Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Distance Between Us


Some hear that word and think of mileage, of space, of length of time. Distance can mean so many things depending on its context.

Today, on Valentine's Day, my husband and I have distance between us as well. He is away traveling for work, and I am here missing him. This is the first Valentine's in a very long time that we have been apart from one another, even though we don't usually do extravagant things for this holiday.

But, lately, the distance that has been more on my mind has nothing to do with mileage. After a year of difficult discussions and hard times, I am finally hopeful that the distance my husband and I have found between us is lessening.

To those who know us, this will come as a shock. We have been married for 15 years and I can honestly say my husband is my best friend. No one knows me better inside and out, and most likely no one ever will. We like the same things--the same movies, the same t.v. shows (well, mostly), and we have the same values. We can walk into a furniture store and both point to the same piece as our favorite without even knowing what the other one thinks. Sometimes it is downright uncanny how much alike we can be about things.

This is such a blessing for us...this closeness and similarity. It is what drew us together instantly when we met in college 18 years ago. But, ironically, we grew up in completely different atmospheres--me living in a small town to parents with little money and he in a suburb of Houston with parents who were financially savvy. He has 3 siblings, all significantly older than him. I have only one sister who is quite a bit younger than me.

But, the similarities were there just the same. We grew up in the same denomination of church. Our birthdays are exactly two weeks apart to the day (born the same year). We loved playing sports, loved our techno dance music, and loved to play jokes on one another. I loved the fact that he was as big of a smart ass as I was, and wasn't scared to show me that either. He wasn't fake and hated fake people, just as I do.

But, after 15 years of marriage and two kids, there are areas where we've grown apart. Things that I can't really explain here. Distances that have been put between us that cause me great worry at times. This year, we have had more differences than ever. How is it possible that this person that I can't imagine not having in my life every single day and I can have such disconnects? It is agonizing and difficult to imagine where the differences might lead us, especially when I realize that some of these problems are really not completely in either of our control.

This weekend, I was treated to a huge Valentine's surprise early. As I cuddled with my man that evening, he told me that he had not felt as close to me as he did that night in a very long time. Something inside me has some hope now. That our distance may just be a bump in the road and our lives will continue on the same path, but stronger than ever from having worked through things. The distance, it doesn't scare me as much now...


Blogger Lisa said...

What a beautiful post for Valentines Day. I wish you both the very best...

12:00 AM, February 14, 2006  
Blogger Chrixean said...

Lovely post for Valentine! It's my hubby's bday today, Valentine's Day, so I also dedicated my post to him ;-) Happy Valentine, Momcat! :-)

4:07 AM, February 14, 2006  
Blogger Tyra said...

My husband and I have been experiencing the very same thing. We have not been married for 15 years but this is our 15th year together. He is also my best friend and has been my rock through the hardest time of my life.

I feel as though things are changing for the better here as well. This morning as I stumbled into the bathroom, barely coherent, he had left me a card on the floor. It's the little things that I love and that show me that we're still good.

7:46 AM, February 14, 2006  
Anonymous Theresa said...

Those distances happen. You see it, you work on it, and you keep going on. If your marriage is strong to begin with, they are nothing more than detours.

7:52 AM, February 14, 2006  
Blogger Shelli said...

I hope things continue on this vein, CMC. It is painful having this sort of thing your life. I, too, have been married for 15 years and met my husband in high school so we have known each other for 23 years. It is a struggle to keep it fresh and stay close to each other, especially the older your children get.

8:06 AM, February 14, 2006  
Blogger "D" said...

CMC, can I suggest a book that saved me and my best-friend/hubby? It's called The 5 Love Languages (or 5 Languages of Love...whatever) and it teaches you each how to identify HOW you feel love and then how to show it to each other...it's a priceless experience to read the book, take the little quiz in the back, and then get on with loving each other to peices. I am not kidding when I said it saved my marraige... I'll even send the book to you if you can't afford it... all my best to you and your beloved on this day!

9:31 AM, February 14, 2006  
Blogger Crazy MomCat said...

Thank you "d" for the book advice. Actually, we used to own that book and read it years ago just into our marriage. It IS very good. Actually, it might help to pull it back out and re-read it, now that you mention it! Thanks again, and thanks to you all for commiserating!

10:00 AM, February 14, 2006  
Blogger Lisa said...

I think the distances that form do so, so that we can grow in the process of meeting back in the middle. Foreigner and I have had our fair share of distancing months and it's those months that I look back on as the real testament to the strength of our marriage. We survived then and we'll survive the next wave and we'll grow and redefine.

Happy Valentine's Day MomCat!

10:19 AM, February 14, 2006  
Blogger Lazy Daisy said...

Hey babe, distance happens just like.....(other things) Good for you that you've both recogized it and are working on it. You are probably at the most crazy time in your life....running around with your hair on fire, smelling smoke.
I've got 32 years invested in Mr. Wonderful....you've got a good start, stay the course and don't forget he is your best friend! My money is on both of you!

10:44 AM, February 14, 2006  
Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

Its normal. That's why when someone has been married for like 40 or 50 years and still acts like they like each other - you applaud!! I, like you, have married my prince charming and best friend. There are still times when I wish it could be like when we were dating. Of course, we didn't have as many bills, kids and definately had more hours in the day back then! Hang in there! Sounds like you love each other and thats the most important thing of all.

1:15 PM, February 14, 2006  
Blogger Dorothy said...

Awww...don't worry...it happens. What I try to tell people is to get involved in their own lives...take on something that will take your mind off the fact that things aren't the same as they used to be. Also, you know what, this is so normal. But people put too much emphasis on trying to make a 20-year-old marriage into the same one they had when they were married and it just doesn't work that way. But, what does happen is that you and he have stepped onto another platform in life and now it might be time for you to see what it is that you should be doing...for yourself. ;o)

6:05 PM, February 14, 2006  
Blogger Viamarie said...

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

6:30 PM, February 14, 2006  
Blogger LadyBugCrossing said...

Sometimes all we have to do is come together to realize that we have been apart...
A strong marriage is a blessing. Tough times come and go and what you do during those tough times can either make or break a good relationship. So - even if you feel distance, continue to come together... the distance will vanish in time.

8:54 PM, February 14, 2006  
Blogger MommaK said...

I'm away from my hubby tonight too - which would explain the late night wine- induced blogging. Happy Valentine's Day sweetie:)

9:56 PM, February 14, 2006  
Anonymous Jamie said...

He did great on the early Valentine's Day surprise! 15 years of marriage is a long investment in your relationship. Good luck with it all. It sounds like recognizing the disconnects is part of the journey. Happy V Day. (from a mom up in the wee hours with a sick baby)

2:04 AM, February 15, 2006  
Blogger Vanessa said...

That was a sweet surprise you came home to see! Sounds like your husband loves your dearly, which makes the bumps in the road a little more tolerable. Glad you have such a good perspective on it all.

6:56 AM, February 15, 2006  
Blogger Suburban Turmoil said...

Good to hear things are getting back on track with you guys. Hope it continues. :)

3:10 PM, February 15, 2006  
Blogger christina said...

Ahhh, Steph. These are the things that in the quiet dark corners of my mind I feel terror about when I lie awake in the middle of the night. Not because there is a disconnect now (I've only been with my man going on 7 years), but because of what MIGHT be down the road. I watched my parents end up on opposite sides of a huge expanse they couldn't cross. The distance between them made me ache. I always wondered: how did they get that way if they had once been in love? Today I can see how. It's the accumulation of small disconnects, small slights, small arguments.

Reading this was really wonderful for me--thank you for being so open. I hope that the distance continues to lessen, and that new closeness is found. You deserve it. You are an incredible woman.

8:58 PM, February 15, 2006  

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