I’ve never held myself as the Poster Child for Normalcy, but I would never go as far to say that I am the Epitome of Weirdness either. I admit that I live a rather unusual life and have strange and unusual tastes, but to be quite honest, I’m not all that different from most people I know and as a married person who can be lumped into the Living Apart Together phenomena, I find I am in good company.

Sailor Man, is well, a sailor. By definition he makes his living on the water. I am not a sailor. I enjoy water in many forms, but to live and work on it? Nu-uh, not this dame. As such, Sailor and I have lived much of our 8 years together apart. By my reckoning, I think we’ve actually been in each other’s actual physical presense just over 4 of those 8 years.

And we’re the happiest married couple I know.

The other night, I had dinner with some of Sailor’s family who was in town and our non-traditional union was called into question by the wife of a cousin. So much so, that she went as far as to suggest that we couldn’t really be in committed marriage when we spend this much time apart.

Needless to say, this did not endear her to me.

My reply to her and to all who have the absolute gall to question our union is this: don’t let your inabilities, insecurities and fears in your own relationship project onto my marriage and attempt to nullify what is right and works for Sailor and me.

Sailor was doing what he was doing when I met him so I knew what I signing on for. I have work, friends, a life, and none of that ceases just because Sailor is away. There’s also an enormous difference between being alone and being lonely. I have never suffered from the latter.

In this marvelous age of communication, Sailor and I talk all the time via his cell phone. And I know this is unbelievable to some people, but we actually write letters to each other. Shock! Recoil! Disbelief! But it’s true and we do. Often. I probably have a several hundred letters from him at this point and can no longer fit them in the letter valise he made for our 3rd anniversary.

And living together is not all it’s cracked up to be. Sailor is a slob. I like things put away. He litters the house with knick-knacks. I throw them out. His regular diet consists of hippy-granola food. Mine most certainly does not. I listen to the NPR when putzing around the house. He likes it silent. I like to watch TV. He prefers to read. All those annoying and nerve-grating habits most married couples have that drive each other crazy, I don’t have to deal with. At least, not very often.

And I like it that way. So does Sailor. It works for us. Trying to fit into this “traditional” construct of a marriage would not. I’m not trying to criticize anyone else’s marrital arrangement, but they should also understand that there are other ways of skinning the proverbial cat. It is estimated that 3.8 million, yes, million couples live like we do in this country. And this does not make us any less committed or less in love than the rest of the married folk out there.

And when Sailor and I are together, well, all I can say is that I appreciate morning coffee with my husband in a way only those other 3.8 million wives can.

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