Dr. Cali Estes featured in Entrepreneur: 4 Strategies for Maintaining a Strong Marriage From the Road.

marriage

4 Strategies for Maintaining a Strong Marriage From the Road

Sophia Dembling

This story first appeared in the May 2014 issue of Entrepreneur.

Musician and electrician Tim Estes runs a spit-and-polish home. But that changes when his wife, Cali, founder of The Addictions Coach, a mobile counseling program, returns from one of her frequent road trips. “He says, ‘Hurricane Cali came through here; the house is a disaster,'” she reports with a laugh.

Cali travels for weeks at a stretch. Tim says it takes about 72 hours for the pair to readjust after she gets home. “You’re walking on each other’s feet and invading each other’s spaces. It takes a little bit of getting used to,” he explains.

Keeping a household and a relationship on an even keel with all that coming and going requires having both spouses on board. Leaving for a business trip doesn’t mean you get to leave home completely behind (and, yes, it takes more than a Skype call to stay involved). The issues traveling couples must work through can range from pragmatic to personal–from dealing with household repairs to managing fears of infidelity. Here are four of the biggest challenges.

Respecting complementary strengths. Tim appreciates the perks of Cali’s income and happily handles the cooking and cleaning. “I enjoy it all, which is weird,” he says. “And Cali’s horrible at it. It’s a full-time job, keeping her in line and set and not looking like her clothes came out of the bottom of the hamper.”

When Cali feels the weight of financial responsibility, Tim reminds her that he has a full-time job looking after the house and her needs. “That’s really the only gripe we’ve ever had,” he says.

The only household chore Tim tends to fumble is paying bills on time, so Cali put everything on autopay. Problem solved.

Read more here:  4 Strategies for Maintaining a Strong Marriage From the Road