Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sometimes you just need a little break

Yes, it's Melissa again. I promise Jake is still alive. Summers tend to be busy for youth pastors and Jake is no exception. This week he is in Philadelphia, PA with a group of middle schoolers. I'm sure he would appreciate prayers that the trip goes well. Jake will be blogging more once the summers settles down. For now, I'm just writing down the conversations we've been having.

It's funny when Jake leaves for his trips. Everyone is so kind and offers their help and asks if I'm going to be ok. I think it's super sweet for people to care and it's much appreciated, but I always laugh a bit on the inside. Because I LOVE it when he goes away!

Elizabeth Gilbert (she of the "Eat, Pray, Love" rage going on now) puts this humorously in her new book "Committed." I feel like she understands my soul. "Because here was something I already knew about myself; Just as some wives occasionally need a break from their husbands in order to visit a spa for the weekend with their girlfriends, I will always be the sort of wife who occasionally needs a break from her husband in order to visit Cambodia." pg. 227

Ha! Love it. I know just how Elizabeth Gilbert feels. No matter how much I love my husband and enjoy spending time with him...it is heaven to have the house all to myself for a week. I love being alone, cooking what I want, watching as many girl movies as I want without groaning and suggestions of sports alternatives, having extra time to work and sketch. I love reading without having to answer questions. I just love not having to answer questions period...like "What are you thinking?" Two weeks out of the year, I don't have to tell Jake what I'm thinking. It's fantastic.

So I'm sittin' just fine ya'll. And I think it's taken a couple years of marriage to feel ok about needing a break from each other. My idealistic picture of domestic bliss did not really include checking out every once in a while. I used to freak when Jake wanted to get away with the guys. "Did he not love me anymore?" "Why didn't he want to spend time with me?" If you think those thoughts too much, spending any kind of time apart can easily turn into, "Something must be wrong with our marriage!"

But as time has mellowed me out a bit, I can see how much spouses are still individuals despite an intense level of intimacy with each other. Your marriage could be great....but you still might need to get away to Cambodia for a couple of days. Jake and I have really been trying to give each other space lately. Space to have time with our separate friends. Space to play video games or space to read. Space to have our own ways of doing things. We're trying to put less expectations on making the other person live like we live, spend time like we spend time. To let each other be different. It's a constant process of evaluating needs vs. wants. But I feel like it's chilling us out a bit. We seem to be settling down more into the comfortable-ness of marriage and I rather like it.

Which is why I am proud to say that I am going to miss Jake this week. But I am going to enjoy the heck out of being alone while he's gone!

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Our goal of this blog is to share stories (both good and bad), thoughts and insights about our marriage and we would love for you to jump into the conversation.

The goal is to provide three things:
1) HOPE for struggling couples that they are not alone.
2) GROWTH in our marriages and our understanding of marriage.
3) ENCOURAGEMENT to keep loving your spouse unconditionally.