I Was A Lonely Newlywed...

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I Was A Lonely Newlywed...

So what if I had no sense of self? I anchored myself to my husband, a man headed to medical school, whose determination to help others, no matter the sacrifice, shed a charitable light on me.

When my internist asked if I knew that marrying a doctor-in-training was a recipe for disaster, I laughed.

What did he know of the power of young love? What he might have asked in return was: what did I know of my husband?

And what, at 22, did I know of myself?

The determination I loved in my husband lead to him spearheading a policy that required the doctors-in-training to enter the hospital Friday morning and leave Monday night.

For three years, I glimpsed him as he came in the door and headed to bed; when I prepared dinner to entice him en route, he would fall asleep, fork in hand.

I was a married single person with none of the perks of either, and when it became clear— too many tears later—that there would always be a person who needed him more urgently than I did, we separated.

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Day one: congratulating myself on getting out of bed.

Day five: congratulating myself on showering. Eventually, dating others.

Eventually, dating each other again.

And six months later, just as I was congratulating myself on opening the door to my own home and embracing my solitude, an ultimatum: take him back or let him go forever.

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I called a girlfriend and booked the next ticket to Ibiza.

I danced until dawn, woke at noon, and headed to the beach at 4 pm with a stack of books, my reading interrupted only by lunch, Spanish-style, an hour later.

It was heaven. I missed my husband.

And I remember exactly where I was standing when I told him—tired of recounting the events of my day to him in my head—to come back to me.

It’s been seven years, and I’ll say this: I’ll always be frightened by the gravitas of love. I’ll always be edging one toe out the door. And I’ll count on the man I married to gently pull me back.

Because when I forget why we’re sure the earth is round, he draws a map to remind me.

Because any friend of my mine is a friend of his, but he also knows when to go to bed so I can be alone with that friend. 

Because he makes me laugh, but I make him laugh harder.

And yes, there will always be someone else who needs him, stat. Lucky them.

And then he comes always comes home. Lucky me. 

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Rebecca Ascher-Walsh is a writer and contributor to YourTango.