Strange and I are currently enjoying four months of marital bliss. It feels like yesterday and forever ago that we ran off to Belize to exchange vows in an 8 minute ceremony. It feels like yesterday and forever ago. I think our wedding vows (the second time around for each of us) were more tempered and realistic. We promised to love each other, and to accept each others’ children as our own, but dramatic protestations of forever were sparser. I think a second marriage makes you more rational. You agree to stay together as long as you both agree to keep listening and trying.
I take the part about our children pretty seriously. I’m trying my best to treat all five of them equally, and as if they were my own. Their needs are different, though. The oldest is off in college and needs life advice more than she needs to have her basic needs met. The youngest is a rapscallion who needs more elementary parenting. Our middle child is a teenager in every sense and needs his father to help him learn to grow into the same sort of strong, loving man that his father is. The baby (Tiny Diva) and her brother (Little I) get the most snuggles, but he’s the recipient of the biggest act of love. Even though we’re married, Strange still lives in his former town (four hours away) 2-4 days per week to be with his son. We’ve been doing this for two and a half years. We have three more to go until he graduates from high school. We’ve been able to compromise a bit on where we spend our weekends to decrease our monthly days apart from 14 to 10. I’m not in a position to travel more to decrease that number, but I can’t ask Strange for a different arrangement. His son needs him.
I thought at one point that this would get easier as time would go on. I would get used to being apart and develop into a strong woman who is really good at being on her own. Really, the opposite is true. The longer we’ve done it, the harder it gets. I asked myself if this was just about being a “single mom.” Do I long to have him here because I’m overwhelmed by life? Not really. We’ve gotten help around the house and I continue to miss my husband more and more every week. Every week when he leaves, he comes back inside for even more “one last kiss.”
I think I miss him for all of the reasons I married him. He’s generous and loyal and loving. He fills a hole with the things that were missing from my life. We spend so much of our day together – at work, family and recreation- and there’s a void when he’s gone. He’s a good friend and I miss having that person here. I’ve wondered if I’m being pathetic and should just find some more local friends to spend time with. But, I don’t want that. I want him.
The question now is how to fix “me” in all of this. Frankly, I’m leaning toward taking the
Jane Austen route. Pining in dignified silence until I finally lay down and die quietly of consumption. Perhaps an angsty poem or two will come of all of this, thereby cementing our tragic love affair forever in history.
You know. For the ages.