A mission trip is a rewarding and exhilarating experience. However, when an individual travels overseas for months or years at a time, the distance between the individual and spouse can place a strain on the relationship. To keep the marriage strong, the spouse left behind must find ways to encourage their partner and interact with them even while they’re away. The same can also be said for those who have a spouse in the military.
The Importance of Communication
When a spouse is far away, keeping the lines of communication open is more important than ever. Below are some strategies individuals can use to stay in touch with a spouse who is away.
- Talk face-to-face. Thanks to technological advances, it’s easy for spouses to speak face-to-face even when they aren’t on the same continent. When an individual’s spouse is on a mission trip, she should try to talk to him as often as possible using media like Face Time or Skype.
- Share the mundane. When a spouse is overseas, it may seem like the day-to-day activities of the partner left behind are unimportant. However, spouses on mission trips still want to hear about life back home. When speaking to a spouse who is overseas, individuals should share larger developments, such as a child’s first day of school, as well as the smaller details of the day.
- Make an effort. Individuals with a spouse overseas should do their best to stay up-to-date on the spouse’s missionary work. During Face Time or Skype sessions, they should ask the spouse about his daily activities, as well as the overall progress of the trip.
When a spouse is on a mission trip or in the military, offering encouragement is just as important as strong communication. However, individuals can’t support their spouses overseas if they are constantly worrying about everything that could go wrong. Below are some tips spouses can use to lessen the anxiety of being apart.
- Learn the ropes. Before a spouse travels overseas, the individual remaining behind should learn everything they need to know about taking care of the house, vehicles and bills while their loved one is away. Doing so will help the spouse overseas to worry less, and it will also prevent the spouse at home from pestering her partner while they’re trying to work.
- Make appropriate preparations. Spouses can reduce their anxiety about the separation by preparing well in advance for any possible problems. For example, purchasing adequate long term mission trip insurance plans will ensure that an individual worries less about the spouse’s well-being and takes more interest in the daily work the spouse performs.
- Practice empathy. Though it is hard to stay at home when a spouse goes on a mission trip, the spouse who is away experiences many painful emotions as well. To provide encouragement and support to a spouse who is overseas, individuals should try to put themselves in the place of the spouse who is away.
Separation from a spouse is always difficult, but it can be even more challenging during lengthy trips. However, by practicing frequent communication and offering support to the spouse who is away, individuals can keep their marriages strong and contribute to their spouses’ success.
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