Since he got back, C has told me in frustration, "No matter what I do, I feel like I'm cramping your style." At one point, Mowgli said, "Both of you need to relax a little." (It's funny--we almost never fight, rarely argue, but both our kids are very tuned in to our relationship. Fortunately, they don't seem to be anxious about it, but the fact that they notice it at all is interesting.)
Anyway, C is right. "Re-entry" after we have been separated is always hard for me--much harder than it is for him. I always think it's not going to be. I'm thinking about him, missing him so much, wishing we were together . . . and then we are, and I get irritable and a little distant.
I know that it's part of those pesky emotional processes Bowen describes--the togetherness forces trying to balance closeness and autonomy. Trying to shift from "me" to "we" after a separation feels like learning to drive a stick: awkward and jarring. We're going out to dinner tomorrow night and if past experience is any predictor, everything should be better after.