Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sweet, Sweet Separation

Being away from your husband sucks. You’re sad, people pity you, you are alone. Nobody ever thinks of it in a positive light.

So what if I were to say that it is the best thing that could happen to a marriage? How can that make any sense? Let me point the ways out to you.

1.       You have an automatic reminder of all the things you LOVE about him. I can’t believe I am saying this, but I actually miss the video games! It gets awful quiet around here. Having someone around to encourage you to be your best at everything you do. Someone to tell you that you look beautiful. That your hair looks beautiful. That smile you get from him when you first wake up. The smallest, most insignificant things now become first in your mind. Your biggest wish in life now becomes much more simple: to spend time, even just a minute, with him.

2.       You get a break from all the little pet peeves. You know, laundry all over the floor (although, I’m realizing that I’m not much better), whining when it’s time to do the dishes, geez…I can’t really even remember any others…it’s been awhile! I rest my case.

3.       Actually being able to miss each other. Being married is also like signing a contract for a permanent roommate. Especially if you are on the same work schedule, you don’t ever seem to get alone time or opportunities to “do whatever” without the other person. And no matter how much you love the other person, or how much you love to spend time together, every person needs time to themselves once in awhile to learn and grow individually. We continue to change as we grow older; especially for us young adults who still have a whole lifetime ahead of us. Time apart helps us to search within ourselves, to find our true strengths and weaknesses. You might surprise yourself with what you discover!

4.       Spousal bonding time. Extended time apart from each other forces new pathways of communication. I just Skyped with my husband recently for several hours, and we had conversations which led to truths that we might not have otherwise learned. Topics arise and are discussed in-depth in a light that, under “ordinary circumstances”, may never have happened. Sure we still argue, but it is with additional patience and understanding as we both have separate struggles. He struggles with time away from home and everything that changes without his involvement, as well as adaptations to his training and home-away-from-home environment. I struggle with picking up the pieces and attempting to “carry on” as if nothing is different, and patiently awaiting more information. We discuss these differences and try to bridge the gap with honesty and sensitivity.

Every separation, big or small, allows for this increased opportunity for knowing each other. Being apart makes you thankful for each other. It makes you love each other and forget the things that really don’t matter so much. It makes you stop and think about what you really want out of life and the journey that you vowed to take together. Each time, a new set of circumstances allows for growth within your marriage. Who said that marriage had to be a steadily increasing line? My marriage looks like an overall increasing trend with peaks and valleys along the way, even an occasional plateau.

 So here’s a quick reality check. The next time your man wants to hang out with the guys after a long week and you’ve not had much time with him, let him. If you haven’t been at home much but you still feel like you need a girl’s night, just go. Or if job changes make it so your time together is limited, consider that a positive. It might not be that enjoyable at first, but your time together will be just that more precious.

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