How to Stay Sane When Your Husband is Away

My husband was just away for 5 weeks training for a new job. We’ve been married a little over a year, and it’s the first time we’ve spent significant time apart since we’ve been married. The last time we were apart more than a week, my husband had to have emergency surgery, and I had to rush home from another state.

Bottom line: I don’t love being away from him.

While his new job is a HUGE positive force in our life and we’re both so excited for this next phase, it’s been REALLY difficult being apart. My mental health has taken a nosedive, neither of us has slept well, and it’s just so dang lonely. Even though we see each other on the weekends, most of the time is spent running errands to get him ready to go back, and he spends much of the weekend decompressing from being around other people 24/7 while living in a dorm. It’s not ideal, and I have extreme admiration for military wives and other women who live with their husbands away for MONTHS, rather than a week at a time. My heart goes out to you.

However, he is graduating FRIDAY! YAY!!! I’m so proud of him, and I’ve learned a lot from this experience, including that absence actually does make the heart grow fonder.

If your husband is going to be away for awhile, try these tips I picked up along the way during our stint apart to help you stay sane when your husband is away.

Stay busy.

This has been huge for me, and while his time away has turned me into a crazy workaholic, it has kept my mind off being alone. Work extra hours. Pamper yourself. Have lots of ‘me’ time. Spend more time on hobbies. I delved deeply into learning languages over the past few weeks and made the alone time a more positive experience.

Talk as often as you can.

Whether it’s by phone, text, Skype, or our new favorite – Marco Polo – stay in touch. Heck, write a letter. Just keep communication open, even though you aren’t physically together. I’ll be honest, seeing and hearing him without being able to actually be near each other kinda sucks. It’s a little bittersweet. It’s important too. Talk as often as you can.

Be social.

The one thing my husband made me promise before he left is that I wouldn’t hole myself up in my house and refuse to go out. I kept my promise by visiting my family, my in-laws, having coffee with friends, and going to my weekly business meetings. I made time to be social, and it really did help.

Find reasons to enjoy solitude.

If you can find ways to make having alone time positive, it goes by a lot faster. For example, I relished the fact that I could prepare delicious vegetarian meals because our household’s resident carnivore wasn’t home. I had more time to work on my websites and blogs. My dog and I had some quality snuggle time. There are always good things mixed in with the not-so-great stuff.

While it’s not an ideal situation, being apart can help you become closer and learn more about yourself and how you spend your time. Make the most of it, look for the positives, and practice lots and lots of gratitude for the time you DO spend together with your spouse.

Have you been away from your husband for periods of time before? Share your best tips in the comments!

 

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