Who here currently travels for work – or has in the past?
I would classify “travel” as being on the road 50% of the time at least. Leave out Monday, arrive back Thursday/Friday – two weeks out of the month or more. When not traveling, your time is mostly your own.
How long did you do this?
What affect did it have on your marriage?
What were the pros/cons (other than the obvious)?
Would you do it again if you had the opportunity and the pay was right?
Speaking with a good friend who took such a job a few years ago and his report was “it improved my sex life!” – not sure that would be the case for me…
My husband traveled regularly for work in the past. We he started traveling the schedule was roughly 2 weeks working from home and one week traveling. He did it for approximately 5 years. Toward the end of that job he was traveling almost every week.
10/10 do not recommend. It was horrible. The cons were too plentiful to list them all but there were many. Even when the schedule was less demanding having him gone was very difficult for both of us, it was lonely for me and exhausting for him. When he would get home we would inevitably have what we dubbed the “re-acclimation period. ” This was several tense days where we both had to get used to doing things together and deferring to each other’s preferences again. Even the times he wasn’t traveling our lives still seemed to revolve around it leaving little time for family fun/relaxation. It seemed like we were always squeezing in house projects like mowing the lawn and home repairs between packing, unpacking, and long commutes to the airport. Often flights would leave very early and get in very late or be delayed which made for a less than restful sleep schedule as well. He was often in different time zones which made even phone calls to catch up hard to execute. Our children missed him terribly and he felt like he missed a lot of milestones, while I felt exhausted from being for all intents and purposes a single parent. Looking back I should have reached out the church family more and let them know I was struggling and lonely instead of feeling like I had to do it all on my own. For us “reunification sex” was not the Hollywood version you would imagine, sometimes “getting back into the sadle” is more difficult after a week plus of not “practicing” and high expectations would often lead to awkwardness or hurt feelings (there were heart issues that contributed to these difficulties but for us it was the opposite of good for our sex life).
For us the only pro was the money and the fact that it allowed me to be a stay at home mom (but I think we could have still made our finances work with another job) and the blessing of having many people step in to help me with things that I couldn’t do with young children like snow removal or breaking into the house for me when I locked myself out.
We have both said we would never have him take a job with that much travel again (once or twice a year is our max) I told dh I’d live in cardboard box before I’d have him travel again. Obviously an exaggeration but I very much meant/mean the sentiment. I would sacrifice and awful lot before we would do that, it would be a last resort.
For nearly five years of our nearly 50 year marriage I commuted (flew) weekly – Monday to Friday. It strengthened our marriage and in some measure enhanced our family life. Weekends were 100% devoted to my family. Every, and I mean every Friday night, turned into ‘Friday Night Delight!’ Additionally, my career meant frequent week day trips even when not commuting. She received a rose every Friday night upon my arrival home. (Our adult children often mention the importance of this gesture from me to Mom.)
Keep in mind that Mrs. Youngbear/Oldbear is a steady, independent woman. She embraced this lifestyle with full agreement. Our frequent separations drew us closer. We listened to each other and we planned consistently. Our sex life flourished as we made the most of every opportunity to be generous and creative with each other.
If I add it all up, since 2007, I’ve worked 8 years, I think, on a rotational schedule. Either 7 days on, 7 off, or 14 and 14. I worked a 9/80 (mon-thur and every other friday) the other 5 years, but for nearly 2 of those years I was living in Texas while my wife and kids were in Idaho. I would say I’ve traveled a bit for work.
The rotational schedule was awesome for our sex life. I would spend a week or two thinking up fun and adventurous activities, and then we would try to carry them out. Little by little, my wife became more confident and comfortable sending pictures and videos, learning to MB for me, and even mutually MB on video chat.
The schedule wasn’t as good for our overall relationship, though, as both my coming home and leaving interrupted the routines my poor wife would try to keep. She thrives on routine and frequently felt thrown off of her groove.
The last two years were very hard on our sex life, which mostly consisted of video chats once or twice weekly, and a monthly weekend visit. They were harder yet on our relationship, as my family has had to learn to live without me. Other than the financial support, I became fairly unnecessary at home. A month in to living together again, and the extent of that feeling is just starting to become obvious to me. I got to the point of sometimes feeling like the kinda tolerated family member that visits far too often. My kids are all teenagers now and they need structure and routine far more than I realized and the changes have not been easy for them.
I do not think I would accept another position requiring me to separate from the family again. It isn’t a matter of pay for me. I’d just rather be home every night.
I deploy in the Military. I’m gone anywhere from 6 months to a year at a time. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn’t.
I’ve actually been gone for months and come home to her as if I never left, and there’s no homecoming or change in her. Then there’s other times I come back and it’s a big deal.
Interesting – we have two opposed responses. I guess that goes to show many things if you look closely. One is obviously that the situation is not for everyone. The other is that perspective is everything.
I like to travel. But I also like being at home. I have a wonderful homeplace and plenty to keep me busy here. But I love seeing other places, meeting new people, helping folks, sharing my experience and knowledge. And making a wad of dough doesn’t hurt. But I also love my wife and enjoy time with her. We have always been each others best friend and first choice for companionship. But now I am facing an opportunity that is literally tailor-made for me; created for me specifically, maximizes my skill set and experience, Mainly North America and mostly US, but has international influence and travel opportunities. But its understood to have 50-75% travel, albeit on my own schedule for the most part. Working under a mentor of mine and someone who I respect in the utmost and who has a similar view of family and world as I. Interestingly enough, he’s who said to me recently that “my sex life improved when I took this job!” 🙂 But I don’t know what it was like before….
My wife could travel with me if/when she wanted. I don’t expect she would very often. But since our kids are gone from the nest, it’s a different situation than either the two respondents above. I’ll be 50 in a few months, my wife is 51. Sex and companionship is still important to me, but companionship ranks higher than it did 20 years ago. Regularly going 3-5 days without sex is nothing to worry about, but nothing to dismiss either. I’m just having a hard time weighing this out. Thankfully, I have no time pressure currently. I could make the change next week or next year.
She has presented her own pro’s and con’s, but hasn’t shared a preference. She is happy leaving it up to me and what I want. She too is an independent woman, but has said she doesn’t know if she would get lonely if I was gone that much or not, especially since the kids are gone. I suspect she might get a little lonely. And it might be that a week to 10 days at home every month would be sufficient for her to avoid that. We’ve spent 5-10 days apart a several times and it never bothered her or me. Just haven’t done it over and over, back to back.
Everything about this opportunity excites me – except the travel. And some if it even excites me. I just don’t relish the being away from home part. I think maybe part of it is because when we were younger and had kids, I eschewed jobs with travel for the expressed purpose of spending time at home with my family was highest on my list above money or opportunity. I just never allowed myself to consider it, and missed on a few chances. But it hasn’t hurt my career so far. In fact my success has brought this opportunity to my lap. And now at 50, I have to think not many of these will come around again.
I know I have aired this out here before, but not in the same way and that was before I had spent months ruminating over it. I thought a new opportunity to hear new thoughts and rehash it might help me. I’m happy to hear from anyone else with their experiences. Thank you –
I retired at the end of July from a major airline, but travelled every week for the previous 5 years and before that intermittently.
While there is nothing good about flying, I really enjoyed my work when I reached my destination. I was responsible for technical duties at airports all over the world, but did most of my travel in the States.
My wife wasn’t real crazy about it, especially the every week (and all week) traveling. Sometimes I was in 6 airports in one week. She quit traveling with me as she gets lost easily by herself. Once we moved into our new home in the suburbs a couple of years ago she was better with it, and having a large dog in the house helped her.
Pros: My work at the airport and satisfying the customers; relating with various levels of people at the airport; using my technical expertise to fix issues; food was free as I had an expense account. Cons: Being away from home all week, not keeping up with home projects or friends, riding on an airplane (think of squeezed in like sardines), airport/other food on the road.
Before COVID hit they had another project lined up for me that was all travel and I was all in for it.
Had no effect on sex life, except I had to wait until I got home.