now this may sound funny, but for me it signified that I was making things easier for myself, taking this coveted towel rack spot. Find something you can
put somewhere different or maybe a picture or image you can put up that reminds you of rest
and relaxation or fun. Anything you can do to consciously choose your new role when your partner is gone. The next thing is to do
something nice for yourself. The easiest thing, of
course, is a bubble bath, or I used to by myself flowers. Surround yourself with something
comforting or beautiful, and make it known to yourself that you are valuable and capable. You might even write in your journal or read a poem each day. Step three, let people
know your partner is away and invite yourself into a group activity. Often, when partners travel, things are so hectic planning for travel and home activities that this step gets missed. It’s good if you know other people whose partners also travel for work. Make the effort to
check in with each other and maybe plan a simple potluck or a get-together even
if it’s just for coffee. Often, people isolate
instead of joining in when they are on their own. This tends to make things worse. Remember you have friends
and reach out to them. There are also many groups online now there are easy to find like or through your local YMCA. Doing activities in
groups helps with a sense of belonging and engagement. Step four, leave time for doing things that your partner normally does. I often used to forget this. This also increases your appreciation for all those little things
that your partner does. Communicate that with your partner when they come back from their trip. “Gosh, I really do appreciate
how you feed the dog. “I appreciate when you do the dishes.” Before my spouse left, I would start to figure in extra time to walk or feed the dog, etc., or I’d delegate his jobs to the children. The important thing is to accept what is instead of wishing things to be different. Or you can simplify your life. I know we used to have
a lot of horse shows with my daughters, so we would just limit
that when he was away. Make things easier on yourself. Lastly, step five, keep your sanity. Meet at a neutral place
once your partner has rested and appreciate one thing
each about your time apart. It was so tempting for me
after a week or 10 days of him being away, that
when he’d come back, I’d want to give him the kids and have a bit of a rest myself. I often found it frustrating to see him but know that he was tired from his trip and that we couldn’t really share as much until he’d rested and come
back to his physical health. I would do my best to
be calm and empathetic but I knew that I really
couldn’t talk about anything that needed his attention until after he’d rested. We would usually get
together at a coffee shop and then engage as two
adults coming back together. We would trade our glass hearts again, appreciating one thing about each other and our time apart. These simple steps made
business trips bearable. Of course, we always figured out a way when he was on his business trips to keep in touch by phone and text. That’s very important. Do you have a friend whose
partner travels often? I’d love it if you share
this video with them. I help all kinds of people. I especially love helping
executive families cope with the strains
of life during startups or when there are heavy deadlines. Be resilient and stay healthy, and I’ll see you in the next video.


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