My wife is away for a few weeks. While I certainly don’t desire her absence, I had thought previous time apart had given me a basis to prepare. However, I had forgotten the impact of those things I don’t need to remember: habits.
Having what my wife describes as a mature relationship, we don’t need to be in the same place to prove to ourselves we are together. And – aside from her not sharing my enjoyment of mushrooms and Eastern European speculative films – there are no foods or activities of which I do not partake as often as I wish when she is here. As such, her trip is neither a gaping hole in my self nor an opportunity to do new things.
Which is not to say her absence is of no concern. If the opportunity existed for her to do the same things and still return home each day, that would be preferable; but I will take her living fully and not here over living narrowly but always here.
But, overall, I do not suffer in misery over her temporary absence.
What I do suffer is the little things.
Despite many years of sleeping before I met her, I am used to her being there at night so end up with niggling aches in my shoulder or leg. My day starts in more of muddle because, instead of my wife changing the cat litter while I start making breakfast, I remember it needs doing partway through. So many of the things I do without needing to think about them are based on both of us being there.
Even when I do remember, I don’t always capture the full consequences. I write this drinking an extremely strong cup of tea: I remembered only I was home when boiling half the water, but didn’t halve the amount of tea.
Is marriage, as poets, priests, and alchemists suggest, a merging of two souls into one? Potentially a question that serves more in consideration than in an answer.
But, is my marriage more two people more than merely choosing to be together? Even in a very practical and non-metaphysical sense, yes.