Life as a TV wife
Never heard of a tv wife? Haha that’s ok, I had never heard of it either until I met my husband, Jeff.
We met 10 years ago in passing while I was dancing for the Chargers and he was “working” the game. He is a utility engineer which is a fancy way of saying he sets up the cameras for the game to be aired on tv. Fancy, right?
Well two years after meeting, I was single and just joined facebook. Yes I was late to the game. As a CG, we were not allowed to have one for security reasons. This rule has obviously changed since my hay-day but I was a rule follower. So anyways, back to my story.
We connected on facebook and that was when I learned about his job. I had no idea there were crews that traveled to games specifically to set up the show so we can watch it at home. Ok ok maybe I subconsciously knew that fact but I had never met anyone that did it. You would think after 6 years of dancing I would know that but I didn’t.
The first couple of years were tough. JEff travels about 2/3 out of the year. That’s about 35 weeks a year. Now it’s not done consecutively but it does happen. Break it down to days working away and you’re talking 244 days.
We spent every one of his off days together. It honestly gave us a good balance of time apart and time together. BUt it’s still a lot of days to be spent alone.
There are times where he could be gone for 4-6 weeks straight. Those weeks are difficult but I do my best to stay busy while he’s gone so that when he’s home, we get all the time to spend together.
In my years as a tv wife, the most common statement or question is… “How do you do it?”
I think it’s always good to reflect so with that being said, here’s my top 5 ways we make it work!
- Being in our relationship is a choice. Early on we talked about how this would work. We knew it would be difficult and not the norm, so we both understood that it was both of our choices to be in this together. I can honestly tell you that I would never ask him to not work, or change jobs. If this was what he wanted to do, I was in full support of that.
- The time away allows us to miss each other. And in almost 9 years of being with each other, we still miss each other every time he leaves. You know that phrase, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Well it’s true. I appreciate everything he does. Sure being home alone is tough, but so is living out of a suitcase.
- We don’t fight over petty things. So he didn’t make the bed or clean up his stuff, who cares. Me, yes I like things done a certain way but it’s not a reason to get frustrated at him. It does force a conversation but never escalates to an argument because that’s not how I want to spend the time that he is home.
- We have our own identities. This one was hard for me to learn because I tend to become the people I hang out with and since he isn’t home, I really had to work on discovering who I wanted to become. We both have our own interests which I think is essential to a strong relationship. I’m a big believer that we are two WHOLE individuals coming together to create a life together. The time away allows each of us to have our own thing.
- Adjustment periods. This was new to me. Early on we would have little tiffs with each other and it was always right after he got home from a big trip. It took me awhile to figure out why. We both had to adjust to him being home. Life is different when he’s on travel versus him being home. So when I took that into consideration, it made me realize we were going to have these adjustments, just like I needed to adjust to him being gone all the time. Giving ourselves that period to adjust gave us the opportunity for grace when we did something that annoyed us.
If I’m being honest, I think these are essential for any relationship, not just for ours. Patience and communication is my takeaway from all of them. It’s not easy, but relationships are hardly easy. There is so much that is engrained from our upbringing, our past hurts and our own expectations of each other. Our relationship is far from perfect. I can tell you almost 9 years in and I still struggle communicating what I need. But we are committed to this and I’m committed to growing.