Article by Wendy McCance
You know that old saying, Absence makes the heart grow fonder? Well I have discovered first hand how true that saying really is.
My husband and I have been married now for 7 years. We have had a very unconventional life when it comes to how close we have been. For 3 years, my husband and I worked at a truck assembly plant together. Not only did we work in the same plant, but we worked in the same area on the same shift. Because we both had jobs where we would work on any open job as an “extra man,” it wasn’t uncommon for us to work next to each other.
We were living together, driving together, taking breaks at work together and ultimately saw each other 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Even when we weren’t at work, we just truly enjoyed each other’s company. It was rare for us not to be doing something with each other.
Friends, family and co-workers would shake their head in disbelief. Not many people understood how we were able to spend so much time together without fighting or just plain getting sick of each other. Even more amazing was the fact that we really never ran out of things to talk about. We were lucky, we just really feel like the best of friends. We mesh with each other well and enjoy many of the same things. At work, we formed a big group of friends and had a lot of fun while we worked at the plant. It was an ideal life for us.
In 2009 the plant closed. My husband and I had to begin our lives over trying to find new jobs. This was the beginning of our separation from each other. It was a difficult time trying to get acclimated to working in two different places. No longer could we talk shop or hang out with mutual friends at our joint place of work. We each found our own way, our own friends and our own interests.
The first few years were just uncomfortable. We tried to settle into new roles and fill each other in on what work was like for each of us. It was an unusual feeling to hear about co-workers, office politics and the challenges of the jobs we worked at without having experienced it ourselves. It was disheartening not to mutually know those co-workers, the ins and outs of a job or what we each faced in our new roles. There was little we could do to guide each other or much else other than to show support by listening.
These last two years began a trend that has been even more challenging. My husband now works at what would be his dream job except for one feature, he has to do a lot of travelling. We thought not seeing each other for 40 hours or a little more each week was rough. My husband works at a company that has gone through tremendous growth in the last year. With it came a huge amount of time spent out-of-town. During this last summer, my husband spent about two and a half months on the road. Even now he seems to be gone more than he is home.
The amount of travel became a huge source of discomfort for both of us. Whenever my husband would come back home, there seemed to be a big disconnect. It would take time to get back into a routine and for my husband to get caught up on all the latest developments with our kids.
By the end of the summer, something began to change. I started seeing the travelling in a new light. I still am not a fan of all of the time away, but I have noticed the absence has sparked a new closeness that seemed to have become dull with time. There is that anticipation of seeing each other that had been missing for years. I have also become more appreciative of all of the things my husband does at home. He truly takes great care of the kids, myself and the house.
Each time before my husband would set out on another trip, he would run around like a lunatic making sure we would have comfort while he was gone. Anything that needed fixing, or cleaning or any sort of maintainance was handled so we wouldn’t have those worries while my husband was gone. That level of caring for the family has touched me so deeply. I feel incredibly loved and cared for because of my husband’s need to make everything easy on us while he is gone.
When my husband returns home, I jump into high gear myself. My husband will come home to a freshly cleaned home, fully stocked kitchen, home cooked meals, and the understanding that he is to do nothing more than to relax. I won’t let him lift a finger if I can help it.
Those times of absence from each other have solidified how much we really do care for each other. Although we had no doubt, it still feels good to see how much we care for each other demonstrated in such a sweet way. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder.
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