Marriage can be exciting, especially in the beginning. Falling in love, getting engaged, celebrating the wedding day, vacationing on the romantic honeymoon, and stumbling through the slightly awkward first days of living together are new and interesting. But after the excitement wears off marriage can turn mundane. The routines of life—work, exercise, dinner, chores, and early-to-bed—make it easy to lose sight of the spark that ignited your marriage in the first place.
Lately, I miss the mundane days of marriage.
In the last few weeks, my grief got real. Maybe it was reaching the four-month mark since Dan died, or the memories that overwhelm me as the season transitions from summer to fall. Maybe it’s the fall shows returning in the next few weeks and my anticipation of watching them alone, or my sudden inclination to start shopping for new boots and having no one to guilt me from looking. It could be the fact that it’s football season and both of Dan’s teams are undefeated.
I’m well into the school year now and have established a new normal that doesn’t include Dan. I’ve fallen into a routine that includes a lot of “me” time: catching up with old friends, writing, walking, running, reading, and traveling on weekends. Life is boring right now, in a good way, and I find myself longing for Dan to share these ordinary days. I recently sifted through some of our old emails to each other and noticed that, mostly, we talked about doctor’s appointments, car appointments, the grocery store, dinner plans, chores, and tidbits of our days. They always included “I love you” and then something to the effect of “I can’t wait to see you.” They were always a little joy in my day.
Dan, filling me in on our car’s maintenance:
So, I just got a call from Greg at Sheehy Nissan and he used a lot of words that I didn’t understand. Some brake pulsation something. Flushing the brake fluids. He is gonna check out the sensor for the air pressure light. State inspection. Left licence plate tag light. He said they will be done by this afternoon. Nice guy, but he makes me feel emasculated when he uses his big car words haha.
love you for always! We make the perfect team!
Me, checking in with him one morning:
Hi honey, how did you sleep? did you sleep in a bit? I wish I was sleeping with you! maybe this afternoon I can talk you into a nap with me 🙂 hope you had a restful night and that your back feels better and you still don’t have a headache!
I could easily get carried away sharing our correspondences, but 1.) I don’t want to bore you, and 2.) I think you get the idea. We weren’t always waiting for big test results, dealing with traumatic complications, or coordinating doctor visits. We were a normal couple with normal routines. I miss checking for those emails. I miss seeing one in my inbox and I miss the outward smile that consistently followed as I stared at my computer screen. I miss having someone care about every minute of my day.
I am blessed with a large family and siblings who are my very best friends. I have in-laws who have become my family, and nieces and nephews who bring me unprecedented joy. I have many friends with whom I can laugh, cry, and have fun. I truly find happiness in the friendships of the amazing people around me. But I miss the role of my spouse; the person who knew me better than anyone, who understood me, the person who balanced me, inspired me, and supported me. I miss the company of my spouse; the person who made me smile, who listened to my gossip, my gripes, my successes, and my failures. I miss the friendship of my spouse, I miss the affection.
I may sound like a broke record, but I loved being married. I highly recommend it. When you find the right person, the person who “completes” you, so to speak, it is beautiful. It is fun and fulfilling. It is mundane and boring. It is wonderful. Tonight, as you enjoy your glass of wine and chuckle over the latest Modern Family episode with your spouse, take a minute to appreciate the person on that couch, the person who cares about every minute of your day. Look down at your wedding band and be grateful. Take a second to recognize that mundane moment and then feel the love in it. Cherish it. Finally, appreciate that moment’s simplicity, and never, ever, take it for granted.
Hanna believes that love is the reason Dan fought as long and hard as he did. She believes that love heals, and hopes that through her story others will learn to find joy, big and small, in every single day.
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