The Sigh

We’re rolling into week 34 of this pregnancy. Whether due to oxygen deprivation, lack of quality sleep, or growing excitement for Henry’s arrival, there has been a significant increase in the number of times I sigh each day. In fact, my husband counted my sighs yesterday morning while I got ready for work.

Brandon and I had a good laugh last night about “The Sigh” – you know, the one that takes place right after the lights go out and it’s quiet in your bedroom, but there’s still something unsettled between you and your husband, so you initiate “The Sigh” instead of addressing whatever is bothering you. I am an expert sigher, well-seasoned from early on in our marriage. Unable to work up the courage to actually talk about how angry I was about ________ or sad I was about _______ or disappointed about ________, I waited and sighed, sighed and waited, until one very pissed husband would ask, “Is there something wrong?” in his best restrained voice.

And I bet you know my answer:


Brandon said everytime he hears me sigh, his toes curl.

This morning I am still smiling about this, grateful that we seem to be beyond “The Sigh,” at least for this season, and can laugh at our younger selves. There’s a reason we’re not supposed to go to bed angry, and it’s because of “The Sigh”, the toe-curling, teeth-clenching, unresolved frustrations of the day building up between you and your spouse, collecting in the crevices of the sheets and puddling on the pillows. Lately, my sighs have little to do with my husband (other than the budding new life we’ve created together), but it’s funny how those deep inhalations can spark memories of our own early growth as a couple. And look where we are now: sighing and laughing our way through our 7th year of marriage.

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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