She said, “I told him I want us to be warriors of love for our relationship. I told him I want to use our relationship to choose love over fear, and he agreed.”

I read the words over and over again, feeling her exhaustion at all the back and forth over the past months mixed with relief and hope for a calmer present.

She is my rock, my hotline to God. I can tell her anything and my words fall into a place soft and sound- free of judgment. We connect over text since she is a thousand miles away. Sometimes, when I can’t sleep, I write out everything to her and just through the writing, I find reprieve.

“That’s beautiful, honey,” I said. “That’s what relationships are for.”

“Yes,” she typed. “I used to think it was more loving to keep my complaints to myself.”

I breathed a sigh of acknowledgement and smiled knowing exactly what she meant. “Right, because you think you don’t deserve to be heard or that saying these things out loud just contributes to negativity. We stuff it down and tell ourselves ‘It’s OK’, but it’s a trick. Those thoughts and feelings have to have somewhere to go. They will come out regardless.”

Her response came immediately, “Exactly. You are actually loving yourself by not keeping it to yourself.”

Ooooh. That was good. So right on. “Yes, and with the intention to come together and heal- not to be right– those complaints, grievances and worries are rendered irrelevant. It’s all love or a way to remember love.”

“I think of Gollum,” she said. “And the way he held that ring- so sickening. But that’s what we do with our grievances. We hold them close and use them to make us feel better about ourselves- that’s what kills us. That’s what eats away at us.”

I pictured the creepy character from Lord of the Rings and could feel the truth of her words. “Yes, our victimhood is precious to us. It’s a way to stay attached to a story that we feel redeems us, but deep down we know how wrong that is. We truly want to forgive and free ourselves. It’s just…hard sometimes.”

“We fear losing power, but letting go is the quickest way to reclaim our power- our true power. Instead, we hold to a scrap of pride,” she typed.

“Yes,” I agreed. “We hold to the devil we know.”

“And I used to worry that I used my relationship as a crutch,” she said. “As a way to not be alone. But I think that’s bullshit.”

“Well, yes,” I said. “Because if it wasn’t him, it would be someone else and that’s fine, but the lessons aren’t going anywhere. What goes unhealed in your relationship with your husband will crop up somewhere else. So, in the end, it always comes down to asking one question of God in regards to a relationship: ‘What is this for?’. And if the answer isn’t ‘to remember Love’, then you know it’s time to regroup.”

“Oh Danielle,” she typed. “All I can think is: at least we’re not boring!”

I laughed out loud. “No, honey. No one would ever accuse us of that…except maybe our kids.”

<3

 

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