Togetherness: Half a decade later

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Stretching and trying to get the stiffness out of my back, I looked at the wall clock that shows 5.30 A.M. On some other ordinary day 5.30 A.M. would have felt like midnight, but today its like sun shining right above my head. No sleepy eyes, no yawns, no dilemmas and no more snoozing alarms, just the bright and energetic me. After all I am going meet him after 2 long months and that too on a special day. Celebrating our five years of togetherness.

FIVE YEARS. I know, I can barely believe it myself. While I know this marks the beginning of a lifetime together, I am thankful for how far we’ve come on this journey so far. I got to learn so much about love from our marriage. I got to learn that real love is not only about those fancy vacations, candlelight dinners, expensive gifts but trust, acceptance and faith. Certainly I am no expert and am still learning, but far from where we’ve started, I am thankful to have received and been changed by the love I have been given in my marriage.

We had our shares of ups and downs in these five years but together we overcame everything. First year of marriage, was the year we learned to embrace new identities as “husband” and “wife,” to merge our families, and to become a unified couple. It was the year that established what our relationship was going to be and learning what forever really meant. When people say its tough being a wife to merchant navy officer, I don’t completely disagree as I have felt it at times. I was more of a ‘cry-baby’ in our first year of marriage. It was tough being without him, not hearing from him for weeks, missing out special occasions together and eagerly waiting for his return. I would cry often and would sometimes pour out all my anger on him. May be I wasn’t able to handle all this stress of being alone.

However the second year of our marriage was more of a transforming year for our relationship. I went onboard for four months to be with him and this was the place where I realized I am not supposed to do what I am doing till now. I am supposed to be strong, supportive and poised. I am supposed to be his strength, not weakness. Being onboard I had a chance to see the actual working conditions and what it takes to be a merchant navy officer. How demanding the job is mentally and physically. How calm and dedicated all officers have to be, all the time. How situations change in an instant. I realised there may be days when he just couldn’t call me, not that he doesn’t want to. I realised he has no say in getting early or delayed sign offs as all depends on route, availability of reliever, weather conditions etc. I realised no matter how much he misses his family back home, he has to be there for his duty. The man under the white uniform carries adventure in his very demeanor, however at a price. I realised what courage, determination and hard work it takes to be here. Sailing through calm seas or rough waters how patient and watchful he needs to be every moment. I realised my grumbles are the last thing on earth he would need while onboard.

That was the biggest turning point for me as a wife to him. All those cry baby moments vanished in a second and I promised myself never to complain. Not that it stopped hurting when he leaves, not that I am not scared when he doesn’t call for days, not that I don’t wait for his message everyday, but yes, I am more of an understanding and encouraging wife now. I make sure to be optimistic all times and indulge myself in things that makes me happy. I am extremely proud of him and his duties.

In these five years, we missed out on many occasions together. Sometimes we get Diwali & New Year while other times we get our birthdays and anniversaries. It definitely feels bad to be alone but we look forward to times when we will be together without any worries. And that’s the best part of being a Navy Officer’s spouse. You get to spend so many holidays together without any work related worry. You can travel, party or just chill around like crazy lazy people. For sure we do not fit in the typical “Monday to Friday” corporate life frame but who cares!! Everyday is a weekend for us when the sailor is back home for holidays.

We travelled to some really amazing places, met different people, and spent some of the best moments together. Travelling has always been our favourite and we travelled to our heart’s content in these five years. We cherish all of that which comes in front of us, be it any stage of life or marriage. The honeymoon stage, the sailing stage or the vacation stage. Marriage will exist in a series of stages, some windingly long and some incredibly short. It’s not necessary to follow a timeline, but love each stage, regardless of your plans.

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What remained constant all these years was the unconditional support and love of my hubby. Whenever surrounded by some challenging task, he never questions my abilities or makes me feel incapable. No matter how outrageous my goal is, he will be like “OK, let’s do it.” I am in awe of him for that and really glad I found him as my life partner. There isn’t anything about our journey I would like to change in coming years. Considering the level of intimacy and dependency shared by a couple for a healthy marriage, it takes two highly strong individuals to handle the togetherness and separation on a constant basis. And I guess we have attained that balance in our marriage in all these years.

Our partnership is unglamorous. We frequently get caught up in the everyday tasks, don’t always kiss hello or goodbye, and more often our date nights consist of laying in bed, streaming Netflix shows on our laptop and eating pizza. Five years of marriage has taught us uncountable lessons about being a partner, a lover, and a human being. We learnt to worry a little less about our future and make sure we have a reason each day to love each other more, love being married and love being alive.

Though we got to live apart for sometime, dullness can never crawl its way through our relationship and we get to enjoy the initial rush of “newly married” forever.

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