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My husband is a truck driver and he is gone through the week. Usually that means that I will see him for his required time off and then he is back on the road again.
A part of me sometimes is jealous of those that have spouses that are home at night and they are able to see each other every day. We haven’t had that in almost a decade and we have been together for 17 years, so this has been a way of life for us for a long time. We have learned ways to keep our relationship going strong.
Before he became a truck driver, my husband worked out of town. And I use to feel a pain of jealousy for those that could see him daily. It was silly to feel jealous but it happens when you don’t see them daily. These people saw him often and I only got to see him on weekends, so it was hard. It is one of the reasons why we changed how we did things, and learned to make the most out of the moments that we had together.
Here are ways for keeping a long distance marriage alive. I call it a long distance marriage even though he does come home at the end of the week because he is gone more than he is home.
Find a hobby that you both can do together.
This sounds so simple but it sometimes takes that so you can just spend some time together. It can be something you both can do together when your spouse is home. We learned how to play cribbage, and enjoyed playing a few games together after supper. It was something so simple but allowed us to learn something new and then spend an hour together just laughing and playing. We also started doing geocaching with the kids to give us something to do as a family when he is home. It doesn’t have to take a lot of money to do something together.
Say “Good Morning” and “Good Night” every day.
Due to Mike being a Truck Driver, he doesn’t often work a normal shift so he doesn’t always get up early. I wait for his “Good Morning” text. It gives us a few minutes to talk about things that may have happened that morning. Normal boring stuff. But I look forward to the “Good Morning” text every morning. And every night we call each other to say “Good Night”. Something so simple gives you contact when you don’t see the person daily. Also don’t go to bed angry. Talk it out before bed.
Facetime, Skype or Facebook Video chat your spouse.
Sometimes you just want to see the person. If the person is on wifi, then I suggest video chatting with them. It allows you to see your spouse and if you have children, it is fun for them to see their parent. I suggest wifi because using your data can get expensive. If you can’t do voice chat, I suggest recording things. Sometimes sending a video of you telling them about your day or saying something nice to them can make their day. You can send it to their email or send it to their inbox.
As mentioned before, you can make a video and send it to their email. Little surprises like that are nice and will make them smile. I have sent a late night text to my husband telling him that we appreciate all that he does and that we love and miss him. I have also left a note for him to find in his truck.
Buy their favourite snack and have it ready for when they get home or be willing to watch their favourite movie. Little things are sweet. My husband likes to surprise me by bringing home these chips that I can only get in the States. Just lets me know he was thinking of me on the road. It is sweet. The other day he brought me home a new coffee maker and a coffee from Tim Horton’s. You don’t have to go big to surprise your spouse. Small things mean the world.
When they are home, go for a date night. We don’t go out all the time but we try to make time for each other. Our last night out was to Caesar’s Palace in Windsor to see Larry the Cable Guy. It was a fun night out with lots of laughs.
We also do stuff with the kids as a family but we always try to have a night for ourselves once a month. Sometimes when couples have children, they forget to take time for their relationship. You need it. Pay for the babysitter, if you need one. Take even 2 hours together and have dinner or go for a walk or grab a coffee.
We learned to take time for each other. All these suggestions are really simple because it can be simple if you want to put the work into it. When you have a relationship like this, you have to think of other ways to express how you feel. Not everyone can have a job that is close to home, that’s why it is important to remember to learn how to make your relationship work even though there is distance.
Those that don’t have spouses that work away from home can use these ideas for their relationships. Some people feel marriage shouldn’t be work, and it shouldn’t be. You should want to do these things. But sometimes we get so comfortable in a marriage, we forget to do the things to make it feel like a relationship.
Often you get feeling like you are roommates. My husband and I went through that too. We learned that we couldn’t keep doing that anymore. We had to learn how to be a couple again because once the kids are grown up and gone, it is the two of you left and by then it might be hard to be a couple you once were.
The best advice I can give is to treat your spouse every day like you were when you were dating.
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