Paulie: [talking about Adrian] You like her?One of the best things about having a partner-in-life is that together "we fill gaps." (I know, it's too corny for words, but just keep reading.)
Rocky: Sure, I like her.
Paulie: What's the attraction?
Rocky: I dunno... she fills gaps.
Paulie: What's 'gaps'?
Rocky: I dunno, she's got gaps, I got gaps, together we fill gaps.
I have only realized in the last few months (as I've begun to feel better) just how much work I have stopped doing. After the first year of pain, I had to quit my job. I had to stop moving the grass (which I actually like to do). I stopped cleaning much. I didn't do laundry, or vacuum, or mop. I didn't cook often, or clean up the kitchen, or dust. It took a good bit of energy just to get out of bed and onto the couch. I spent my time watching TV, reading, sleeping, and not much else. Going to the doctor's office or taking a shower or enjoying lunch with friends - I could do ONE of those in a day, and then rest from the exertion.
Somehow, though, things got done. I realize now that my husband just stepped in and worked. He didn't announce what he was doing, he didn't ask for credit for it, he didn't flaunt his ability to do it when I couldn't. In the fog of my depression and self-absorption, I hadn't really noticed. But, now that I'm coming back into life, I see what an incredible partner he has been to me throughout this ordeal. Where I have been weak, he has been strong. Where I've fallen down, he's given me a hand. When I've stopped doing, he has gotten it all done. And, through the years (we celebrate 20 in May), I've done the same for him.
My husband is a good balance for me. He somehow knows when to encourage me to do more or to push harder; and he knows when I need to stop, say no, rest. I sometimes have difficulty stopping a project just because I'm tired or hurting - I want to get the project done! He will often stop me in the middle to ask "how are you?" or "do you need a break?" - and this reminds me that the project is NOT the most important thing. I sometimes have difficulty saying "no" when people invite me over, or to join them, or to do something. At least, now that I'm feeling better, I WANT to do these things - but I still have to be very aware of how much I'm pushing myself. I don't want to relapse or even spend a day or two in pain to "pay" for an activity. My husband is my helper in these issues, when he can see clearly what I cannot.
OK, let's not go overboard (lest you or my husband get the wrong impression). After all, he's not perfect. I'm not perfect. Neither of us is particularly easy to live with; we both have a bit of "prima donna" in us. We don't always see eye to eye. We don't always want to do the same kinds of things. But at the end of the day, we're in this life together, and that's a good thing.
I hope that you have (or will soon find) someone who "fills gaps" with you.