Later this week it will be time to welcome my husband home.
He’s been on his annual junket to Trinidad to visit family and friends during Carnival — something he’s been doing for many years.
No matter how often this happens nor whether the trip lasts three, four or five weeks, welcoming him back always means happy anticipation, some preparation, and lots of excitement.
I’m trying to stay as calm as possible as I wait for the next day to pass. There’s a smile on my face that won’t go away. Even as I write this post, I can feel my enthusiasm for his return building. From our phone conversations, I know this feeling is reciprocal. We are both ready to share our lives together again.
While I’ve not been lonely during his absence, there have been times when I’ve been acutely aware of being alone.
I’ve enjoyed my solitude but now I’m tired of my own thoughts and ready to have some soul nourishment from someone I love. There’s something about his company that makes me feel complete.
Living as one person is different from living with someone who is my life partner and also my friend. It’s time to have my batteries re-charged.
Stats from postworksavvy readers indicate a continued interest in reunions after a parter/spouse is away from home — whether for pleasure or business. Because a reunion may happen after just a few days, weeks, or, in the case of military deployments, months, some thought and preparation is usual.
What to expect?
Part of the excitement comes from anticipating how each person will react to the reunion. I look forward to a bear hug at the airport, to seeing the happiness in his eyes when he spots me in the arrivals corridor and to the overall joy of being together again.
There’s always lots of ‘catching up’ conversation as we get re-acquainted — often with both of us talking at the same time. I have to remind myself to breathe and to remember not to talk about the tax bill or household problems or issues with the cottage renovations.
Talking with each other helps when thinking through problems as we build on each others’ ideas but the time for those conversations will come later. Instead, I’ll focus on hearing about his new experiences while I tell him about some of the interesting things I’ve done.
As well as seeing me, I know that looking at the latest pictures of our grand-daughter will delight him — as well as hearing that she took her first steps this week!
Couple reunions also involve intimacy and each reader needs to consider what is most appreciated. All couples have customs, rituals and traditions for showing love and affection that should stay within the boundary and privacy of the relationship — not in a blog post!
What preparations will I do?
I’ve started tidying and cleaning the house. Without the help I enjoyed while working, this means vacuuming, dusting furniture, cleaning bathrooms and generally straightening up the messiness that I’ve chosen to live with while alone. It also means doing some of the ugly jobs that he usually does — like changing the cat litter boxes and getting all the recycling and garbage containers to the curb!
I’ve already filled his car with gas and taken it through the car wash. I’ve paid the bills that arrived during his vacation so he won’t have to look after banking business as soon as he returns. I’ve also organized invoice copies but I’ll leave the filing on his desk as I don’t want to mess up his systems.
Grocery shopping is part of my preparation as my husband is diabetic and needs to eat regularly. He eats lots of vegetables and fruits so I’ll have a variety of fresh produce in the fridge. I will likely put a meal into the slow cooker so that there is fresh food and a glass of wine ready when we get home from the airport.
Why the excitement?
Just the prospect of seeing him and sharing all the little things that make life together sweet is exciting. I’ll certainly appreciate eating meals with him as eating alone is difficult for me.
Having a life partner is a blessing not to take for granted. After 47 years together, we’ve stood by each other through the good, the bad, the spectacular and the mundane.
Each person in a marriage has strengths. However, each person in a good marriage is stronger because of the attention, companionship, love, laughter and play that gets shared as a couple. Spending a long chunk of time alone is a great reminder to savour every day together and not wasting time on petty issues.
If you liked this post, you might also want to read the post I wrote a year ago on the same topic