with or without you

I love when my husband is away. Now before you start tsk-tsking, wagging your finger, or interceding for my marriage, let me explain.

I love the companionship of marriage. I love the security of knowing my husband is there for me, and that I always have someone to cuddle with on the couch. But I also love my alone time. To me, the thought of a week home alone is wonderful.

Of course I miss Niel while he's gone, but I don't fall to pieces without him. Over the years, Niel and I have "split up" a lot. He's gone to the States without me many times, and there's been a handful of occasions when I've done the same. When he's gone, often people ask me, "How are you coping without Niel?" or "You holding up ok?" And I never know how to answer. I don't want to come across like I just love it when he's gone, but I want them to know that I'm doing fine without him.

And by "doing fine", I don't mean I'm getting by. I don't just barely survive my weeks, sometimes months, without my husband. I enjoy it. I can do things I don't normally get to do. Like eat cereal for every meal. (I'm not kidding.) Like stay up really late to work and chat with friends. Like sleep in the middle of the bed in an attempt to flatten it. (Our mattress seems to have a hump right in the middle since it sinks in on the sides where we sleep. Awww. How sweet. We have matching indentations. Yeah, this week I'm sleeping on the hump. Let's see if it helps.) Like not shave my legs for weeks on end. (Never mind...I do that anyway.)

Yep, I enjoy my seasons of singleness.

I'll even venture out into some murky waters to say that I think it's healthy to have time apart every now and again. Niel and I don't have separate work situations where we spend time apart from each other on a daily basis. Even though we're not physically with each other all day every day, we work in the same ministry and are up-to-our-eyeballs in all the same stuff. Sometimes I wish I could come home from work and prattle on about my work friends and "Oh you should've seen what this lady did in the store today!" Anyway, back to my health issue. For us, we've found it to be very good for us to have times apart. It makes us more appreciative of each other and less critical of the annoyances we can get oh-so-focused on.

Yep, I think it's healthy to be husband-less every once in a while.

I've met women over the years who feel the complete opposite of me on all this. I've heard things like, "We've been married for 5 years and we've never spent a night apart from each other" and "I don't know what I'd do if my husband was away for a week!" And it always astounds me. Maybe God wired Niel and I to handle our separations gracefully since He knew we'd need to do it a lot.

Whatever the reason, and whether or not everyone thinks it's right or healthy, I'm enjoying myself this week!

How do you handle times away from your spouse? And if your single, how do you think you'll handle it down the road?