When my husband is gone for work (one to two weeks at a time, one time a month), I start to live my “bizarro” life.
First, I stay up late. Partly because I don’t like going to bed without him (and his snoring) but I forget what time it is. I have all this new time to Internet, quilt, embroider, read, and whatnot. I flip the channels, pop a movie and have at it. Unfortunately this means late morning starts.
Getting to bed is another thing. I turn on all the lights up to the room, then all the lights on that floor so I don’t have any dark nooks and crannies to be suspicious about. I turn on the radio clock so someone is talking to me while I brush my teeth. (Yes I maintain hygiene, but I can’t say much for my legs … haha) I usually sleep on the left and he has clock duty, but while he’s gone I sleep on his side (not that I use the clock either). I wear ear plugs when we’re together but I’m free of those lately. I create a bunker of pillows so I can have “butt” in his absence (we sleep facing away due to the snoring).
Dinners consist of very simple things like soup, sandwiches, and tacos. If I can, I make chili and eat that all week. I forgot what it’s like to cook for one and it’s rather hard. Without his arrival from home at 17000 or 1800, the day seems to run from morning to afternoon to evening (even with an at home work schedule). When should I have coffee and my afternoon chocolate? I don’t have to eat at 1830; it can be 1630 or 2000! In the military family world, people like to make sure the “singles” are taken care of so I get plenty of dinner invites. While I’d rather dinner alone, I don’t like to turn down hospitality.
I tend to leave things out when he’s gone. This is my pre-marriage persona coming to the surface. My apartment would have little piles of work around the way. It wasn’t messy per se; just things waiting to be gotten back to, started or finished. Right now I have the ironing board out while I quilt and my colored pencils out for template inspirations, as well as an embroidery hoop with yarn. I’d keep my fitness equipment out too but I finally decided it was too hard to work around.
I stayed up till 0200 last night trying to finalize a Shutterfly share site with twenty-four months of pictures only to accidentally hit “delete site.” After my silent scream of agony (we live in a duplex and most neighbors frown on such noise in the morning), I came at it again this afternoon. I also find myself going out for late night walks to settle my head, which in turns causes me to stay up later than desired.
In seven days I will be leaving for my own week away for work and I wonder how my husband will live? I bet he’ll leave his laundry out for folding on the last day. I KNOW he’ll be eating Hot Pockets and feeling poorly after a week of it. Some may wonder, “Why don’t you make him something?” and I say, “He lived alone and knows how to cook despite his smile that reads otherwise.” I don’t think he’ll even leave the couch and go up stairs to bed. I know he’ll miss me, too.
So why is this categorized in “Relationships – For Better”? Because I think all married folks need to have time away from one another. Whether its hours, days or weeks, there’s something about going it alone to that makes you appreciate (I hope) your marriage. The exception exists for marriages enduring 12+ month deployments that cause husband/wife role-reversals and require serious relationship maintenance. That year can be a “make it or break it” versus a short term separation I speak of.
I love having time to myself, but I miss the regularly scheduled programming of our life. There’s always something that each of us wants to do that might not fight the desires of our mate which makes a “getaway” a good idea (work mandated or not) Make sure to take those moments at least once a year, as prescribed.
Besides, at the end there’s “I missed you” sex!