I’ve gotten a taste of living the single life again this week, and I have to say I’m not terribly fond of it.
For people who know me pretty well, that statement should bring a good laugh, since I was a semi-confirmed bachelor for more than 25 years before finally tying the knot with my beautiful bride a little over nine years ago.
But this week, my wife and her sister jetted off to the Midwest to visit their older sister for a few days — leaving me to contemplate my navel and commune with the cat, who know doubt wonders where the heck Mommy is.
It may seem strange, especially in a military community such as ours, but until this week, my wife and I had never spent a night apart.
Oh, we had gone to separate bedrooms a few times when one of us was sick with something contagious, but we’d always been under the same roof.
For a guy who spent far too many years as a single dude fretting about a future that involved not being able to stretch out while sleeping or getting kicked in the middle of the night, it felt pretty odd to crawl into bed this week and have it all to myself.
It was entirely too quiet at night. I had to turn on a small fan for noise so I could fall asleep.
And the cat, who usually comes up to keep us company at night, hasn’t gotten on the bed while my wife’s been gone. I wonder if she blames me for her mommy not being around.
In the morning, it’s felt strange to wake up and not see my wife’s head on the pillow next to me. It has also been a bit unsettling to get ready for work in a quiet house.
I’m so used to hearing my wife humming while she dries her hair, and commenting on various matters while we pull ourselves together each morning. But for the last few days — silence.
After work, I’ve been coming home, changing out of my work clothes and flipping on the TV, just trying to fill the void of an empty house.
Eating alone hasn’t been much fun, either. It’s not that my wife and I always have scintillating dinner conversation, but just being with each other while eating is nice.
After a couple of days, it got to be like one of those cheesy sitcoms, where the husband can’t wait until the wife goes out of town so he can stay up late, watch bad TV, eat all the junk food he wants and generally act juvenile.
But in the end, the man realizes that bachelor “fun” really isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, and he finds himself pining for his wife.
OK, I haven’t exactly been that sitcom guy — though I have spent a few more hours in front of the tube watching ESPN and bad sci-fi movies.
But, like the guy in the show, I have found myself missing my wife and wishing she were here.
In the few days my wife has been gone, I’ve gained a deeper appreciation of how much I like being married — and how my wife is truly my best friend.
Our marriage is a blessing. My wife and I have each committed ourselves to someone we really want to be with — and that’s important.
But more than that, my wife is someone who makes me feel comfortable with who I am but also inspires me to want to be better. Someone who completes me but also challenges me. Someone who can look at me on my worst days and say, “I care about you; I love you.”
When you share that kind of bond with someone, it’s easy to see how a good marriage is something you simply can’t place a value on.
I’m already excited to see my wife when she returns this evening. She’ll probably be tired from travelling, and she may not feel like doing much of anything.
But that’s OK. Just having her back home is good enough for me.
Dave Miller is deputy managing editor for opinion of the Killeen Daily Herald and editor of the Harker Heights Herald. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-501-7543.