Jim travels most of every week for business reasons while his wife, Nancy, holds down the fort at home raising the kids and keeping up the house. There's no feasible way that Jim can find another job, especially one that pays as much, even though Nancy feels unfulfilled being alone so much of the time. It's easy to see why the frequent business travel of one spouse could have a harmful effect on the marriage, but it doesn't have to be that way if you take some steps to keep your marriage healthy despite these separations.

Frequent verbal contact is one key to keeping a marriage like this together. You need to talk with each other at least once every day, no matter how busy you both may be. You can't possibly stay close unless you keep each other up to date on what's going on in your daily lives. Set a specific time for talking each day when you'll both have plenty of time for a leisurely conversation. Work at understanding how the other is feeling by divulging your own feelings about the arrangement. You don't need to always be cheery nor do you need to constantly gripe about the people you work with or what the kids have been doing, but you do need to understand basically how each of you are feeling.

The stay-at-home spouse may feel the loneliest, even bereft by being left behind again and again. In this situation, a job, children, and even a busy schedule may not be enough to allay the harmful, negative feelings of sadness. You need to find some new friends who are having the same problems that you are in order to share your feelings with someone who will understand. If your spouse travels a lot, chances are good that other company employees are doing so, too. Seek out other wives who will likely be as lonesome as you are, and strike up some friendships. Plan get-togethers so that you can get to know each other, such as a movie night complete with popcorn and other traditional movie snacks or a potluck dinner.

During the brief periods of time that your spouse is home, make the most of your time together. Reconnect with each other, maintain your close bonds, and just enjoy being with this person that you love so much. Make a point of not letting other things interfere with your time together. Giving it priority will show your spouse how glad you are to be with him or her. Coming home and spending your weekend on a golf course (unless your spouse likes to play golf), on the other hand, isn't going to do much towards making you and your spouse feel close again.

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