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Yes, it’s Real Love

Constance’s plane touches down later this afternoon following her week in Minneapolis, and I’m vacillating between smothering her with my feral affection and falling at her feet, not to worship her as a false idol, but to hibernate.

I’m exhausted from feeling so somber. Constance’s absence coupled with the mass of boxes and packing materials cluttering our usually spotless home and Aunt Dee’s illness have wiped me out.

On top of that, Constance was uncharacteristically dour on the phone last evening, a conversation that had been postponed until 11:15 PM after several rueful games of phone tag (I had band practice, she was at a Twins baseball game). We’ve missed each others call so frequently this week that when we finally connected, our phone tag more closely resembled a shoving match – of the verbal sort, of course.

“Everybody at this meeting either has kids or is pregnant, and I just feel so sad. So, I had a scotch and Seven because the likelihood that we get pregnant this month is pretty small, and this week has been awful.”

“I don’t feel that way,” I said. “Technically we have a 25 percent chance of getting pregnant this month.”

“Well, one drink isn’t going to make a difference anyway.”

“I’m not concerned about the drink, but it does make me sad to hear you sounding so defeated. I have been feeling so positive this week.” I had a good feeling, and had been attempting to use positivity to fill the voids created by Constance and our packed possessions.

Constance’s stress, however, had forced her negative hand, and rightfully so. She missed me, she missed Marcy, she missed her bed and her pillow, and when the digits were totaled she could no longer support the sum. I had been fighting tears all day long thinking about Aunt Dee. I compounded my sadness by dipping into my forbidden songs playlist, the ones that send me sulking even on the best days. Starting with R.E.M.’s “Sweetness Follows” was no doubt mistaken listening, but segueing into Tori Amos’ “Playboy Mommy,” Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide,” John Lennon’s “Real Love” and Aimee Mann’s “Deathly” was an emotional slash to the jugular.

What I didn’t realize until this morning, though, was how infintisimal the divide between positivity and negativity truly is. We both want this to happen, and our patience is limited edition. Intense feelings breed intense reactions, and at the time when I felt sadly disconnected from the thing I love the most, we were the same words in the same sentences on the the same page of the same novel. We were simply two different interpretations of a critical passage.

Thankfully, it’s one of the greatest love stories ever told, and no amount of different readings can spoil the happy ending. Not even if the story takes a non-baby turn again this chapter.

16 Responses to “Yes, it’s Real Love”

  1. Honestly, going through these kinds of emotions when one of you is traveling, it’s just super tough any way you slice it. My husband travels a good 50% of his work time, and even being used to it, it’s hard to handle when things aren’t going well. Working out that level of emotion over the phone just isn’t the same as holding your partner in your arms.

    I’m so very sorry to hear about your aunt.

  2. Man, I’m sorry. I hope you guys are able to prop each other’s emotions up and that you have a calming weekend. These ups and downs are just awful.

  3. When I started to read this post I felt a shiver and quickly caught my breath…because this post is so raw and so real. I’m sorry it’s been hard in these past couple of weeks. That sucks. I’ve not faced those exact same set of circumstances but I empathize nonetheless with the types of feelings that they probably brought on.

    Here’s to great love stories and the resilient foundations upon which they are built. I hope you both have a weekend of tranquility and tenderness. Peace and love from my end of the world to yours.

  4. For me anyway, so much emotion, coupled with absence of a “routine,” makes for a lot of exhaustion.

    I hope that you and Constance have a peaceful, emotionally refreshing weekend.

  5. I am so saddened to hear about your tough couple of weeks. And being distant with a spouse — when both of you just really need to hold each other — takes the cake.

    Wishing you both a rejuvenating weekend. You’ve earned it.

    Hang in there.

    And, by the way, adorable bunny. Where is it from?

  6. **hugs** It is wonderful that you love each other enough to realize what is going on and work together. I’m sorry to hear about your aunt.

  7. ooooh, good post! this is interesting because we hear about this divide so often from the female perspective. seems our menfolk tend to be much more capable of maintaining optimism while our defense mechanism tends to be reluctance to allow hope in (and thus not to have to suffer the fall). but you’re so right about it really being two sides of the same coin, that shared desire. would have served me well if i’d realized that a couple of years ago!

  8. My therapist told me that it was perfectly normal for a couple to deal with stressful situation in a different manner to the other and for one to be behind the other in their coping strategies.

    It sound to me like you’re ahead emotionally compared to Constance.

    This is not bad, it just means you’re not in sync with each other, yet.

    I was told to let my partner catch up with me in his own time. I must say, she was right.

    Patience is required at times like these, and lots of it!

    Courage to you both :)

  9. It is (however unfortunate) virtually impossible to be emotionally on the same page all the time. Being able to acknowledge that you are both in the same situation, yet using different coping mechanisms is invaluable. It will help you weather the IF storms, as well as strengthen your communication with one another.

    *I hope you are enjoying being back in the same city together right at this very moment!

  10. Ugh, I’m sorry. I hope that you are back together and feeling optimistic together again soon.

    Tough, especially when you can’t be together. :(

  11. I’m sorry you are going through this. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Thankfully, she’s back and you’re together again!

  12. It is interesting how the dance between positivity and negativity in a couple works. You are always going to feel slightly different about the same situation and it shows the strength of a relationship when one takes the lead to pick the other up! You guys are an amazing couple and I wish nothing more then the best for you in this journey!

  13. I don’t have the pretty words you do, so in my simple ones, I want to let you know you aren’t alone in the he’s so positive, she’s rather negative world.

    I do hope this week is better for the both of you and wish you the happy ending you so deserve!

  14. Gawd… I just love how much you love your wife. It touches my heart to read about her from your point of view.

    BTW: Landslide makes me cry every single time I hear it. every single time…. I’ll go put it on now.

  15. Wow! You are such an eloquent writer. Oh, to have my words come out the way yours do. If I may butcher a quote from poet Jorge Luis Borges - “These words will never be what I mean to say, but only a mere shadow.” Somehow you manage to laser in on the real thing and skip right past the shadows. Thanks for sharing with us.

  16. This is such a sweet post.


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