Two ships passing in the night.
That is my husband and I.
We got married when we were 22, which is quite young, but I am quick to explain that I only got married at 22 because of the guy- I didn't want to just be a married person, I didn't want a big party or a pretty dress, I just wanted Zack. Now that we have been married for almost six years, I realized that we've always had at least one of three things happening at any given time: a) We were preparing for a deployment b) we were apart because either I was in another state or country for a long period or he was or c) Zack was injured and/or recovering from an intense surgery. This year, we counted down to a deployment that ended up being cancelled, then very quickly after that dealt with Zack's broken jaw, then I went away, then had about two months together getting ready for Zack to leave (during which he worked long hours almost to the last minute).
In my loneliest moments, I think about why people get married, or at least why Zack and I got married. For me, I have always loved Zack so much that I wanted to live a life where I could be in the same place as him as much as possible. Keeping in mind that we were in a long-distance relationship from the age of 18 until actually three months after we got married and he returned from recruiter's school, being in the same place was always a gift. For me and Zack, being in the same place as each other is always the best thing, so you can imagine the difficulty of not being together.
Zack loves his job. He doesn't love having to be away for long periods of time but he does enjoy his work and feels like his career right now is what is best for our family. I love what I do. I may grumble about being a graduate student but I love the countless opportunities I have to learn and experience new things even though it means time away from my husband and the rest of my family. Do I wish Zack could go with me? Absolutely. Would I follow Zack anywhere he was sent if it was possible? Of course.
This summer I was talking to someone I had just met and they seemed genuinely surprised that any couple would choose to be in a marriage where one or the other was gone so much. How do you communicate? How do you handle it? Even pretty personal questions (How can you abstain that long? Do you think one of you will not be able to take it and cheat? The answers to those being: none of your business and NO.)
But I'll let you in on a secret. This stuff is hard. I miss Zack. I could list about a thousand things I miss about him- but I won't, luckily for you.
Someday, there won't be a series of countdowns, whether counting down to one of us coming home or one of us leaving. We'll be able to make plans and know we will most likely be in the same place to carry those plans out. Even things like deciding to have kids- I know its a big decision for a lot of people, but for Zack and I the most we can say is "someday" because that someday will have to include both of us being in the same zip code, ideally.
And it's our fault- I get that. No one forced us to have these careers, but if you've ever done something you've loved you'd understand. When you find what vocation you are meant for, quitting it to make yourself happier can be quite counterproductive. Yet I still get a little jealous that for my sisters, seeing their husbands every day is the rule and not the exception. That, for most of my friends, if they or their spouse go on a short business trip it may be the longest time they are apart in the entirety of their relationship. That advice from my parents on this topic may be well meaning but won't even scratch the surface because they've always been able to be together.
The point of this is, besides being a little pity party, I just plain miss Zack. I love him so much and we'd love a life where we could see each other every day for the rest of our lives and where we could go on all of our adventures together. Being apart from someone you love this much is difficult and sometimes I don't feel that great about it. It's lonely where Zack is and it's lonely where I am. At the same time, it'd be strange if we were both having the time of our lives apart.
I guess what I'm trying to say is- I miss Zack.