I’m closing out week 2 of home alone with our two kiddos while the hubs is on tour in Asia. And you know what? I’m not crying, pulling out my hair, feeling lonely, harboring resentment, or feeling depleted.
Not that I always feel those things, all the time, all at once, but this is the first time in a while that I can truthfully say I am just fine. I am actually better than fine! There’s a lot to this statement that’s resulted from soul-searching conversations with the hubs, but I won’t go into that here. The bottom line is I went into this trip in a good and confident place and it shows. And my husband, who can see right through my “faking it,” can tell too. It’s making all the difference for him on tour too.
So here are some things we Road Widows can do for our road warriors to help them feel good about what they do.
- Show interest. When hubs is gone, he wants to know what’s going on at home. Especially since he’s a parent! But we also need to show we’re interested in what they’re doing too. It means so much to my husband when I not only ask about his day/travels/show, but when I actually seem interested – listen, ask questions, share in whatever emotion he’s feeling. It’s so easy to feel like we’re living two different lives (and we kind of are!), but when I invest in his experiences, I actually feel more a part of it than not.
- Be honest. If you’ve had a bad day, be honest. Don’t play the passive aggressive game. And don’t try to pretend you’re okay for the sake of your husband’s really good day. It’ll show. It always does. Be honest about how you’re doing and say what you need, even if it means you just want to go to bed and talk tomorrow.
- Manage expectations. Of course we expect him to call when he says he will. But we need to remember that, on the road, time moves differently and things change often. If he hasn’t called when he said he would, don’t take it personally. Maybe soundcheck ran late or he got hung up talking to someone. There’s a million reasons. It doesn’t necessarily mean he’s avoiding you. He’s just working. And, this may sound rude, but don’t expect him to drop everything for you all the time. He’s traveling, tired, working, networking. My husband loves me. And I also realize when he’s gone, everything he does is with purpose. And it’s important. So I don’t expect him to be at my beck and call.
- Be supportive. This doesn’t always mean you have to constantly cheer him on. That’s of course important. But being supportive also means you help him feel okay about being gone – from you, from kids, from family. Send pictures and videos. Tell him you’re all doing okay. Tell him the fun things you’ve done. Encourage him to have fun too. Support each other in this journey.
- Be genuinely happy. This one you just cannot fake. The more truly happy you are in your situation, whatever it may be, the better he will feel being on the road. My husband often tells me he misses the kids, but he never worries about them. He worries about me. When my happiness is genuine, he doesn’t worry. And he can focus on what he’s on the road to do – work.
So tell me Road Widows, what have you found your road warriors need from you?