My husband is an Actor/ Writer/ Producer. But until about six months ago, most of his time was spent working on various television shows and commercials as an actor, which translates to him being home a lot. So we’re used to spending long periods of time together.
There are pros and cons to this scenario. For one thing, I get additional help with the kids so I don’t have to drive the boys to every single one of their activities. Also, we get plenty of time to connect. My husband and I communicate with each other about everything. He’s my best friend and I enjoy having another adult around to share my experiences.
But having sporadic work creates financial ambiguity. So in our world, we await the arrival of the mail with much anticipation. Sometimes hefty checks arrive, while other times we find a check that’s worth less then the postage it cost to deliver. And most days there’s no check at all.
Those are things we’ve come to accept in our daily lives. But the real problem with this whole situation is that once I get used to having my husband around, he lands a job. You see, when he’s working, the kids and I fall into a nice rhythm. But just as soon as we’ve hit our stride, his job ends forcing us into a constant state of readjustment.
But this time it’s different. My husband has been writing on various television shows for about eight months. That’s a record for us! And the job has him going to work every day for 9 hours. I understand that’s normal for most people, but for us, it’s just plain weird! Then to top that off, he’s attending Graduate School in the evenings, not getting home until after we’re all in bed, sound asleep.
And here’s what I’ve noticed. Mostly- I miss my husband. I miss his energy, his warm hugs, his humor. Yes, I really appreciate the regular income. It actually feels indulgent to be able to go to the grocery store and get what I want instead of what we need. I like being able to buy my kids socks. But I’m just not used to being alone as much as I am.
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE alone time. It comes all too rarely- especially lately because I’m doing a hybrid home-schooling program with my younger son. But I really miss not being able to share my every day with my best friend. To have a thought go through my head and just be able to turn to my right (he always sits on my right for some reason) and share with him.
And here’s another tricky thing: when he’s around now, I feel resistance in sharing openly with him. It’s like a protective wall goes up in the time that he’s away and it takes some time for me to connect with him on a deeper level again. Not to mention he’s under a great deal of stress. So when he’s around, he’s not necessarily in the best space to hang out and enjoy the family.
This all came to a head on a recent family ‘vacation’. Small resentments build. Stress and lack of sleep contribute. And bam- we have the perfect recipe for a big ‘ole argument! All unfolding in the hallway of a Marriott Residence Inn. Fun times for sure.
Luckily, after twenty years together, we have created a foundation that’s strong enough to withstand such an argument. After some heated exchanges, we were able to acknowledge the changes we’ve been dealing with and take a breath. We found compassion for each other’s experience and will continue to explore ways that we can best support each other through these challenges.
Because the thing is- I love my husband. I’m glad for our time together and our time away from each other. Our marriage isn’t perfect. We have our own challenges both as individuals and as a couple. But overall, I’m happy to share this journey with him. And I look forward to us spending time together in the future, when work is all done, there’s a nice cushion of money in the bank and our kids have grown and become independent young men.
Until then, we’ll continue to ride the ebbs and flows of this life journey. And enjoy the ride both independently and together as we continue to grow and learn.