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ֵEpisode 192 - When Your Husband Goes on a Business Trip

Updated: Apr 2

File this under things I wish they'd told me...

When your husband goes on a trip you'll worry that it'll be way too hard.

Then he'll go and you'll be surprisingly functional.

You will feel like SUPERWOMAN.

You can't wait for him to come home and see how clearly, everything you've been working on has just CLICKED! You've finally arrived at your peak of capability and functionality!

And then he comes back...

And you collapse.

WAIT! NO! You were so excited for him to have that extra time, to take a break, to see what you're capable of, to jaw-drop at your efficiency and got-it-together energy!

If you're chuckling along or your mouth is hanging open... you might not have known that this is a common phenomenon. (I couldn't believe it when I learned it, either.)

Being focused on results over experience (exactly what makes you so efficient while he's away) is something we have testosterone to thank for. And while we have a lower supply, women do have testosterone.

However, burning higher-than-normal levels can take a toll. For women, this can mean higher levels of stress or, as you may have experienced, that post-trip crash.

What's a girl to do?

1. Learn the lesson. It's not ONLY hormones. You probably had some very helpful thoughts, some good ideas, or you kept to habits that worked for you (ie going to bed on time, or getting yourself ready for the next day). Not being distracted by whether he should or could be helping you, you helped yourself. Good to know for the future.

2. Plan a transition. Instead of crashing back into your pre-trip life, give yourself some time to relax and unwind from the result-focused energy you've been in. Lunch with a friend, time to wander your favorite store, or a good book are good ways to show your system that you're dialing down on the productive energy and sliding back into something more feminine.

3. Don't take your brain too seriously. Any time something feels big to me (and that might not be something "technically big") I know my thinking might take a turn for the dramatic. Feel like he's being totally selfish upon return? Can't stand how he left his coffee mug out on the table that's been clean for a WEEK?! Maybe that's the crash speaking. If it's a problem, you'll still feel that way in a few days, so for now you don't need to rush into taking action.

Any tips that help you when your husband is away? Please share!


  1. The Situation

  2. So what in the world is happening?

  3. What should you do?

  4. How to use this to learn about yourself

  5. Learn from your husband


  1. FIRST YEAR MARRIED course is FREE for newlyweds in their first 6 months! Go to

Copy of Ep 192 - When your husband goes on a business trip ===

<00:00:00> Kayla Levin: Hi friends. Okay, so I know that this episode is very sort of timely in that if your husband's about to go on a business trip, you should for sure listen to it. And if he ever goes on trips, it doesn't really have to be for business.

<00:00:12> Kayla Levin: Make sure you log this, you might wanna listen to it now. I think you're gonna find some really interesting information that is relevant also when he's not. But we are definitely gonna do a deep dive into business trips cuz they are a thing, they are a specific topic. It's not a joke. So I wanna talk about what often happens for women when their husbands travel, especially if they have kids.

<00:00:32> The Situation ---

<00:00:32> Kayla Levin: So you take the average family where she's maybe feeling like a little bit unsupported or a lot a bit unsupported. She's not getting the help that she needs from her husband, and she feels like she's already drowning and now he's going on a trip. So she spends these like several days leading into the trip feeling stressed and anxious and nervous because now even whatever help he does give is gonna be.

<00:00:52> Kayla Levin: You know, even that she's gonna lose. And so how is this gonna go? And then the trip happens. He goes and everything goes like really smoothly. Okay. This is the crazy part. She just, everything kind of runs like it, it just goes, or there's like extra help that she wasn't planning on, you know, asking for, or she does ask for it, or, you know, just bedtime or all these different parts of the day where like he's kind of in and out.

<00:01:18> Kayla Levin: He's not in and out. Right? And dinner can be a little more simple and you know, you know, daddy doesn't come like make everyone wild right before bed or she just is fine. She just is fine and she does really, really well. And then he comes home and she falls apart. She like completely collapses emotionally, physically.

<00:01:42> Kayla Levin: She was thinking, Hey, if I'm running doing so well without him, that means like maybe there, this isn't me. Maybe this, I could be doing this. I could be doing this every time I could be doing this. Even when he is home, I'm so much more functional and capable than I realize. And then he comes home and she feels like even less functional and capable than before he left.

<00:01:59> Kayla Levin: Okay. I bet this is resonating with the lot of you. I know this still happens to me every single time, and then, you know, she kind of goes back, it's like right back into that same pattern. I'm not getting the help that I need. I'm so tired. My life is so overwhelming. I wish he would help me more.

<00:02:12> So what in the world is happening? ---

<00:02:12> Kayla Levin: So what in the world is happening here?

<00:02:16> Kayla Levin: If she could function when he wasn't there, why is it so much harder when he's there? And the answer for you is it's both your thinking and it's your body. Okay? So we're gonna talk about what's happening hormonally, and it has a huge impact, and also what's going on in your brain. All right? When we're responsible for something, when we are kind of the soul, like it's on our shoulders, we are the sole person with responsibility to make a result happen.

<00:02:43> Kayla Levin: We get some adrenaline and we are burning testosterone. Testosterone is the get it done energy. All right. As women, we need testosterone. We use testosterone. If you've ever been in a, in a life phase where like, let's say you are a stay-at-home mom for a while or you just never really needed to actually accomplish a specific thing, we don't do well.

<00:03:05> Kayla Levin: When we don't have any of that ever. Okay. We, I feel like that's why mommy blogs started because there were all these women who wanted to be stay-at-home moms, and they were like, I need to produce something. So at least a, a weekly blog could be my thing that I produced. I. It, it balances our hormones when we produce.

<00:03:22> Kayla Levin: However, we make about a 10th of the testosterone naturally that men make, which means it's a bigger tax on our system. So when you're in a situation where you are the sole provider, you are the sole person responsible. It's almost like, you know, I think Alison Armstrong talks a bit about it. As you, you become the king of the castle and all of the, you know, is on your shoulders.

<00:03:45> Kayla Levin: You're burning testosterone. Okay. It's not a bad thing. It's actually what makes you so effective. Bedtime goes from being an experience to being a result, and though it, you know, you it, the result might include that you do it in a nice way. You notice that while he's away, you're much more focused on time, how things need to go, what's your schedule, what needs to be done, what do the lunches get done at night instead of in the morning at the last minute, right?

<00:04:08> Kayla Levin: You're just much more focused on the results. You're burning that testosterone. It helps tremendously. When he's away, you absolutely need it. But because we have a limited supply, that post-trip crash is a very real thing. Being in a situation where you have to burn and and create, right? Because you can't burn testosterone unless you've created a testosterone.

<00:04:30> Kayla Levin: It has a tax on the female body. Okay?

<00:04:33> What should you do? ---

<00:04:33> Kayla Levin: And so, The advice that I love, which I learned from Alison Armstrong, is to rebalance your hormones before he returns so that you can signal to your nervous system that you are no longer required to be king of the castle. Okay, so what does that mean? You do something that shows you that we are relaxing now.

<00:04:56> Kayla Levin: So maybe you take yourself out for an extra hour. This is literally the last day you get a babysitter, or you know, you do this while the kids are in school before he comes back. You take a bubble bath, you take a nap, you go get yourself your favorite coffee and wander around target, like whatever feels just completely the opposite of a result-oriented behavior.

<00:05:18> Kayla Levin: Okay. Experiential, full experience. If you don't usually go to yoga, you take a yoga class, right? What is the thing. And it, you know, it could be anything. It doesn't have to be the perfect thing, but you just do something that's just kind of puty, like you're just kind of puttering around. When you do the behavior you're showing yourself on a subliminal level.

<00:05:38> Kayla Levin: It's not about the results anymore. I don't have to be responsible. Okay. So that's big. That's big. There's another piece too. If you just do that piece, I think you're gonna be in great shape. Okay. But there's another piece that I don't want us to forget about, which is,

<00:05:54> How to use this to learn about yourself ---

<00:05:54> Kayla Levin: You got a lot of awareness while he was gone about the extra load that your expectations and your thoughts are creating.

<00:06:02> Kayla Levin: We think that their help makes our life easier, and it does, but it doesn't make our life. All the way easier, meaning when they're helping, most of what helps is that we are no longer thinking he should be helping more. I can't be doing this. It changes the narrative. The narrative is, I wanna say 90% of the exhaustion you could push back on me on that one.

<00:06:29> Kayla Levin: Honestly, even if it was only 10% of the exhaustion, it's still worth getting rid of if you're feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. I think that narrative is tremendously draining and you've all experienced that, right? If you ever, if you, again, I'll go back to kids. Cause I think this episode really is very focused, especially for women, with kids.

<00:06:46> Kayla Levin: If you've ever been to a parent, been to a parenting class, and then that night bedtime was so different. It wasn't, they were different. You were different. Your thoughts about it were different. Bedtime had meaning. Now you had a goal. You had a focus. You wanted to do something with bedtime. Right? You had an experience.

<00:07:02> Kayla Levin: You were trying to create the way that we feel and think about our life on a daily basis. Is it that's, that's it. That's where our energy comes from. That's where our mood comes from. That's how we show up in the world comes from. And I know this sounds so simple, but the truth is it is simple. It's not complicated sometimes when this is one of the things that's, that came up for me when I was preparing this month's topic on boundaries inside of the online coaching community that I run, which was we have to be so careful not to use any of these tools to make our life any heavier.

<00:07:35> Kayla Levin: We don't need help with that. We don't need any help making anything happier. Okay, so what you noticed was that you had a completely different mental landscape while he was gone. Right. If help happened, it was a delightful bonus. If things went crazy wrong, you were like, okay, you know what? They went wrong cuz it's just me.

<00:07:55> Kayla Levin: You weren't beating yourself up, you weren't resentful, you weren't frustrated. You just kind of went from one thing to the next. Because honestly, when he's not there, you don't have the luxury of falling apart. So you don't, you just stay positive. Okay. Um. So I think that it's so important to think about where was my head during that time?

<00:08:18> Kayla Levin: What were my thoughts, what was different? And knowing that information, what do I wanna do about when he is home at bedtime?

<00:08:27> Learn from your husband ---

<00:08:27> Kayla Levin: Okay. One thing that I actually learned from my husband, and I will always tell you, your husband is your absolute best resource for understanding, because men will communicate with you literally.

<00:08:37> Kayla Levin: Okay. They're not speaking between the lines. If you ask him a question and you're willing to hear the, hear the answer, you will actually know how he operates. It's just having the, the wisdom to know when to ask, right? Because what we tend to do is we assume that he operates the same way that we do. And then we get frustrated.

<00:08:57> Kayla Levin: But if you notice, wait, maybe he's not operating from the same motivations or the same reasons, or the same as what I'm assuming, what I'm, what I am extrapolating or what I'm projecting on him. Then we think to ask the question, wait, why did you do that? And when you ask that question, you get profound answers.

<00:09:13> Kayla Levin: So one thing I learned from my husband is that it's very hard for him. And I'm using him as an example, but this is true for a lot of your husbands. It's very hard for him to help me because he knows that my list of things I need doesn't ever end. There is no end. And so if he does all the three things that I'm asking and it's done, there's going to be more.

<00:09:38> Kayla Levin: And he has the self-awareness to know that that sense of accomplishment of being done is huge and super motivating and that he won't get it. Right without, at least now we've worked it out so that I don't do this anymore. But at that time, he wouldn't never get that. There would never be a feeling of I have given her what you needed.

<00:09:54> Kayla Levin: I did it. I helped. Because as soon as he helps with one thing, it's another thing. Okay. And the other thing is that there were other things he actually did need to do. Okay, so if he's offering to be available for me, he also still has the queue. He's put it on hold, but he has this queue of things that he has got lined up that he needs to be getting, getting onto right for us.

<00:10:15> Kayla Levin: You know, it might be our finances or our bills. He takes care of. Um, it could be a person he's supposed to be calling back. It could be his work. Like there's things that he has in his queue. He's put them on hold while he comes and helps me with whatever the thing is I've asked for, and or the thing that's just generally my, my territory.

<00:10:34> Kayla Levin: And he knows that it's just gonna keep coming, and so he's never gonna get to his cue, which is also super frustrating. Okay, so for me, the lesson from there was to manage my own anxiety around giving him a set amount of things where then he could be done. Now when I say manage my own anxiety, that's the key.

<00:10:55> Kayla Levin: The key wasn't just give him a set amount of things and then be done. The key was. But what if I need more help? What if it's not enough? Okay, so the truth is, honestly, my husband's a mench. If I was completely drowning and I absolutely needed more, of course he would help. But if that's always the dynamic, it's not healthy, it doesn't work.

<00:11:12> Kayla Levin: So I had to say, I'm gonna commit to these things, and then that's it. He can go off and do his thing and when my brain goes to, but I need more help, or he should be helping or look how hard I'm working and I'm not noticing all the stuff that he's doing. Because, no, he's not working hard at bedtime if he's not doing bedtime, but he is still working hard at something else, right?

<00:11:31> Kayla Levin: And so I have to plan to manage my mind around it. Okay? That is actually the tool. The tool isn't the set amount of things. You do need to do that, but the tool is also then prepare yourself for the moment when you don't wanna stick to that set amount of things. And how will you handle that? Okay. We do a lot of work on managing that.

<00:11:50> Kayla Levin: If you're in the community and you're struggling with that, just let me know. Come on to a coaching call and I'll, I'll help you through it with how to manage those emotions. Or we have like a million old classes on feelings that you can go through.

<00:12:00> Recap ---

<00:12:00> Kayla Levin: All right. So I, I don't wanna underestimate. The value of what you can learn from when he is away.

<00:12:05> Kayla Levin: Yes. Did you have the boost of the testosterone and the boost of the adrenaline? Absolutely. And is that something that you can realistically expect to have in your life on a regular basis? No, because it, you don't even want it, right? It's a luxury to be able to kind of fall apart. Not everyone can, and if you can, that's a beautiful thing actually.

<00:12:22> Kayla Levin: It's not a crazy thought. Like how amazing is it that I live in a, I'm in a relationship where I kind of fall apart sometimes. If that's where you are, then you're very, very blessed. Um, but just because you won't keep the, you know, hormonal cocktail that you had, the, the business trip, hormonal cocktail that you get when he's gone doesn't mean there's nothing to learn.

<00:12:45> Kayla Levin: So I do want you to make sure you go back and notice what was my mental landscape? What was I thinking? What was I feeling? And what is available to me even when he is not away on the trip? How can I remind myself of that? How can I intentionally, I mean, literally take a whiteboard marker and put it on your mirror.

<00:13:01> Kayla Levin: Not the marker, right? The words, right. Um, how can I intentionally focus my brain on those thoughts? Because I know my old pattern is to think the old thoughts, and I know that I have negativity bias because that's what human brains do. I notice the negative more than I notice the positive. So I need to intentionally cultivate positive thinking.

<00:13:20> Kayla Levin: I need to intentionally go to the thoughts that energize me, that keep me feeling passionate, keep me excited, and I would also argue, Intentionally add into your calendar things that make those thoughts better. So if the parenting class makes parenting more meaningful, then go to the parenting class. If listening to this podcast makes marriage more inspiring, make sure you're listening to the podcast.

<00:13:41> Kayla Levin: Prioritize things that give you a healthier mental landscape. Because a look at the benefit of that. Look at the well, how that trickles down into your energy, your feelings, how you're showing up for the people in your life, and how you feel about yourself when you go to bed that night. Okay. It's exciting work to be doing.

<00:13:56> Kayla Levin: I'm excited to be doing it with you all.

<00:13:59> Free gift for newlyweds ---

<00:13:59> Kayla Levin: If this work is speaking to you and you know, someone who's in their first six months of marriage, would you please help us? We're trying to get to a hundred more newlyweds to go through the first year married course. I wanna introduce this material to as many women as possible. Honestly, I just wanna be the gateway drug to coaching and self-development for as many Jewish women as possible.

<00:14:17> Kayla Levin: And that's really what this course is all about, building self-awareness, building the tools to process emotions and building healthy relationships. So if you could please, Suggest to them. Let them know. Um, you know so many more people than I do. Or maybe you don't know more people, but you know different people than I do.

<00:14:34> Kayla Levin: All they need to do is go to and it will take them through. If you're interested in the course, but you are not in your six months of marriage, go there too. And you will get the access there. And if you're not in your first six months of marriage, but you're still interested, you can go there too.

<00:14:50> Kayla Levin: And I will direct you to where you need to go. So Please share it, um, with your communities, with your groups, wherever you think there might be some newlyweds or people who know newlyweds who would want to help them get into this way of thinking. I mean, I don't know about you, but for me, my life is before coaching and after coaching, I have become a completely different person and such a happier person and such a better person.

<00:15:14> Kayla Levin: To be around, and so I just wanna share it with as many people as possible. Okay? Oh, and the course is totally free for people in their first six months. I didn't mention that. That's like a big deal. They get it for free. Okay, have an amazing, amazing week, my friends. I will see you back here next week.

<00:15:28> Kayla Levin: Bye-bye.




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