Seniors: Adjusting to Being Apart

Mar 14th, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

One of the discoveries of aging and adding to the years of a happy marriage is learning that you and your spouse may have differing agendas. These agendas do not arise as the result of conflict. It just happens that your interests vary.

For example, even when we are together, we are often apart while pursuing some normal, specific interest that one enjoys, while the other doesn’t. That is perfectly okay.

Such choices and behaviors do not work against a relationship. They are the vitamins which help a relationship to grow. We knew a couple once who spent their meal times reading. Equipped with a small table top stand, their books were positioned so as to assist their reading. One day we stopped by during their meal time and observed this practice. When asked how it was that they spent their meals in silence in order to read, they replied “we’ve talked about everything, so we read.”

Apart, but together. These days our practice is to spend some time physically apart, when the need for being with her family takes her to Arizona. During that time, our home requires keeping up, thus I am in Texas. The span of separation is kept intentionally brief. We communicate daily both by email and telephone. We are quite clear that separation does not impair our intimacy. It can be done. It requires maturity of judgment, confidence in the relationship, frequency of communication and sincere declarations of our affection for one another.

Of course, we miss each other. Of course, we are delighted to be reunited. But we also recognize the need for other interests to be met. Fundamentally, separation, for short periods, can be a tonic which allows a relationship to be nurtured and fed by the awareness of how important each of us is to the other.

So, take a vacation now and again from each other. Allow it to be a time to focus on your own individual needs. Stay in touch, transmit your love at long distance and greet each other with enthusiasm upon reuniting.

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