My husband travels a lot for work - not a LOT a lot, but enough that I spend a certain number of nights alone. And the thing about being alone is that well, it's kind of annoying. It's super-frustrating to cook for one person, and not have anybody to do the dishes. But it's kind of liberating. Because I can eat junk food, like frozen waffles and boxed mac and cheese, and eat stuff he doesn't like, like broccoli, and watch crummy television and go for long runs after work and sleep late. Sure, nobody does the dishes, but I don't have to do them either. I can leave all the dishes until Friday morning and do a mad fit of dishes before my husband gets home. (Don't worry sweetie, I don't.)
The main reason I don't really like being alone is something I probably should be ashamed to admit as a, y'know, Grownup: I am afraid of the dark. I mean, it's not the dark so much as I'm really creeped out generally when I'm alone. When my husband goes out of town, I paranoidly check all of the closets; I have to have the TV or radio on because otherwise I interpret every creaking of every beam in our 100+ year old apartment as something going on. This also leads to my staying up waaaay past my bedtime watching Daily Show reruns for company.
There are a few other strains that one of us or the other traveling (because in the past it was me) puts on our relationship - when one of us works late, or works nights, like my husband does when he is out of town, it's really hard to touch base. We talk once or twice a day, for about five minutes, pretty much to make sure the other person is alive, the house is still standing, and to finalize any weekend plans, etc. that need to be made. It's just really hard to have a long conversation when there is a manlift backing up in the background of a conversation. It always feels like that episode of the Office where Pam and Jim keep calling each other and can't quite connect.
The other thing that's sometimes a problem is when a last minute trip comes up and we already had weekend plans, which means that he gets home and then we're off camping or to his folk's house for the weekend, or we're throwing some kind of party and the house needs to be sparkling. It's hard to shift gears suddenly from not seeing each other to spending all our time together, and I always come out of it saying something like, "I just need some space right now!" Usually, eventually, we settle down and he does the laundry and I make dinner, and then we eat together and get a chance to actually enjoy each other's company, but sometimes that takes days.
Does anyone else have a traveling spouse? How do you keep in contact and make it work if you can't talk regularly? Any suggestions for good single person meals? Bonus if they involve broccoli. I'm not a big soup person though, so I'm reluctant to make a batch of soup and live off of it all week.