I’m a Lot Less Stabby: 11 Reasons Why My Husband Traveling Isn’t Always a Bad Thing

I'm a Lot Less Stabby: 11 Reasons Why My Husband Traveling isn't Always a Bad Thing

If you have read this blog before, you know I have a husband that travels a lot for work, and that it’s no picnic. Well, it could be a picnic, I suppose, but the mosquito-ey kind where Cousin Rita brings her suspect potato salad again and Paul’s future third ex-wife Denise runs around asking everyone to guess “real or fake” before getting drunk on Goebel and trying to dirty dance with a Parks Service employee.

In other words, it makes life briefly interesting but then you kind of want it to be over so you can get back to normal.

We’ve been married for almost fourteen years, and he has always traveled. Sometimes once a month, sometimes a few times a month. It sucks, but you kind of get used to it. Over the years, I’ve learned to look for the silver lining. There is one, if you squint, and kind of tilt your head that way. No, the other way. There. See it?  Some perks of temporarily going it alone include:

I get the whole bed to myself.  I like my space, and it’s kind of nice once in a while to sleep without getting whacked by an errant elbow or knee. And, bonus, I get the middle.

I have full control over the air conditioning. VP didn’t grow up with air conditioning. I did. He doesn’t find it necessary. I do. The temperature of the house will be an ongoing disagreement until the day I can outrace him on my Rascal.

I order a lot more takeout without getting the stink-eye. I enjoy cooking, but somehow cooking for a family of five has taken a wee bit of that joy away. Wheedling complaints along the lines of, “Is there pepper in this? I thought I saw a flake of pepper! I hate pepperrrrr!”  tend to make me stabby. (Please note, this is the children I am quoting. Not my husband. Who incidentally loves pepper.) So when he’s away, and I’m super busy with the kids, ta-da! Look kids, we’re having Indian food!  Everybody wins.

I can have the TV in the bedroom on without VP complaining that it’s keeping him awake. Sleep is very, very important to him. He counts it to the minute. So out of courtesy to Princess Beauty Sleep my husband, I usually don’t have the TV on. When he’s away, however, I catch up on Conan, Jimmy Kimmel, or any other late night shows that I usually don’t get to see.

I can do the laundry. I know, I know, that whole sentence looks like a mistake. But when VP is home, he’s like some kind of laundry ninja. He sneaks upstairs when he knows I’m distracted and grabs the laundry, and before I can stop him he’s already thrown a load in.  “But Lisa”, you say, “Why is that a bad thing? For I would consider it a privilege, lo, a delight, to have a husband that does laundry unbidden!”   My answer is this:  Due to countless past laundry disasters wherein everything was turned pink, the man should never be allowed near a laundering machine of any kind, not even a couple of rocks and a stream.

I know where everything is. Oh yes, he’s quite helpful when it comes to putting stuff away. Just not where anyone can actually find it. (Darling, I love you however the cleats that the Boy needs for his game tomorrow do not go on the basement workbench.)

I can skip showering for a day. I try not to do this when he’s around. Illusion or no, VP seems to be under the impression that I’m some delicately scented flower blossom.  He actually said once, in an amazed sort of way (I assume attempting to be complimentary), “You know something? You never stink.” I didn’t really know what to say to that except, “Uh, thanks, I… guess?” I don’t know what kind of girlfriends he had before me, but by his statement I can only assume that they set a low bar for personal hygiene.  So now, dammit, I have to maintain the aura of non-stinkiness because obviously I am better than all of those other skanks women.

It gives us a chance to miss each other. You know that whole absence makes the heart grow fonder thing? Totally true. The rough edges of those day to day annoyances are smoothed out and blurred, and the petty little squabble that seemed so important a couple of days ago is forgotten.

It means we have new things to talk about. I work from home. VP works from home sometimes too.We know all of the details of what went on during the day, from what we ate for lunch to whether the dishwasher is still making that weird noise. So at the end of the day sometimes we have nothing to tell each other.  When he travels, we catch up with each other on the day’s happenings right before we both turn in for the night. And there are always stories to tell each other when he gets home. And he loves my stories. (Don’t you, Honey. That’s right, nod and smile.)

I can go to Target without getting the third degree.  He wants to know why I am going, what I am going to buy, how much I am planning on spending. Silly, silly man. No woman on the planet sticks to a budget when she goes into Target. That popcorn smell is actually infused with brain-addling chemicals that make you want to spend all of the monies.

Sometimes, I need a reminder that I was once a strong, independent woman.  Before I was married, if something in the house needed to be fixed, I fixed it. If the credit card company made a billing error, I fixed it.  If the car died or got a flat, I… well, I called Triple A. But you get the idea.  Now, I feel like I rely too much on my husband to do things that I can clearly take care of myself. So when he’s away, I’m reminded how capable I really am.  And that is a good thing.

Do you have a husband that travels on a regular basis? I’d love to hear about your silver linings. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to crank the AC down to the “Meat Locker” setting.  Happy weekend, everyone!



  1. Yes, Yes, Yes to this!!!! My hubby travels for work, too (and we are a family of 5 and my name is Lisa – a little uncanny, huh?) and I agree with your list soooo much. Only differences – at my house HE is the one who keeps it meat locker temp (he is an HVAC guy) and he never does the laundry. (If he did, it wold probably go horribly wrong!). Otherwise -I completely agree with you!! This is a great list. 🙂

    • You are going to have to trust me when I say that it’s a good thing your husband doesn’t do the laundry. You wouldn’t believe some of the places I have found my underwear. Er, that didn’t come out exactly like I meant it to. That would be an entirely different post, now wouldn’t it?

  2. Ah, the traveling husband. Once upon a time, I traveled too. But that was before I had a baby, who’s now 7. Counting the number of times I’ve been away on “business” during my son’s short life would make the perfect preschool counting book, because it’s probably 5, including day trips where I’m not actually gone overnight. Meanwhile my husband travels for work ALL THE TIME. Once he was gone for 6 weeks. But that’s okay. I got my revenge the next time I left town and the kiddo vomited all over the car as they left the airport where they’d just dropped me off.
    But now that the kiddo is older, I agree there are silver linings to having some alone time, having the bed to myself. And since my husband is the cook around here, we also tend to dine out more when he’s away. Still, it’s always better when he comes back. Great post!!

    • Ah yes, the Revenge Vomit. Something every mother secretly dreams of, but rarely gets. Glad you liked the post!

  3. Mine travels a lot as well and I agree with your whole list (except for the laundry thing- I wish mine would do more laundry!).

    Take out, whatever tv shows I want to watch, reading til all hours without him asking “aren’t you going to sleep?” or “WHY are you reading?”

    • Yes! While I’d prefer him to be here, once in a while it’s nice to watch whatever I want on TV or have the light on late while I’m reading without negotiating. Or get a chick flick from Red Box that he would hate.

  4. I love this post! My husband doesn’t travel for work; I just wanted to say that I love your writing! Just discovered your blog through Honest Mom’s link-up.

  5. Yes! I can relate to all of this.My hubby never travels for work but occasionally he goes away for a week and I LOVE it. I love not having to talk to anyone. (My kids are always out at night)Just blissful silence 🙂

    • My kids are not out at night, and it’s summer so they’re up later, thus there’s not much in the way of “blissful silence” around here. But, if we want to go for ice cream at 9:00 at night, we can, and I get major mom points. We’re all about spontaneity when the husband is away!

  6. The Mathemagician doesn’t travel much…but your post makes me wonder if maybe he should get a job where travel is involved. Hmm….

    • I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’ve gotten used to it, and for the most part it works for us. But he’s usually only gone for a few days at a time. I have friends whose husbands are gone for weeks at a time, and I’m not sure I would handle that well.

  7. This is great, Lisa. My husband just recently started traveling regularly for work, and while it can be a real pain in the bumkin, there are some silver linings. BED IS MINNEEEEEEE MWAH HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAA.

    Just for the record, though, I think the laundry one is null and void. Because if you have a husband who sneaks past you to do the laundry, well, I don’t feel bad for you. 😉

    • I understand that people don’t get this. Fourteen years of ruined clothing changes a gal, lemme tell ya. It’s just easier at this point to yell, “Put your hands up and step away from the washing machine!” than to replace clothes.

  8. Robin Geoppinger says:

    You make me laugh! Thank you for sharing.

  9. Amber Titus says:

    I am a SAHM of 4 boys (10. 7. 4. & 1)and my husband travels at least 2 weeks a month. Sometimes over a weekend. This istotally what I needed to read! I am in a new state trying to make new friends & feel like. FB Troll sometimes looking for adult interaction. I agreed with everything you wrote, except my sons will eat anything I put in front of them. My husband is the one who dodges vegetables like an 8 year old. So I get creative when he is out… except we do lazy dinners on the kitchen bar instead of getting the dinning room all fancy. 🙂

    • Yecchhh… two weeks? Brutal. And I’m all about the lazy dinners, thus the take-out. Good luck, by the way. If you look, there’s usually a silver lining somewhere. 😉

  10. Ha, I also revel in going to Target without being asked the dumbest question in the world, which is, “What do you need at Target?” I like reading for half the night, ordering a few pizzas here and there even though yes, it is cheaper to make them…and I totally agree that the absences make the heart grow fonder. Absences also get the family into our own routine, and when he comes home from two weeks in Europe, and thinks he can just watch Jeopardy when the kids have been watching Arthur every night…we love him and miss him when he’s gone, but the sad part is that we are starting get used to him not being here…I get used to being The Boss…then he comes home, and it isn’t always easy.


    • Definitely a difference in making all of the decisions yourself and having to share the decisions. It takes some getting used to. But good for you for seeing the upside of your husband’s travel! Thanks for the comment.

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