Does Distance Make the Heart Grow Fonder?
by Bill Quinn
How does a period of separation affect a marriage? I'm not taking about the kind of "separation" that leads to divorce. I mean one like Laurie and I are having right now. She's visiting her sister and her husband. What's the effect of something like this? Good or bad?
According to the old saying, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." But then there's another old saying, "Out of sight, out of mind." At least in my experience, it's certainly the first one that applies to Laurie and me. I believe it to be true, popular wisdom to describe a couple really in love.
I miss Laurie, and I can't wait for her to get back. And it's not because the house turns into a mess, and I have to eat out all the time. I'm pretty good around the house: very neat, and there are a number of good meals in my culinary repertoire. It's also not just about missing sex...although, I have to admit that's a big part of it. Yes, the more I think about it, the bigger a part it seems. But it's still just a part of the whole. The "whole" is that I miss everything that separation takes away. I miss living with Laurie, I miss talking with her, I miss watching her around the house, I miss going out with her, I miss going to bed with her every night, and, yes, I miss making love to her.
I remember when Laurie got the phone call two weeks ago. It was late in the evening, just before we went to bed. From listening to the one-sided conversation, I knew that we were being invited to spend a few days with Laurie's sister Eileen and her husband Roy.
"Terry," she said after hanging up the phone, "you remember I told you this was Eileen and Roy's tenth anniversary? Well, they've decided to celebrate at a fancy restaurant with a few other couples and invited us to stay with them a few days so we could go too."
"When did you say it was?"
That would be during final-exam week, and I knew the department chairman would never let me off during that week. Laurie would be really disappointed. I had to think fast. What could I do to make this work for her?
"Laurie, it'd really be great fun to go, and I know you always enjoy seeing Eileen and Roy. But June 3 is during final-exam week. But, hey, here's an idea. Why don't you go by yourself. Spend a whole week up there...maybe two. You and Eileen could really have a ball together."
"Oh, but I would hate to go without you..."
I knew this was a real case of mixed emotions for Laurie. She really wanted to go.
"Think nothing of it, my dear," I said in my best debonair tone of voice. "I'll be fine here. You know how much work it is grading exams. This way, I have all that done by the time you get back. "And," I added with a gleam in my eye," when you get back, you and I will have our own little celebration."
Laurie assumed a knowing smirk. "Yes, and I know what you'll want to be the center of attraction during that celebration."
"What a loving and insightful wife I have! Yes, that was exactly what I was thinking. Making love, oh, twice a day for, say, maybe three days in a row."
She scowled. "In your dreams, darling, in your dreams." She put her hand up and held her chin, feigning deep thought. "I might let you have sex two nights in a row...if you're lucky, that is," she added, with an impish grin.
"Well, then," I responded, with my own impish grim, "we'll just have to make love every night until you leave."
Laurie assumed her tongue-in-cheek, quizzical look. "Well, now, that wasn't quite the schedule I had in mind. Maybe tomorrow and then, oh, maybe once more during the next week."
"We'll see about that, young lady." With that I jumped up from the chair and put her in a bear hug, lifting her off the floor. "And it's going to start tonight."
As I started to walk toward our bedroom, she giggled softly and put her arms around me, gently caressing my neck.
Laurie left a week later and had now been gone a week. Of course, we keep in touch over the phone, almost everyday in fact. One effect of the separation that I noticed after a few days was that when we talked, her voice sounded really sexy. There's no doubt others were within earshot at her end, so I'm sure she wasn't doing anything purposely. I suspect that the separation with the consequent absence of love-making just made her sound so very desirable to my ears.
One thing we had never mentioned before she left was that her birthday would fall during the two weeks she would be gone. When came time to buy the birthday card to mail to her, I was very...concupiscent...shall we say. I found one that immediately turned me on with thoughts of Laurie in bed. On the front of the card was a picture of a shapely, glamorous wife smoothing down a tight miniskirt in front of a full-length mirror. You could see her husband peaking around the door to the bedroom watching her with a slightly lecherous grin on his face. The line under the picture was, "Happy birthday to my wife who's still got it." When you opened the card it read, "From your husband who still wants it." That was it! I just had to send Laurie this card.
I timed it as best I could so that it would arrive on her birthday and then called her that evening. Laurie picked up the phone.
"Eileen figured it would be you, so she told me to answer. I went into a room where I could be alone."
"Really? Why did you want to be alone?" I tried to use my most innocent tone of voice.
"You know very well why!"
"Oh, now let me think...Hmmm, I assume, then, that you got my card?"
"Yes," she answered in a scolding tone. "I got so flustered when I opened it that I almost dropped it, which would have been an even bigger disaster. Somebody else might have picked it up. As it was, I snapped it shut right away and pulled it out of sight. I'm sure both Eileen and Roy knew exactly why I did that and what the card was about."
"They saw it, then?"
"Yes...well, no, not actually. They didn't really see it, but they knew it was something about...about sex. My face must have been red as a beet."
Suddenly, I wondered if my humor had really gotten Laurie upset.
"Laurie, I...didn't mean to embarrass you. I probably shouldn't have sent you that card."
Her voice softened.
"That's all right, Terry. Once I got by myself and got over the shock, I read it again. In fact, I've read it many times since this afternoon. You really do know how to make a wife feel good about herself."
I felt much relieved. "I just missed you so much and missed..."
"Well, not to put too fine a point on it, but yes. Sex."
"I know," she said sweetly. "I do too. But of course I already knew what the card said about you. I liked reading what the card said about me."
"I meant it, Laurie."
There was a pause, and then she continued.
"It's only a few more days. I love you."
"I love you too, Laurie. Can't wait for you to get back."
"Bye...and sweet dreams, Terry."
The remaining days dragged on. Exams were graded, grades were turned in, and there was little to do except read...a think about Laurie.
You know, when a man misses his wife, he continues to sleep only on his side of the bed rather than sprawl out in the middle. But now this next bit might sound silly, but it's also true, at least for me. Sometimes it's so lonely in bed that I rearrange Laurie's pillow lengthwise and then put my arm around it, pretending it's her. Other times when I'm facing the other way, I pull the covers over my shoulder and concentrate on feeling their weight. I pretend it's Laurie putting her arm around me.
Yes, silly, right? But it helps during the lonely nights.
The day finally arrived. Laurie called me that morning and said she was leaving. We figured she should be pulling in around six or seven in the evening. I took a chair near the window and started watching about 5:30. When she finally pulled into the driveway, I opened the door and hurried out to greet her.
As she climbed out of the car I got a surprisingly generous flash of thigh, and when she was finally out, I saw why. Laurie was wearing a short, black pleated skirt with black knee socks and a white blouse. I stared at her in amazement. She looked like a schoolgirl--and she looked absolutely adorable.
Laurie hurried over to me, and we hugged and kissed...passionately, I might add.
When the kiss ended, I put my hands on her shoulders and held her there as my eyes scanned her from tip to toe.
"You look really cute in that outfit, Laurie. But I'm surprised you made that long drive in it."
"Oh, but I didn't," she answered, smiling sweetly. "I had the knee socks on, but I changed into the skirt at a gas station just before getting here."
"Just for me?"
"Just for you." She gently touched my face with her fingertips. We stood there gazing into each other's eyes like love-sick teenagers for a few seconds, and then she continued in a more practical tone. "Come on, help me in."
I grabbed a suitcase and started for the door. But something made me decide to wait for Laurie, and am I glad I did. As I turned around to look for her, she was bending over and reaching into the car for something. That alone provided a vision that made my mouth water. Did I mention that it was a short skirt?
But then a bit of wind caught her skirt just right and flipped it up, giving me a clear flash of white panties. Yes, a husband who truly desires his wife still finds that incredibly exciting. But I saw them for only a moment. She had gotten what she was reaching for, pulled it out, and stood up again, making the flash all the sexier. It had been only a momentary flash, and then it was over--with me left almost panting for more. That's what builds real excitement and intense desire. If I had wanted her before, now the desire was almost more than I could bear.
But with much effort, I managed to regain some measure of control over myself.
As we walked back to the house, I let Laurie go first. I watched her and the gentle, alluring sway of her skirt and derriere. It made me think of that early rock-n-roll song by Johnny Tillotson--"Poetry in Motion." That song's always been one of my romantic favorites.
When I see my baby,
What do I see?
Poetry in motion.
Poetry in motion--
Walkin' by my side.
Her lovely locomotion
Keeps my eyes open wide.
Poetry in motion--
See her gentle sway.
A wave out on the ocean
Could never move that way.
I love every movement,
There's nothing I would change.
She doesn't need improvement:
She's much too nice to rearrange.
Laurie is often tired after a long drive, even when I do the driving, and usually doesn't want to make love when we get home. But what read-blooded husband wouldn't try after seeing his wife dressed like Laurie is now?
When we got in the house, she flopped down on sofa, none too modestly, I might add. I threw a couple of frozen dinners into the microwave for something quick to eat.
When we finished, there were a few things to do around the house. The minutes seemed to pass with excruciating slowness.
Just before it was time for bed, we both sat down on the sofa. Laurie snuggled up close to me, and I put my arm around her.
"I did miss you something terrible," she whispered.
I turned her toward me and we kissed. My hands started running all over Laurie, my passion running wild. She was starting to breath heavily. But then she stopped me. She ran her fingers over my face and into my hair.
"No, not here. Why don't you take me into our bedroom?" Her voice was low and sultry.
We sat up, and taking her hand I led her to our bedroom. Her hand was soft and delicate in mine, and she held it tightly.
A small thing, but holding hands, especially on the way to bed, can be very romantic--and exciting.
We climbed onto the bed, embracing and kissing again. I rolled over on my back, pulling Laurie on top of me. She put her hands on the bed straddling me and pushed herself up.
"Now where were we?" she asked.
I reached up and caressed her breasts under her thin blouse. She closed her eyes and sighed softly. But ever since she'd gotten home, I'd been waiting to get my hands on her skirt. I reached down and started pushing it slowly up. My hands slid over the smooth, soft skin of her thighs and then over her tight, silky panties. My hands lingered, and I squeezed her bottom, feeling desire fill my whole body.
Laurie moved her leg so that mine was between hers, then pushed down hard. She moaned but then opened her eyes and looked down at me again. She was breathing hard.
"I know you love to play with my skirt and panties, but I want you...and I mean now."
The urgency in her voice was undeniable.
Our love making that followed sent us both to soaring heights of ecstasy. It's memory will be with me for a long time.
As we lay there somewhat exhausted but coming back down to earth, I was on my back with Laurie snuggled close to me. She was on her side with my arm around her, her head on my shoulder and her arm across my chest. I was caressing her hair. This was my favorite position--such a tender, affectionate way to lie in bed together.
After a while Laurie pulled away and leaned on her elbow facing me.
"I really got you going tonight, didn't I?"
"You have a gift for understatement, Laurie. But I noticed you displayed a fair amount of passion yourself."
She gave me one of her cute scowls. "Terry, using the language of that risque birthday card you sent me, do you think you're the only one who builds up a desire for 'it' when we're separated? Making love to you tonight was all I thought about for the last hundred miles of the drive. Putting that skirt on got me exciting just thinking about how excited it would get you."
I smiled but didn't answer right away. You know, I remember reading how much it means to wives to know that their husbands not only love them but also passionately desire them. But as a man I know it works both ways, even more so maybe. Men are wired to want sex. But how wonderful it makes me feel knowing that Laurie really and truly has a passionate desire for me. I experienced that incredible feeling again tonight. What a wonderful gift it is to have a wife who loves making love to me!
I reached over and touched Laurie's face. "Well, continuing with the terminology of my sweet, little birthday card, you not only still have 'it,' but you know how to use 'it' to drive me absolutely crazy!"
Laurie's expression brightened noticeably, and her eyes seemed to sparkle with delight. "You're so sweet. But now I really am exhausted. Let's go to sleep."
Yes, I thought to myself. Going to sleep with Laurie is one of the most wonderful things about our marriage. How I love her in bed with me.
She turned to face away but snuggled up close to me. I put my arm around her, and warmth and tenderness seemed to fill the room. No more pretending with pillows or covers. Laurie was back with me--my wife, the girl of my dreams.
I believe it has now been confirmed: distance does make the heart grow fonder.
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