Your advice: How to strike a balance as a dual-career development couple

Juggling frequent travel schedules, aligning overseas assignments and staying in touch with your loved one when apart isn't easy. Devex crowdsourced the experts — you — on how to make it a dual-career development relationship work.

Here’s what the Devex audience had to say:

“Make sure you communicate every day, even if it’s just a good morning over WhatsApp and a good night on Skype. Be honest about when you are too tired to talk — trying to connect when exhausted can leave you highly frustrated. Try to disconnect for real when you are on vacation.”
 MJN

Stephen Ladek and family.

“I think it's clear that Skype/Hangouts/Facetime have really gone a long way in keeping relationships alive. I want to highlight another communication style though: Fast and versatile texting platforms for smartphones like WhatsApp have also contributed to maintaining the feeling of closeness from afar. Something I've tried to do is send photos throughout the day of little things to draw someone distant into my experience. Like a photo essay I document the view from my window, the bustle of the street, flowers in bloom, colorful socks and other nuanced symbols of place and character. With this slower-paced and reflective method, connections can remain strong.”
 Zachary Rosen

“Always use the holidays generously by spending quality time with your spouse/mate/partner.”
 Brenda

● Plan regular Skype calls! Sharing about the details and everyday happenings is true intimacy.
● Plan vacations together well in advance so you have something to look forward to.
● Send each other care packages and letters.
● Express your feelings for each other more than you would regularly.
● Have an "end date" in mind when you will live in the same place.
● Remember why you're doing it: this person should be adding joy and support to your life. If not, time to move on.
 Anonymous

Yassica Ferrer and family.

“Continuously pausing to remind yourself that you've got the wife, kids and job of your dreams. Don't stress trying to 'time zone' the daily phone call or Skype before the kids get to bed. Everyone knows there's lots of love, we define our own normal and this is the life we love.”
 Chris Henderson 

“With the way my family and I want to live and raise the kids, we couldn't really do what we do unless my wife remained a stay at home mom. We didn't want and couldn't afford to put the kids in daycare. My employer has been really generous in allowing me to telework so that we can live near our extended family when I have to deploy.”
 Scott Webb

“Prioritize Family. Get pregnant. Hire Help!”
 Ian Mountjoy

“In some ways, it can be much easier for a working couple to have children in a developing country, assuming you are both able to be stationed/get jobs in the same place. Nanny care and preschools are generally much more affordable than in the US. Now that we're back in the U.S., we miss our nannies and cooperative preschool in Nairobi. Preschool is expensive and hard to get into, and nannies are an unaffordable extravagance for the most part.”
 Tye Ferrell

What else can you do to maintain a healthy work and personal life? Leave a comment below or tweet using the hashtag #DevCouples.

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About the author

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    Kelli Rogers

    Kelli Rogers is an Associate Editor for Devex. Based on the U.S. West Coast, she works with Devex's team of correspondents and editors around the world, with a particular focus on gender. She previously worked as Devex’s Southeast Asia correspondent based in Bangkok, covering disaster and crisis response, resilience, women’s rights, and climate change throughout the region. Prior to that, she reported on social and environmental issues from Nairobi, Kenya. Kelli holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, and has since reported from more than 20 countries.

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