8 survival strategies for when my husband is away

My husband is away travelling for the second time in two months. During our first five years of marriage I could count on one hand the number of nights that we spent apart. And then as we were praying about where God wanted us to serve, my husband went on a vision trip to Central Asia. The travelling and nights apart have become more regular since!

Travelling is just a part of life within an international organisation. Each year my husband has to travel to different leadership meetings and then there are also trainings he needs to give or attend (Of course I also have the occasional opportunity to attend a training or a women’s retreat, but how my husband survives when I’m not around is a blog for him to write!).

Just as the tightrope walker has strategies to make her way across the rope high above ground, so I have found ways to survive the time that my husband is away. Here are 8 survival strategies that I have learnt and that have been shared with me by many teammates who face the same long weeks without their husbands on the field. I hope that this can be a help and encouragement to other wives whose husbands travel:

  1. Make sure emergency phone numbers are easily accessible in case the car breaks down or the water pipe bursts. We make sure to tell our trusty mechanic and handyman to please be available during the time that my husband is away.
  2. Reduce the small stresses – before my husband leaves I like to make sure that I’ve done a big grocery trip, the car is filled up with gas, internet and cell phone airtime is topped up and the sewage removers have been. It just gives me less to worry about if all these small things are done. I find it quite stressful to be running outside in my pajamas to open up for the sewage men on a Sunday morning! (Why is the garbage and sewage removal always on a Sunday around here?)
  3. Invite a single girl teammate to spend time with you and the kids – maybe even stay over for a night. We have a teammate from our home country who my kids love spending time with – she is even willing to have a nerf gun war! – and I enjoy the relaxed adult conversation.
  4. Have good, encouraging books lined up (on Kindle if needed) for those long lonely evenings.
  5. Have something for the kids to look forward to. My husband leaves treats each day that he is away for the kids – it could be a pencil or a candy – just something small for them to look forward to (he usually leaves me a surprise too). Special things to look forward to, like a planned movie night for the kids, make the time more bearable.
  6. Be real, share your struggles and ask for prayer.  The last time my husband was away it was for a big leadership meeting that two other guys had to leave their families to attend as well. The three of us wives formed a WhatsApp group and regularly checked up on each other during the weeks our husbands were away. It was so encouraging to be able to share together and to be praying for each other.
  7. Recognise that your kids are struggling too. It helps me to acknowledge the ways in which the kids are missing my husband and adjusting to his absence. This doesn’t excuse their sinful behaviour, but it does help me to be more grace-filled and sympathetic as I deal with their tantrums and moodiness while he is away.
  8. Look forward to his return together. When the end is in sight and it’s just a couple of days until he is back, the kids count down and do something special for when he gets home – like baking a cake and making cards.

It is a sweet time when my husband finally gets home, but it also takes some adjusting as we need to be patient as he gets over the jet lag and tiredness from travel, and as we learn the rhythms of being all five of us together again.

Through the struggles of the time spent apart, God is so good. God gives me grace in unexpected small ways, which are a constant reminder that HE is the one caring for me and providing for me. Each time that my husband is away, I am encouraged to seek God and rely on Him more.

A wise missionary couple once told us that the best way to make a decision is to ask oneself “which decision is going to increase my faith the most?” and then go with that option. We always make the decision for my husband to travel, together. We recognise that my husband’s travels are part of our family ministry and so we don’t get angry or bitter about him being gone. When my husband is away it increases my faith and secures the knowledge for me that I surely am dwelling in the shadow of the Almighty.

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” – Psalm 91 (NIV)

Beth is from the global South, and she loves the ocean and cold Christmas dinner on a hot day around the pool. She is married to an adventurer, and they have three wonderfully unique children.

Share this Resource

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on print

Leave a Reply

You might also like:

English Teacher and Teacher Trainer Central Asia    Go & Live    As soon as possibleDo you have a heart for teaching English? Do you want to use this skill to have eternal impact on the lives of Central Asians? We are looking for English teachers who are able and motivated to teach our mostly young students at various levels. Get involved, be part of our international team and make a difference in the lives of the people in our area!
Full Details
Media Marketing Advisor/Business Manager (M) Central Asia    Go & Live    As soon as possibleIf you are talented in business and have a heart for the unreached, we're looking for you! Use your experience in Media Marketing to develop strategies and networks for advertising and distributing literature and DVDs throughout the country. You’ll be overseeing project budgeting, logistics and financial reporting, and working closely with our team of national workers to get the job done. (M)
Full Details
B4T Developer Central Asia    Go & Live    As soon as possibleAre you an experienced business owner or manager? Would you like to use your business skills, experience and contacts to build entrepreneurs?  Join us as a B4T Developer. You will work to grow Kingdom Businesses in some of the most needy parts of the world. Select entrepreneurs, train them in business skills, bring in investors; it is a tough job and not for the faint hearted. Our vision is to see Kingdom Business fulfill its vital role in the Great Commission.
Full Details
Donor Relations Officer (M) Central Asia    Go & Live    As soon as possible-To ensure an excellent donor base of institutional and individual donors, so that the organization has adequate funding for all its efforts.
-To establish, develop and maintain partnerships with a diverse donor base.
This position serves project managers in their communication with donors.

Full Details
Teachers (Elementary and Secondary) Central Asia    Go & Live    As soon as possibleLocated in a Central Asian city, this multicultural Christian school has openings for elementary and secondary teachers--particularly kindergarten, grade 2, and middle school science. Teachers certified or trained in IGCSE and AP curriculum are especially encouraged to apply.
Full Details
Physio Therapist / Occupational Therapist Central Asia    Go & Live    As soon as possibleChildren at risk… of what or from whom you may ask? Many of them are at risk of being abandoned to a cold institution away from their home, friends and family! Our main goal is to see children living in healthy families where they can reach their potential in all areas: social, physical mental and spiritual. This is done through therapy, training, and providing the needed resources.

We need Your help! Are you a physical or occupational therapist? Willing to work in rural settings?  Read on!

Full Details
Health Worker Central Asia    Go & Live    As soon as possibleWhat is good health? Usually we think of physical symptoms, but being healthy also includes the social, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of life. We want to see people living in wholeness in each of these areas.
Full Details
Human Resources Manager (M) Central Asia    Go & Live    As soon as possible-Provide leadership for both expatriate and local personnel personnel in order to promote good practice in staff recruitment and retention.
-Oversee the on-boarding process of both expatriate and local personnel.
-Maintain adequate staffing levels to ensure the organization can carry out its work effectively.
-Provide a welcoming environment for newcomers.
-Improve skills and efficiency of  Personnel Department and  relationships with home agencies.

Full Details
Occupational Therapist/Physiotherapist Central Asia    Go & Live    As soon as possibleTo help and treat patients with physical problems caused by accident, illness, or aging and to be a light for the Kingdom of God as you do so.
Full Details
University Outreach Central Asia    Go & Live    As soon as possibleStudy Russian or one of the Turkic languages at a university in Central Asia. Living and learning alongside local students, you’ll make new friends, practice your language, and experience a new culture. At the same time, you'll be investing in the lives of those around you, sensitively sharing your faith. Come and impact the next generation in this strategic corner of the world.
Full Details
Engineer / Technical Consultant Central Asia    Go & Live    As soon as possibleDo you have a heart for energy, engineering, business, or IT? Do you want to use these skills to reach people and have eternal impact on Central Asians? We are looking for technical professionals who want to use their heads and hands to serve the people, mostly men. Get involved, be part of our international team and make a difference in the lives of the people in our area!
Full Details
Creative Ministry Central Asia    Go & Live    As soon as possibleWhat is art? Most of us know what drawing or painting is, but art is more than just that: it’s thinking outside the box. A lot of people have a talent to be creative and don’t even know it. Our art and woodwork lessons are designed to give young people creative and practical skills, critical thinking, attention to detail, a healthy work ethic and new avenues for income.
Full Details