Sometimes I forget that I’m married. I’m not saying that I’m unfaithful, I’m saying he is never home. Most of my summer is spent alone and the rest of the year is spent alone, more than together. Such is the life of being married to a Marine, but even more so, a Reservist. It’s not that they are gone more often, it’s that we don’t have a community around us that is doing the same thing.
I wake up, walk the dogs, eat alone, eat all of the good snacks, sit on the best spot on the couch, and sleep in the middle of the bed. I get so used to this routine that when there is a trail of dirty socks and cammies, like little trails of breadcrumbs leading to his side of the bed, I am filled with rage. I run a very tight ship with a very clean house. My husband….Does not.
But I forget that. I forget that he changes into his pajamas every night and leaves his clothes from the day on the floor, in a pile, on top of the pile from yesterday. I forget that he doesn’t cap the toothpaste, load the dishwasher, put his shoes away, or put towels in the hamper. And I forget that my favorite snacks are also his favorite snacks and my favorite spot on the couch is also his. I forget sometimes that I have a husband.
I have grown so used to being alone and independent that I also forget that part of having a husband is making him feel needed. I forget that he wants me to ask him to reach the top shelf of the cabinet, instead of my just grabbing the stool and getting the item myself. I forget that he wants to be the one who takes care of me and that means I should ask him before I just do things or decide things on my own. He might be gone much of the time, but he is still a husband who needs to feel needed.
It happens a lot in marriages where one person is gone a majority of the time. But there are two parts to being married. First there is the part where you need to work on NOT being co-dependent, but then there is also the part where you both need to feel needed, wanted, appreciated and loved. I forget to make my husband feel needed.
He comes home to a cleaned house, trained dogs, folded laundry and a wife who has her own life, separate from him. What I need to remember though is that with all of that going on, there needs to be a special little place in my life where I still need him to reach the top shelf, open the stuck jar lid, and hang that picture. Not because I can’t do it myself, but because he needs to know that I still need him to do it too. And more than that, that I still want him to. It’s easy to just keep living your individual lives. But men like to be needed by their number one gal, and I want my husband to know that no matter what, I will always need and want him.
No matter how many days, weeks, months or cumulative years we spend apart, I will always wake up and need him. I forget that I am married. When those days and weeks and months are piling up, I forget that there is another wonderful person that I share my life with. No matter how irritated I am that he is sitting in my spot on the couch, I will always prefer to have him sitting in my spot than not here at all. So, I try to keep a little spot, somewhere in my heart and my life, that always needs a little helping hand so that he never forgets that I love him, need him, want him and adore him… Even if the rest of the time I sort of forget that he lives here.