I had a somewhat depressing conversation with my wife over last weekend. We were keeping an eye on the future. She’s going to be taking a couple months off when her current contracts ends. It’ll be great for her in a number of respects. She’ll get to visit family and friends, get caught up on a massive sleep deficit.
She’ll also get to spend time with me. During the conversation the thought crossed my mind, “It’ll be great to get to know this person that I have been married to for three years.”
Wonderful, and a bit scary. I have not known Clancy when she wasn’t a medical school student, a resident, or otherwise working resident hours. Her life and her identity have been on hold for years now. She hasn’t gotten to do many of the things she enjoys doing. We have gotten a total of two vacations together, including our honeymoon. I barely know what she’s like when she’s not stressed, sleepy, anxious, or mentally and physically exhausted. I don’t know what it’s like for a full weekend together to be something less than an event to be celebrated.
Of course, part of me worries. What if we’re only compatible when she’s around part-time? One of my strong points as a husband is the ability to be a calming influence, a friendly ear, and a sense of perspective in the wave-on-wave beachfront of her life. What if her diminished energy somehow helps give me a parity in the relationship that I might otherwise lack? Or inversely, what if some of her current weaknesses are not as much a product of her unbelievably harsh schedule as I have been assuming?
These are not the sorts of things that keep me up at night, mind you, but every now and again they cross my mind. It’s all part of the original deal that I accepted when I partnered up for her, when I chose her over Eva, and when I proposed to her. Nonetheless, it’s an odd feeling to wonder at this point what my marriage will be like once I get to know who my spouse really is.