I read all the blogs about incredible husbands who help with the kids, help with the house, you know the husbands who partner with their wives in this thing called marriage; I read them and forward to you, in an effort to thank you for being THAT man.

You are the husband who makes breakfast, packs lunches, and prepares dinner. You are the man who meets me at the front door every night to help unload the kids and the hundred bags I haul with me everywhere I go; you are the man who does laundry and dishes, the man who cleans tubs and toilets, you do all of those things, but one thing is missing and I can’t find a label to print out and stick to it but something is missing. Or maybe I can . . . the something that is missing is us. 

Somehow I lost you, somewhere we lost us.

I first noticed it heading to bed one night, you always wait at the bottom of the stairs for me to go first, sometimes silently watching me walk ahead of you, sometimes making a comment about how watching me walk up is something you look forward to, sometimes you follow with your hand on my waist, step for step behind me, you always let me go first—until one day, you didn’t. One night, you didn’t wait for me. You walked ahead of me with no words, but your actions spoke to me, and then it happened again. The next time you simply said you were heading up, not asking your usual “are you coming, babe” not waiting for me at the bottom, you simply headed up without me. In that moment I knew something was different, something had changed.

Somewhere we lost each other.

I noticed it in how you no longer meet me in the kitchen when I am cooking or doing dishes, you use to sneak in behind me, arms wrapping around my waist to sneak an embrace or steal a kiss, whispering something to me so the kids didn’t hear. Those little embraces and stolen kisses stopped. You came in the other day and my flesh warmed and my heart quickened thinking you were about to pull me close from behind while I was at the sink, but you set down an empty sippy cup on the counter saying I didn’t have to wash it if I was nearly done, then you walked away. My shoulders hung and my heart ached as you walked away.

Somewhere we lost each other.

In the mornings when I leave you still help me load the car with backpacks and lunches, securing the kids in their seats. You wave goodbye and say “have a great day everyone” then you turn to go your own direction. I remember mornings of kisses goodbye, long hugs that said I can’t wait until the end of the day when we meet here again, whispers of missing me in your eyes, and the longing to be back with me in your embrace, I remember those mornings. I desperately want those mornings back but I don’t try, the fear of you not meeting me in that embrace holds me back from trying so I smile and say, “Hope you have a good day, too.” I get in the car and I drive away—watching you in the rearview—wondering how we got here.

Somewhere we lost each other.

We go through the motions of life, we go to church on Sunday, we walk the aisles of the grocery side-by-side, we take the kids to playdates, family walks through the neighborhood, we discuss the budget and pay the bills, we do all the things that send signals to the world that our marriage is good, that our life is good, but somewhere we have lost each other.

We use to have an entire text conversation in GIFs, there were no words for anyone outside of us to decipher, but within those conversations without words we had romance and humor; we had a connection. Our messages now are “do you have plans for dinner” or “can you remember to pick up____.” We cover the needs of this life we have together but no longer seem to notice the wants of our hearts.

Somewhere we lost each other.

Sometimes I feel like we are back, I feel like we have found one another again. You will look at me across the dinner table when I laugh at our daughter’s jokes—knowing it’s not funny but laughing because that is what a mom does—you will look at me as if you haven’t been looking at the same face for the last 15 years; you look at me like you are seeing me for the first time. Your eyes will meet mine and I will think, there he is, there is the one I fell in love with sitting on a porch swing more than a dozen summers ago. From there, I will feel like we are back, like those two kids sitting on that swing are here in this time and space. You will nudge my knee at an inside joke, you will grab my hand through the chaos in the halls of church, you will let me walk up the stairs ahead of you just like before, letting me feel your eyes watching me go.

Then life will happen, a hard day will come in parenting, or in sickness, or an unexpected need to be away and we will be back to two people who are going through the motions of life, reminding me that somewhere we lost each other.

We were walking this path of marriage together, taking each turn in stride, side-by-side, arms stretched out and hands locked tightly together, then we slowly started to walk separately with our arms firmly planted at our sides, one of us in front of the other, until we were so far separated one turned and the other lost track and our routes continued the same direction but on different roads.

Somewhere we lost each other.

Sometimes the feeling is too much to bear, the hurt of losing what we had is so great I think it would be just better to walk away then spend another day longing for what we were. What would be my explanation, what would be my answer to all the questioning people around us? Was there infidelity? NO, we are the two most faithful people I know. Were there arguments? NO, on the contrary, we rarely ever fought. How would I answer the question of “what happened, you two seemed so happy?” My answer could only be somehow somewhere we lost one another.

I pray our paths reconnect. I pray one of us slows down turns around and finds the other. I pray we find a way to walk the same route again hands locked and side-by-side.

I pray we find each other again.

You may also like:

We’re In a Season of Life Right Now Where Our Marriage isn’t About Romance, it’s About Remembering Us

Dear Husband, All These Years of Marriage Later, I Don’t Just Love You—I’m in Love With You

Dear Husband, When We Find Each Other Again

Stacey Tadlock

Stacey Tadlock is working wife, mother, photographer, writer, and cleft and infertility awareness advocate. She grew up in the rolling hills of Tennessee where the sun shines long and the tea is sweet. After years of infertility treatment she delivered her first daughter, followed four years later by complete surprise a second daughter came. When she is isn’t working you can find her soaking in every moment with her family as if it were her last.