Saturday, June 16, 2018

Being Married on a Saturday Morning

I've been thinking about something and this Saturday morning has been the perfect crucible for my thoughts. 

I've had a lot of conversations lately with men and women who are grieving the loss of their spouse and with people who find it difficult to have their needs remotely met in the context of marriage.  In the case of the former, I hear the intensity of a husband's love for his wife, how he wished he would have appreciated her more, how a wife would give anything for five more minutes with her husband, and how many question the value of their own life without their spouse in it to give it meaning.

I find this incredibly poignant, beautiful, and heart-rending.  I can never hear too much about one person's love for another and I grieve with them. 

But, then I wake up in my own marriage on Saturday morning.

I don't see my husband in the mornings during the work week, because he's hitting the gym long before I care to be awake.  But, on Saturdays, we're both home, and I'm tricked into thinking that starting our day together in separate rooms means something.  That checking in with the outside world first thing, is an indication that everything else (including me) is the last thing. 

My mind swings back and forth between the reality of those who are grieving the loss of their person and sitting alone on my futon, feeling like we're getting it all wrong.  I start to feel resentful and pull away in this black-and-white-world-where-you-wish-you-had-five-more-minutes-with-the-one-you-love or you sleep walk through the next forty years. 

And I pray.  I pray that the Lord will illuminate the truths that I've forgotten and help me to see what I'm inclined to ignore.

And He answers. 

I remember that it would be impossible to live forward in time with the intensity of frustrated love, which belongs to the grieving.  That to buy more gifts, spend more time, appreciate every moment and opportunity to love sounds so wonderful, but is impossible to maintain. 

I remember that human beings have a certain capacity to love and give and invest in others.  This same capacity is largely influenced by hunger, sleep, intro and extroverted natures, schedules, time, emotional strain, and how long you have to keep it up.

The intensity of love in a marriage is often shrouded by the dailiness of it all.  Love looks like washing dishes and bringing the grill back in and going places you don't want to go and being awake when you'd rather be napping.  But, it's there.

We don't have to see something to know that it exists.  Ask any dog who lives in a yard with an invisible fence.   

Love is there and so often, it looks like beginning again.  Trusting again in that love which you cannot see and as often, cannot feel.  And it's worth everything you can throw at it, commit to it, or sacrifice on its altar. 

This time, in my case, it will look like an apology for being cold with no explanation and refusing kindness without gratitude, and maybe a blog post which encourages us to believe again in a love that we're tempted to doubt. 

The outstretched and enduring nature of our mission as married folks is daunting.  It is impossible to do it perfectly, but possible to do it well.  And part of doing it well is persevering...until death do us part.  And between now and then, taking advantage of what is, to feel fully that which you have to give, and giving it. 




  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Cecilia! It's good to keep at it, and to travel with people who are doing the same!