My husband and I have always been extremely independent. We've always done a lot of things together, but a lot of things separately, too. There were children and parents we took care of, and those duties often took us in different directions. We sometimes had different hobbies. I had my music, reading, writing and related events, he had his hunting and fishing. We taught seminars and classes together, went on short trips, did things with friends, shared our church.
So, what's going on here in our 30th year of marriage? Something...
The children are grown and have their own busy lives. Three of the four parents have gone to be with the Lord. The other relatives live far away. Our lives revolve around our wonderful church and our long-time friends. He still works, I'm retired.
We've begun to worry about each other. That's new. I'm concerned that he spreads himself too thin with his responsibilities and volunteer work. He's concerned that I don't get out enough. We're both concerned about each other's health ... although there is nothing major to worry about. He has become much more attentive and thoughtful than he ever was before.
Now, today, there is something new.
Every year he goes on a hunting trip with a life-long friend for a day or two. So, this is the weekend. We have this old RV that his uncle left to him, and we've spent the past six months fixing it up, replacing almost everything from stem to stern. It's still old, but we're invested in it (in every way). He has been particularly excited about taking it on the hunting trip, and this past week has revolved around getting ready for the trip. It's not a long trip; they usually go up the hill about an hour or two. That's it.
Around noon today, he and Remy (the dog) were ready to go. With no warning whatever, I broke out in tears. What's that all about? I never cry (except about spiritual issues). He almost stayed home ... he almost threw me in the camper, insisting I go, too. He always tries to get me to go. It was ridiculous. I couldn't stop. "Three days is a long time," was all I could offer in explanation. It's hard to call home with a cell phone when you're hunting, but he said he would drive down the hill and call me every day. He kept saying that when he got back we were going to take the RV and go on a trip, which he's been trying to get me to do for the past six months. I did go on a couple of day trips, fishing. I saw him abruptly turn his head away a couple of times in a pretense of looking for something he might have forgotten to take, but I knew he was afraid he might start crying, too.
They finally left, and I couldn't stop crying. I couldn't tell you why. I've always looked forward to that hunting trip. The house stays clean, I don't need to cook, there are no 'projects' going on outside, no tracking dirt into the house, no undone chores. I'm not interrupted with whatever it is that I'm doing, I can have C-SPAN or Fox Business Channel on all the time if I want (not that I ever sit down to watch it). It's like a mini-vacation (from what?). I usually never leave the house.
I think I can safely say that his biggest complaint about me is that I don't go places with him enough.
I think maybe that's going to change.
He goes on a dozen little trips during the weekends. Up to the hardware store, down to the auto store, to the dump, over to the take the bottles and cans to the drop-off place. He always asks me if I want to go. I never do. Now, I will go. Some of the time.
In what has perhaps been an over-reaction to a very busy, full life, since my mother died I have had my time to myself. I needed time to relax, to do exactly what I wanted to do for a change. It has been wonderful, but I've become a bit of a hermit. I wondered how long it would take me to balance things out. Now I know.
My husband is my best friend. We're all we've got. Lord, take care of him this weekend.
Marriage isn't always easy. Anyone who says it is, is lying. But it gets easier as time goes by. In fact, it gets essential. At some point - five or six years ago, or so - I looked at him and knew that I was here for life. I couldn't imagine life without him. (On the other hand, sometimes I can't imagine another day with him ...)
Also, he told me he had actually read one of my blogs. Probably one of the ones about him that his friends mentioned to him.
I think this is the direction a marriage should be going in its 30th year.
Still ... relationships are complex. I'm not necessarily looking forward to the day he retires. Fortunately, that's four years away. I'm looking for the blessed hope to rescue me first.