Oh what a crappy past few weeks I’ve had. On January 30th, I began to feel under the weather and, seven weeks later, here I sit with two swollen eyes and a desire to sit in a dark room and cry.
Yes, I’m one of the victims of this year’s mega-viruses.
As much as I longed for the “gastro” version of it (the one that helps you lose 20 lbs in a week), I was honored with hosting what I call the “Alphabet Virus.” It’s the one that systematically goes through the alphabet and tags you with an ailment for each letter—sleep Apnea, viral Bronchitis, Conjunctivitis, Dry skin, Ear infection… Strep throat… The list goes on and on. Not surprisingly, I’ve been a wee bit contagious. So not only have I felt like death warmed over, I wasn’t allowed to see my granddaughter. That’s the letter G: Grandbaby withdrawal.
As I’ve mentioned before (after my Septoplasty in November), Snapchat has been a great tool for keeping me connected to my granddaughter. I get to watch her some of her daily hijinks. The sad part is, she sent me one video saying, “No kiss. Gramma sick.” The story of my 2016. <Insert pouty-face.>
So during my weeks of potential contagion, my husband has kept a five-armed distance away from me. He too subscribed to the “No kiss. Gramma Sick” rule. I spent six weeks watching him come and go, with the Great Wall of China dividing us.
I will also admit that this virus wore me down emotionally, so my mood was abysmal at best. If I spoke, I’d cough… If I laughed, I’d cough… If I exerted myself, I’d cough. Since the cough was of the cough-until-you-gag-or-puke variety, I basically just sat silently cocooned on the sofa with two dogs on top of me.
As the weeks passed, I began to feel more and more empty. I felt dead inside. I couldn’t put my finger on it until this past week.
Monday was my first day back at work, and when my husband dropped me off at my office, I didn’t receive my usual carpooling good-bye kiss. I just got an “I hope you survive” comment. After surviving that day, I got back in our car and did not receive the ritualistic kiss then either. “You made it out alive,” he said as he pulled away from the building.
After three days of this less-than-inspiring ritual, I finally confronted him on the way home. “How many months are going to go by before you actually come near me again?” Very tactful… I know.
I further lamented, “I want my boyfriend back. I never wanted to stop dating you.”
To know me, is to know that, after almost eight years together, I am still just as gaga for my husband as the first day I laid eyes on him. I still get butterflies everywhere when he kisses me or even brushes his hand against my skin, so after spending weeks recovering from Septoplasty, and then going into this virus, my love tank was completely empty.
After we got home, my hubby went straight outside to release our dogs from their enclosure and play a few rounds of catch with them. I assumed that my not-so-subtle tirade had fallen on deaf ears.
When he came back into the house, he swept me up in his arms and kissed me like I hadn’t been kissed in, what seemed like, years. The butterflies took flight, my toes curled, I got goosebumps all over, and I melted into him. It was like the first time we kissed.
After the passionate kiss, he held me tight, and then looked me in the eyes and told me he loved me. I hadn’t seen that look in so long. I thought maybe that look didn’t exist anymore. It’s a look that says “I love you,” but seems to have so much more to say.
It was after that kiss, I realized that, no matter how much we love and respect each other, if the physical affection is absent, the relationship becomes disconnected.
We chatted and laughed at dinner that night, and continued to communicate at that same light-hearted level all evening. It continued the next day too. And the next.
Although I preach about the importance of a well-rounded relationship, that one kiss, opened my eyes and heart wider than they had been in ages. Our altered interaction made me realize that we had allowed the hustle and bustle of life (pre-illness) to drive a wedge between us. We had been coasting through our marriage for God knows how long. Our days consisted of the same thing: we’d get home from work, I’d go downstairs to my office to write while he made dinner, we’d eat, I’d go back down to write, he’d sit and watch TV (and sometimes I’d join him for a bit), we’d go to bed exhausted. Over and over again. There was zero nurturing of our relationship.
I write this today not to expose the imperfections of my relationship, but in an effort to open your eyes and heart to your own relationship.
Are you allowing life to dilute your passion for each other? Do you take the time each day to drown out the world around you and just fall into each other?
Today, I task you to fall into your partner again.
You’ve finished reading this, so now just go and kiss them, tell them you love them, and take a moment to let them see that love in your eyes again.