Jill says: One of the beautiful things about the empty nest season is that Mark and I have the freedom to travel together more often than in the past. Since I do quite a bit of speaking both in and out-of-state, it’s great to have Mark accompany me whenever possible.
Mark says: This past weekend Jill’s dad and I moved our son, Nicolai, from Oklahoma City back to our home in Illinois. While in Oklahoma, we also helped Jill’s sister with some home projects. This made it a four-day trip. In a switch of roles, I did the traveling this time and Jill stayed home.
Jill says: I don’t have the same need Mark has for staying in touch when we’re apart. I’d be fine with one phone call a day to connect. That’s the independent likes-her-personal-space girl in me.
Mark says: I, however, like to stay in touch throughout the day. I enjoy texting, sharing pictures of the projects we’re working on, and chatting when we can.
Jill says: While I don’t “need” the same amount of connection Mark desires, I have learned to appreciate the result of more intentional contact when we’re apart. We don’t have as much “debriefing” when one of us gets home as we do when we don’t stay as connected.
Mark says: When the kids were younger and one of us traveled, we would usually plan a “re-entry” date within the first 24 hours home. This allowed the parent at home to catch the traveling parent up on the good, bad, and ugly that happened at home while he/she was gone. We also found that it helped us reconnect sexually because we first reconnected emotionally.
Jill says: We’ve also found a couple of smartphone apps that have been fun to use to stay connected with each other throughout the day. One is the Bitmoji app which allows you to create a cartoon version of yourself. Once you create your cartoon, there are dozens of messages you can share through texting.
We also enjoy using the Couple App. It’s not only where we keep a shared shopping list, but it’s also a place we can send videos, written messages, stickers, and even draw a picture and share it with one another.
What about you? What are some creative ways you stay in touch when you and your spouse are apart?