Married to a business traveller – Letting him go always hurts

Is my husband’s departure easier to bear when he leaves in the right moment? I don’t think so. As I’ve just experienced, the right moment doesn’t exist.

It’s Tuesday evening and I’ve just returned home to an empty flat. While only a few hours ago I was sitting at the breakfast table with my husband, he won’t be coming home tonight – or anytime soon.

Illusion of normality

The realization hits me hard as soon as I enter our silent flat. During the whole day, I had allowed myself the illusion of normality. Not wanting to face my husband’s departure just yet.

Something that was easy to achieve – as my day had started out just like any other day:

We got up together and had coffee as usual. When it was time to leave for the office we hugged us goodbye and went to work. During the day – in between meetings – we texted a few times as we always do. Finally, around 6 p.m. I called it a day, did some grocery shopping and drove home.

That’s where normality ended for me today. Because, when my husband left for work this morning, he had his suitcase with him. Instead of coming home tonight he’s sitting at Frankfurt Airport right now, waiting to board a flight to Manila.

Although his departure was supposed to be much easier this time, the fact that I won’t see him again until the end of next week still makes me sad.

Finally not a weekend

When he first told me about this upcoming trip, I was enthusiastic about the how and when.

“It’s so good that you don’t have to leave on a weekend for a change!” I exclaimed, picturing it to be much easier if he left in the middle of the week. We would just hug each other goodbye and it would be like any other day when we part for our jobs.

Occupied with my work during the day, I wouldn’t even realize he’s gone, and when I returned home the worst part would already be over.

Not a good plan after all

What sounded like a good plan turns out to be quite the opposite. In a way, this kind of gradual goodbye is even more hurtful than his usual departures.

When I drop him off at the airport, there’s a clear swipe. He passes security – and is
actually gone. As soon as I drive back home from the airport I can start to cope.

This time, it feels as if I had just postponed the inevitable emotional turmoil. I was so used to having my husband around for the last three weeks that it hurts to be alone again – no matter what. But instead of facing my feelings, I acted as if nothing was different the whole day. Just to let it hit me even harder this evening

The moment is never right

So in the end, I think there’s never the right time to say goodbye to my husband.

When he’s leaving on Saturday night, I wish he would leave on Sunday instead.

When he’s flying away on Sunday I think it would be so much easier if he just started his business trip on Monday.

And when he’s departing during the week, I wish he’d already gone on the weekend.

No matter how: There is no such thing as the right moment when it comes to letting your loved ones go. That’s a simple fact I’ll have to accept.

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