So, Hubster and I have been living apart for a ridiculous amount of time now. Four months will seem like hogswallop to military wives, but is really practically the entire life of our 5 month old little man. Forgive the melodrama, but he has been gone a LIFETIME! ...literally.
Sidenote: I wish people would look up the definition of the word literally before they would use it in an expression such as, "I literally just put my heart out there. There is nothing else I could have done." I mean, ouch. Not to mention you must be dead, so I don't blame you for being able to do no more.
There is the possibility of Ches being gone for even longer blocks of time in the future, so I wanted to remember how we handled being apart for so long while still trying to build on our relationship, and have our feelings for each other continue to grow. Stagnant love is stinky love I always say...well not always, but I have said it now! But seriously, love takes effort.
Ches and I express love very differently. We took that cheesy, but valid, love language quiz, and came out in completely different categories.
I am a letter writer, and a vocalizer. I don't use the L-bomb lightly, even in my relationship with my spouse. I love to receive love letters, and things of that nature. Flowery expressions of love, and a list of things that one loves about me will make me smile, and get that warm, burny feeling in my heart.
Let me show you what a love letter from my husband looks like...
This beaut is from when we were dating. I spent a week as a counselor for a youth retreat our church does every summer. He has done this for me since we have been married as well. As you can see, our levels of expression are quite different, however I have no doubt that had he had the option, King Tut would have been scrambling to solicit these skills to ornament his sarcophagus.
Ches is a server and a gift giver. I never have to mix up my own fry sauce or go to the fridge to grab my own water bottle. (There was even one night I didn't have to brush my own teeth.) Each occasion that calls for gifts, I get showered upon (not literally). needless to say, I am spoiled. I am the loser of the world when it comes to giving thoughtful gifts, and I sometimes get so busy letting Ches do things for me, that it doesn't even cross my mind to think of something he needs.
How do we fit together? How do we know that the other loves us? Especially from so far away??
Number One: Biggest and most useful advice I could give to any couple anywhere under any circumstance is to try and understand the other person's point of view. Ches knows that I thrive off of romantic expression in word or script, so he tries. His expressions may not be long, or full of beautiful language, but he DOES it!
I really do try to be thoughtful in the gifts I give, but haven't been very successful yet. I try to blame it on the fact that our anniversary, his birthday, and Christmas are all within a month, one every two weeks, and who in their right mind can be THAT thoughtful in THAT concentrated of a time period ( I mean really, couldn't his parents have thought through their actions a bit more)...but it is just an excuse. To make up for this I have tried to do things like make the non-fun phone calls, and make sure he has a hot breakfast every morning. If you know a Lewis, you know breakfast is a BIG deal.
We both continue to try, and we are learning a lot about each other.
Number Two: Whether you live together, or are apart for reasons out of your control. Talk ALL THE TIME! Sometimes this isn't an option, but luckily it is for us. Sometimes most of a day will pass, and I will realize that I haven't talked to or heard from my husband really at all. Thinking about this made me realize that sometime we will sit in the same room for an entire evening, and barely talk because we are both so into our own things. SADNESS! When our kids are grown and gone, I don't want to discover that I don't know my husband because we didn't just talk often enough.
We have tried to be better. Don't feel bad if you are not one of those couples that can talk endlessly always. We have those moments, but most of the time converstaion for us takes thought and effort. So, at night our FaceTime conversations look like this:
In the end this very wordy post is mostly about those two final things. Whether you are trying to resolve something on which you think differently, or simply trying to learn to love each other more greatly and deeply, talk like you aren't going to be able to talk ever again, but every day, and always try to see through the heart of the other.
I think Ches is on lunch break. I'm going to call him now.