When You’ve Loved Someone For So Long, Can You Stop Seeing Them For Who They Are?
You can stop seeing a person when you’ve loved them for this long and you know they’re not going anywhere,” Colin, The No-Show by Beth O’Leary
Sometimes a line in a book hits you, as this one did for me in Beth O’Leary’s book The No-Show. Sometimes we stop seeing the person we love even though they are right in front of us every day. We take them for granted. We know they are there…until they’re not.
I’ve been married for over 20 years. My husband and I met during the spring semester of our first year in college. Four kids, a significant illness, and a few job changes later, we are still together. It hasn’t been easy. As someone once told me, “Life gets messy.” And not just messy, but incredibly busy.
Even though we live in the same household, I feel like I never see my husband. I see him in the morning when we wake up and at night when we go to bed. But all the time in between, he’s going in one direction, and I’m going in the other. I’m not just talking about the work day; it’s the weekends, too. I’m taking one kid to cross-country meets, and he’s taking the other to soccer games. And the kids who don’t have an activity? They have to tag along, but we ply them with snacks and promises of going to the park.
This constant shuffling from one thing to the other is how it goes, and it’s so easy to take for granted that the one you love will be there. And most of the time, they are. But as Colin says in the book The No-Show by Beth O’Leary, you can stop seeing a person. And that happens a lot. So sometimes it does not feel like you are married as so much as partners trying to do the thing, whatever the thing may be.
Your activities, errands, work, and to-do list consume you. You wake up, get a peck on the lips and move along the day until you crawl back into bed with a running to-do list for the next day in your head. And you know (expect? assume?) that your person will be there when you fall asleep and when you wake up. But before you know it, you have taken each other for granted.