When I married a soldier 12 years ago, neither of us had a clue what we were getting ourselves into with a military marriage. Extensive hours nearly seven days a week, field trainings, work trips, and deployments led to my feeling alone and disconnected. My hardworking husband’s demanding schedule became a constant source of stress in our marriage.
Maybe your husband doesn’t have to go out of town or work weekends, but if you feel like you’re competing with work for his attention, it’s easy to become resentful. With a perspective shift, you’ll see that he would probably rather be home, but he feels pressure to provide for his family and perform at work. When you view his job that way, you’ll be more open to initiating ways to connect. But how, when he’s hardly home? Here are 7 ways to connect with your hardworking husband.
1. Choose a podcast to listen to separately.
A great way to connect with your husband is over a shared podcast episode. My husband and I listen to a couple of the same podcasts, but at different times during the day. He listens while he drives to and from work and I listen while doing chores or cooking dinner. After the kids are in bed, discussing the podcast episode helps us feel like we had a shared part of the day. Some of our favorites are Focus on the Family, Family Talk, and Java with Juli. (He’ll love the last one, which is all about sexual intimacy!)
2. Connect for the first 10 minutes after he arrives home.
One couple I know makes connection a priority by spending the first 10 minutes together when the husband arrives home. Their kids know this is a special time for their parents and that Dad will play with them afterward. When Mom and Dad connect first after work, they are modeling the importance of marriage to their kids.
When Mom and Dad connect first after work, they are modeling the importance of marriage to their kids.
3. Send flirty text messages during the day.
Flirting easily slips away when I have to take on more at home because of my hardworking husband. I can quickly become resentful of his absence and the desire to flirt becomes nonexistent. But I know I need to be able to separate my feelings about his schedule from my feelings for him, and sending quick texts is an easy way to do that.
4. Keep a shared calendar.
Using a shared calendar is a lifesaver when you have a busy husband. It makes it easy for both of you to see the time slots available for planning dates. Consider throwing in surprises on the calendar now and then to help you feel connected. For example, one day, let him discover a massage you penciled in for him (or for you!) for when he gets home that night.
5. Commit to designated no-phone time every evening.
My husband’s job expects him to have his phone on him at all times, so I’m used to seeing him constantly answering emails, texting, or talking with other soldiers. However, there has to be a time when the phone gets put down, for everyone’s sanity. Pick a window of time each day to go phone-free and focus on connection.
6. Leave hidden love notes.
Sometimes I only see my spouse in passing. It might be a quick kiss on his way out the door or a gentle embrace when he finally crawls into bed in the middle of the night. Because there’s not a lot of conversation during the week, leaving each other hidden notes is a great way to connect. Put a love note in his sock drawer, on his driver’s seat, or in his work bag.
7. Plan a getaway.
This is my favorite way to connect with my hardworking husband. We plan a trip every year, just the two of us. Depending on his work schedule, it might be one night away or a weeklong vacation. It doesn’t matter where we go or for how long. Those one-on-one trips are my lifeline and something I anticipate all year!
What is one thing you can do this week to connect with your husband?