Friday, September 21, 2012

Marriage and the Six Week Pause

The Grige and I lived apart for the first 6 weeks of our marriage, and tomorrow I am finally going to St. Louis, to him, to the life that we’re going to have. For us, living apart absolutely sucked. It was like taking the huge plunge of our wedding, which was filled with joy, and then being forced to hold our collective breath for 6 weeks while we tried to figure out what the marriage would be. Well, it is impossible to figure out what your marriage is going to be while one of you is living on a sleeper sofa with a newborn and a renegade pooping cat while working 15 hour days and the other one is diving into his first semester of graduate school 1000 miles away. And so, we held our breath.

I have learned something, from living with my tiny, brand-new niece for the last few weeks. Breathing for the first time is really scary, and upsetting and best dealt with by being swaddled up in a burrito wrap so you can’t flail around too much. And that is how I feel about moving into our new, married life. I’m terrified.
Ms. Emma, my housemate
Of course, I’m frustrated by all the normal challenges of moving – I have to find a new job, get used to a new city where I have to (gulp) drive a car sometimes, decorate and organize a new house, make new friends, find new running routes, introduce myself to the animals at the new zoo… But that’s not scary; it could potentially even be exciting. What I am afraid of is what our relationship is going to look like after all these changes. It’s not clear how much time the Grige will have for me, and six weeks of video chatting when we are both too exhausted to form full sentences has not made things any clearer.
So I get to sit here and listen to everyone tell me how excited I must be to finally see my husband again and get settled in our married life while I hold my breath and worry. the Grige is already so busy with school that he’s not even sure he can spend the whole evening with me when I arrive on Saturday, and that makes me feel so rejected and alone that I just want to scream, which does not make me feel like the good, supportive wife that I want to be. There aren’t many ways to express those feelings to a busy man over the phone, and I know he’s scared about what it will be like too, and how we’re going to manage our time. He’s also terrified that I’m never going to forgive him for picking up our east coast lives and moving them to the mid-west and then leaving my poor, introverted self alone all the time to figure out our lives – like getting food on the table - while he works his butt off at school.

This is what a perfect DC morning run looks like

Meg Keene has written beautifully about how no one asked us to be martyrs, over at A Practical Wedding and that will be my mantra in our new life. I’m giving up a lot, but think of what I’m gaining! I chose to marry him and I am so very proud of him. But I am sad to leave my job, and my friends, and my city that I love. I’ve spent the last six weeks in this terrible limbo where the end is looming and the vibrant color seems to have drained out of everything, even on perfect DC morning runs and at delicious dinners with best friends. So while I’m scared, I also feel like anything is better than the half-way place where I’m living without the piece that makes it all worth it – the Grige. Perhaps that is the greatest affirmation of our marriage I’ll ever get, and all before it’s even really started.
Photo: Summer Jean Photography
Now we are two, even if we had to wait six weeks after our wedding to get all the way here. I’m packing up my bags, my old name, and I’ll land in about 24 hours as EFF: Wife. And maybe we’ll only have an hour or two together before he has to go back to studio, and maybe I’ll cry and yell about that, but I’m hopeful that I can swaddle myself up in our love to keep from breaking anything while I flail around and learn to deal with it.

No comments:

Post a Comment