How To Maintain Your Marriage When Your Husband Travels – Part 1

During the Valentine Challenge, I had quite a few women mention that their husband’s were away either in the military or traveling for business.  And I want to say – I know the life of being married to a traveling man.

My husband’s heaviest year of travel was back in 2007 when he was away for a total of 210 days on business.  He traveled Monday through Friday and was home on Saturdays and Sundays – that adds up to 7 months away that year.  At the time, my children were ages 18 months and 3 years old.

I know how hard it is to wake up Friday morning and realize the only adult I spoke to was 3 days ago at Bible Study or the cashier in the grocery store (well it wasn’t much of a converstion – I was probably apologizing to the lady for my child’s wild behavior. lol!)  I know how hard it is to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with little people who can’t carry a conversation…and the chair at the head of the table –empty.

I know the burden, boredom and sadness of long lonely days without daddy home.

I know what it’s like to “feel” like a single mom – all the educating, disciplining, spiritual training, boo boo kissing and cooking and cleaning and emergencies were handled by me alone.  I know what it’s like to have the heater break while it’s 20 degrees out and not be able to figure it out – so I plugged in space heaters and prayed for morning to come quickly.

I know what it’s like to live in fear of someone breaking into the house at night…when you hear that sound that is mysterious and know – it’s up to me to protect everyone in the house.  I know what it’s like for your husband to come home exhausted and all he wants to do is rest and stay home – while inside I cry because I’ve been stuck at home with the kids all week and all I want to do is go somewhere fun!!!

I know what it’s like for my husband to be out eating fancy steak dinners and going interesting places while we sat at home eating spaghettios and watching Barney.  I know!

I know what it’s like to watch other couples enjoying fellowship together while my husband is away and does not have the time or energy for casual friendships with other couples.  I know!

I know what it’s like to go to the garage in the morning – after wrestling the children into their clothes and find the garage door frozen solid shut –and cry…because there’s no man of the house to bail me out…

I know what it’s like to feel like a burden on others when you need help.  I called my wonderful dad, he came and in the freezing cold – chipped the ice away for me while running a blow dryer on it. Three cheers for a great dad – but I hate being a burden on others because of our life choices.

I know what it’s like to be alone on a Sunday morning getting the kids ready for church…driving there…parking super far out in the parking lot because I was running late – then walking in on ice, in slippery shoes, carrying a baby and trying to wrangle a toddler and making it into the service and just wanting to lay down on the pew for a rest because getting the kids there was so exhausting. But I put on a smile and press on – for the kids sake, for my husband’s sake – for my own sake.

I know.

I know what it’s like to come home and find a mouse alive – in a trap – in the middle of my kitchen floor because some how it squirmed out from the pantry closet and there it sits with it’s beedy eyes staring at me and there’s no man to dispose of it! @#$@! BAH!  Now I should have put a bucket over it and waited 3 days for my husband to come home – but the kids were screaming and on the counter and I was disgusted so…I got the dust pan – put it over it – and then stepped on it – DUH!!!  Big no no – it’s not a bug – you should not attempt to squish a mouse to death!!!!!! (just stating this for the record)…but I did – and blood splattered everywhere…

So I took a bad situation and made it WAY worse – I KNOW!  I know what it’s like to not know how to handle everything thrown your way and cry because you just want your man to come home!

I know!

And so…this Friday, I’ll share with you – how I made it through those years…and be glad this post is too long already – so you don’t have to hear the story about when the bat was in our house flying around – another @#$!@ moment!!! Or when I came home, opened the door and the house was completely filled with smoke AHHHHH! Or the multiple trips to the emergency room for things such as swallowing strange objects or my daughter’s teeth being knocked out - for some reason these emergencies only seem to happen when he is gone :( !

Friends, I really do know.  If you are in this place today my heart goes out to you.

To be continued…{this Friday I will post Part 2}

**Chime In: Are you in this place right now – how has God helped you through these hard times?

Walk with the King,

Are you desperate to find joy in your walk with God, marriage, parenting and home…

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Comments

  1. says

    Oh Courtney… you really DO know! My guy is in the Army, and when he’s not, he’s so busy working that we don’t see each other anymore anyway. And me, stuck at home with health problems. Yes, you totally captured the essence of things. Problems really do wait for the guy to be gone, and you feel like people forget about you, and feel terrible asking for help so frequently… and you don’t really understand unless you’ve been through it. I can’t wait to hear the rest of this!!

    • Jeannette says

      Mine is at training right now gearing up for deployment. Murphy has been trying to visit but we’re getting through day by day. Glad to see we aren’t here alone. :)

  2. J says

    I know a lot of these moments and still living them sometimes. My hubby works on-call 24/7 with no schedule, gone for days at a time, been a few times where he has been gone for a couple weeks to months here and there. We have moved 8 times in 7 years! I sometimes feel overwhelmed, though I have a heart for God and serving Him, but sometimes just feel overwhelmed and there friendships, though many but seem to be more like distant hard to relate to our schedule and no family living around us. Seems like everyone is too busy and I hate to burden someone, so yet though I am strong and am independent, some-days it just gets to me. Yes it is one of those days! So looking forward to this series!! You are a blessing, thank you for sharing!

  3. Natasha says

    I really needed this post today. I woke up late this morning and was really struggling until I sat my 4 year old down to watch a cartoon and I had some quiet/prayer time. It always helps renew my perspective and helps me through my day. My husband works out of town 6 months out of the year and it has taken me almost four years to get the hang of doing things on my own when he is away. It’s not only hard on me but our kids as well (we have a 14 month old and 4 year old). I could relate to so many of your experiences and it is comforting to know that others understand. I am looking forward to reading your next post. Thank you for sharing.

  4. says

    I totally understand all of this too! My husband took a job up north (we live in Scotland so I guess ‘up north’ is a bit different to your meaning of it!) 2 and a half years ago. When he took the post we never intended to stay apart, only as long as it took to sell the house and then we would all move up too.

    Monday to Friday he was up north working, while I waited down here with our four sons (they were aged 10, 7, 4 and 1 when he started working there) and also tried to keep the house in order for people to view!

    We really believe God had called him to his work. He works for a Christian charity for the homeless which is well established where we live. His new post was working for the same charity but trying to establish them up north, where they had no presence. We trusted God would work things for the best and believe He has.

    The housing market over here had crashed and nothing was selling. 9 months after he started his new post we realised that, difficult as it was to have him working away, we had far more reasons to stay here than to move – family nearby, supportive church family, boys friends’ to name a few. We took the house off the market and my husband was able to change his hours so that he only worked away Monday to Thursday. He would be home in time for dinner on Thursday and work Fridays in the headquarters down here.

    Now, just before Christmas, his hours have changed again, meaning he is only away Tuesday to Thursday, again home in time for dinner on Thursday, and working the rest if the time down here.

    Although he is too modest to admit it himself, he has done a wonderful job establishing the charity up north. Numerous initiatives for the homeless have been set up and they continue to grow.

    Whenever anyone asked me how I coped, I always said that I only had to survive during the week and with him only a few hours up the road whereas other women have their husbands away for months on end, risking their lives in a war zone!

    Yes, it’s difficult, and I experience everything you mention (expect the mouse, which made me laugh!) but it does force you to be more disciplined in making time for each other too. Days together are more precious and I have found we make more of our time together.

    And although he is now only away for two nights a week, I do long for the days when he will be home again full time!

  5. Becky says

    My husband works a job where he is gone for 28 days at a time and home for 28 days. Although, I live with my in-laws and get SO MUCH help from them, I’m still the primary caregiver and housekeeper while he’s away. God has blessed me with such a great family who often offers to help me so that I can keep my sanity while he’s away and I can take sime time to recoop for a few hours without our one and a half year old (even if it’s going to wal-mart).

    Thank you for posting this and I look forward to part two.

  6. Faun says

    You might want to change “husband’s” in your first paragraph to “husbands” – it’s not a possessive. It always makes me cringe when homeschooling “teachers” make errors that fundamental.

    • says

      Thanks for helping me edit my post. I write over 200,000 words a year for millions of eye balls to edit – without an editor…forget being a “teacher” – I’m pretty sure there’s not a human alive who could do this perfectly without error. So I humbly accept your admonition.

      I’m so thankful God uses me despite my fundamental errors ;)

      Grace.

    • Dana says

      Courtney is so incredibly gracious in her reply. I’m pretty sure we all make typos from time to time- I’m so thankful mine aren’t scrutinized by thousands of people!

    • Amanda says

      Courtney, you are inspiring and that fact that you know and care how we feel as mothers and wives far outweighs the grammatical errors or spelling mistakes you may make. It is always a little giggle moment though when you realize those that are picking you are apart “are” making mistakes themselves. You keep that chin up buttercup and keep working for the Lord! :)

    • Beth says

      You’d have probably really cringed when you read the letter from our local school district excusing my daughter from public school this year. There were seven, yes SEVEN, spelling errors or grammatical mistakes in that one letter. From the superintendent’s office of the local public schools. I’m sure glad those “teachers” aren’t teaching my daughter!

      • says

        I received some emails sharing with me that now it’s wrong too…haha!!! I’m laughing – I’m putting it back to the original way with the possesive because switching it to Faun’s way makes it sound like I have mulitple husbands lol!!! Thanks for the help ;)

    • Ashley says

      Faun,

      When I 1st read your comment, I thought “how petty”. But then I realized something unnecessary like that, probably came from an either envious or bitter heart. I sincerely hope you find the kind of peace only Jesus can provide for your day & journey. We all make mistakes, but thank God He is bigger than all our sins! :)

      Courtney,

      We LOVE you to pieces wonderful lady! Keep up the work Jesus has prepared beforehand for you! You are such an sweet & gentle teacher. :)

    • Bek says

      Seriously Faun? If you choose to be critical and “edit” somebody else’s post, you really should make sure you are correct. You aren’t.

      Courtney, you are an enormous blessing to so many! I sent you an email during your break explaining to you just how instrumental you have been in my own walk with the Lord. I look so forward to your posts. God is using you to reach so many women in this world, and you teach us how to be better wives and moms by your own example and by using scripture as our instruction book . I’ll admit I was tempted to intentionally mix up my your, you’re, etc…in this post. lol. Just because – who cares?? You are a shining light!! Much love sent your way!!

  7. MB says

    What helps the most is to not have expectations – then be sure to say thanks for @ least five things every day. My thoughts are turned around when I am grateful for the work he has, the abilities God gave me to handle my days, and to “do all I can, where I am, with what I have” (B. Franklin). That last one will enable my husband to not come home to a long to-do list, as I have leaned on God to guide me.

  8. Hilary says

    so greatful for your ministry to women. I’m not married. I don’t have children. I’m learning so much from your videos and wisdom. :-)

  9. Corey says

    THANK YOU!! My husband has been home for a total of 3.5 weeks since last September! I have days where ALL I want is 30 minutes to myself! I have 6 girls from 18 months to 11!! Home school 4 and wouldn’t change a thing! I love my husband and MISS him dearly!

  10. Jenni says

    Thank you so much! My children are older: 20, 19, 17, 15, and 13, but I’m home without my sweet hubby while he is in Japan for work. I just cried as I read this post. Thank you so much for sharing. The problems change a little when they are older, but are just as draining. LOL Dates, drama, chauffeuring, a broken hand, illnesses, test scores, college prep, church service, school projects, basketball games, formal dances, keeping standards high, driver’s ed, my 40 hr work schedule, etc….and that is just the last 2 weeks!
    But I pray. ALOT. lol
    And God has strengthened me beyond my ability to comprehend. I just talk to Him, and leave my burdens at His feet each day. And I thank Him for the work my husband and I have, and thank Him for all the people He has blessed me with, and leave what I can’t accomplish to Him. :)

  11. Gina Newberry says

    Yes, I am in this place too and I know it all too well. My husband is a pilot and works out of Korea. He is gone about 20 days a month. We never know if we are going to get holidays, birthdays or special occasions together. And yes… it’s hard. It does help remembering there are others going through it too, because it’s a very lonely life.

  12. kathryn fakoya says

    Courtney thanks for understand and encouraging all the wives that struggle day to day without their husbands. My husband and I just got married last June and he lives in another country Nigeria to be exact. We have been apart now for 9 months and it has been so hard. I have a 13 year old daughter from a previous relationship and oh man teenagers. I face challenges daily and sometimes I think I will just fall apart and I need some way of coping with it. My husband and I have been working on his visa to come to the United States but it is a very long and hard process. Just praying for more of your wisdom and love knowing there are others out there like me. Keep up the good work and I cant wait to hear more.
    Kathryn Fakoya

  13. Pam says

    Courtney – I thank you for sharing your heart. My husband is gone for two to three weeks each month. I have two littles and we are in three weeks scheduled to bring our third into our arms. I don’t know why it is so comforting to know that others share your same experiences and feelings, but it is. I also homeschool and often have feelings of being completely overwhelmed/out of control. With life so often spinning, it is cherished to know that other women are there to and that I am not loosing my mind. I love you words of encouragement! Thank you!!

  14. Claudine Perry says

    Yes, I have been thru alot of what you have shared.My husband was in the military for 22 yrs and in his 2nd job since retiring he travels some too.I have learned to be grateful that at least now it is not for 6mos at a time :) I was a homeschool mom thru it all.

    How by the grace of God did get thru the childhood years and now today as empty nesters?

    1)PRAYER and I kept my first priority on loving thy Lord my God FIRST? I could not be there for my kids if I was not in touch with my source of strength!

    2) I accepted that “I” could not do this is alone.I needed God’s help.This is SO IMPORTANT, because when we as wives begin to feel we can handle it alone, because it seems we do while they are gone, it leads to much conflict when they return.I made sure to submit to my heavenly Lord in my husband’s
    absence so it was easier to submit to my earthly lord in his return.

    3) I know that God was not surprised where my husband is in his career.If my husband thinks that God’s will for him to provide this way, then as his helpmate I should FIRST do all I can to support , his plan as Eve was called to do for Adam’s job in the garden.Many wives I see that can handle the separations are not single minded, hands in to many fires and take on to much besides their kids, making it hard to keep being a helpmate , the FIRST priority. there are alot of God things but we must center in on what is good for us NOW.That’s not to say , that all a wife is do is husbands and kids, but there are seasons in our lives and if we want things to run smoothly and peacefully best to keep God’s priorities.

    4) I realize that GOD loves my kids more than my husband and I ever could.That HE could fill in the places that perhaps my husband could not because of his absence.God has promised to meet our needs according to his riches in Christ Jesus.And HE did meet the needs of my kids!

    5) I realized that as God has a PLAN for our lives, he must have felt I needed time alone with my kids.So tho I was not happy to be alone, missed my husband, I decided NOT to grumble thru the separations, but make the BEST of them.If ALL things work together for GOOD, I sought God on finding the GOOD in this!He answered and my kids and I enjoyed the time together, they missed dad, but it wasn’t a time they hated.My two sons have actually joined the Marine Corps as well so I figure they didn’t hate their lives growing up.

    6) I took one day at a time, not looking for trouble that may come tomorrow.CONTENT in each PRESENT day not wishing for tomorrow. expending energy that I needed TODAY>

    I could share much more like praying for dad in His absence, but I’ll stop there.ALL things can work for GOOD.As my husband and I are believers, we ACTUALLY were CLOSER upon each return because we grew closer to God in our separations. Like the marriage triangle.THAT IS GOD!
    .
    We also had a common focus of reaching our world for Christ , sharing with the lost, so we pray about that while separated and it gives us something to do “together” even tho we were apart.He focuses on reaching the men in his life and I the women.

    I also have very close relationships today with my kids, in part I believe because of all the time I had with them growing up!

    • Krista Pettry says

      Thank you Courtney and Claudine. I needed to read both of your posts. My husband travels a lot for work as well, and always has in our 10 years of marriage. I am not a person who ever likes to be alone, so the Lord has had to work this out in me. He’s taught me to truly turn to Him and depend on Him for everything, and I’ve had to. I think it’s actually been a blessing sometimes — because otherwise I would depend too much on my husband to meet all my needs (if he were here all the time). When he is gone I go into “survival mode” and me and God, we just get it done! : ) My husband works from home when he is home, so that is such a blessing. I am blessed beyond measure! Thanks again ladies.

  15. Jeanne says

    Friday?!! I can’t wait til Friday!! My hubby doesn’t travel much, but we took him to the airport today and he won’t be back til Friday! No mice yet, but I did have the 17 month old pull a nearly full gallon of milk off the counter – of course the cap was off, so that was fun! Thanks for all your writing! You are an encouragement.

  16. says

    Last night I sobbed to my husband (who is away) I feel like a failure because I cannot keep it together, to be strong for him and for my son (who is completely wild) I hate him being away so much for all the reasons you stated above and I cry all the time because I don’t know whether I am sinning by how I feel and my strong desire to want him home, I don’t know if it is selfish flesh desire. I feel like we are no longer married and I am a single mum (definitely was no a part of my vision when I got married big shock to my ideal). I live a state away from any family (and we are stuck in a house that lost value due to floods, so we cant sell and hubbys work is shutting down so we cant afford the high interest rate loan anymore that we once could) I don’t want anyone to see how much I am hurting (because of our own immature not knowing God choices in the past) so I further isolate myself because I don’t want to be “that burden who is always on the verge of crying” that everyone avoids so I figured I would save them the trouble and me the further pain of rejection and judgement. I really look forward to the encouragement I am sure you will write, I am working on changing my attitude but it is a slow process and really not very enjoyable. I don’t want to live in pain and ungratefulness all of my life, I want to change, I want to grow in God and follow what He wants for our life, but my gosh this season of our life is feeling very painful. Thank you for this series. Tara.

    • YSmith says

      Tara – my heart goes out to you. Here are some things that helped me get through my husband being away (he travels up to 50 percent of the time). When I was first adjusting to this new schedule, I used to be on the verge of tears all day as well. Every evening when I would put the kids to bed, I would basically cry. I want you to know that it is completely ok to be broken, to allow yourself time to grieve, as long as you are seeking the Lord in the process. The only thing I could do was begin writing out a list of things I was thankful for – at least he has a job, at least I can call him, at least I can stay home with my kids, etc. As I began to cling more to the Lord, I came to a place of peace knowing that what was going on was way bigger than me. God really does know what he is doing. If you are feeling guilty for past mistakes, confess and move on. Someone once said that God is like an artist. When an artist makes a mistake, he paints over it and makes it into something more beautiful. So maybe you have made a bad choice in the past – the important part is making the right choice now – to cling to the Lord and trust him through this. He will rewrite your life into something more beautiful than you could ever imagine. And please, please don’t isolate yourself through this time. This is exactly what Satan wants us as Christians to do. I too was tempted to isolate myself, until a very dear friend told me that I must NOT. In fact, she recommended that I take on a leadership role at my church that basically forces me to be in contact with a group of people throughout the week. And guess what? It was great advice. Serving others and forcing myself to communicate with the body of Christ through this difficult time has been a greater blessing than I could have imagined. I pray you would be encouraged today and that you would know how big, how wide, how great is the love that the Father has for you!

    • Mary Beth says

      Tara,

      My husband (Chris) is a pipeliner. Our home is in Alabama, but he works in Ohio. We are lucky if he is able to take off one weekend out of a month to come home. We have two beautiful sons Bentlee (Peanut) 3 yr and Bryson (baby B/B) 14mon. Reading your comment AND this post is oh so familiar. Feeling like a failure because I can’t keep emotions bottled up, and I have my breaking moments sometimes in public. Crying til I can’t cry no more or sometimes cry myself to sleep. Begging Chris to come home, I say, “I didn’t marry you to be alone, I mean how is it right that I am a married-single mother”. Wondering if you are sinning by how you feel & our strong desire to want my husband home. Is it a selfish flesh desire???
      Within the past two months I have struggled with not even feeling like I am married to Chris anymore, but what has hurt me more is when all that we have connecting us 2 is communication (only through the phone) comes to a slow, fading, goodbye. What I mean is I felt like I didn’t know him anymore much less what to say or talk about. When I would tell him bout our day or what the kids had done, he would take it as nagging, if it wasn’t Peanut and/or Bryson crying, fighting, or getting into something making me have to cut the conversation short, he didn’t sound like he was that interested, or too busy, many of times he cuts me off and says well alright I will call you later on got to go get a shower and eat supper and I’m thinking glad you can get a shower…
      The #1 responsibility/duty that us mothers are left with that HURTS me THE MOST is not only are we left here having to do everything alone, but we have to pick up the pieces when they are gone. When I have to try to explain to that little boy crying his eyes out saying, “I just want my daddy!!!” Having to explain to him that daddy went back to work so we could pay bills and buy more toys, it won’t be long and daddy will be back home. It breaks me EVERY single time. I keep thinking it will get easier, but my thinking is wrong, because it has only gotten harder. I pray a lot. I even put us on the church prayer list. But honestly I’m scared. I’m scared that I’m either gonna grow tired of this and give up, or he is going to get so comfortable with this lifestyle and we are gonna grow apart til we push the other one out. So I pray to overcome my fear and sadness, and that we are on the right path that he holds for us. And for God to keep his flashlight on standby for the darkened moments, and his hands and strength for the times he carries me thru my weak times.

      • Rose says

        Mary Beth, you sound so sad, it makes me sad too. I hear you, I am in this situation myself right now although we don’t have children. I too feel crushed when the calls get cut short or he just sounds distracted and bored by my recounting my day. But I reassure myself by telling myself that he is working hard for us both and that when he gets home again we can spend our time catching up with each other properly. I pray for you, Mary Beth, that the Lord will comfort and reassure during this storm, which will pass, and that He will touch your husband’s heart too and show him how to still be a leader and a comfort to you even when he is not physically present in the home. In Jesus’ name.

  17. Erin says

    @ Faun…really? Is that all you had to say about this post? I wonder if you cringe a lot when you look at yourself in the mirror.
    Courtney thank you for your understanding and ministry to women. You are such a light and you give others hope. :) You can write as illegible as you like God will still use your beautiful heart to touch others.

  18. Ann says

    Courtney, thank you so much for your ministry! Thank you for putting feeling like a single parent in quotes. I am a single mom. Yes, it’s by choice because I adopted them, but it’s still hard. I has to laugh at the sitting at a table with toddlers and not being able to have a real conversation. That is my life!!! I look forward to your part 2. Thanks again for sharing your heart!!!!

  19. Hayley says

    Thanks so much for this post. It’s so nice to know I am not alone. My husbands work sends him around the globe and sometimes at the drop of a hat. It’s never been for a long period of time about 14 days consecutive has been the longest so far. But it’s hard when you have a 1 1/2 year old who wants Daddy and he can’t understand why he isn’t there.

  20. Angie says

    This is my world. The really bd stuff manages to happen just as he gets onto an airplane. Thank you for letting me know I’m not alone. I am thankful when he is home. But sometimes I think it would be easier of he was gone for 6 mos and then home for 6 mos rather than gone 4 days and home for 3 days.

  21. Marybeth says

    I needed this today. My husband is a pilot and usually gone 14-20 days/month. We have had a few rough weeks lately at home with tantrums and I’ve been at my wits end. Glad to know I’m not alone :)

  22. Kat says

    Yeah, This is my constant life. Married and the day after we returned from honey moon he began a music tour and now has gone onto extreme youth residential care work. He spends about about half the week away and then some of the times home recovering from work because it is high stress. Most people telling my husband he needs a new job. But it is where he feels he is called to.
    But this last monday he’s leaving and theres a Red belly black snake in our house in the children’s toy room with them all morning (for 3 hours) till one child found it. (we are in australia where this was happening a lot this month because of a recent natural disaster) We called a catcher in time but he warned us to keep looking for more and if there is then their might be babies. He was just leaving for work when all this happened so that was an interesting search for the 24 hours he was away. So when a container fell in a cupboard I called people around much to my shame. Its amazing the roles we have to take on hero, gardener, handyman, the one and only one for everything to two kids.

  23. Cris says

    Thank you so much for this post. It is very nice to know I am not alone in alot of my feelings. My husband has worked away from home for most of the last 6 years. Sometimes only 2-3 days but others a full month. I hate being away from him but have to say it has help us understand each other so much more. In those last 6 years he has come to respect me not only as his wife but as a true person. In our first 6 years of marriage he never asked me for my opinion on alot of things but because of some of the life lessons I have had these last 6 without him to help me out he does, he also listens to my ideas on how to fix things instead of “being the man” and doing it his way. I have dealt with the mice (more times that I care to remember!!!!), a greenhouse that got ripped apart by 80mph winds, broken water lines, broken wrists, child needing surgery (thankfully he made it in time to be there for that), generators that won’t run, and way more stuff then I care to remember. I know that if he could (we have been trying) find work closer to home that would pay the bills he would do it in a heartbeat. He would love to be home with the kids each night instead of calling them to say goodnight. We are praying that one day he can quit traveling so much, its taking a major toll on his health.

    I have never liked being the person to ask for help, I truly hate bugging people with my problems but I have learned that true friends will not mind!!! We have no family close to me and those friends that helped me on alot of it moved last fall so its been really hard these last few months.

    Again thank you for this, it helps knowing I am not alone. I look forward to the post on Friday.

  24. chris says

    Courtney: thank you for this. actually my husband doesn’t travel too much for work, and i’ll admit when he does go out of town i welcome the “break”. But this spoke to my heart, as there are times over the past years that i have wanted out. and that is why sometimes i welcome the break. And then i think of all of the things that i would have to do as a single parent, and i realize that the things that hurt my heart or make me feel like our marriage is doomed, are really not that earth shattering. we are a work in progress and have rough patches here and there. But the thought of having to deal with everything all by myself and shattering my children’s sense of family and trust, make me be able to face another day. Thank you for your words. i’m sure this wasn’t the target audience you had in mind but your post was very helpful!!
    God bless you! (and don’t worry about typos…God can EVEN use those for his glory! ;)

  25. Stemmah Sariau says

    I shared your post to my Facebook Ladies Group. Many women can identify with your experience. It will be a tremendous blessing to share how you managed to face each day, and especially as a Christian woman. Thank you.

  26. Erin says

    I loved this post! I”m so glad to hear someone tell of the same things I’ve gone through being the wife of a military man. When he was deployed to Iraq as a bomb dog handler, I was worried sick and he could only call once a week, no skype or anything. And yes, when they are gone, that’s when everything goes wrong, especially children getting sick or having to go to the emergency room. We also got the heaviest record of snow since being stationed in Germany while he was gone, and I got snowed in for three days because I couldn’t shovel it in time, as I didn’t want to leave my children in the house by themselves for long periods of time. I had a newborn and a 3 year old. When he came back, he was gone for about 8 months, it took awhile to readjust to him being home. It was hard to let go of the reins, but boy I”m glad I did. :)

  27. Tanya says

    My husband is a civilian contractor in Afghanistan. I see him normally 6 weeks out of the year, unless he’s home for special training. I can only wish he was away on a business trip eating fancy meals and staying at luxurious hotels. Instead, I pray nightly that his base is not attacked, I pray for good weather since he has to walk to bathing facilities, I pray that our government would warm their hearts enough to serve hot breakfast to them in the mornings again, I pray for him to have a good internet connection (yes, it’s the small things) so that I can see his face when he wakes up in the morning and before I go to bed at night. I’ll share with you my favorite verse, Genesis 31:49 “May the LORD watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other.” Odd favorite verse you might think, but with my husband is in Afghanistan and this verse gives me an unbelievable amount of peace

    • Meg says

      My husband and I have that verse and the Hebrew word, “Mizpah” tattooed on his arm/my foot. We did it right before he deployed to Iraq years ago. I love the scripture and the meaning it has for us. I definitely understand your heart – it is a lot different than a business trip, but believe Courtney’s heart is understanding as well! Anytime we are separated is hard! Praying for you both during the separation!

    • Beth says

      Tanya!! My Husband is in the same line of work as your husband!! I didn’t think I would EVER find someone who is in my position! A as matter of fact, my husband just left last Saturday for his third deployment. Like you said, it’s the little things, and for me, reading your comments just knowing there is another woman out there that knows how often these guys are gone, and the we only get this see them for MAYBE two months out of the year, just made my heart feel better for some reason :) what beautiful scripture from the book of Genesis!! AMEN!

  28. says

    Me too. Yes, me too. My husband has been away Monday – Friday since before my two girls were born (they’re 5 and 7 now). I’m sort of used to it, but I know the ‘there’s no heating, what do I do?’ and ‘two feet of snow outside, I can’t find the car, much less drive it, a school run to do and I have flu, but there’s nobody but me to sort it out’…
    Thank you for this. Looking forward to reading more. x

  29. Dana says

    Wow! One more tally mark on the side of “God really does love me and cares about the details of my life”. I so needed to read this today- was just yesterday and tonight feeling sorry for myself and hating how I act around my kids when my husband is out of town like he is now. Thank you so much for posting this- I really felt like it was a gift from God for me today. Can’t wait for part 2.

  30. Jennifer says

    Thank you! My husband travels weekly for work, sometimes a night or two, sometimes a week or more if it’s an international trip. It helps so much knowing there is someone else out there who “gets it”. It’s so hard to explain that feeling of being a single mom to friends whose husband is home every night to help with dinner/bath/bedtime. Can’t wait to hear part 2.

  31. coee says

    I opened this email bright and early this morning after kissing my husband goodby for a 3 week long tripbfor the first time and burst into tears. What a wonderful sighn that God shows to me that he sees me here with the kids, alone and cares…..

  32. Sarah says

    Courtney, you just completely explained my life!! The pain of being home alone all week and at night time, not talking to other adults, missing eating out when you know they are. My guy isn’t working away but he has been away a lot and I feel like a single mum. I miss him and crave those times when we can go out as a family, but he’s so tired he sleeps half the day when he’s here and I’m left with the kids alone. Again! It really hurts sometimes, and now he is overseas for a good few months and I feel so strange, shocked almost, maybe depressed. He left this past Saturday. I don’t know how I will cope then I realised I’ve been doing this for ages anyway. I just didn’t think of it.
    Wow what a great time to read your post. It IS hard, it DOES feel so lonely, but I hope it’s ok in the end. Thanks for your honesty :)

  33. says

    So glad to read this post. Especially this week. My husband doesn’t travel but he works ALL THE TIME. He’s at the office all day & nights & weekends for the most part, because he has to be, and when he gets home he’s so exhausted he has to do work that he has brought hime frim the office! Sometimes I feel like pulling my hair out especially after last week, I can’t even begin to tell you what my week was like. With no babysitter & my family hours away I needed to read this and know that I’m not the only one who sometimes feels like a lone parent!

  34. Brande Plotnick says

    Ok….while I can appreciate this situation, I feel compelled to give you another perspective. I’m a professional woman who has traveled for business most of my career. For four of those years, I left home on Sundays and arrived home on Fridays…every week. If you think for ONE moment that your husband is off living the “high life” because he gets to eat some fancy meals and travel, you’re wrong. The only people who think business travel is glamorous are those who have never done it. It’s constant, butt-kissing on little or no sleep work. That’s why these positions typically pay well…you give up all semblance of normal life. I couldn’t maintain relationships, eat home-cooked meals, exercise regularly, or even take a cooking or yoga class if I’d wanted. Imagine eating in a restaurant for ALL meals every day because there’s no option. The last thing you want to do when you get home is go out to eat. That said, this portion of my career was before I got married. I promised my husband (who never travels) that I would never go back to a schedule like that. I make less money, but have a happy marriage.

  35. Brande Plotnick says

    Furthermore, I imagine that he’s doing whatever type of work he’s doing so that you can stay home with your children.

  36. Loretta Spangler says

    Courtney,

    I laughed and cried as I was reading your post. Why? Well, my husband passed away in 2000 (when my sons were 8, 6, and 4 years old) and I have experienced everything you wrote about (including the mouse and the bat – although I didn’t step on the mouse). They are now 20, 18, and 16, and I am here to say to you (and everyone else who has commented) “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me!” Be encouraged, dear ones; God will give the grace to handle each thing as it comes, if we just lean on Him! And thank you for reminding me of God’s incredible faithfulness to me.

    • Karen says

      Wow! So sorry for your loss, and how gracious of you not to be bitter about someone’s problems w/ a husband who is gone on business while yours is gone forever. It definitely puts things in perspective for us all.

  37. Amie says

    My husband rarely travels, picks up my children from school almost everyday and is home for dinner. This post made me feel very blessed. I pray God will give the ladies who do it alone extra grace today! I would like to point out that it is amazing how calamities happen when Daddy is away. Why is that?!? ;) The last time my hubs was away, the car battery died!

  38. Heather H says

    I cannot thank you enough for this post! My husband is getting ready to head to Ft. Gordan for a month. This isn’t the first time he has had to go somewhere for the military and really the time aspect is no biggie in the grand scheme of things I know… But I have still began to have anxiety about it. All the other times my husband has had to leave I have been able to prepare for it…. get things in line before his departure. This time we found out yesterday that he will be leaving on Wednesday, and I am not as prepared as I would like to be. I know that God will be with both of us and will equip us with whatever we need. But I just wanted to thank you for being willing to put your story out there. It definitely helps others that are in a similar boat. Have a blessed day!

  39. Crystal G. says

    I was just starting to brood about being home with my kids (20mos and 3yrs) while my husband is away for the week. I just dropped him off at the airport a few hours ago, and I miss him terribly. Thank you for letting me know that I’m not as alone as I felt.

  40. Betty says

    Thank you so much for sharing from your heart. My husband is retired Navy but I still remember the deployments and all the Mommy Wearing Two Hats sagas. We also had a mouse experience!!! LOL! Not so squishy though. :-)

    This is a ministry that is needed!!! Lets band together and help our sisters with our experiences. You never know why you go through certain things but God can use the “for such a time as this”.

    PS: being a homeschool mom ( like me) does not make one immune to typos. LOL!!!

  41. joy says

    I sooooo totally understand!! My husband use to drive for a trucking company and be gone 2-3 weeks at a time! I had 1 under 2yrs of age and was pregnant with another….eventually he no longer drove but worked the dock….nights, so he’d sleep during the day when we were up….do you know how hard it is to keep 3 children under the age of 3 quiet enough for someone to sleep…lol. Then he got promoted and moved….kids and I stayed to sell our house. One tends to feel like a single mom, and he’s use to peace and quiet from being on his own so much.

  42. Natalie says

    So good to know we’re not alone … so many marriage articles just assume you have a husband home daily and when they’re gone so much it’s just not so simple. My husband drives truck long haul and he’s home maybe 4-5 days every month … just had 18 days without him and then 36 hours at home and he’s off again. I don’t complain, he doesn’t need to come home to that, I’m thankful he’s in work but man oh man I miss him, I miss hugs, laughing in bed, sharing raising our two little ones. On top of that having to listen to people moan about their other halves or how ‘tough’ they have it when maybe one thing doesn’t go their way or they can’t go out one evening and I’m like you, I don’t like to be a burden. I do have some people I can ring in an emergency (I’m English living in Canada so no family :( ) but I don’t like to bother them unless I have no other choice!

  43. Jessica says

    I can’t relate to the part about children but we did have two dogs – a physically ailing older dog and an 8 week old puppy i was trying to house train (which means i get little to know time away from the house outside of work). And i was doing it all by myself for the most part. My husband is in the police academy in another town and it requires him to leave on sunday evening and not return until friday evening. I’m still right smack in the middle of this season of life and this past weekend we had to put our older dog down. So this week when my husband went back, it was even lonelier than before. Our older dog had been with us since we got married and he was my companion for years whenever my husband had to travel. So to experience this time without him is really difficult. But this morning, to open my email and see this post was like the Lord speaking directly to me to encourage me that seasons like this will come to an end! You and all these other women are proof! Thank you for the honesty! My situation is not exactly like yours but so much of what you said is what I’ve experienced. Knowing others have been there and have felt the exact same way somehow makes me feel less alone. :)

  44. Teresa B says

    Thank you so much for your post. Your post hits very true to home. My husband’s job takes him away anywhere from 2 days to a month or more. The last couple of years have been around 150-200 days, but have topped 300 and in this last month we have seen him for just 2-12 hr blocks of time as he passed through. I truly do feel like a single mom. I do the finances, all the yard work, have completed/contracted 3 renovations on the home, handle the car maintanence, do most of the minor home repairs – you know – all the “man” stuff on top of being a homeschooling mother and working a part time job!
    I have the self-sufficiency thing down, but definitely feel like the romance and working on the marriage has declined since having kids. I used to make cookies to send with each trip, put in a card or note for every couple of days he would be gone…now it has come down to we skype every few days….definitely need some encouragement in this area.
    The only thing keeping me sane is my son and his gorgeous smile and my faith in God that I am not alone. I look forward to your posts!

  45. says

    Courtney,
    You have no idea how much I needed this right now… God did…and He used you…but WOW! My husband will be going away soon…and be gone for three weeks straight. In our 10 years together, we haven’t been away from one another longer than 2 days…so, this is REALLY hard for me to accept. I cried in bed last night thinking about it… I dread the day when he steps on the plane…and all of the days that I will have to be without him. I look forward to what you have to say in Part 2.

  46. Jenny Guy says

    I LOVE this post!!! And all the comments to see how much I’m not alone. We have a 4yr old & 19mo old. My husband has worked/lived out of town since the pregnancy of my 4yr old. He’s been home about 9 months throughout those 5ish years. Sometimes only home every 8 weeks. The job he has now, he’s able to come home for Sunday but back to work early morning….but at least wee see him once a week. Praise God for that.

    I struggle with asking for help too since we have made this choice to live this way. I once had a friend livng as a single mom and I said I never could do that. Now I am. Not only is this hard for me at times, but it’s becoming more difficult for my 4 yr old to say good bye to his dad on Sunday nights. Just last night he was crying about it. That is harder to deal with than shoveling 2 feet of snow off the driveway or acting brave in front of my boys when I don’t know where the noise came from either. I’m looking for a way to help my son through these times. I’m really looking forward to your next post. Thank you for these posts.

  47. Andi says

    I can’t wait till Friday….I need this post now! My husband works 3 weeks out of town a month and we have 5 kids ages 15-6. I don’t have a huge support net but it is getting larger as I see where God has provided. He wants to get a job where he is home more but that would mean a HUGE paycut and then I wouldn’t be able to stay home (I do work part time while the kids are in school). The other issue is that he has gotten away from his relationship with God and that breaks my heart over and over. He is home on Sundays but with it one of his “only” days off he barely gets out of bed on time and there is no help with the kids or breakfast or anything. Then he has this entitlement attitude ” well since I make more money than I would I want to go out and do what I want. ” he does take me out and spends time with the kids but he also spends money that we really don’t have . I am frustrated because then I have to take care of family finances, but when he spends what we don’t have to spend then it’s a double whammy to me.. One thing I did do for myself is get a mentor. She really encourages me to press in to God and. Ryan out to Him and that has literally saved my life and helped my marriage. I try to prepare for his time at home and make it less stressful for both of us and the times I do need a break I give him plenty of notice and do my best to make things easy on him. It’s not perfect but what situation is. I would love advice on my attitude and adjustments I can make for the better of ,y family. Friday come now! ( my husband comes home Friday so I need to know before he comes home, lol!

  48. says

    Oh Courtney, thank you for this!! I’m in the trenches of it these days. My husband took this job back in the fall and although we don’t have children, it’s still tough and quite a learning experience! Glad to know I’m not alone. Really grateful for future posts on this topic!!

  49. h says

    I can relate to the frustration and my husband is almost never gone. However, he does work 12 hour days (2 on, 2 off and every other weekend off). But, it is frustrating that all he wants to do is sit and watch television. We have 2 daughters – one is a pre-teen and the other is elementary aged. I know they need their dad in their lives. But, it’s so frustrating to have an “absent” father who is physically present. I do not feel like a married woman. I feel like a woman who is trapped in a marriage who must work full time, go to school full time, cook, clean, and then be the spiritual leader of our home because he has decided that, well, God’s just not real enough for him anymore. I’ve prayed for God to change him. I’ve prayed for God to let me see my husband the way He sees him. But, I’m bitter. I’m resentful and I’m tired. He’s not the man he used to be (compassionate, loving, affectionate, someone who I could talk to for hours on end). I know we all change. But, I’m working on growing and changing in positive ways and it’s so frustrating to see him… sitting there… flipping channels on the tv ALL day on his days off. When I do tell him what I need from him, he says that I expect too much from him and the old, “that’s not who I am.” response… of course that comes after the eye rolling and “oh, great, here we go again.” response. He doesn’t see the need to change. I’ve tried praising him for the things he does that are “right” (if he engages the girls in the conversations, if he helps around the house or if he cooks, etc). I tell him I love him. I know there are those of you don’t get to see your husbands because of deployment or other reasons. But, I live for the days when he’s gone for work because that means the television is off, I don’t have to hear the sarcastic & hurtful tone of voice, and we might actually talk to each other for 2-3 minutes about something other than his topics of choice (Star Wars and baseball– two things I used to absolutely LOVE and now have an aversion to because they are more important to him [in my opinion] than me or his children). Yes, I’m hurt and lonely and that makes me angry. I do have expectations that are not being fulfilled, but it’s not because they are too high. It’s because he refuses to try.

    • Sarah says

      I’m so sorry for your pain, h. God will honor the fact that you are respectful and loving towards your husband, even though it is very difficult. I pray that his heart will be softened, over time, and that God will be glorified all the more in this relationship.

    • Janet says

      H. I will be praying for you. There are some resources that can help you but first you must release your husband to God so the Lord can make him into the husband and father he was created to be. Read and pray the prayers in these first three books. These prayers are scripture and the Lord says that when we pray the word it will not come back to earth void. Put you and your husbands names in theses prayers. The Power of a Praying Wife, The Power of a Praying Woman, The Power of Prayer to Change Your Marriage all by Stormie Omartian. Also Wild at Hert by John Eldredge and Understanding the Man in Your Life by H. Norman Wright are all excellent. If you are up to it do the Love Dare as well. These resources will help you while you are praying for and understanding your husband. I know you are hurt and lonely but you must give that to God and forgive your husband, if you can’t find that forgiveness ask God to give it to you. Pray in the positive, (call those things that be not as though they are). Thank the Lord for your godly husband, who loves you and your children. Thank the Lord that your husband is the spiritual leader of your home etc. I do truly understand where you are coming from. Trust God to fix this but you must do your part and also leave it in God’s hands. I pray the Lord will surround you and your husband with godly and supportive friends (men for him, women for you) who will help each of you through this. Remember too that you and your husband are one flesh. Pray over him while he is sleeping, pray over the things that are taking his time, pray over your home etc. My prayers are with you.

  50. Heather says

    Thanks so much for this post. I have been hearing a lot of different marriage advice, but none that could help me prepare for my husband’s first deployment since we’ve been together. He leaves in about 4 weeks and I am starting to feel God’s hand in preparing me for this (we have a 5,3 and 2 year old) and I really appreciate getting the chance to hear that there are others out there that have survived and are still standing. I truly believe that God is going to take my relationship with Him to another level during this as I have to depend on Him more than ever and that is exciting!!

  51. Kim says

    I am in this place right now. We’ve been doing it since December and will keep doing it until the end of March. I am so lucky that it hasn’t been longer, but I am so desperate for it to be over with. I was ok at the beginning but now everytime he has to leave I cry. I know it’s hard on him too, but I can’t help but just cry. Our relationship with God and each other has grown over this time. I don’t think that change would have happened without this distance. I am so appreciative of that, but still want it done!

  52. Ashley Duran says

    Thanks for sharing! Out of 7 years of marriage and 4 children 6 and under my husband has been away 2 1/2 years and will be 3 years total when he’s done with his current assignment with the army. Gods grace is enough! We are ready to get out of the military and are trusting God for work. Please pray for us :)

  53. says

    My husband is in the army and we have have been married for 19 years. Loneliness, worry, anxiety, anger, resentment and so on have plagued many of the times he was away in training or at war. I have learned through the years and trials and ministering to friends who lost their husband to be thankful in all circumstances because even though he is not home, he is still my husband.
    Few lessons I learned were to live one day at a time. Today is a good day (Psalm 118:24), God will provide for today (Lamentations 3:23), I will not worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:24). And pray, always for every thought, every worry, every frustration and develop a heart of thankfulness (Philippians 4:6).
    Thank you for your post. Many women need to hear those truths. 19 years of learning and still learning and growing!

  54. Mel says

    So perfectly timed. We’re there now, and I appreciated the comment about his not having time/energy for friendships. I have adjusted to so most of the issues but am not sure what to do with that one! God has been so gracious this time, but I have my share of stories too. I know exactly what you mean about not wanting to be a burden on others and there are times we do very well and others we feel terribly alone, often in the same day! Bottom line, God is sufficient, he is enough and his provision is perfect.

  55. Angela says

    I feel your pain, my husband only travels a couple of times a year, but it seems that everytime he leaves, something breaks down, usually the car. Maybe it God showing us how strong we are and that we can handle it. One day we may be with out them so we need to know how to take care of those bumps in the road.

  56. Patty Hughart says

    Thank you for sharing ~ I love reading your stories and the variety of topics. I know what it is like but have to say that at my age and stage in life it’s been a bit easier. Our kids are now grown and this is the third year my husband travels for work. I guess what has made it easier is I stay busy with my aging parents who we’ve moved in with us. Although, I definitely look forward to when my husband is home and make time for him, so that he too can look forward to coming home from his work week.

  57. Janet says

    Courtney, we have been living that life for almost 12 years with him on the road 48 weeks a year and often in another country. I understand all that you said and more and how difficult it is to maintain while raising three children with no family within 2500 miles. I do understand the difficulty of maintaining a loving and intimate “long distance” relationship. The new technology has made it easier to keep in tough but it is tough. I understand being the “single mom” during the week and the “married mom and wife” on the weekends. I understand being the only one at home responsible for the nurture and care, the security and the raising of our children. The endless days getting everything done, feeling all alone, the sleepless nights, the worry, the fear, and the utter loneliness because it is so difficult to connect with other friends when you have your hubby home for less than 48 hours. There are many of us living this kind of life but what is so difficult is there is no support “group” to help all of us get through. Many of us don’t share just simply because of security reasons or because of the too often heard “we’re here for you” but people are really not When we were in the military many years back we were all there together, supporting each other, understanding with just a look at someone’s eyes. But now living this life out in the civilian world, there is no support, even those at church and close friends truly do not understand. I am happy you are writing about this. This is a much needed subject in today’s world. The Lord is the only one who can truly bring all of us through this time in our lives. For some it is a short time and for others it is a long term situation. But when I start to feel really down, I think about my friends whose husbands are fishing in the Bearing Sea for 9-10 months of the year in the most dangerous profession on earth, I think of our friends and family who are still serving on active duty and am truly thankful that our time with active duty is over. I think of friends whose husbands were taken from this earth all too soon and they must carry on alone. I think of friends whose husbands are battling long term cancer and even though they are home the wife must carry the load of the children, the home, the finances and caring for her husband. It is so easy to get down when we spend so much time alone but there is always someone else who has a more difficult situation than we do. May the Lord guide your words and give you great wisdom when writing about this subject.

  58. says

    We’ve been married for 33 years, and I have wrestled with my husband traveling much of that time. My first response was to wail to the Lord that it wasn’t supposed to be that way, that I got married so we could be together! But it seemed my husband only had to travel more.

    Eventually God helped me to make peace with it, and a couple of years ago I wrote a post about it, here: http://barbarah.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/coping-when-husband-is-away/. I’ve been surprised that it is one of my posts that receives the most “hits.” With so many businesses going global, I guess travel is more of a factor for many jobs.

    Though it’s hard, especially when kids are small, God does give grace.

  59. Karen says

    We did this for four years. I stayed in our house while kids finished school and then finally I have moved to the city where he has been working for 4 years. It is something you just do. You do not make him feel guilty for being home just on weekends. You just love him while he is there and you talk or instant message every night when you are apart. He had it hard, too — probably harder. I am thankful we have our ‘empty nest’ although it changes next month when his mom (age 93) comes to live with us. I totally miss my old neighborhood, my friends, my church… the new home feels strange and lonely.

  60. Sara says

    Thank you so much for this post and your ministry in general. I truly believe it was no accident that I stumbled upon this blog one day about two years ago during a time of great struggle in my marriage and family. As a new mother of twin girls living farm from my own family as well as my husband’s, I have been so very touched by your writing and videos throughout the past couple of years. I have rediscovered my faith as a result and in turn my life has improved in countless areas. Your ministry and ability to touch so many women on such a personal level is a great blessing . Thank you for all that you do.

  61. Linda H says

    After many Father’s Days with my husband going out of town for a trade show, I decided that this one year his return home would be memorable. I cooked a fabulous dinner and coerced my son (a teen at this time) to be the waiter, white shirt, black pants and a towel over his sleeve. I put on my black cocktail dress and laid clothes out for Rich downstairs in one of the bedrooms. When he came in, he couldn’t see me but I told him to go downstairs and change for dinner. While he dressed, I lit the candles, turned down the lights in the living room and lit the fire. When he came upstairs he was blown away. It is still one of our most memorable times together. By the way, when my son was done serving…I told him he could retreat to his room and my husband and I moved into the living room to watch the fire and talk. After that…well….

  62. says

    Thank you for posting on this topic! It’s so rarely touched on, but is one of the hardest things to deal with in marriage (in my opinion.)

    My husband in a welder in the oil & gas industry and travels for months at a time, with no predictable schedule or return date, and as soon as he is home from one job, he is shipped off to the next. None of my friends can relate and my family isn’t of much help (actually, they’re of NO help, but that’s another story.)

    I’m actually considering homeschooling my children to alleviate some of the stress that comes from this lifestyle in order to have more flexibility in going to visit my husband. We get a lot of flack for our “lifestyle” (the comments go from “he shouldn’t be away so much” to “you’re strong enough, you can do it on your own” to “how DARE you even consider homeschooling your children because of his career — suck it up and deal.”

    So, again, thank you for touching on this. I can’t wait to read the entire series. :)

    God bless!

    • JuliAnne says

      Ashely..my husband is a union insulator in the O&G and for other high-temp lines. SOMEONE GETS IT!!! We have been doing this for six years…same thing as you, on the job for who knows how long – a couple weeks, a couple months, maybe a year- and then off again. We count our time not in days spent together…but in hours. (so far since Christmas, we have seen each other 7 hours. Expecting a shut-down, and should get 12 hours on March 2nd) I chose to stay home with our special needs daughter and live in an area with no family and no real support. I did pull her out to homeschool this year, because others don’t get it. The kids would tell her that my husband and I must really be divorced…and divorced kids are ordered by the courts to see their Dads every other weekend. The comments you share – I’ve heard them too….and cried alone in my room for hours every night. I didn’t get married to be alone, I tell myself. I want a partner. I struggle every day with feeling like a failure because I can’t be a Mom and a Dad and a housekeeper and a teacher and keep it all together. Over and over he tells me this is his trade, there are hundreds of other guys who work like this, and their wives don’t move with them, so I should have no problem finding other wives to talk to (and of course, why do you need to talk about our business anyway *sigh*)
      I am so glad I have finally ‘met’ one of these other wives. The union is a brotherhood…I think there should be a sisterhood for traveler’s wives :)
      God Bless!

  63. says

    Courtney, what a challenging post. My husband has always traveled a little bit. The weekends are the hardest for me since that is when we’d be on a different schedule when he wasn’t home, and now that I don’t have kids at home I need to make a schedule and take care of myself so I’m not a wreck when he gets home.

    I’ve always felt a little guilty. I mean, really, he just travels a little bit. I have friends that have similar stories as above and travel is just part of their rhythm of their life. I’ve felt guilty by even admitting that it was hard. After all if I was really godly then I’d be ok, especially since it is ministry that he is traveling for, and it’s not like it is a normal part of his life.

    Thanks for giving practical advise. I linked this series to my blog. I hope that was ok. :)

  64. Angie says

    My husband is Active Duty Air Force, so this is a common thing for us. In fact, he leaves again tomorrow. This time he’ll be gone for only about 12 days, but it still hurts that he has to go. I say that “this is just part of the deal” and it is, but it is a lot more than that. It’s painful to be going through a marriage that isn’t at it’s best, and then throw in the physical separation. Thank you for posting this, and for the posts you’ll do about it in the future. I know I need it!

  65. Marsha says

    I could so relate to the stories I’ve read here today! One theme that ran through many of the posts was the difficulty of parenting and maintaining a home with no one to share in that task from day to day. Like so many that responded, I have been through times when I found my responsibilities to be exhausting, and sometimes heartbreakingly difficult, often more so because of the isolation of feeling that I was the only one going through this, that it wasn’t the normal order of things, and that no one could really understand. Unlike the others whose responses I have read today, I am not in this position because of my husband’s work responsibilities. I don’t just “feel like a single mom”, I am one, to 3 kids ages 11-17, who struggle with the aftermath of the circumstances that brought us to this point, as well as the difficulties that confront them daily as they struggle with the effects of their ADHD-related disabilities.
    I am an faithful member of my church, and thank God for the safe haven, support and affirming Christ presence that this church affords my children. However, for myself, I do feel that my struggle and sense of isolation are no less a barrier to true compassion and fellowship within the church than anywhere else.
    I realize that these comments may make it seem that I don’t belong in this forum, but perhaps my point is this: Please look past those circumstances that would seem to distance me and make me appear “other”, and see that we share many of the same struggles. If those things that are most needed by you in your situations: respect, compassion, understanding, and support, are extended to all women with similar struggles, regardless of the reason for their circumstances, then I believe we act with the heart of Christ.

  66. Ellisa says

    I’m living through another deployment and feel this way from time to time. It’s overwhelming when I have the moment to sit and think about all the things that need done and I didn’t get to. It’s not easier, but it’s comforting, to know that there are so many others who are feeling this way at this exact same moment.
    Looking forward to reading more on this!

  67. Jennifer says

    My husband traveled a fair amount when our oldest children were little, and I learned one thing very well: perspective is everything! I could grumble about ‘more travel,’ or I could choose to be grateful that it was ‘only’ a plane ticket and not a pink slip/layoff notice. I could choose to focus on how isolated I felt with 4 children in 5 years and no husband around to help, or I could choose to be proactive about inviting others to share an afternoon or dinner. I could choose to mope about the fact that I never got any time off, or I could ask someone to watch my crew for a few hours in exchange for something of value to her (sometimes I exchanged babysitting time for a delivered dinner–it forced me into cooking ‘real’ dinners for my crew, which was an added benefit.) Deliberately choosing to focus on the opportunities and blessings of having my husband travel made it much easier to tolerate. I would never say I loved it, but maintaining a focus on the positives made it much easier to bear. And by focusing on the positives and thanking God for His blessing and the opportunities of this season, my road weary husband came home to a wife who was grateful, not grumpy.

  68. Heather says

    Thank You! I have been in this state for three years. I could right a book of all the trials I have been through with my husband on the road. I have learned so much over these years and grown to rely more on the Lord and not on myself!

  69. Dawn says

    A GREAT BIG THANK YOU & A BIG HUG!! I TOO NEEDED THIS TODAY & (EVERYDAY)!
    YOU ARE A JOY AND A BLESSING TO US WHO ARE STRUGGLING WITH THIS AND THINKING WE ARE ALONE!!!
    THANK YOU AGAIN!!!

  70. Liz says

    This is terrible but we have a hard time coping when he is home out of schedule. He works out of the home and due to some craziness with the internet a lot of that work in done in the houes and not his office. This causes us to rearrange all our plans, well I have given up on the planning. It messes up our schedules often times we seek refuge elsewhere because we are too loud. I have even considered going back to the workforce and putting the boys in school. Sad to say but we prefere for him to travel and work than work at home. :( He does not travel on a regular schedule so it makes it hard on us to keep a good routine.

  71. Stacie says

    Courtney,

    Thank you for this today. My husband doesn’t work out of town but spent his first of 4 weeks of training out of town last week – Sunday @ noon through Friday at 8pm. Left again yesterday. I was depressed by Thursday of last week, just 5 days of him being gone. Not that he does much with the kids (i.e. baths, meals, etc) but having him home to do the “man” stuff. I could really relate to the “fear of an intruder in the night” scenario you mentioned above.

    However, the more I thought about it over the last couple of days, leading up to his departure again yesterday, the more I realize just how fortunate I am in that this is just 4 weeks. I have so much respect for the spouses of our military – they deal with this for much longer periods of time and their signigicant others are in harms way!! How selfish of me!!

    Prayers and praises for our military spouses who have to endure this to such a degree. My heart goes out to them.

    Thanks again, Courtney! I love your blog!

  72. DD says

    Thank you for this! I was having a bit of a melt down this afternoon…. This is my life and knowing that someone out there has been through it and understands is a blessing to me today.

  73. Miss Rebekah Ann S. says

    Thank you so much for your post!! I’m 20 and my boyfriend has recently entered the Air National Guard and will be leaving for 6 months of basic training and tech school in 2 weeks. So, while we’re not yet married, I already gained so much comfort and strength from your post and also from the wonderful commenters. It helps so much to know I’m not alone! Thank you! :)

    Blessings,
    Rebekah

  74. Jessica says

    Oh. My. Goodness. I SO needed this today! Your post is a perfect reminder to me that God is in control and cares deeply about my struggles. We are right in the middle of a deployment and my husband easily spends 200 days away every single year due to his job (military). I have struggled to even function at times as I do life with our 4 yr old, 2 yr old, and 6 month old. I need to lean on the Lord every.single.day. Sometimes it’s a minute by minute struggle! However, I have seen ABUNDANT growth in mine and my husbands walk with the Lord–growth that never would have happened had we not experienced hard times. It has taken me awhile but I now THANK God for those trials that have produced fruit for his kingdom. I am comforted to know my husband is praying for me and our children. I am so far from good at doing this life that He has called me to live and am continually learning what it means to have the Lord use my weaknesses to show his strength. Can’t wait to hear your next post! A “Tip” that my husband came up with is to both read a portion of scripture each week and then talk about it on Skype. It is a great way to help us each grow, stay connected spiritually, and also something productive to talk about other than me continually telling him everything that went wrong that day! :)

  75. Leslie hoyer says

    You know what I feel and how I feel. We have a 16, 11 & 10… Two per puberty hormones flying and one trying to be grown up think she knows best… I wish and pray for him to get a different job but we live in a rural small town and there are no jobs where we could keep our house too… He was home only 2.5 months total last year

  76. Donna says

    I can totally relate to this topic. For an entire decade, my husband has worked in another state, only coming home 2 weekends a month. When he started this job, our oldest just started college, we had 2 in high school and one in middle school. Now, I’m an empty-nester. We have learned to adapt after hitting rock bottom and seeking some Godly counseling. I have come to a place of contentment, but now struggle with wondering if I miss him enough. After a decade, it’s just the way it is…..right?? Or should I miss him every second of the day? God has richly blessed me with wonderful friends and a great part-time job so my days are generally full. I just wonder if I should be pining away for him…….???

    • Ashley says

      Just out of curiousity, if all the kids are gone..how come you can’t move to be with him? I can’t imagine how hard that must be :(

      • Donna says

        I haven’t moved to where my husband works because it’s a contract position. We had no idea when he went into this that it would last an entire decade. His contract is renewed every 3-6 months and could be over at anytime. Since our kids still live in or near our hometown, I’ve just stayed here. We are sooo thankful for the constant work since we were able to provide our kids with college educations. But, the price to our marriage, our kids lives (feelings of abandonment, etc.) have been high. I continue to trust in God’s sovereignty!!! :)

  77. Donna says

    P.S. I have had mice in our garage, a bat flying around our bedroom and a snake in the garage, along with things breaking, etc. while my husband is gone. Oh, and several black widows!!! Aaaahhh! :)

  78. says

    I’m really looking forward to this series. Everything you wrote about totally rang true to me, even though my husband doesn’t travel as much as he used to, it’s still a difficulty to deal with. Bless you in your encouragement and writing. :)

    P.S. I had to giggle about the mouse story. I know it was HORRIBLE at the time, but I bet it will become a very funny “family” story as the years go by and the kids will get a kick out of hearing it many times over the years. (I know mine would!)

  79. Lori says

    My husband is active duty and currently re-training. About a month after he started I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The last 7 months have been a test of faith and patience as we have navigated chemo and surgery and a long distance relationship. I am thankful this experience is almost over. In 2 months we move to San Antonio and will be together again as I finish up radiation and move forward cancer free.

  80. says

    I literally cried reading this and I don’t consider myself much of a crier. You articulated so well how hard it is and sometimes I feel so alone – I don’t know anyone else who’s husband travels as much. As sad as I am that others have to deal with this, I’m grateful knowing I’m not alone. We all have our stories to tell . . .

  81. jen says

    I completely relate to this! My husband has had quite a few traveling salesmen jobs over the years. One of those consisted of him being gone every Sunday or Monday through Thursday or Friday. Every single week. He’d come home and we’d get him unpacked and repacked for the next trip. It was LONELY. I experienced similar things to what was mentioned here. Many times calling on a neighbor! My, then 3 year old used to say, “that’s where daddy works”, when we’d pass the airport. :( It was very lonely for all of us, my husband included.
    I wanted to mention the importance of prayer for our husbands while they travel. (forgive me if someone already mentioned this. I can’t read all the posts at the moment due to my 2 year old tugging at me!) Anyhow I think prayer in marriage is key in general-together as well as separately. But crucial while our husbands travel. The enemy does not want marriages to work and will do anything he can to destroy. There are many temptations out there and our husbands need our prayers to remain strong in the battle. We always send him with pictures of us to put in his room. I pray for my husband to remember and persevere in his prayer time while he is gone. Prayer can save marriages-and has!!
    Thank you Courtney for another great post! God bless~

  82. Laura says

    One thing that really helps me is to count my blessings. I had always wanted to get married and have kids right out of college, but God didn’t choose to give me a husband until a few years later. That time of wanting, waiting, and praying has really helped me to appreciate my husband and our relationship so much more even on nights when he is away from home. I am just so, so incredibly grateful to have him, and thinking about that makes the time away seem like much less of a burden. Before marriage I spent 365 nights a year alone (and many people still do), but I’m so blessed not to spend nearly so many nights alone after marriage.
    Also, I think it’s so easy to compare ourselves and get jealous of others who don’t see to have to deal with the same challenges. The thing I often forget is that they have their own challenges. Maybe their husband rarely travels, but they have many other trials and struggles.

  83. Zujey Resendez says

    Can I just say I am here right now. As a matter of fact, I was talking to
    my sister who lives 800 miles away and I was telling her, how hard it is to
    be so “a single mom” when my hubby travels 3 weeks of the month and to top
    it of I am sooooo sick. I have a fever and cannot do anything because my 4
    year old also has a fever and my 10 month old has a runny nose. I praise
    God for your ministry, this gave me much encouragement needed!

  84. Chris says

    Thank you Courtney, for keeping it real. It is posts like this one that make me love your blog. As the wife of a traveling man, I can so relate. I too would get jealous that my husband “got to” get away from the kids, eat nice meals in a restaurant, and sit in a peaceful, quiet hotel room! Your mouse story made me laugh. I’m sure you weren’t laughing then, though! I can use a few tips myself- my hubby has been gone the last 9 out of 11 days. For us, skyping helps!

  85. Tanya says

    Thanks so much for this! Although I haven’t had some of these happen I have had others. Some ask why I live like this. Others pitty me. We go were God leads us and if that means the hubby being away then I adjust to take care of things. Do I like it? No! Will I do it? Yes. It’s like cleaning the toilet. Nobody likes to but you do it anyway.
    I can’t wait to read part 2!

  86. says

    Courtney, so many of us ladies can relate to this- its so hard to be married yet be alone!!!!I love that you wrote about this -its like a BIG hug and “I feel ya” over the computer screen. I went through this for only 1 year with Geoff- his territory was in California -he was gone a total of 4 months that year and I had 2 babies at home…I remember him calling me from a fancy hotel while he ate “lobster bisque” – I sat in a home terrorized by every music making toy ever made all over the place eating leftover crust from Gabby’s peanut butter and jelly. I slept with every light and TV on- holding a phone. Married friends would have the kids and me over to pass the time- but I couldn’t help but feel half a family the entire time! You blessed me and I know SOOO many other Ladies out there with this post !!! God has used this challenge for His good -look at all the fruit you’ve produced!!! Love you, Nelle

  87. CloePD says

    Nice! So grateful for women like you who are RELEVANT in loving God!

    ME = Mom of a 3 year old, 4 year old & 7 months pregnant

    HUSBAND = traveling sales executive that’s gone at least once a week for, with his travel that changes on a dime and includes some weekends

    US = married almost 9 years, together for 12 1/2 and he’s traveled for his job since I ever knew him

    HOME = in the country with roughly 20 animals to take care of on a Hobby Farm, but blessed with a handful of LOVELY neighbors we consider some of our closest friends

    LIFESTYLE = never bored, very people-focused, my family out of state, his family nearby and ever helpful, entertain often from friends popping by > small group > to big parties > even hosting weddings, always seem to have a big home project going, very active in volunteering at our church

    FAVORITE QUOTES of YOURS = “but I hate being a burden on others because of our life choices.”, “to “feel” like a single mom”, anytime you referred to times as “another @#$!@ moment” Ha, ha…

    OUR STRUGGLES
    1. Communication – we don’t talk when he’s out of town and when we do it seems to be all logistics
    2. Getting it all done – the better I do getting on top of “my to do’s”, the better I can help him…we’re getting there; but with big projects it makes it hard to do. Finding any sort of routine with ULTRA flexibility seems near impossible at times
    3. Family Meals – going out to eat is an easy fix and habit for him, so meal planning for our family to be home together (again) seems nearly impossible
    4. Couple Growth – with so much going on and the usual “baby-making years”…couple time is REALLY HARD to accomplish

    LESSONS LEARNED/or learnING (so far) =
    1. Can’t do it without our Father’s grace & mercy
    2. SO grateful for an answer to prayer over a year a go = a passion to read His Word & pray daily before the kids woke up…something I couldn’t see myself “surviving” without
    3. To be a “PURE & RESPECTFUL wife” (I Peter 3) – trust me, this was “another @#$!@ moment” for me when I read this! Ha, ha
    4. Not focusing on him for emotional fulfillment…looking to God my Father = HUGE lesson I learn almost daily! It’s part of our “curse” to always desire our husbands, but it is our job to look to God and fulfill our job to LOVE according to his Word. Again, “another @#$!@ moment”…but something God blesses out of when we obey
    5. Speaking about obedience…the more I notice I obey and trust Him with what He’s given me, the more He makes things happen I could NEVER dream of! I do my best to confess/apologize/ask forgiveness in my life as to try to be as pure of a funnel of His love as I can.
    6. Letting go of my desires of how things “should be done” and my time while juggling what seems to be a “bajillion” things at once and following our Father’s will on what seems to be His priority for us during a season of time or that moment of the day. OUCH! Seems crazy to most, but I couldn’t feel more where He wants us when we do it…even if it’s COMPLETELY contrary to how I THINK things should be done. LOL :)

    Looking forward to your next article…I RARELY reply to online stuff like this, but am grateful my sister shared it with me! I’ve looked hard for related books and such on this topic and am grateful for your efforts and wisdom out of love for our Father in Heaven!

  88. says

    Courtney,
    Thank you so much for this post…I cried while reading it because yes I am in this spot. My husband works for the railroad and is on call around the clock. He never knows whether he will be gone for a day or a week until he gets that call. My oldest daughter (who is now 7) hardly even knew who he was the first year of her life! His schedule has flucuated so much in the past 13 years that I just commit to enjoying the times that he IS able to be home and I keep praying that he will have a more set schedule soon.
    I can’t wait to read part 2…

  89. marie says

    Wow what an amazing post about the struggles of maintaining and running a home whether our husbands are at home or not.

    It’s interesting that eve when created was never alone as she had God n Adam ould the lonliness we feel be related to the fall of man?

    Whatever the answer may be I leave with you a phrase I learned recently in Hebrew : Hazaq V’ Amatz (Haazaaq Vaah Amaatz)

    It means Be Strong and courageous taken from Joshua 1:6-9

    God bless we are never alone. :)

  90. Kira says

    I cried reading this post because today my husband (who has been gone since the day before thanksgiving and was supposed to be home the day before Valentine’s) told me that instead of being home this friday, he will not be home until monday… None of my friends have husbands who travel and none of them know. You know. Thank you.

  91. Julia Neville says

    WOW! I am not alone! WOW! Thank you so much for this I needed it sooooo much! My husband just left for Serbia for training for work! He is out of town about 3 weeks out of the month! It’s been tough but God has been my strength! It helps too having 2 of my amazing friends coming over for dinner and helping me with the kids with just playing with them or even just talking to them!
    I’ll take anything! LOL
    Thank you very much for this!!!

  92. Heather says

    I have to admit this post made me tear up. I know this blog focuses on marriage, and I try to glean as much as I can from your wisdom; hoping to use it at a later date.

    I, too, can relate to each of these things and more. However, I don’t have a husband coming home at the end of the week. I don’t have a husband coming home from a deployment (though coming from a military family, I humbly admire and respect what you wives live through). I don’t have a husband. And this is not by choice. I suppose you can trace it back to the point where I chose the man who WAS my husband; but I did not choose to have him walk out on his family and marriage vows.

    I face these challenges every day without the hope of a man’s help. I don’t even have any family nearby to help. Most of the family that is within an hour’s drive is disgusted with my decision to continue to homeschool my children. I have chosen to live without certain ‘extras’ in order to keep them at home. Add to this mix the fact that one of my children has special needs.

    I don’t say all of this to complain or gain sympathy. I just want to put things in perspective. There are many of us Christian women out there who are in these types of situations. We have to find the will, strength, and courage to face each day with no hope of someone coming home. Many of us know where to find that strength, but it’s not always easy. I hold on to Phil 4:13 and the story of Joshua’s courage. I try to remember that God’s word says “be not afraid” 365 times for a reason. But I struggle too. I cry. I fear. I worry. I need a break. I need a restaurant meal that doesn’t include french fries. I need a movie that doesn’t include animation. I need to have conversations about a fifth grade level.

    But here’s the thing… What I really need is an earthly husband; and my children need an earthly father! However, the chances of meeting one are slim to none when your outings consist of doctors’ appointments, grocery store, library, and church. Prospects are slim when there’s no one to watch your children so you can get out.

    I’m sorry. I know I’m rambling. I know your posts are aimed at married women ~ as they should be ~ and I’m a minority when it comes to your readership. Thanks for the hope you provide to so many wives.

  93. says

    What a powerful post. I too know what many of those things are like. I am going to put a link to this on my website because I want women to read this and be encouraged= to know thy are not alone

  94. Tiffany Desgroseilliers says

    I can’t wait to read the second part of this post! My husband doesn’t travel, but as a CPA he works long hours 7 days a week for 6 months out of the year. He is gone when the kids wake up and home after they go to bed. I struggle with feeling jealous of the lunches out and the parenting responsibilities he misses out on. Looking forward to being encouraged (and challenged)! Thanks for sharing this part of your story!

  95. KJ says

    Thank you so much for this post! I saw it the other day & knew it would have to wait to be read…my husband is getting ready to deploy..again…But I read it this morning… I laughed!! I cried!! I feel so blessed to have read this and the other uplifting comments and stories from others. Although we have been through this before, this one just “feels” different. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s because my son is a little bit older, he doesn’t remember the other deployments. I am so very thankful that it is shorter than many other deployments, but a deployment is still a deployment…he is seperated from us and is in harms way. So many great scripture reminders to stay strong in the Lord!! Thanks !!

  96. says

    Oh my goodness! I am SO in that situation right now and not due to any choice.

    We have 4 boys, 2 with special needs. My dear husband was a minister at a church very close to our former home and we homeschooled. Life was not necessarily “easy”, but we were together. We were very happy. Then out of the blue the church could no longer afford to have my husband on staff. He was let go. My husband went from being a minister to an over the road trucker leaving me with 4 very needy little boys. We moved into my in-law’s one bed room apartment attached to their house. My children were being put into public school. My best friend was gone and I had no friends. I recently wrote an article on my blog about this and discussed how we need to *choose* to be content in all of our circumstances knowing that God is molding us, shaping us, and preparing us for the “next chapter”. :)

    But I can so relate to the Sunday morning rush, the lonely suppers, and the emptiness. My husband is gone for 3-4 weeks at a time and home for 3-4 days after that. I am happy to share, however, that this season will soon end with him being back in full-time ministry and home with us :)

  97. April says

    Oh boy do I know what your talking about! I have SO been there! My husband was gone more days last year than he was home (about the same # of days as your husband)traveling for his job. It was the most difficult time of my life. Taking care of our 3 sons by myself was quite a challenge. Though that season is over, he still stays very busy working a full time job and starting a business on the side. He doesn’t have to travel much now but he just so happens to be away for business right now and I am missing him so bad! Those were some of the loneliest days ever and it’s comforting that others know how it feels. All my friends and family had their husbands home with them and it just was so lonesome. Looking back, I am glad for those tough days because thats when I became so dependent on the Lord and he truely became my closest friend.

  98. says

    Wow, Courtney! You certainly seem to have struck a nerve with so many women here. I, too, am in the frequently-traveling-husband boat…at times, anyway. It usually comes in spurts, and it’s never for longer than 2 weeks, so I’m blessed there. But with 5 children under 7 (including 5-month-old twins) and homeschooling and teaching fitness classes and…you know how it is (yes, you do!).

    One of my most memorable $%! moments came one night when I was talking on the phone with my husband and heard our garage door opening (even though I hadn’t opened it), and then a cacophony of clanging and rustling noises.

    And I was whisper/screaming to my husband on the phone: “BABY! I think there’s someone or something breaking into our garage!!!!!! What do I do??!”

    And he was so worried.

    And I was inching my way over to the kitchen knives.

    And my heart was beating out of my chest.

    Are you on the edge of your seat, waiting for the climax yet??

    Well, I finally worked up the gumption to tiptoe to the utility room door…where I could see the garage door opening and closing itself erratically and producing all the noise and clanging…

    At which point I suddenly remembered that I’d hidden a garage door opener under a rock the day before so a neighbor could use it. And I had forgotten to retrieve it, it had rained, and the dang thing was short-circuiting.

    Ah. The relief was so strong!

    ANYhoo, I, too, look forward to your series and am grateful to know I’m not alone in this single-mama-with-a-husband business.

    P.S. I’m real-life BFF’s with Mandy of Biblical Homemaking (I blog at Five days…5 ways) and have been reading along with you for a while, but this is my first time to delurk and comment. Thanks for your blog and your obvious commitment to Jesus!

  99. Michelle says

    I’m amazed at how many other women can relate – I thought I was just one of a few! My husband spends at least 3 out of four weeks on the road. Our children are 18 and 12, so the challenges have changed, but it’s still difficult. Last summer our son (then 17) tried to commit suicide. My husband of course stayed home that long, agonizing week while our son was in a stress center, but he was back on the road that following Monday morning. (I’m a stay at home mom, who else was going to put food on the table and pay for our insurance?) I said it then and I say it now: it was harder on my husband to be gone every single week that summer than it was on me.

    I look back and realize that God allowed all of it – the suicide attempt, my husband’s nightmare travel schedule, my son’s challenging recovery – to bring me closer to Him. If my husband had not been gone, I simply would have leaned on him and not on God. But at the beginning and end of each day, God was all I had. I was sapped of energy, confidence and any strength of my own. I have tears in my eyes just remembering that awful season, but joy in my heart because the blessings were and are amazing. The Lord never left my side, I had all that I needed. Isn’t God good?

    Thanks again for sharing your heart. Blessings to you!

  100. Fiona says

    Hi everyone; thanks, Courtney for the thoughts you shared here and in part 2. My husband and I are living apart for a year while he starts a job overseas and I keep the home fires going so one of our children can finish some important school exams. I’ve had all the emotions you describe (thankfully not the mouse-horror though!!). It’s also made us very thankful for employment – so many people are losing jobs just now, so that gives us sharp perspective. The challenges my husband has faced in a new culture have made me see him in a new light, and to appreciate his abilities, which I might have become blind to when we were both bumbling along at home. I’ve also found that while it’s hard, it’s also a gift from God because both hubby & I have had to depend harder on God than we’ve done for a while. Perhaps the Lord planned this time for (amongst other things) our growth. We’ve had some very urgent prayer needs so far, and have seen them answered beautifully in God’s time. If you’re struggling to see a point to this kind of situation, please be encouraged by the answers we’ve seen to prayer – God really is faithful.

  101. says

    I had to laugh at so many of these … hubby is active duty military and it’s just a given that things that are perfectly fine will break the second he walks out the door for a year deployment (or close to it), the kids will get sick and the mice will come to play! …. we’ve been married 23 years and he’s been home 11 so yep your post resonates!! :) (and lets just add the stress of knowing he’s in harm’s way, can’t always communicate, and you must deal with endless bureaucracy as well shall we?! :D)

  102. Katie says

    I laughed and I cried when I read this. I can so relate, especially to the mouse story. I had a similar one recently, when my husband was gone and I was home with my three littles. I’m not sure if my kids will ever be the same! (or me :))

  103. says

    This was such a perfect read for this lonely, husband-less night. I laughed when my husband called as I was halfway through the comments; he’s been gone for a month and it’s the first I’ve heard from him in a week.

    Like so many of your readers, we’re military, and are barreling down fast on our first deployment, with many long absences for training even before that deployment begins. I’m home with five children, and yes, all the mice. Jumping over to Part 2 as soon as I get this house into some semblance of order, if I don’t fall asleep first. :)

  104. Heather Dickerson says

    Thank you for sharing your story. I cried while reading it because it came so close to my life and while I’m sitting here feeling so alone it made me see I’m not the only one struggling with this. I have two children, ages 10 and 6, and this is new for us just in the past 6 months and not likely to change to where my husband is gone all week for work so we only see him on the weekends and its been a big and hard change for the kids and especially on me. I do feel like a single mom and you are right everything does go wrong when he is gone and sometimes it all becomes all too overwhelming for me. I do have an all new perspective on single moms, I don’t know how they do it, they are stronger, better, women than I, I am not cut out for this and some days I don’t know how I’ll keep going! Also as with you when my husband is home he is tired and wants to do nothing but stay home and doesn’t even have the energy at night to be intimate. I’m also trying to deal with other issues and now depression but hopefully I can find more of these posts and find some inspiration and strength from all you other wonderful, strong women!

  105. Sherry says

    Thank you so much for sharing. I can completely relate because this is pretty much my life less the kids. My husband is a traveling electrician. In 2012 he was gone 208 days (not to mention he works a varying schedule of days/nights, is on call 365 24/7 and working local the other 157 days of the year). I work full time, keep the house and laundry, yard, bills, appointments, take care of our 3 dogs, help my aging parents, help care for our 9 year old niece, all the while praying that nothing major goes wrong…needless to say I am often exhausted. When my husband does get to come home it is often just for one day so we spend it running errands and doing laundry so it literally feels like we go 24/7 365 but rarely see each other. We do try to talk daily and make the most of our time together when we have it.

    I cried when reading this because this is my life, again less the kids, but never the less this is my life. It is often not fun, always hard work, and it can be painfully lonely, but I am also thankful that my husband has a job when so many others do not. We are in the process of trying to find him another job that allows him to make the same amount of money and be home every night but until that day comes we both press on and remain strong because that’s our only option.

  106. Lori Blough says

    I too have a husband that travels from Sunday through (late) Friday night. Then Saturday he is busy doing the administrative expense statement tasks. We live on property with horses and there is ALWAYS something breaking, frozen or escaping at my house. Many times I’ve cried while out in 10 degree cold in the barn because the water pump froze and he is in Arizona in 80 degree sunshine!! It is exhausting and many times I’ve fallen to my knees crying out to God for help. And he is always there to offer his loving arms to sustain me. Because my husband is a God fearing, prayer warrior, it need not worry about him cheating as some women would. I thank God every day for that. Thank you for this blog. It is wonderful to hear from other women who share the same challenges.

  107. Kristen says

    I just read this and laughed a little and cried a lot because I have been living this for six years and have experienced almost every single thing that you did. I try to find joy in the journey. Thank you for posting because you really do know. It’s very difficult to discuss these emotions with friends or family because they don’t understand it at all.

  108. Ashley says

    How reading this just made me feel so normal. My husband is a civilian contractor overseas for 21/2 years now and I have two small children and its so hard. He is gone 4 to 5 months and home for 2 weeks then goes back another 4 to 5 months. I am at my breaking point. I feel so lonley at this point as if I am on piolet trying to get through each day w a smile on my face for my children. I don’t think I can handle this life anymore. I could never tell my husband that though. His dreams and hope for our family are of a man w so much courage and what a amazing provider he is. Inlove and miss him so much. He is my best friend. My son has mild autisim and my daughter has ADHD and I have lost so many friends from having kids so young then them having issues my immature friends couldn’t handle. I feel lost. I just want to find that strong independent woman I once was. I truly miss her. I am 27 and feel 20 years older. I am always so happy when my husband is home but its for such a short time and the good bye puts me into a state of severe depresion anymore. I just want my life back a family. I have worked to hard for my children to loose what a family is. I don’t care if we have nothing. We grew up w nothing. Ugh sorry for sounding selfish just am tierd lol. I love reading I am not the only who feels alone.

  109. Megan says

    Thank you so much for posting this. I feel like a whimp even complaining about this when so many military wives do so much with their husband gone. God says He is near the heavy hearted and my heart is so heavy. My husband sells wine for a living and has to travel every other week, we haved lived in three different cities in 2 years. We have an 8 month old and another one due in November. I feel so incredibly overwhemled and alone, we just moved out here 3 months ago and have strugged to meet people. I feel myself being so angry and bitter at him eventhough I know he is just trying to provide for our family. Please just pray for my heart that it will truely reflect Christ’s grace and that I will make friends out here. God bless all wives, and God bless our servicemen!

  110. Daisy says

    Oh my goodness. I cannot say that I know what that feels like. I landed on this site through google because I am in a long distance relationship with a medical student in the military. We have been doing the whole long distance thing for 13 months and it has been hard. I love him and he loves me and we have so much trust, it is amazing.

    My life isn’t like yours right now. But reading your post and all of the comments hurt my heart. I think, wow…. the lives of the women with husbands who have careers in the military are full of sacrifice and a lot of loneliness. How do you overcome all of those feelings?

    You are all married, so I guess at this point you have made your covenants and are going to keep them because that is what matters and because it is the honorable thing to do, not to mention all the love you must have for that one man.

    But I, I have not made any covenants to this man yet… and now I am scared that after these 13 months that have been extremely hard, it is all just beginning. We talk about marriage and I get excited because I think, if we get married, we will finally be together… but I am not sure about that after landing on this page. Sure, in theory we will be one in holy matrimony, but in life, he will be away and I will be alone in an unfamiliar city with kids and a dog (cause I want a dog). And you guys are right, he will probably be tired when he is home…

    May I ask you something… if anyone reads this please answer my question… is all the loneliness and sacrifice worth it? I am terrified that I will not like it, that I will not make it with this man because of all of these circumstances you all describe. The work I can deal with… that is easy. But the time apart is what exhausts me.

    I can’t imagine a life full of moments of yearning, yearning for his warm hands to embrace my face, longing, longing to hear him laugh with my, wanting, wanting to be held and to make love, anxiety, not hearing his voice even on the phone, children, being strong for them and me, missing, missing having him around… I have felt some of these things for 13 months for a man that isn’t even my husband, and I don’t think it gets better when you say I do… does it?

    I hope I get a reply because this put all my fears into perspective. People who have never gone through a long distance relationship often times have a hard time relating or being able to imagine all of the feelings and things people go through.

    I cannot wait for your next post!

  111. Crissy says

    I really needed to read this tonight. There is a strange comfort knowing I am not alone in this situation. My heart goes out to all of the military spouses out there. I feel guilty for even comparing myself to all of you. I have just been so lonely the last couple of years we moved away from all of my family and friends (only a couple of hours) but still to far to call upon if I needed anything. My husband took this job on the assumption that he would be traveling once a quarter. He quickly got a promotion and now travels all the time. He was in Tampa all last week in arizona now and he just called saying he is going back to Tampa on friday. I am sorry for ranting but I have no friends here where we moved and no family around. I know I should be thankful and I am very thankful he works so hard and has already advanced. It is just hard and lonely we have been together for 12 years and have never went more than a day apart in those first 10 years and all the sudden he is gone all the time. I honestly feel like he is slipping away from me. So I am glad I found this site I am comforted knowing I am not alone so thank you ladies for telling your stories it really helped me out tonight

  112. Heather says

    I believe God lead me to this site to read this specific entry. I work full time, have a teenager and a preteen and my husband works out of town often and then on Saturdays. I have been on the verge of tears all day because I am overwhelmed with my job and family responsibilities. Of course, when he is gone the kids get sick, the dogs bark in the middle of the night and I am needed to work late and attend a child’s activity at the same time. But what I have been trying to remind myself is that I am blessed to have these challenges. I have several friends who have lost their husband and truely have to do it alone all the time. I have friends who are struggling to find jobs or their husband is unemployed or under employed. I am blessed that I have children that bless my life everyday even when we are not getting along. To all of you out there who have a time in your life such as this….celebrate your strength and thank God for your blessings. It certainly is not easy when things see to be spiraling out of control. But He is right there with you giving you your strength and encouraging you.

  113. says

    Oh, how I know too! With four under 7 my husband travels regularly interstate. While we eat dinners of toast and spaghetti he gets the tasty Thai, porterhouse steak & chips, balmy northern Australia weather… Yet I get the smiles. The giggles, the scrunched up nose moments that are shared between parent and child. I get to kiss and cuddle my treasures, he gets to see pictures of them from afar. There are days when WE are the ones who receive the better part of the deal. Bless you!

  114. Kanna says

    First of all, sorry if my English sometimes doesn’t make sense as I’m writing
    this to you from Japan, separating on finding ways to survive days without husband and
    with kids for a while and it frequently happens and I’ve never
    got used to his long business trip still…never ever!
    I am so happy to have found you on the web and strongly sympatize with you on
    things above….but you seem so cheerful and positive still nevertheless the situation given!
    On the other hand, I never been that positive on his long business trip and it even makes me feel like
    I was duped by him or I’m a prey of his marriage….
    I know, money wise, he help us a lot; like we could afford a
    house last year and he even helps my mom financially…
    But there is still emptiness in my heart though I’m blessed with two little adorable kids…
    I hope that my hus quit his current job to transfer to another job…which has less chance to fly for him…
    Now all I can do at home is to focus on studies to go back to my career as kids grow up.
    I sometimes spend too much money on sweets to devour to kill and forget my loneliness by eating them…
    Sorry and thank you very much for listening to me whining and complaining….
    That would be great if you’d give me any tips to get over these days….
    Love you and thank you so much!

  115. Tena says

    Husband gone for work again. So discouraged tonight. Found mouse in trap this morning. It’s a deep freeze outside so we are spending more time inside. Husband left for 3 months . So tired and lonely. Praying helps. Thankful to God for his protection and for hubby’s job. But it’s only day 3 and I am like this. It usually takes longer. Maybe because my son is two and a half and he misses his Dad too. That makes it harder. But I heard a quote this morning that helped. ” if this is the worst thing that happens to me today, this is still a pretty good day. “

  116. Tina says

    omgoodness finally someone that can relate! I want to hear more. I only have one but I also juggle trying to keep his relationships alive with the step children and the rest of the family. Reading this it was so real and was like reading my own thoughts written by someone else.

  117. Samantha says

    I appreciate this post very much, but as a single mother I do want to respectfully say that this is absolutely not what it is like to be a single mom. Being a single mom doesn’t mean missing having the help or companionship of a man. That is honestly the least of it. Being a single mom means doing every single thing yourself – including bringing in the income, working, and doing all the things you listed in your article after working hours are over. You’re too exhausted to think about how nice it would be to have a man there to defrost the garage. Just saying. I have a friend who once said she knew what it was like for me to be a single mom when her husband was away for a week or two and this statement in itself told me that she had absolutely no idea what it was like. Please recognize all the gifts your husbands are giving you even while they are away, and how your life is positively influenced even in their temporary absence.

    -Samantha

  118. Amanda K says

    Thank you Courtney for this encouraging piece.What helps are the many other women who relate yet I felt unique in this situation.We live in Nairobi,Kenya and my husband travels quiet a bit to different parts of the world. I stay at home with my 2 sons,6yrs and 4yrs and another on the way:-)God has a way of encouraging us through the different seasons of life. Thank you and God bless you! Keep doing what you do!

  119. S says

    While I certainly appreciate your heart, I don’t think anyone can ever “feel” like a single parent, without truly being a single parent. With a traveling husband, you have a hard working man as a provider. You can FaceTime when you’re having an overwhelming day. You can share the highs of your day, and share joy over your kiddos’ accomplishments. You can threaten your children with Daddy, when they misbehave. There’s no “feeling” like a single parent.

  120. Carla says

    Well… Funny you ask! It is 228am and I am up bc I fell asleep on the couch, lights on, TV on, dog needing to be shut in… And the baby is up for the first time in weeks, while the toddler sleeps the night for the first time in weeks. And things like this blog are what get me though!! Why did I scroll FB at 220am? Looking for a bible study I wanted to do with the kids for Easter. More than that, I believe God led me, because I need the encouragement for sure.

    My husband is an MWD for an oil company. It allows me to stay home with our children, but my husband is gone weeks at a time, with family time shoveled and compacted into those precious days home between. Recently, I have been batting cancer in the midst of this, and that burden you talk about, for me, became huge. My MIL stayed for a month through my pneumonia and radiation. That feeling if being a burden is the hardest part for me. It’s harder than being the only one to get up at night and pack all the babies in the car and, and, and…

    For me, Facebook is a Godsend. Yes, I could take it down a couple notches. But, it connects me with people that get me through. A well-timed meme. A blog post. A friend just saying hello. God uses those things DAILY to get me through. Like this late-night, milk-feeding moment. Just hours after a conversation with my husband, where I was thinking and saying, “How much longer can I do this.” Here comes a post. I am not alone. That, taking drives with the kids with KLOVE on when things get super hairy, and prayer. I do a lot of begging God to get me through;0)

  121. Ivory Reed says

    I have been with my husband since high school. He went to the Army, we got married and now he’s out of the Army but works with the government. We’ve been together for 18 years and 14 of them have been on and off together (if that makes sense). Not many people understand how I feel when I cry because I miss him. You really captivated my reality in your blog a year ago so I won’t repeat it but I do want to thank you for understanding.

  122. Lea Yarbrough says

    My husband and I have been together since 2006, other than our kids, he is the best thing that has happened to me. I am completely lost with out him. However, he travels, and I think he should have a local job. He was raised military, and I was raised with both my parents home. To me, that is how a marriage is suppose to be, husband and wife together, I didn’t get married to be alone, or raise our kids by myself. He sees it as, he is doing what he has to do to support his family. I’m having a really hard time with this emotionally, I just want to sit down and cry. At times, I feel like Im losing my marriage, although I know Im not. But while he is gone, I feel so alone. Its not as bad when he works days, but when he works nights….oh my, it completely messes up my world. I found this blog today, and it couldn’t have been better timing. I know that He is listening to my prayers and my heart! I am so thankful for that, before I met my husband, I did not have a relationship with God, and now that we have been married, I have gotten saved, and baptised. And Im so thankful for it. My life is complete now.

  123. Shawnee says

    Thank you for this post. I am struggling with this right now because my husband took a new job. The job is a great thing for our family but is causing me to have nightmares. My husband says that I have incredible faith just not for myself. I look forward to reading part 2.

  124. Cynthia says

    My husband works out of town and when he first started his job I knew for sure our marriage was over. He seen it as an opportunity to live as a single man while I stayed home and cared for the kids. After 6 months of brutal living and tormenting each other, we decided that we had too much time invested (10 years) starting at age 15 and we needed to live for God and our children. He is still working out a lot and it is so hard for me to cope or for my mind to “wonder” all the time. I haven’t been an angel myself so, we are trying to meet in the middle with him being our of town. We are thankful for his job, he makes great money but we want happiness home or in his travels and be at peace with the past. I wouldn’t mind some tips on how to communicate while hes out of town, without being pushy or aggravating.

  125. Susan says

    It sounds to me that all of you ladies are married , and doing all the work,and going to heaven while the men are single by their choices, and just don’t have time for their wives,children and God heaven etc.. Again choices. God never intended for this to be a lifestyle for married people. I think the men in these kinds of not real relationships get to have their cake and eat it too, that’s what I think. There is a lot more to married life than Just bringing home the money, cause I know a lot of women that do all of That and EVERYHING else too. Poor men! I don’t think so. I have a husband contractor . Can’t talk about anything cause it’s a secret . I Don’t have children with him and I’m glad cause this lifestyle is NOT what God holds sacred or even close to being a marital relationship and I wouldn’t wish this one sided parenting act on any child . Long distance relationships are Not normal, Good Luck to all of you, and I think that they really enjoy the fact that you never know what they’re really doing at any given time just because they can have their unstable, unpredictable , secret weirdo life and the women just have to slave up while they are off doing Whatever just because
    they can. All Ranted Out.
    Sorry for being so candid , but I believe that a lot of the men that stay gone leaving the burden of responsibility to the wives are being selfish IF they choose this lifestyle for more than a few years. Some of them make it permanent cause it’s a convienience.

  126. says

    I want to say thank you for the post and each persons comments. You never know how discussing your situation may actually help other in a time of need. My husband is working out of town a lot. Sometime 8wk jobs , sometimes three month jobs and I think the shortest job he ever worked was 2wks. So he is basically gone total about 9 or so months out of the year. Not all at once. But we have a three year old daughter as of yesterday she was three and on sept 2,2014 we welcomed our son into the world. He was actually home a solid week and a few days for that and then he had to go to another job. There is no certain location he can be in Kansas finish that job and while driving home get a call that says he hAs to be in Texas in two days . Meaning he will not becoming home. So it is hard on me. However I greatly appreciate he has a good job and provides for his family but at times it just gets me down. From the lonely nights and occasional tears I do my best to mange . I am typically positive ,encouraging and very understanding that it’s his job but I can’t help but feel the occasion thought to myself. “When is it time for us.” We got mArried quick Bc of his work schedule like literally he took one day off . Never had a honey moon or really much alone time . My three year old is from a previous marriage. From day one he has treated and loved her like his own. However I can Ramble but tonight I needed this bc o had a baby four weeks ago so clearly my hormones are trying to level out, on top of although i am a few pounds away from my before getting pregnant weight of 124 I still feel insecure about my body I think it’s pretty common for women to feel that way not to mention the week he was home sex was kinda off limits because o just had a baby. So I am struggling with that and then he txt me when he got off work typically he at least calls Bc his work hours are crazy which limits verbal communication a lot sometimes allowing for none . But to my point he txt he just got off work and was going to twin peaks a sports bar kinda like hooters but less clothes to watch Auburn vs. Lsu football game. So suddenly I felt so sad and I’ll admit jealous . I trust him or I wouldn’t have mArried him but it just kinda hurt my feelings today’s bc he was in such a rush to get to twin peaks that he didn’t call . So via txt I’ll admit I had an attitude or a different tone to my response . Because I Acted immediately out of jealousy. It hurt my feelings he was at a sports bar with super friendly charismatic and attentive waitress’s . I know prob silly but it bothered me cause I felt like I’m sorry I don’t look like that bc I had a baby four weeks ago so let’s run in my face he was looking at something he Hasn’t seen in a while . Any advice , tips, criticism , relating stories I welcome it all. Please . I hope someone can relate.

  127. Cindy says

    Ladies,

    I’ve read many of the posts tonight and I must admit as difficult as your situation is, I’m a little envious. You see, I’ve been on both sides of the fence. My husband moved away for about two years to take care of his mother’s business problems and had me continue to travel for my work. I thank God for my sister and parents were very supportive during this time because we have 2 children. After he was to return he said I can stop working and be able to be home with our children which I’ve longed to do since the day I became a mother. Unfortunately my husband decided to invest his money in something different and today I am only home 2 days a week.. my husband is the person that is living my dream. He is at home while I am away. When I do go home, as much as I would like to do things with my children, I am simply exhausted. I”ve aged way beyond my years and all I do is sit here in a hotel room wishing I could make the memories (good or bad) of what has been posted here on this site. The steak dinners and entertainment is not as glamorous as everyone thinks…..especially when you want to be home and watch your children grow up. Maybe I’m looking at this wrong but my husband says I’m not sacrificing enough for me to be home. He wants me to give up whatever retirement fund I’ve been able to save so he can start a business. He doesn’t believe in working for other people so I need to, until I break down and give him what he wants. So he continues to stay home everyday while I support the family from a distance. Btw…my mother continues to go to the house and clean and I grocery shop and run errands for the children on the weekends.

    I know it’s difficult to be at home while your spouse is away but you are with your children and I am dying to be with them right now. I live an empty life to the point the only reason I live is for my childrens well being. Nothing else. I take no joy in being away. I’m sorry for not being as sympathetic but I hope you can understand what I’m trying to say.

    Today I was so upset when I braided my daughter’s hair and sent her off to school. I cherish those moments because it’s so infrequent that I have those opportunities. I am at a complete loss and feel dead inside. I’ve been travelling almost every week for the last 10 years. My husband today before I left the house hurt me physically and emotionally. He says I incessantly bit$&. But I really don’t. I am tired and miss my children dearly…

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