It's funny how several years of marriage can turn two people who were once doe-eyed over each other into strangers who feel like they don't know each other. Marriage is like a full-time job, only you have to work overtime as well. There are no breaks. Period. If you don't put time into it, you get nothing out of it.
Somewhere along the way, I found myself solely focused on Robert's irritating quirks that drove me up the wall. Dirty socks on top of the clothes hamper, instead of inside. Outdoor trash cans filled to overflowing with mutating waste because he forgot to put them by the road on garbage day. Slurping sounds coming from behind his coffee mug at 5 am. You know what I'm talking about. You probably have lists of your own.
I think we all go through these cycles in our marriages. There are ups and downs. Differences and indifferences. And somewhere in the middle of it all, you just learn to find common ground. But sometimes it takes something drastic to open our eyes, which is what precisely happened to me.
Over the last few months, I have learned that:
" Dirty laundry on top of the clothes hamper, instead of "in" isn't worth arguing over.
" The garbage man will pass another day.
" Slurping hot coffee isn't a sin - it just means that it's hot.
I understand now that the miniscule things that once seemed like a mountainous range of harrowing habits really don't matter at all.
The miles between Robert and I have served a single meaningful purpose-to bring us closer together. Our relationship is blossoming and emerging into something more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. We are learning that we need each other more than we ever expected. Our hearts are connected together with a powerful cord that cannot be broken.
I jumped as the penetrating sound roused me from my daydreams.
"Hey, Baby! What ya doin'?"
A smile spread across my face when I heard Robert's voice. Caterpillars emerged from their cocoons to sprout their wings and flit about within my stomach. His voice, like a warm blanket fresh from the dryer, wrapped itself around me and embraced me in a long distance hug.