Husband Out of Town

Updated on November 02, 2007
T.G. asks from Evansville, IN
11 answers

Hi everyone, my husband is out of town this week on business and has not been away before so it's not something my son (13 months) is used to. At first he was just confuse and would walk around the house calling out for daddy and looking at me and throwing up his hands like he's asking where daddy is. Well last night and this morning, when he's calling out for him, he's starting to sound mad and so is the look on his face. And when my husband called last night and I put him on speakerphone so they could talk, my son just looked at the phone and walked away (normally he will stand there and babble to daddy until I MAKE him give me the phone). So he's coming home tomorrow night and everything will be fine. But I'm afraid that my son is actually mad at my husband and he has this in his head that when he comes home our son is just going to run to him and be so excited and I'm not sure that's going to happen. And it will devastate him. Has anyone handled something like this? I know its probably not a big deal, but I can just see my husband's face if it doesnt go like he thinks.. thanks in advance!

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So What Happened?

Thanks for the advice everyone. He's been gone since Monday and is coming home tonight, so last night on the phone I cautiously raised the subject and he was just like, "Yeah, I know, we'll just have to see how it goes, either way he'll be fine once he realizes I'm not going anywhere." So much for all my worry huh??

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answers from Indianapolis on

Hi T.,

I went on a 3 week trip when my daughter was about 13 months. My hubby was quite nervous she would shy away or push him away. When he walked up to us at the airport, my daughter looked at him and just put her arms out after a short pause. My hubby was so releived.

However, he was prepared for the possible rejection.
Also, it was 3weeks!! You're talking 3 days... even if he shyes away it will be short-term.


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answers from Chicago on

My husband is gone a lot too, and it is a more recent thing for us. I show our daughter pictures of daddy and let her talk to him on the phone. She acts mad sometimes, and I let her be mad- she needs to feel how she feels, but I tell her frequently that daddy loves and misses her. good luck. It is a rough transition!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

I travel several times a year, sometimes for a week or more, since my daughter was six months old. I can tell you that sometimes I get the excited run to me when I get back, but most times I do not. I hope your husband can manage his expectations, because I think you're right, that the reunion might not go as he hopes. But I can say that I was happy enough for the both of us every time I got to see my little girl again after being away. And while that moment might not be perfect and Norman Rockwell-ish, he'll be glad to see him again. It just might not show right away. I think they're just too young.



answers from Chicago on

Well, I would just tell your husband the situation. It's too much to expect an infant to modify their feelings, but your husband is an adult, so he should be able to accept a natural reaction from a baby.

My husband was in Iraq for the first 8 months of our daughter's life. I prepared him beforehand that she did not like strangers and would not want to go to him right away. He was prepared and it took her a few weeks to warm up to him and now she is the biggest daddy's girl around. His feelings weren't hurt because he was able to prepare beforehand for what was going to happen.



answers from Evansville on

My husband just got back from a two-week training in Ft. Campbell and he thought my son hated him. He was a little distant for a few days. I think the most important thing is to remind your son that daddy is coming home and that he loves him and to also expect that he might be distant for a while. Just be glad that he's only away for a week or so. My husband mobilizes in December and will be deployed for a year or so total. Not looking forward to it. Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

I agree that when your husband gets home to tell your son how much he has been missed and spend "daddy time" with him.

When my husband travels, we also use a webcam, so we can see and talk to him. I have a 4 year old and a 1 year old (turned 1 on 9/21!). They really look forward to seeing daddy "in" the computer!

We also talk alot about what daddy might be doing while he is gone (maybe not so helpful with the little guy, but it helps with my older son). We also look at lots of pictures of daddy while he is gone.

Its never easy. My husband doesn't travel all that much, but when it does, its a little rough.

Hang in there, he's almost home,



answers from Port St. Lucie on

Hi T.,
Unfortunately, I have more experience with this than I would like. I don't recall exactly how my son reacted at 13 months -- he is 19 months now. I think at 13 months when my husband came home, my son was just happy and excited to see him. At 19 months, my son needs a little "warming up" period. He asks for his daddy when he's not there, but when my husband does come home, my son hides behind me and hugs my leg. Sometimes he even whines and cries a little. But he warms up in an hour or so and then follows him around like a shadow, clearly happy as a clam that his daddy has returned. You may want to prepare your husband ahead of time if you think his feelings may be hurt. But I assure you that if your son is anything like mine, your husband won't be able to shake him after the warming up period (if there is one) and that and he'll then be certain that he was missed and is loved!



answers from Lafayette on

When my husband went out of town, I would simply tell my children that Daddy was at work and would be back soon. We would cross off the days on the calendar till his return. We would also do special projects for Daddy while he was gone. (Drawing pictures, painting pictures, collecting items)



answers from Chicago on

My husband travels frequently for work, so I can talk about daddy being away, but not about the newness of it. My son always looks for my husband in the mornings and always seems a little disappointed if he's not there. But he's always THRILLED when dad is home. The key is to make sure your husband pays a lot of attention to him when he gets home, tells him that he missed him, etc. And have some real dedicated time - maybe go out and play at the park together or something fun. Kids can get used to parents being in and out, but they need to know that they're loved and missed.



answers from Chicago on

Since it is just a one time thing, have daddy bring him a little gift. He will be excited about it and he and daddy will have something to "break the ice" with together.



answers from Chicago on

My husband had to go away for training when our daughter was around 13 months old (he'd never been away prior to that). She was a little upset...but the whole time he was gone, I would tell her how much her daddy missed her and how important she is to him. He called 3 times a day. First thing in the morning to say good morning, at lunch time just before nap, and at dinner time. The day he was coming home, he called her and said, "I'm on my way home...I've missed you so much...I'm so excited to see you..." He really made a big deal about it. And, when she saw her daddy, she just couldn't help but run to him (we met him at the airport).

But, you know, each child is different and you may want to help your son talk about his feelings. I know that he doesn't have the words to explain it...but maybe helping him put a label on what he's feeling and reassuring him that those feelings are valid and ok, would help diffuse that anger a bit. And, then get all excited about dad coming home. Usually, children respond well to excitement, so if you're excited, they will be, too.

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