Tonight ends 9 weeks of my husband’s travels back and forth from Houston to Portland. I have found many aspects of this arrangment to be quite challenging, as anyone would expect. Being the *only* one able to run to the store, look over homework, make sure showers are taken and laundry is done, double-check all the locks at night, return every phone call, pay every bill, mow the lawn, rake the leaves, put out the garbage and recycling, etcetera etcetera etcetera. And there is the fact, of course, that I miss him.
But there is a significant part of me that will miss the independence and control over my schedule and space, too. It may sound incredibly selfish, but the more women I talk to about this, the more I find similar feelings in the friends I know.
Being married can be hard. Sharing space and time and money and the remote (ha) – those things require constant negotiation and consideration for the other person’s feelings. When you’re on your own, things are typically just as YOU would have them. You fix what you want for dinner, you watch what you want to on TV. You come and go when it suits you. Things get put where you want them, and kids pick up after themselves when they’re told (versus the “I’ll get to it” response adults will sometimes issue). There isn’t anyone vying for your attention after the kids’ bedtime when you’d rather be on the internet or reading or knitting or whatever.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating the new trend of “living together apart.” I really do love my husband, and I believe living TOGETHER as man and wife helps to teach you the values of sacrafice and compromise, service and forgiveness. It’s just that for the last 9 weeks I’ve had to rely more solely on myself, and I have found that I enjoy a certain degree of solitude, and also that I am strong enough to be alone.
I am fully aware of the need we will both have to adjust back to “normal” cohabitational life. Except that we’ll be swinging to the opposite end of the pendulum with our move to Houston, because my husband will actually be *home office-ing*! I have confidence that we’ll navigate these waters with caution and love, and I am so looking forward to having our entire family back together as a whole.
And yet, though it may not be appropriate or popular to say so, I’ll miss MY life I’ve had to myself, too.