Finally he’s home – but it isn’t all sunshine and roses between us. On the contrary: Bad mood, distant behaviour or long explanations about foreign countries easily lead to irritations during that time. Fortunately it doesn’t have to be this way. There are five easy methods that have helped me to avoid arguments with my husband after business trips.
During a business trip my husband keeps sending me lovely text messages. And when he eventually returns I face bad moods and distant behaviour.
Today I write about five tips how I manage to avoid difficult situations in our marriage after a business trip.
#5 Give him time to settle down
I wish my husband would return home from a business trip and just be himself, I really do. Yet, no matter how hard we try, it always takes a while before we’re back to normal.
One moment he’s having drinks with his international colleagues on some rooftop bar in an Asian mega-city – and the next day he’s back home in our quiet flat in southern Germany. Considering that his business travel life is so different from everything at home, I guess it’s quite normal that he struggles to find back into our everyday routine after a journey.
He just needs some time to readjust – and I’m willing to give it to him. Unless it’s something super important, I try not to bother him with appointments or tasks during his first 1-2 days at home.
#4 Try not to read too much into his behaviour
During these first 1-2 days, I also try not to read too much into his behaviour. I’m aware that my husband’s travels cause some challenges that would even strain a well-functioning relationship. So while we both struggle to cope, I mentally give us the time to do so without interpreting his every movement.
#3 Find out what’s bothering him
If he’s extremely moody or lost in thought, I cautiously ask him about it. I often tend to think that I’m the source of my husband’s moody behaviour. However, there are A LOT OF other reasons that might bother my husband after a business trip.
It’s important to know these reasons. Otherwise I start questioning my husband and our relationship which makes finding back together even more difficult.
Beware: Avoid being accusatory when asking him about it and express your own feelings instead. After all he is in a difficult emotional state and probably has a guilty conscience for leaving you. So he tends to react very sensitive to any form of accusation.
#2 Listen to him when he talks about his business trip
The moment my husband starts sharing his travel stories with me usually marks the point where we have overcome the worst. He’s talking instead of being distant – and for my part it’s important that I listen to him.
Especially while he’s struggling to get back into his role at home, it would be a huge setback, if I signalled that I’m not interested in his experiences abroad. After all, I also expect him to care about things going on at home while he’s away, don’t I?
Even though I might not understand every detail of his business negotiations, talking to each other is the key in getting back to normal after a business trip.
#1 Being supportive
In the end it all comes down to supporting each other and treating each other with respect.
Yes, I know it’s annoying sometimes. As a wife of a travelling husband, I’m always supposed to be supportive. I’m supposed to accept the fact that he travels so much. I’m expected to understand that he has to leave in the middle of the weekend on Sunday morning in order to attend meetings in Asia on Monday. And I shouldn’t complain when he misses yet another birthday party due to his travels.
But then again, what’s the alternative? That situation won’t go away anytime soon and we’re both determined to make it work. The selfish part of me still wishes that he would manage to be back to normal in a heartbeat. But that’s not the way things go in life.
So instead, I try my best to be supportive. In order to achieve this, I conjure up my feelings after our last long-haul holiday:
How do I feel when I return home from a long-haul trip? How do I cope with jetlag? Do I want to talk to my sister that same day about her kid’s problems in school? Am I in the mood to meet up with my friends that same night? Or listen to my mother’s latest gossip? Definitely not!
When I return from a holiday, I’m in desperate need of a day to myself to sort my thoughts and do the laundry. There’s no way I would make any plans for the day of my return and even the next day is usually still too early to go back to my everyday routine. If I’m already feeling that way after a relaxed holiday, that’s still only a fraction of how my husband must feel after days of exhausting meetings and negotiations.
All facts considered, I realize that my husband is actually doing quite well. And with that in mind, being supportive suddenly isn’t hard to achieve at all.
Hope all you ladies out there are having a wonderful week!