When my husband Ben and I got married, I moved into the house he already owned that was about 45 minutes away from my family.
The first couple weeks of living together were wedded bliss! I loved going to bed with him every night and waking up next to him every morning. I enjoyed having someone to share everyday activities with! It was everything I imagined living with my husband would be.
Then the changes started to settle in. I became homesick. I was so used to having my family to run to anytime I didn’t want to be alone, but the 45 minute drive meant I didn’t see them as often as I used to. I felt so far away from so many of the people I depended on. My husband was all I felt like I had in this new place, so I ended up feeling lost and lonely when he wasn’t around.
I felt very vulnerable without my husband. And he was often gone, for work in the morning or an evening game with one of the many amateur sports teams he played on. Worse, I didn’t feel entirely safe in our new neighborhood. I was used to being able to practically leave my door unlocked where I used to live. I now had to adjust to a more urban environment, including rowdy neighbors and cars being broken into.
Eventually it got to the point where I felt it was necessary to have a sit-down discussion about the way I felt about him being gone so much. I told him I relied on him to feel secure, while he explained he needed the space for the routine he had gotten accustomed to while he lived alone.
We both realized that we needed to make changes that could balance both our needs. He couldn’t do much about work, but he agreed to cut down on how often he went to play. And I made sure to arrange to visit my family most nights he had a game.
During our discussion, Ben gave me a new outlook on our life together that made the homesickness less painful. He explained the distance could be a chance to become closer as a couple. As I began to find more and more comfort and security in my husband, I felt less of a draw to run to my family when I felt an issue arise. We ended up moving a little closer to family. But I know spending time with my husband away from the environment I was used to was good for me and my marriage. I found that no matter my location, I could find HOME with my husband.
Ben and I had to learn what it really meant to live together as a couple to truly give to each other. He was willing to let go of the routine he was accustomed to and I was willing to I let go of what had been mine. We learned how to make a life together. And our relationship is stronger for it.