Alhamdulilah, after 6 months apart, my husband and I were recently reunited for 2 and a half weeks. I am tempted by cliche to describe it as having been ‘blissful’. But despite obviously being very happy and grateful to see one another again, it is not a fitting word to describe the experience. What makes it decidedly ‘un blissful’ is that you are constantly aware that this offer is for a limited time only and very soon you will be thrust back into, what in comparison, feels like the single life.
I am also tempted to say that it gets easier but that’s not quite the truth either. Each reunion initiates a process of re-adaption in which you try to remember how to be a real life couple again. Both parties must reaccustom themselves to sharing all their time with another human being and when you are on ‘holiday’ it really is all your time. The knowledge that this short period of time together must sustain you both for at least another 6 months means that when you inevitably feel the need for your own space, you feel guilty.
To overcome this false shame and hold onto my sanity I lovingly recalled a common scene from when we lived together in Australia; me silently reading a book while he chuckled to himself on the other end of the lounge as he watched his weekly manga cartoon on his laptop. Recreating this scene in our hotel room felt like true indulgence and after we established that it was ok to have our own time, we rediscovered our rhythmn. Unfortunately, by the time that happened we had to part ways once more.
That brings me to the very worst part of such reunions which is of course their excruciatingly painful ends. Mine and my husband’s goodbye’s usually take place in foreign airports from which we return alone to our own countries. This time I was armed with the valuable knowledge that unless I mentally and spiritually prepared myself beforehand, I would definetly cry hysterically and once on the plane, break down in the arms of an unsuspecting stranger. I know this because that’s exactly what happened last time.
I prepared by making du’a and asking Allah for strength the night before then remembering Him through dhikr and reciting and reading the Qur’an to myself once I left my husband to enter the boarding gate. Alhamdulilah though I did do some serious crying, I managed to control myself enough that I avoided making a huge scene or involving bystanders. Considering the enormous amount of grief and despair I felt at that time, that is a huge achievement! Wallahi, it truly does feel as if a huge and vital part of your body has been forcibly removed from you leaving you completely alone and vulnerable.
After becoming reacquainted with the beauty and intimacy of sharing your every day life with the one you love, it makes it that much harder to return to a life of sleeping alone and communicating with your partner through temperamental video calls where sometimes the only way I can tell it is him is by the colours of the blurry figure on the screen. So it doesn’t get easier but knowing what to expect does help you deal with it in a more effective way.
Upon my return to Australia, I awaited the heavy depression and sick feeling which sat in the pit of my stomach in the couple weeks immediately after the end of our last trip. But alhamdulilah apart from one much needed crying session the day I arrived home, I appear to have been spared. I think that is due in large part to the fact that I had many projects awaiting my attention when I returned which have kept me extremely busy. Unfortunately, my husband has also been extremely busy to the point we have had to delay applying for the Saudi marriage permission which we intended to do upon our return. I am doing my best to make sure we are at least ready to apply for a visa for him by Ramadan so that he may move here but without him being able to help it is unlikely even that will happen any time soon.
Please make du’a for us to make all this work easy on us and to be reunited permanently soon with the blessing of the Saudi government and his family inshaAllah. JazakAllah khair.