The ONE hour that changed my marrriage

Marriage is a tricky tricky concept. I don’t want to say that it’s hard, but it definitely takes work. Sometimes, it seems like it takes a LOT of work. Do you know what I mean? For a while the two of you seem like two peas in a pod, life is really moving along in your favor, you feel so lucky that YOUR marriage is one of the strong ones. And then there are times that you feel so different from your husband, that you must literally be living on different planets. When you’re in the midst of these tougher times you really appreciate those good times. You try to find those good feelings to help pull you through. You just hold on tight until life rights itself again. You know what I’m talking about?

I’ve been an Army wife for my whole marriage. I’m sure many civilian situations are just as demanding and constantly changing like mine is. So the hour I’m about to describe probably isn’t unique to my situation and could easily be similar to yours. My husband is in an Army school right now. This school is so demanding that it is as if he is deployed. But he is not deployed. He is around JUST enough to know what is going on while having no idea at the same time. At least when he’s deployed you don’t have to try to be a part of two worlds at the same time. You just function in your own world until it’s over. This is a situation we have never ever navigated before. And it’s proving to be a real challenge. For both of us. We have different anger thresholds, different priorities, and we’re really very different parents. It sucks that we find out all these differences in the whole 15 minutes we’re together each day. Great use of precious time, right?

And THEN, the hour happened. Yesterday, one of our increasingly frequent dinnertime arguments just blew up. He walked away. I walked the boys to the park. We were gone for close to an hour. I was so angry, was so frustrated, had so many questions, had NO idea how to make any of this better, didn’t know if it even could get better? It was time to walk back home. As we approached the house and our driveway came into view, I didn’t see his car. My heart completely stopped beating for what felt like a whole minute. Did he leave? I started walking faster and I finally started to see the front of his car, just further down in the driveway than I had remembered. I took a DEEP breath, full of relief. Inside the house, I didn’t see him. Not in his office, the living room, or the bathroom. My heart stopped again. He DID leave. Did he walk? Did he call a friend? I started the bath for the boys and tried not to let them see the tears starting to well in my eyes and the sadness all over my face.

A few minutes into the bath, he walks up to the bathroom door. He had been napping in the office the whole time. I was SO relieved to see him there. He wasn’t even mad anymore. The whole last hour of our lives seemed so silly next to the utter panic I had just felt thinking he was gone. Any question or doubt of the strength we have to get through this situation was answered in the silence where my heart had stopped. I am absolutely terrified to live without him, to lose him, to lose us to our challenge. I would struggle through anything with this person. I will carry every extra responsibility to support him because I am as much his rock as he is mine. Things are not easy. Things are definitely tricky. But one single hour of our eight and a half year marriage snapped it ALL into perspective. Maybe it is true that you don’t realize how exceptional and precious something is until it is gone… thankfully nothing ever really went anywhere. Thank God.

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