Last Wednesday, I drove 6.25 hours home to visit my family at home and an additional 3.5 with my friends to Charleston. I split my time between the two fairly evenly, but by the following Wednesday I was ready to be home. I’ve been trying to remember if I’ve been apart from Bryan for over a week. I don’t think so (I don’t always have the best memory).
Regardless, it was hard. And I think I know why.
My husband is someone who suits me so well. We are ‘alike’ in how we think and plan to act – well, most of the time. I just finished The Defining Decade by Meg Jay (highly recommend if you’re a ‘twenty-something’). It’s a book about what twenty-somethings miss out on when they take the present as a chance to ‘find themselves’ before they have to get serious, get married, and start a family at thirty. She deals with issues such as why twenty-somethings become stuck in live-in relationships, or cannot find ‘the one.’ This quote was an ‘aha’ moment:
“While people are good at matching themselves and others on relatively obvious criteria, such as age and education, it turns out that these qualities are what researchers call ‘deal breakers, not match makers’ … [in other words], They may bring us together but they don’t necessarily make us happy.
“… some research tells us that, especially in young couples, the more similar two people’s personalities are, the more likely they are to be satisfied with their relationship. Personality is not about what we have done or even about what we like. It is about how we are in the world, and this infuses everything we do.”
YES! Exactly. Precisely. Right on. This describes Bryan and I (see this old post on friendship). Our decision of marriage was not based on a compatibility test (I’d never read this book) and I hadn’t considered how our similarly introverted, adventurous, and highly conscientious personalities would make it easy to live life – to make choices, decisions, to dream. But it does. I feel that in exaggerated relief when we’re apart and my observations aren’t met with an ardent, resounding “YES.”
I’ve always been close to my family (they’re some of The Most Comfortable people to be around; they let you be you and carry on!). But I’ve felt these small growing pains more intensely when I come home after these 10 months of marriage. These pangs remind me to be thankful for the rightness of my marriage. If I longed for another spouse, or more time away/with my family wouldn’t that signify a problem?
So I have to admit that while in Charleston with friends I felt anxious at their giggly flippant conversation (although I need them. I’m often too serious – and Bryan and I together? Ha, serious … Whew!). With family, it felt strange to be disagreed with, to feel that my likes and habits have been altered from theirs – just slightly, but enough to notice (do I sound so spoiled? I’m being honest).
I missed Bryan – that’s really the point of this post. But, more broadly, what I’m trying to say is: I recognize how fortunate it is that we missed each other. It is so sweet to be reunited.
We are better together.
These next 8 months of DC to Chapel Hill to DC (!) travel will be one to make the heart grow fonder, I’m sure.