A few weeks ago Trevor went to a conference in San Francisco for work. For many couples this wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Some spouses are away on business trips often. Well, for Trevor and I, this was a big deal because it was the first time we have ever spent a night apart… YEP. The last time we slept in separate beds on our own was the night before we got married.
I don’t feel any embarrassment saying that my days were difficult without Trevor physically there. Yes we texted daily, called each other and face-timed every day, but that’s not the same. When I was single and living at my parents’ house, I was super independent to the point where I could be alone in the house for a few days and be happy and fine. Marriage has helped me realize that it’s OK to rely and depend on my spouse to help make me happy, to keep me safe, and to expect him to always be there. So fast-forwarding to being alone for 4 days, it was not emotionally easy. Though Trevor was with co-workers, I know it was just as difficult on his end, too.
I know what some of you are probably thinking right now:
- Comment 1: “We do that all the time, How did they manage to avoid it for so long?”
- Comment 2: “Hahaha that’s kinda sad they can’t be away from each other.”
- Comment 3: “Isn’t it healthy for a relationship to spend time a part?”
- Comment 4: “Awww that’s so cute!”
Well I want to address these thoughts!
Comment 1: We went nearly two years without spending a night apart because of our circumstances, but also because of our decisions. I know many couples who are away from each other for various reasons. Like a spouse that works out of town 5 days a week. Or having to fly home for a funeral when you can’t afford two plane tickets. Or a spouse that likes to go on hunting trips. Well, we aren’t hunters, haha, and we have been lucky enough to have both our immediate families live so close within Utah. We have also been lucky enough to have Trevor’s job be close to home, and not very demanding. I say that we are lucky in those ways, but it also is about the choices we have made. Trevor doesn’t work in a traveling job because we didn’t want to be away from each other all the time. Not saying there is anything wrong with traveling for a job, I’m just saying that for us we made that decision because we knew frequently being a part would be hard on our marriage.
Comment 2: It’s not that we can’t be away from each other, it’s that we don’t want to be away from each other. First and foremost: There is nothing wrong with wanting to be with your spouse every day! Why should I feel embarrassed about that? I mean… wouldn’t you rather have your spouse miss you like crazy than be perfectly fine without you?? It is OK to desire the comfort that comes with sleeping next to your spouse every night, feeling their safety and security.
Comment 3: It totally is healthy to spend time apart. They say, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” and it did for us through this experience. Being away from each other allows you to appreciate the little things the person physically does for you, like take out the trash, or make yummy dinners. Being apart makes you feel grateful to know you have somebody who loves you. I think spending time a part does not have to include spending the night away from each other, though. You can go out and do things with your friends or family without each other (every couple should!). And you’ll probably have a better feeling knowing that you can enjoy being out on your own and be your own person, but then know you are coming home to your spouse.
Comment 4: I think it is cute that we have strived to be together every night! As life goes on, there might be other situations that pop up where we may need to be apart for a few days. But if we can control when and how often that happens, we would prefer it rarely happening :) With how common traveling apart is among older couples though, we might end up being like that, too!
Some couples can handle it better than others
I want to reiterate that I’m not hating on couples who have jobs or other circumstances that keep them away from their spouse often! And though I always feel for the unique situation of military spouses being apart, I’m not hating on that job either! Some couples can handle being apart better than others. We just happen to be one of those couples that has a harder time with it, and that’s OK! I say this a lot, but every couple is different. Some of you might be saying: “A business trip and hunting trip every month works fine for us.” And others might be saying: “It’s so stressful to handle the kids on my own for days in a row, and I tend to get really depressed.” Again, it’s a matter of making decisions based on you as a couple; your personalities and what you can handle.
If you have other comments on this topic, please share them! For those couples who do spend a lot of time apart from each other, tell us how you make it work!