Have you ever wondered what goes into sustaining a long-term relationship? I was talking to a couple the other night who have been married for 59 years. I asked them what their secret was. The wife answered, "No secret, just pain." She said this with a smile and a playful swat at her husband. I then asked whether they did everything together. She again laughed and said, "Hardly anything".
That gave me some measure of comfort. Maybe because I've often thought that I needed to spend much time with my spouse and do everything together. I've heard others in Al-Anon state that unless you do all things together, the marriage isn't going to work. One long-term Al-Anon member told a group that she and her husband do their readings together, pray together, exercise together, eat together, and do other activities together. It all seemed too smothering to me. I need to have some space to pursue those things that I enjoy and my wife doesn't. We've worked together professionally before and have shared various activities that we've enjoyed over the years. Admittedly, those things that we shared diminished in recent years due to a variety of reasons, including active alcoholism.
Since being in recovery through Al-Anon, I find that it's necessary to have time to do things that I enjoy such as being on the boat. I need to have some level of solitude for meditation and reflection. I enjoy my time spent in meetings and with friends that I've developed in the fellowship. I find that spontaneous closeness works well for me. I don't want to have expectations of another that can't be realized right now. We're both working on a path to recovery, just at a different pace. I think that's okay.