1. Being annoyed he’s back home. I start with this one, because I JUST went through it. My husband was gone for a long period of time, and when he got home I was happy he was back! But I also found myself getting annoyed more and more with things that normally are… normal. I realized it was because I had gotten used to being alone and my days had a certain rhythm to them. He came home, and it was like a tornado came through my day and uprooted everything. I got annoyed, and he noticed. The important thing is that we talked about it, and it only lasted a day. (It was weird for him, too! He was in road-mode and had a hard time not being on a set schedule, and lord forbid he put the toilet seat down…) This is only something to worry about if it lasts a long time, and you go from annoyed to resentment. Make sure you talk about your feelings to avoid that from happening.
2. Feeling frustrated with a schedule change. You can’t do anything about it. You know its part of being on the road. I often joke that one of the only consistent things about having a husband on the road is knowing that nothing is consistent. I know this. I accept this. (Sometimes even embrace it!) But… its okay to get frustrated when a schedule changes. Just don’t hold it against your spouse, because its not their fault. They’re probably as frustrated as you are. And while I am sure they appreciate you being flexible and understanding, they also know the times will come when you’re inner five year old comes out and you want to stomp your feet in frustration at the changes.
3. Looking forward to some alone time. And I don’t mean time alone with your spouse. I mean time away from them. It’s a running joke with myself and friends that if my husband is home too long, I start going, “Don’t you have a show to go play or something??” Its a joke. But even my husband knows there’s an element of truth. Its important to be an independent person when you marry a man on the road, and sometimes if that man on the road is around too much, your independent side screams for time alone. (A suggestion on this one, if you can’t get time to yourself… plan to get up earlier than your spouse. That’s how I get my me-time when he’s off the road for an extended time. It keeps my independent side happy.)
4. Feeling absolutely lost when he’s gone. Don’t let my previous items make you think I wish my husband would go away! That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Sometimes when he leaves on the road, I feel completely and totally lost. It’s worst if he leaves when I’m at work. He’s home when I leave, but gone when I come home. My tiny house suddenly feels big and empty. I feel so alone. I know I’ll eventually get into my own schedule. I know we’ll talk on the phone. I know I have tons of friends I could go hang with to fill my time and attention. But in that moment, that doesn’t matter. I’m lonely. And sometimes, I think I need to feel that. So I’m more compassionate to those who are new to “the life” and so I remember how very, very important my husband is to me. So I don’t take him or US for granted.
5. Having a completely mixed up opinion on fans. Oh fans. Fans are what keep our spouses in a job. And for that I think we can all say we are thankful. Its okay, though, to have mixed up emotions and opinions about those fans. There are the fans that end up being friends. I have several delightful people I never would have met had it not been for their being fans of whatever artist my husband was working for at the time we met. Then there are the fans that just drive you crazy, because, frankly, some fans don’t see a line between the musician or crew on stage and the person they are off the stage. Its okay to feel protective of your spouse and your private life. Depending on the situation, I find myself either feeling amused, annoyed and sometimes a little jealous when I haven’t seen my husband in a long time. Talk about those feelings. Be up front about them. Hold on tight to the trust you’ve built between yourself and your spouse, and know that you are the one they are coming home to at the end of the run. And know it is you they are missing the most.