Today we spent the day together, and it was perfect. And at the end of the day we had to say goodbye again. We went home to separate houses and will wake up to separate worlds. Today is Sunday, and the next time I see you it will be Friday.
Right now, that feels like four days that serve no purpose. Four days to get through, to endure. Four days I don't really need.
I'm ready to be coming home to you. I'm ready to not say goodbye anymore. To spend a day that doesn't end with our going separate ways, followed by days and days apart.
Tonight, since you left, I've been really miserable. I've been angry. I've sat at my computer with a scowl on my face and frustration in my heart. I've thought about how much it hurts not to be married yet, and how long we still have to go.
I'm telling you this because it's important. It’s important that my letters to you reflect not just the joys of our engagement – tasting wedding cake samples, finding out which bridal expos have the best free hors d'oeuvres, replicating every wedding related DIY craft on Pinterest – but also the struggles, the harsh realities, and the challenges we’ve endured as a team.
The truth is that a lot of couples don't put themselves through this. Our culture has found a streamlined approach to gratification, and what that means is that couples never have to experience the pain and loneliness and frustration that comes with saying goodbye to the person you love every night until marriage. They've eliminated that, and they see it as a good thing.
I can kind of understand why they think that. It's easier. It's less painful.
The culture will often choose what is easy and painless. And on the other end of the spectrum, you and I get to learn what it feels like to long.
I get to spend the next eighteen months frustrated to not wake up with you. I get to go to bed angry on Sunday nights after you've left, knowing I don't get to be with you again for another week. I get to dwell in the pain and sadness that comes with waiting for the appropriate time to share all that I want to share with you: to live with you, to love you in the little moments every day, to fall asleep and wake up next to my best friend.
And because I've learned how to long, because I've learned what it feels like to be without you, I know I will never take our marriage for granted.
I can't wait for the way it will feel on our wedding day, knowing there is no such thing as going home to separate houses ever again. There will be no more goodbyes, no more living in different worlds during the week, no more waiting days between seeing each other. We will never take those things for granted, because we had to go so long without them. We had to struggle through not having those things, even when we felt ready for them.
Sometimes I feel defeated. Sometimes I get angry. Sometimes I cry because I can't help it and it all just feels like more than I can handle.
But when I finally manage to pull myself together, I remember we are going to have something incredibly strong and beautiful. Part of the reason it's going to be so strong and so beautiful is because our right now is as difficult as it is.
This is not the easy way. But we're doing what we know is right, what we believe in and what our faith asks of us. We are doing what we know builds strong, beautiful relationships and marriages. I want nothing less with you.
About the Author: Alexa is a 2013 graduate of The Catholic University of America, where she earned her B.S. in Biology with a minor in Psychology. Since 2014, she has served as the Assistant Coordinator for Youth, Young Adult and Family Ministry for the Diocese of Allentown. Alexa and her fiancé Patrick got engaged in December 2016, and are excitedly planning and preparing for a June 2018 marriage. Together they enjoy Cracker Barrel breakfasts, long walks around Barnes & Noble, and deciding which bridal expos have the best cake samples. Alexa's hobbies include writing, photography, and drinking coffee.