I’ve done some traveling recently and it really shook my husband up. I’m not sure it was just my absence, or the fact that my absence came so soon after the words I sobbed in our bed. When I told him I needed a partner, that I was going to search for someone to be IN this with me, I could see the look on his face. I know that look, like he didn’t have a clue those words were coming, like I caught him completely off guard, like I had stabbed him in the heart. I’m not sure why he didn’t see it coming, but I know he never thought I would say “I need to find someone to be my partner.”
Truth is, I want that someone to be him, but I’m just not sure he can rally again. I’m a firm believer that in any marriage there are ups and downs and moments where you’re in and out of love. That’s the whole reason our vows remind us to be steadfast and true through thick and thin. But sometimes things just seem to run their course. There are moments when I am convinced that we’ve hit that spot where we’ve run our course. But something always happens that brings me back to him. It’s always happened that way…
This time I was gone I had to pass through the big city where the boyfriend lives. Since the hubby knows all about our friendship, a spark of jealously lit through him like a wildfire. When I came home he made 5 or 6 jealous comments like “you didn’t wanna stay in the city longer? I figured you’d stay there.” The more he did it, the more I realized he truly was worried that he could lose me. And that, my friends, is a start! He needs to worry. He needs to know I’m worth all the attention I yearn for.
That night, as we stood outside watching our children play, laughing and cutting up with my parents who had stopped by for a visit, he leaned in and smelled my hair. Not once, not twice, but three times he stood behind me quietly and I could feel him breathing me in, like fresh-baked cookies he couldn’t wait to gobble up.
For a moment it almost felt like he was checking to see if it was really me. I wondered if he thought he would smell another man on my neck. But I can’t bring myself to do that to him, no matter how abandoned I feel, I can’t bring myself to turn to betrayal. I can joke about it, I can fantasize about it, but even with opportunity knocking down my door, I can’t make that leap. But the longer he stood there, so quietly, the more I realized, he missed me.
Maybe I should leave town more often. Maybe he needs periodic reminders of just how much I do, and how hard I work to keep this family going. Maybe he needs to fall asleep without me by his side. Maybe he needs to feel a little lonely, and then think how nice it would be if I were next to him. Maybe distance really does make the heart grow fonder. I’m just thinking out loud, but maybe if I left him a little more, well, just maybe then we could fall in love again.