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The Pros and Cons of having a partner who works away occasionally

Updated on December 10, 2010
We always have a lot of washing up to do.
We always have a lot of washing up to do.

I hope no-one reads too much into this hub. It's merely a whimsical bit of fun, not aimed at seriously criticising anyone, or at analysing my own relationship too deeply. Just some observations, that's all.

My partner, Kev, doesn't work away very often, maybe once or twice a year. The first time he was away for a week I was a bag of nerves in the days leading up to his departure, and even cried when he left. That seems completely pathetic to me now. Most of the time I don't even remember that he's going until I see him ironing shirts and packing his bag the night before. It's not that I don't care, bless him, it's only that I look forward to a week of being organised and having structure in my days.

I do it automatically now, without planning or even thinking too much about it. I get up early every morning when Kev is away. I have the kids out of the door in plenty of time for school every day. Meals are ready nice and early, homework is done properly and efficiently, children are bathed and brushed before 7pm, bedtime stories are read in abundance, and my evenings belong to my smug self. Now what I need to do is keep hold of that organised and motivated Linda when Kev returns home. She always seems to slip out the back door as soon as his taxi from the station pulls up.

Pros and cons of being alone. I wonder if I can keep it balanced?!

Pros of partner being away from home

  • Tidier house. Clich√©, yes, but the men I know really do make as much mess as children.¬†
  • Less washing (laundry), and all remaining washing is small!
  • Less food to buy - marginally, my little gannets do eat a lot.
  • Bathroom to myself in the morning - heavenly, as we have a tiny bathroom.
  • For some reason there is less washing up to do, even though Kev only uses one cup, one plate and one knife and fork per day. Strange.
  • I am motivated and full of energy - this is likely to be out of necessity. But then it is also necessary for me to be motivated and full of energy when he is home, I'm just not.
  • Peace and quiet in the evenings. Not that Kev is noisy, quite the opposite. But I really, sincerely enjoy being along in the evenings. That is not a poor reflection on Kev, so please do not think that there is anything wrong with him. I just enjoy my own company so much; I'm sure you can imagine how scintillating it is. Something to do with my vanity probably.
  • Period drama. When I'm alone in those evenings I love to put on a couple of episodes of the BBC's Pride and Prejudice, or perhaps a little Vicar of Dibley, or if I'm feeling very nostalgic, then The Waltons. Can't do that when Kev's home, understandably. But I bear him no resentment for not enjoying these treasures, it's just nice to enjoy them myself when he's elsewhere.
  • I'm a nicer person when he's away. Now, don't see this statement as the harbinger of doom for our relationship. Like I said, I need to work on keeping this Linda around when he's home.

Cons of partner being away from home

  • I have the bathroom to myself in the mornings. I know I listed this in the pros, but it can be a little lonely in there. I usually do a lot of thinking in the shower, and then have no-one to download my musings to if Kev's away. It's all nonsense, my morning thoughts, and a lot of the time, Kev can't get up the energy to respond to my ramblings, but talking to him is marginally better than talking to a brick wall.
  • No-one to make a cup of tea for me. I'm perfectly capable of making my own brew, of course, I'm thirty-three years old. But it's nice when it's not your turn, you know?
  • No-one to share washing up duty with.
  • No-one to share children's teeth brushing duty with.
  • No-one to help field children's incessant, though adorable questioning about Everything. I love answering my children's highly original queries, but it's nice to share the experience with another adult.
  • No built in babysitter if I want to go out in the evenings. This is a lame con because I rarely want to go out.

I'm finding it difficult to achieve balance, I'll be honest. There are more pros to Kev working away than there are cons. I'll admit it, I do enjoy it when he works somewhere else.

But there's another pro to him going to another city for a week:

  • When he comes home he's missed us, and is eager to do something special and fun with the boys. We're always pleased to see him, and that's a feeling we would miss out on if he never went away.


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    • Lady Wordsmith profile image

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Thanks Mike. Yes, I'd forgotten that part. I can cook, but I too seem to spend more money on take aways when he's not here. Hmm, that's quite a significant 'con' in the argument.

    • realmike4u profile image

      realmike4u 6 years ago

      I love to have around all of the time because i can't cook hence, spends more money eating out but then, i seem to get more work done those times when i'm alone...yet i enjoy her presence a lot and can't stand her walk away.

      Nice Hub!

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Thank you LaurieDawn and Darski :) Not everyone enjoys alone time, I know. But I'm tending to find that people who write just relish those quiet evenings to themselves: time to think, and time to just be peaceful. Wonderful.


    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 6 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Oh I love my lone time, I can spend all day writing on the computer and not feel guilty. Have all my pets sleeping with me or not hearing the TV blasting in the other room. Aw, yes quiet time is awesome. Great hub my friend, very nice to read, thumbs up peace & love darski

    • LaurieDawn profile image

      LaurieDawn 6 years ago

      I enjoyed reading your hub Linda, you truly have a wonderful way with words. I used to relish that alone time when my husband would be gone away on business trips, and now that he is "gone" passed away, I miss having those times when he came home too. It is a wonderful balance, having them there, and then not having them there. You described it to a "T"!!

      Blessings and hugs,


    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 6 years ago

      .....and you could literally write about 'anything' ...... or just write 'anything' - either way I know it will turn out to be a success with you!!!!

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      Thank you, once again! I was thinking about your comment on one of my other hubs yesterday, and you mentioned that you thought I could write about anything. Well, that will be the title of my next hub I think - 'Anything'. I wonder where that one will take me! If it goes nowhere I won't post it.


    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 6 years ago much fun to read - you are literally, a wordsmith!

      And of course you were born to write - and I was born to read you!!!!

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      What a precious weekend that must be for you, prairieprincess. I usually take one day to myself every month, but since I was lucky enough to have a week without Kev and the boys when I went to Barbados for my brother's wedding, I haven't taken that monthly day off - it seems a bit cheeky to expect it for the time being! :)

      No, I wouldn't want be alone all the time either, but it's good that we get the chance to be alone sometimes.

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 6 years ago from Canada

      Lady Wordsmith, interesting hub. I get one weekend a month where the kids are gone, and he's gone to work all day. I crave those weekends where I can just relax with no one around. At the same time, I'm glad I'm not alone all the time.

    • Lady Wordsmith profile image

      Linda Rawlinson 6 years ago from Lancaster, UK

      That was quick - I only just published this!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment lindacee :) It is wonderful to be alone, but I wouldn't want to do it all the time.


    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 6 years ago from Arizona

      I used to relish the "me" time when hubby was out of town, but it did get kind of lonely and I missed his help around the house! Thanks for the great hub.