Presence

J takes a yearly week to two week motorcycle trip with his old friends.
I always miss him when he’s gone.

I try to distract myself by doing lots of chores. I try to write more. I put a bunch of loose photos away in albums and ordered photos I’ve been putting off ordering since the holidays (yes, really).

I baked raspberry chocolate chip bread. And froze 2/3 of it so I didn’t eat it all.
I talk to a lot of friends. I took The Boy to the zoo. Our house is extra clean. I’ve finished reading 2 books.

But wow. I miss J. A lot.

I know I’ve written before here how J isn’t a talkative or particularly gregarious man. But the house seems empty and quiet when he’s not here. His absence is FELT. And there’s this prevailing conversation around J taking this trip with people who ‘know’ me in my real life, where they can tell I’m a little down about him being away, and they say things like…

“It will be a nice *break,* having the house to yourself for a week…sleeping in the whole entire bed…watching/eating/doing whatever you want…”
I mean, I’m not insulting these folks, and I know they don’t really mean harm by the things they say. They’re trying to make me feel better. I am normally an arguably irrationally positive person, so when J’s not around and I’m noticeably down, this is their attempt to steer me toward the bright side, but…I don’t feel like J being gone is a ‘break’ in any way shape or form.
I love J. I love it when he’s around me. I love his presence, even when it’s almost always very quiet and unobtrusive. Maybe other people wouldn’t even notice he was gone if they were me, but boy…I notice. And it’s not a fun vacation of playing a single parent for a week or whatever other weird, borderline disturbing fantasy world they want me to concoct in the days J and I are apart. I miss him terribly. I like my partner. I like it when he’s here with me. I like sharing the bed. I don’t mind not watching the exact show I picked or eating the exact thing I’m craving. It’s not like J’s presence has EVER prevented me from doing whatever I wanted. In fact, his presence usually facilitates me doing what I want.

And his friends that he’s on this trip with normally tease him about being too connected to home while he’s away with them. He ‘checks in’ too much; calls home too much; always ends up leaving early to come home. They think that means I’m domineering and controlling…that I’m demanding he leave early…that I’m demanding he contact us at home a lot, but that’s not it. J misses us too. He goes on this trip because it’s a rare opportunity to see his old friends, and he values them, and he does (at least I hope…most of the time) have fun going, but he misses me and The Boy…our presence…in his daily life too. We like being together. And I find it utterly bizarre that so many people think we should treasure the time apart from one another like it’s a special treat.

I’m not arguing for codependence or isolation. Of course, your romantic partner should want you to have friends and close contacts outside your relationship with them, and should even encourage and support that, but I don’t know why it’s considered ridicule-worthy and/or argument starting or confusing for a couple to want to be together and not apart. Of course J and I are still individuals with separate contacts and interests. Of course we don’t HAVE to spend every waking second of every single day together. We don’t. We do our own thing. We have our own friends. But…we WANT to be together the vast majority of the time and it’s not skin off our respective noses to actually BE together all the time. I personally don’t think people should get married to a partner they feel they want or need ‘breaks’ from.

Let-the-wife-make-her-husband-glad-to-come-home-and-let-him-make-her-sorry-to-see-him-leave.-Martin-Luther

J does sure make me sorry to see him go every time he does.
I hope I make him glad to come home. I look forward to him getting home every day, even when he’s only spent a routine day at work.

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