In my second blog post as a Thought Leader for Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts LinkedIn, I take a look at the pressures of travelling frequently for work and share my top tips for nourishing relationships during these difficult times.
When the kids are young, full of beans and up at night, a break away for something as legitimate as a work trip can almost be a godsend. I know travelling for work can be draining but surely a full night’s sleep in a lovely hotel room, a clean shower with no need to put your towel away and having the TV to yourself with nobody telling you to switch off the cricket has some pluses?
Return home and your long suffering partner, who has often been juggling single parenting with single housework and a job, plus or minus the solo management of a bout of croup or an ear infection, is ready for you to step up, take the kids, the dog and the laundry basket and clear off with a glass of chardy in hand for some one on one time with the bath tub (or the cricket!!).
By this stage everyone is irritable. Your absence has been hard on him or her and your exhaustion after a hectic travel schedule that has seen your working hours blow out from 8 hours to 14 hours a day has been hard on you too. All too familiar!! I seriously see this all the time. Left unmanaged this is a one way trip to no place good and it certainly doesn’t end in a warm glow after a lovely reunion style roll in the hay!
So here are my top tips for nourishing your relationship during a difficult time.
Shift your relationship to number one importance status. If it matters to you, there is a way around every difficult roadblock. But it needs to be reprioritised WAY up on the list by both of you. This needs a conversation! “I love you and I want our marriage to be awesome again!”
Talk to anyone while on your phone, reading an email, watching the news or checking Instagram and they are being told in no uncertain terms they are not a priority for you. Put down the hand held device and give your eyes and ears to your number one priority - your partner, even if that is only realistically possible for 10 minutes a day. And while away, that is an undistracted phone call EVERY day.
This is the person who, like no other, cares about your next career move, your aspirations for your children, your next holiday and the interpersonal dilemmas you need to overcome at work. Let him or her in and share the load. And feel the love when you get some sharing back.
Anyone can pick holes in somebody’s chewing, cheesy jokes or toenails. Focus on the things that make you laugh, smile, and feel secure and excited.
Business travellers can find their love lives drift into extinction in no time. Especially when you come home to irritability, nit picking and Facebook-diverted conversations. It can be one of those things that’s a bit like going for some exercise. You make every excuse to avoid it, but afterwards you think “that was really good. I should do that more often!”