DH and I have been married for six years. Our love is old enough to be a first grader. While we’re counting, we’ve been together for around 9.5 years and have lived together for a little more than 9 years. We started dating in October 2002, a fact that I can provide with certainty thanks to this blog, which is part of why I want to make sure to blog about us periodically here. This blog, in many ways, is a timeline for me. I’m horrible with dates and time, always have been. In fact, DH and I both managed to completely forget about our anniversary until we received a card in the mail last week (a really cute one with Mickey & Minnie from his Mom and Dad).
This past year has been pretty tough for us, especially recently. DH’s work takes him out of town pretty often. In the past month or two, he’s been gone more than he’s been home. Every time he comes back from a long trip, it’s an adjustment for both of us. It gives me a new kind of sympathy for what my parents had to go through every time my dad was deployed on the sub and then returned. (History note: For most of my childhood, my Dad was in the Navy, sub fleet. He often was gone for many months at a time. In the best cases, he was gone for 4-6 weeks at a time.) And lately, I’ve felt some guilt because I planned two trips without him. The thing is, he can’t plan for anything more than a few weeks out. Well, I should say that he can make exceptions, but he makes those exceptions for important things. I had two trips I wanted to go on (Mindgames in DC and the Expedition Everest race at WDW), and while he was willing to go, he couldn’t be sure of his work schedule. Now, it turns out he probably could go to WDW with me, but the flights are expensive, and I have a fair amount set up (ADRs and whatnot) on the assumption of being solo. In fairness, this happens to both of us fairly often. For example, he just got back from a cruise on the Epic. As it happens, I could have gone along. At the time he needed to book, though, I wasn’t sure how packed my work schedule would be, and I couldn’t commit to taking a week off. It wasn’t until a month or so later that I knew for certain that it’d be a light time at work. (Future note: check the spring break schedules!) But, really, when the toughest part of your marriage is having to spend time apart, I have to think that’s a good sign.
Some of our dearest friends are separated and in the process of divorcing, and that has weighed heavy on us, too. Even though I know it’s best for them, and they’re about as amicable as you can be, it’s still a thing. It’s also the first time I’ve dealt with divorce among my peers. So, that led to some introspection, as it naturally does. As some friends of ours put it, you look at each other and go, “Are we still good? Yes? Okay.”
This past week, DH has been home for the whole week, and it’s been wonderful. I also, thanks to it being spring break for the schools around here, had a blessedly light week at work this past week and was even able to take last Friday off to spend the day with DH as well as ducking out early some days. On Friday, we did a day trip to Michigan City. I’m in the middle stages of planning for remodeling our master bathroom, so we also spent some time on Friday looking at vanities. One that I never would have picked from the online pictures ended up being our favorite in person, and it was nice to agree on it. Our tastes are not wildly different, but I do tend to lean more toward the practical whereas DH leans more toward the…hmm, not aesthetic…but he thinks of stuff like what will be appealing to other people, whether it matches what he’s seen elsewhere…things like that. The thing is, we remain a remarkably good match for each other. His weaknesses are my strengths and vice versa. Sometimes that’s frustrating for both of us, but most of the time, it just makes us so much better together. I think that’s part of what makes it tough to be apart.
We also have the fact that we’re in an open relationship to deal with. (Heaven forbid we go for the easiest marriage option…we had to add a challenge!) DH had a bad break-up last year, that actually hurt both of us. She and I had become good friends, and there were problems on both sides (hers and his) that led to the break-up. My friendship with her ended up being collateral damage. I totally understood her wanting some space from him and thus me, too, but that she totally cut me out of her life so quickly and easily, and with no real notice or warning to me, was painful for me. I learned a valuable lesson about not getting involved with his girlfriends in that way, keeping my friendships separate from the bedroom, so to speak.
All this is to say…just like any couple, we have our ruts that we’ve settled into. I love that we have had some challenges, but we’ve come through them in glowing and spectacular fashion. Generally, we’re really happy with where we’ve ended up, and neither of us could be where we are today without the other. I also have to say that, even though we love doing things together, we also have lots of fun sharing adventures that we have when we’re apart. We get to enjoy the other’s experiences vicariously, like getting 2 adventures for the effort of 1. 🙂 And, OMG, what a year we had last year…what a six years! We’ve been all over the world together! We are so lucky in so many ways and not the least of which is that we stumbled onto each other at the right time and place for it to work out. 🙂