It's amazing how distance can alter a relationship.
My wife has recently been doing a lot of work down in the south New Jersey area, right outside of Philadelphia. Often, this keeps her in New Jersey during the week, although she's able to return home on weekends.
As you can imagine, only being able to see my wife on the weekends has been tough. Granted, it's not as if we spent a whole lot of time together during weekdays before. By the time I would come home at night from class or work, Heather often was asleep or headed in that direction soon.
Still, it's different knowing your significant other is there, safe and sound next to you in bed.
Now, we live for the weekends and the chance to see each other for a couple of days.
This actually makes our time spent together more meaningful, which certainly is a positive in any relationship. I find that the little tiffs have become non-existent; after all, when you only get two days a week together, what's the use in arguing over the little things?
I miss her like crazy during the week, but the funny thing is, the weekdays aren't as tough as you'd think. We both get so wrapped up in work, and I with school, that it's Friday before we know it.
The toughest days are Sunday, when we have to say "so long" to each other for another week. Once we make it past the Sunday goodbye, though, it's normally smooth sailing.
This distance scenario throughout the past couple months has taught us quite a bit about our relationship.
Our partnership actually has been strengthened, and we've been quickly reminded of why we exchanged vows almost three years ago.
We've had two periods in our relationship now that distance became an obstacle. During the first, four years ago now, I proposed to Heather. I had that proposal in mind for months, but I knew after being without her for several weeks that I wanted her to be my wife.
Now, our relationship's even more solid, having overcome many of the common obstacles of early marriage. With each challenge that we defeat, our commitment grows and becomes more secure.
I will tell you one thing, though: I have gotten a small taste of bachelorhood again. How wonderful it's been to come and go as I please, sleep in the middle of the bed and stretch my limbs from end to end, and cook for one instead of two.
I'm trying not to get too used to this newfound freedom, because I know it won't last.
I'll gladly give up those luxuries for having my wife back seven days a week, but who says I can't enjoy them while they last?
Beardsley, a native of Loyalsock Township, was a former Sun-Gazette reporter. He now resides in Scranton. His column is published on the third Sunday of each month.
He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.