There are times when I know Jeff is more prone to slip up on the road to recovery.  These include when he is tired, when he is stressed and when he is lonely.  I don’t travel much, but when I do it is a perfect storm for Jeff.  As the lone caretaker for our two active boys while I’m out of town – the stress and exhaustion come quickly.  The loneliness soon follows.  Here are some things I try to do to support Jeff when I have to be away from home.

1. I take his struggle seriously. I ask him about his strategy. I encourage him and affirm him.

2. I try to help him find some pockets of time to recharge. Maybe that means scheduling a babysitter one evening while I’m gone so he can go to his group.  Or arrange a play date so he can enjoy a few hours of quiet at the house.

3. I spend time with him alone before and after the trip. No kids, no “to do” list. Whether it is a date night or just a quiet evening after putting the kids to bed, I let him know that I love him by speaking his love language.

4. I leave notes of encouragement. This is something I use to do just for the boys, but Jeff loves it too.  I put them on the bathroom mirror, on the front door, in dresser drawers.  I want all my boys to be reminded that they are the world to me.

5. I talk to him frequently while I’m out of town. I’m not a phone talker, but Jeff has shared with me that he really needs to talk to me while I’m gone.  So I give him my full attention, which means I turn off the tv and the computer and focus on him.  I also try to let him end the conversation, so he doesn’t feel as if I’m rushing him.

6. I pray for him. I confess that I don’t do this nearly as much as I should.  But I ask the Lord to keep Jeff strong, to give the boys a smooth, easy week, and to protect Jeff’s eyes from temptation.  I never forget that this is a spiritual battle, which can only be fought by prayer.

by Marsha Fisher of on January 31, 2011