So my husband went on vacation in August, all by himself. I enjoyed very much having the apartment to myself, eating whenever I wanted and falling asleep without the white noise machine blaring to drown out his snoring.
It reminded me of my old spinster days when I lived alone and hop scotched from relationship to relationship, unable to relax into intimacy, unable to trust, unwilling to let anyone know what was really going on inside here. The week alone also helped me realize that I have managed what I didn't used to think was possible: I have initiated a legal marriage with a real, live man while I still have all those problems.
Being married is no badge of competency in human relationships. It just means the rocks in my head fit the holes in his. I'm still having trouble with trust and letting him really know what's going on inside. It's a mess in here and I think he's beginning to figure that out, which makes me even more hesitant to share things with him.
I remember talking to a Match.com "possibility" years ago, who ended the conversation with me because I had never been married or lived with anyone. He believed that if a woman had reached the age of 38 without either of those things happening, that meant she'd never be able to successfully live with a man. I figured the cause-and-effect sequence was that not living with a man during those critical 20's and 30's caused me to be unable to adjust to sharing my life with someone. But now I think it's the other way around: my inability to share my life with someone kept me from marrying or moving in with anyone during my 20's and 30's. The dysfunction was always there. It caused the protracted spinsterhood, it didn't result from it.
So now I'm one of those wives who adores her husband, but who likes having lots of her own space, time with friends, dinners alone and her own room. Are there other wives like that? Women who are truly happy with their partners, but need a lots of room, physically and otherwise? Fortunately, Bob was a bachelor for so long that he has his own rituals and habits and he doesn't mind a marriage with plenty of extra room. Sometimes I think we're still the spinster and the bachelor, only now we're married and living together.