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Tips For The Traveling Executive: Business Travel And Marriage
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Tips For The Traveling Executive: Business Travel And Marriage - Executive Leadership Articles

Tips For The Traveling Executive: Business Travel And Marriage

Executive Leadership Articles

Tips For The Traveling Executive: Business Travel And Marriage

About a year ago, we shared advice for business travelers with children. There is almost no way to leave home for a few days without disrupting the lives of young children, but the impact of the disruption can be alleviated with regular communication and with as little interruption to the kids' lives as possible. Frequent business trips can also be a strain on a marriage, with or without children, and although many of the same cautions apply, there are obviously other considerations to keep in mind.

Romantic relationships are complex, ever-evolving machines with thousands of inarticulable variables, so one-size-fits-all advice is impossible to formulate, and only you know what works or doesn't work in the context of your marriage. Still, in the frenzy of taking care of details for business end of your trip, it can be easy to forget to attend to the domestic end, and it is the hope of this article to be a reminder of some of those details.

Remember that when you are away, everything you normally attend to must be handled by your spouse. It's true that in today's world of easy, immediate communication, such things can be discussed on the fly, and problem-solving is not as daunting a task as it once was, but problems can be forestalled with just a little bit of preparation. If you normally do the grocery shopping, plan ahead so that trips to the store can be minimized. If your turn for soccer snacks is coming up during your trip, arrange a trade with someone else well in advance.

If you're in one of those in-contact-all-day relationships, make sure your spouse knows what your meeting schedule is like, and try to plan ahead of time when you might squeeze in a little Skype time or text messaging. If there is a huge time-zone difference, try to agree ahead of time that schedules just might not sync up, or decide together that a disruption in sleep schedules is preferable to to altering your good-morning and good-night conversations, or consider taking a healthy vacation from your steady stream of chats and emojis. Just tread carefully if you're the one bringing it up.

Some families who deal with regular trips settle into two very different lives: regular life and mommy/daddy traveling life. There's nothing wrong with this, as long as everyone involved is aware and on-board. Away-on-business life might involve more dinners out, or increased TV time for the kids. The at-home half of the childless couple might plan staycations or guys-nights-out. This approach can be very healthy for a couple, since it allows for time engaged in those interests the couple doesn't necessarily share. Be on the lookout for feelings of you're-having-more-fun-than-me by either the traveler or the still-home, and try to be sensitive about that.

Children aren't the only ones who appreciate a thoughtful souvenir when you return from a trip. A little reminder that you've been thinking about your spouse while you were away is always appreciated. Don't settle for something cheesy from the hotel gift shop or the airport newsstand, unless of course that becomes a thing in your particular relationship. It doesn't have to be something expensive or even rare. If it's something unusual or if it's related to one of your partner's interests, it's especially fair game. Don't make it only a token gesture, give from the heart, and let it communicate that someone was missed.

 

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