Some things go together like mashed potatoes and gravy. Like chocolate and sea salt. Like yoga and green juice. You get it right? Well, often I wouldn’t put my husband and I in this category of “things that go together”.
I know what you’re thinking. "Wait, what? Aren’t husband and wife just naturally placed in the category of things that go together”…not in my experience. But this is the story of how my man and I have created a little container that only we belong in…a place that works for us.
So buckle in while I tell you my tale of modern day marriage, and why it feels so damn good to be married to my husband today.
We’re different, my hubs and I. Yin and yang. Earth and fire. Logic and emotion. Practical and bohemian. We’re that kind of different…you know it?
And while differences can be a beautiful dance in a relationship, they also cause ripples...and ripples turn into waves, and sometimes waves crash into the shore like tsunamis…and well, tsunamis are destructive.
We’ve spent years going through this cycle creating different sized waves.
Sometimes we’ve gotten so close to becoming the catastrophic tsunami that takes out an entire village, even I’ve been scared to come close to us. Put your life jackets on people ‘cuz Tsunami Divorce is coming in HAWT and she is not f*cking around this time.
We have returned to this place again and again. And we have both continued to show up and do the work. You know, “THE WORK”. We’ve been to therapy (both separate and together), made the compromises, forgiven, sacrificed, talked, made up, talked a different way, gone back to therapy, and compromised some more.
Eventually we get back to a good place. Sometimes “good" lasts as long as a good trip, sometimes it’s a full season of life, sometimes it feels like the f*cking blink of an eye and we’re back to square one.
But we always start again.
So, in August, I had this realization - a breakthrough of sorts... And it changed EVERYTHING.
It opened me up to love.
It allowed me to see things clearly, from his perspective.
It welcomed compassion.
It showed me how afraid I was.
It mirrored a reflection that showed me where I was falling short.
Wait, what? I was falling short? No f*cking way…this was ALL HIS FAULT.
Wrong. So wrong, so very wrong…and so the shift began.
The day I had this breakthrough, I was driving in the car with my sister-in-law, and we were having a regular conversation about life. You know, sipping coffee, talking about boys, travels, work, etc…when all of the sudden we started talking about Dunc. (Dunc is my guy. I’ll start using his name now that we’re getting to the juuuuicy part.)
So there we were just cruising the Sea to Sky Highway, casually talking about the same old struggles I was facing in my marriage…when all of the sudden I realized clear as day, that Dunc was not the one being hurtful or screwing this whole thing up. Dunc was just being DUNC…
I was the one with the cruel expectations and built up resentment.
I was the one resisting his love.
I was the one holding back.
I was the one not communicating.
I was the one not willing to stay open.
It was ME!!! And of course, he wore the blame for it. For all of my insecurities, fears, and shame…he was the one suffering. Because I couldn’t see the pain in myself, I was projecting it straight onto him, and he wore that pain like a scary mask that I came up against year after year, argument after argument.
And the whole time, I never saw what changes I could have made to free him of the mask. Was I trying? Oh hell yes! Was I showing up in our marriage and doing my work? You better believe I was. I thought I was doing all the right things.
But I never took that crucial moment to step back and say, “Hey goddess - wait a quick second. Maybe if you let your guard down a little bit and stay open to receive his love, he’ll be standing there ready to give it to you. Maybe he WANTS to love you in all the right ways, but you keep seeing him as the monster”.
That day, I got home and I saw Dunc differently. It took time, and work, and nightly mantras and meditations, and holding hands when I wasn’t sure I really wanted to, and saying YES to things that made me uncomfortable, and asking for things I was scared to as for…it took all these things. And then some.
It took learning to trust his compliments...
It took seeing more of the world through his eyes...
It took letting him show up the way he knows how…
It took me understanding that all I want is to be loved, and I have the BEST F*CKING GUY just standing here trying to give it to me…
It took looking in the mirror, and taking the mask off.
Taking my mask off.
Loving all of myself so that I could let him love me too.
That was in August. Everyday since then things in my heart and home have improved exponentially. Our love feels NEW again, it feels youthful and invigorated, it feels alive!
Today my husband and I are in a really beautiful place. My most favourite part of living in this place of love is that we say thank you to each other 50 times a day. We go out of our way to touch each other. We kiss longer. We laugh so much. I HAVE NO RESENTMENT, SAY WHAAAT!? We talk honestly, we share hard things, he asks me more intimate questions…and you know what? I’m not afraid to speak up anymore.
I’m not afraid of my own voice, of his response, of the outcome. To me, our marriage is safe again.
Who knows how long this season of love will last, or what ripple will turn into a wave next. And I know it will come, and the tsunami will threaten the safety of our shores, but I feel equipped to handle the ripple differently. I believe that with this newly opened heart and ability to receive love…that the ripples will actually create something magical.
And I’m so ready for whatever is next, because Dunc and I? We do belong together. Like the high and low tide, we compliment each other…
And our differences are something I've learned to cherish, deeply.
The same way I am slowly learning to love myself, in entirety. Without any of the masks on.
P.S. November in the GirlTribe Soul Sessions community is all about RELATIONSHIPS. If you're ready to show up without any masks, and really step into the ring of authentic relationships, click here & join us!