Both Sides Are Hard, and Both Sides Are Nice


It is completely possible that you've had this thought as your spouse leaves on another TDY, deployment, or quick trip to a conference or meeting: "He (she) is so lucky."

I know I have thought similar things many times during my marriage. I like to travel, and I like hotels, therefore anything that involves a hotel immediately looks like fun to me. During the years where we had four little, little kids (in a little, little house), even the ship looked good to me. Sometimes just the sheer monotony of being in your own zip code makes a spouses unpleasant trip to the field look like a nice vacation.

Well, I have to tell you. Thanks to this SpouseBUZZ thing, and my writing at The Paycheck Chronicles, I've had the great opportunity to travel, sans family, every few months. Two nights in a hotel! Heaven. No housework, and I get to wear nice clothes, and act like a grown-up. Guess what? I miss my family like crazy. I miss my house like crazy. I've been known to sit in my room and cry myself to sleep. (And I am surrounded by friends on these trips!)

Here's what I've discovered over the last few years: This traveling stuff is not as glamorous as it looks. Sometimes you don't want to leave your house to go talk to strangers. Hotel rooms are inherently boring. I ache to see my kids by the time I get home.

When I first started formulating this thought, it looked something like this "Boy, the other side of this isn't always fun, either." And then it changed a little bit, because both sides have good and bad parts. Hey, I'm still in a hotel, right? And I'm with my friends, which is always good.

I've been thinking about how to write this post for nearly a year, and I've found more situations where I can see my husband's side of the situation. Since he's been home, it has grown even more. Half the time I feel like I don't know what is going on at home because my husband is doing such a good job. Makes me crazy when I don't know everything. Then I realize that my husband spends months at a time not having the opportunity to know what is going on. I would totally hate that!

It is really early in the morning, and I feel like I'm rambling. My point here is this: each of our individual roles have good parts and bad parts, and sometimes the good and bad parts are at the same time. Of course, you should try to improve the bad parts when you can, otherwise you'll just have to focus on the benefits. So next time your spouse leaves you for some exotic locale, try to be thankful for the opportunity to stay home and do the home stuff. It isn't all bad.

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