The pain that I feel when I’m separated from my husband is something that most people probably can’t understand. I’m not talking about being separated for a few days or even a couple of weeks. I’m talking about separation that we know will last several months. A significant amount of time. Those kinda of separations bring with them a lot of heartache.
Josh and I have been a team for 21 years, married for 19 of those years. Like every other couple on earth, we have had plenty of ups and downs along the way. We have navigated our way through deep, troubled waters, and we have flown high above the clouds. In this way, we are like all the other couples who have weathered the storm.
But we are also different than most. We haven’t gotten to live near family or friends from our childhood. We haven’t gotten to plant ourselves, make roots, and live happily ever after in a familiar community. No, we have gone into countless situations with nothing but each other. We have moved and set up new homes over a dozen times. We have gotten on a plane with two babies and flown halfway across the world to live in a foreign country with nothing but each other.
See, when you strip away family, and comfort, and support, and familiarity, all you have is each other. Your bond becomes stronger than you ever knew it could. And as the years pass, and changes keep coming, the bond keeps growing.
Just knowing he’s by my side gives me strength. I can face anything knowing he’s there to face it with me.
But when he must leave, the distance and time between us take their toll. After nearly two decades of doing this, I’m weary and worn down. I’m tired from putting on a brave face. I’m exhausted from being strong. Oh I know I can. I have no doubt about that. Frankly, I just don’t want to. I don’t want to do this without him.
In the Bible, it speaks to a man and wife becoming one. And that is truly what happens in marriage. You begin to function like one entity. So when he’s not here, I feel like only half of a person trying to do the stuff of two people. There are all the day to day things that must be done. The endless household chores. But more than that, the emotional strain of loving, protecting, nurturing, teaching…our three children is so great that I feel like I will crack under the weight of it all.
For us, our bond is rooted deeply in something that goes beyond us. It’s firmly rooted in our faith. Our marriage is God-centered. And that gives us strength we wouldn’t have on our own.
I doubt many have taken the time to read this. And I’m sure that those who have are left still not really getting how I feel. You know, I’ve always kind of tried to hide these feelings because I don’t want to upset someone whose been through worse, or someone whose situation is so different from mine. But I have to be true to who I am. I have to acknowledge these feelings and be ok with feeling them. So I write it and I share it. Because maybe, just maybe, someone who needs to read this will do so, and they will know they aren’t alone.