My husband is leaving four days for business, and while I dreaded the idea when I first learned about it several months ago, I am currently feeling pretty good about it. The former Marine wife in me is surprised that this is even an event. After three deployments and countless trainings away from home, it’s funny that him being gone for four days is even a thing worth writing about. After my initial cry session watching him drive away, here are SIX reasons I’m looking forward to the separation:
Absence makes the heart grow fonder
I can say after three 6- to 8-month deployments (one of which being in the middle of us trying to conceive), this is so true. Anthony was in the Marine Corps for the first five years of our relationship. On top of all those “new love” feelings, we were in a beautiful cycle of him leaving and returning.There’s a saying among military wives that goes, “Live each day like he deploys tomorrow.” We did that. We cherished every moment knowing they were limited and that the memories of our time together would be a source of strength in our time apart. During his transition out of the Marine Corps, I was terrified of the idea of him being home every day for the rest of our lives. I was afraid we’d become complacent. I was afraid we’d get sick of each other. There were some dark days during his transition into the civilian world when I would kind of wish he’d go away for eight months. Seriously, it was bad. And Homecomings were oh, so good!
It’s an opportunity to reflect
I’ve been feeling anxious lately. I don’t feel the way I want to feel, and some things are not the way I want them to be. This time alone(ish) will give me a chance to reflect on every aspect of my life, particularly my marriage. Maybe some life-changing revelations will come of it!
It’s all on me
This is good in two ways. For one, it will allow me the opportunity to rebuild confidence in myself. I do this “damsel in distress” thing when my husband is home. Leaky faucet? He fixes it. Spider? He kills it for me. Making phone calls? I HATE making phone calls, so he makes them all. I often ask myself, “Why do I do that?” I used to be so independent. I used to climb onto the counter to reach something up high. When I couldn’t open a jar, I used to try harder and harder until I did it. Now, when I can’t do something immediately, I pass it to my husband. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve subconsciously decided that there are more important things to spend my time on than stubborn independence or if I’m subconsciously trying to make him feel more “manly” and needed. Either way, I annoy myself when I do it and am glad for the opportunity to break the habit. I told Anthony from the beginning that I chose to be with him because I want him, not because I need him. I’d like to bring it back to that and take some pressure I’ve put on him about petty things like housework.
The second reason is based on that quote… Ok, I’m really bad at remembering quotes and jokes, but it’s something to the effect of, “Shared responsibility is the best way to make sure nothing gets done.” Have you ever taken a CPR class where the instructor tells you in an emergency situation, pick out someone specific to call 9-1-1? That’s because if you just shout out, “Someone call 9-1-1,” everyone will assume someone else is doing it, and it doesn’t get done. It’s the same with housework.If you just shout out, 'Someone call 9-1-1,' everyone will assume someone else is doing it, and it doesn't get done. It's the same with housework. Click To Tweet
You’re both chillin’ at the end of the day, and come bedtime, the dishes still aren’t done. Well, whose fault was that? Whose responsibility was it to do the dishes? Both of yours. So neither of you did them. With Hubby gone, I know it’s all on me to get everything done, so I’m more likely to get off my butt and do it!
I love my husband. He is my one and only, and I am absolutely attracted to him. But you could say after three years trying to conceive followed by two straight years of pregnancy and/or breastfeeding, I am TOUCHED OUT. Besides that, I’m really trying to get away from that “should” mentality. You know, “Maybe we should have sex because I’m ovulating” or “Maybe we should have sex because it’s his birthday,” or “Maybe we should have sex because it’s been a while, and I don’t want him to go looking for it somewhere else.” I didn’t realize I was thinking that way until I was too far in to quit, and it has absolutely become a detriment to our sex life. With him gone for a few days, I am free of any perceived obligation to kiss or cuddle or hold hands.
One less person to pick up after
Did I say I love my husband? He is MESSY! After nearly seven years of marriage, I have him putting his socks away! Ask me how I did it. No wait, don’t. I can’t remember.
It will give me an opportunity to lean on God
When I get frustrated, instead of calling to my husband to take one of the boys, I can call to God for the strength and patience to get through that moment with everyone’s hearts intact. When I get lonely, I can close my eyes and feel that God is there with me and that He feels my loneliness.
I will eat better
My husband does this wonderful thing every time he leaves the room or before he sits down. He asks, “Can I do anything for you?” If you and your spouse can do this for each other, it is a GAME CHANGER. The downside is when he does it in regards to food. He’ll ask, “Can I get you anything,” which makes me think about food when I’m not even hungry. Sitting there, pinned by my newborn to the nursing chair, I think I should have him get be something to eat while he’s up. (There’s that “should” mentality again.) Then I end up eating when I wasn’t even hungry in the first place. Besides that, he LOVES dairy (which I’m trying to avoid) and offers me ice cream ALL the time! Or he doesn’t even offer and just brings it home. With my husband gone, I know I’ll only be eating when I feel hungry, and I sure as hell won’t be dragging my two under two out of the house just to get ice cream!
This goes along with #3. As I become comfortable in my marriage, I’ve started seeing my husband as someone who helps me with the kids and the housework. When I learned he was leaving, my initial worry wasn’t that I would miss him. It was that I wouldn’t have help around the house. What a beautiful problem to have, right? Well, I don’t want to feel that way about the love of my life– like he’s a well-behaved roommate and that his absence will be an inconvenience (although it totally will be!) His time away will give me an opportunity to do everything by myself so that I can remember that I didn’t marry him because I needed him; I married him because I wanted him.
Something new to talk about
We make a conscious effort not to talk about the kids when we’re alone. We actually do pretty well, but then tend to get stuck on the topic of day-to-day work and happenings. I think this time apart will spark some fun new conversations and rekindle that aspect of our relationship that I so loved from his Marine Corps days.
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How would you feel about your spouse leaving you alone with the kids for a few days? For funsies, how long have you been married? Tell me in the comments below!