I love this post. I love it because it is what I SO desired. I have been this wife…the one who has become angry and resolute and sleeping with a back towards her husband. I have felt the desire to make him feel how he has hurt me and the ice-cold heart that wants to run because all her childhood trauma was triggered.
It is somehow very comforting to know that even in healthy marriages…..this feeling….this fight takes place.
It is in the resolution that the difference between a good marriage and a marriage defined by sexual addiction and hiding becomes so painfully clear.
When sexual addiction and hiding are present…..there can be no turning and finding you are loved. There can be no man offering grace yet again…and receiving blame humbly and fighting to make you safe, and known, and loved. There is only silence and absence, and covering up and subtle blame because if he saw your pain and was seen by you…..he would have to choose to open up his sin, and that is unthinkable.
There was one moment when during a fight….he pleaded that things were changing….that now he could see that not talking had done such great harm. That moment is forever etched in my mind….I was yelling and angry and consumed with the injustice of all that had happened…..screaming and crying and finally letting some of it out……He was only trying to talk me down from a ledge and convince me that things were changing and that now we could move forward because before all we did was silence and a cold war. Trying to convince me that I was not seeing clearly like him did not help in that moment.
He was right….and he was still hiding.
If only….if only in that moment he could have crossed the line and come fully into the light of repentance….the kind that leads to restitution and brutal honesty…….and fully comes for my heart to make me know I was loved.
My heart aches for that moment.
There were other moments…when doors were offered, and he refused to walk through them.
There were moments going way back to those first weeks…..when lines of communication were severely damaged almost from the first discussions….of anything weighty….anything not filled with sunshine and praise and roses and ease…..there was silence.
The silence was deafening.
The silence was on both sides.
The trauma from our original families was triggered, and we had no skills to see or change the patterns. We needed help and when it was offered in God’s timing….he refused.
I used to think my silence caused all this destruction. I used to think my silence was because I WAS a cold-hearted person…..not passionate and loving…..and that my actions were the only ones that were hurtful. I was told and became convinced that if only I had been able to break through my wall….none of this would have happened.
Mine was and is a difficult pattern to undo.
I hide my pain and discomfort. I will pretend that everything is fine…I often believe it myself until I later reflect and later realize that something is bothering me. Without doors and windows and a man who can stay and sit there on his elbow offering grace and forgiveness even though I have my back turned….without a love that can come and see me and hear me and try to understand me…..without any empathy and without any vision…..my marriage was doomed.
I cannot and could not and will never be able to undo any of those old patterns alone. I will have to practice in real relationships…. good relationships….a relationship in which the other sinner is not hiding more of himself than he can handle and striving each day to appear perfect and wise and godly.
I had a man who was witty and sharp and intelligent and handsome and athletic and romantic and good with words. I desired a man who was all of that……
But more than that, I came to understand that I desired a man who would love me….a man who would not let the sun go down on our anger….one who would desire to connect and work it out and who could capture me and make me talk and find me even when I was lost and feeling so alone and frozen and wildly out of my mind with trauma.
I needed a man who was walking with me and not running from me.
I needed a man who would look me in the eye and squarely tell me my sin and accept when I repaid the compliment.
When I finally saw my sin…..it was after a nuclear blast that opened up my heart and mind and soul to a light that I could either let cleanse me or hide from for the rest of my life.
This story… of.this fight….is what I want.
I know that no man is going to be perfect…..and I am by no means perfect. There will be fights….this time I hope there will be really good ones. I rarely fought with my ex. I don’t let a whole lot bother me, and I don’t get upset with irritations too often.
I am learning to allow myself to feel more and more….so I hope that in the future, I will allow myself to have good fights….about really important stuff like where we go to eat and whose family is driving me crazy and how I turn away and how he forgets to take out the trash. I want to have those fights so I can know….that even here….he will stay and fight for my heart and allow himself to either forgive me or receive my forgiveness. He will walk with me even through the uncomfortable and rocky and see my beauty even after I have scorched him with my eyes and he has scorched me with his words.
Turning and finding that I am loved will be the feeling I am longing for and hoping to find…..not feeling like someone worships my perfectness or feeling that someone only longs for my body….or finding that I can make someone feel respected and adored and handsome and accepted.
This feeling….of turning after a fight…..of offering yourself to someone you trust…..who can see you….. and know you……. and love you just the same…..
That is what I want!