Her Own Car: A Final Step In Her Journey

Posted: June 3, 2011 in Love and Marriage
Tags: , , , , , ,

Summers always seem too short.  On the last day of school, it feels like there’s a wonderfully long vacation to look forward to, but it always flies by.  Last summer was unlike any other in that our marriage fell apart right after spring break and we separated at the end of the school year.  Instead of a vacation to rejuvenate, I found myself in the fight of my spiritual life trying to save my marriage. 

As July was slipping away, I grew more and more conscious that the new school year was right around the corner and for us, that meant something would have to give.  We both work at the same school, and it’s a considerable distance from where either of us was living.  We only had one car when we split up, and I was driving it.  My wife’s only means of transportation were her bike and rides from me. 

If it came time to report back to work and things hadn’t changed, it was going to be a problem.  I was willing to drive her to work, but I wasn’t sure how realistic that was.  Far more troublesome was the possibility that things would change for the worse.  If things were not going to work out, I couldn’t imagine working in the same building, especially if she began dating. 

The way we had always talked, the idea was that by time school started, she would have had time to get her issues worked out, and I would have been able to pursue and win her back.  One evening, when I had brought her home from work and we were supposed to eat dinner together, she told me that she had thought that her heart would change toward me, but it hadn’t.  I asked her what about wanting me to romance her and win her back?  She told me it wasn’t working and she didn’t know if she could ever feel that way about me again.  She cried and told me that she had begged God for things to work between us, but now she didn’t know what to do anymore and had pretty much lost hope.

I was utterly confused and blown away by all of it.  I didn’t respond well and she ended up telling me to leave.  For the first time, I really began facing the idea of a future without her.  I didn’t lose hope, and I stepped up the intensity in my prayers, but I began to honestly ask myself the toughest of questions.  If we weren’t going to be married, what would I do?  Our lives were so tied up together that I wouldn’t be able to continue to live in the area without running into her often unless I completely changed my habits and way of life. 

In the days ahead, I expressed this to her and she seemed taken aback by it.  “You wouldn’t really go away, would you?” she asked me.  I told her that I was sure I would; that I just couldn’t handle living where I would see her.  I told her that I was willing to give her as much time as she needed, and that I would pick her up and drive her to school everyday, as long as there was the possibility of us working things out, but that if we weren’t going to be able to, I couldn’t stay around.

In the midst of all this, she decided that she needed her own car and asked me if I would help her find one.  I wasn’t to put in any money, sign anything, or in any way be part of the purchase itself.  She had to be able to qualify and be accepted on her own.  I never imagined that this was going to be the final step, in her mind, to establishing her independence, and then being able to choose what she wanted.  For me, it was another opportunity to love her unselfishly, so I went with her, test drove cars, listened to salesmen, and ultimately sat and watched her sign papers on a car that was only hers. 

Once she had that car, something in her changed.  She had done what she set out to do.  She was now completely independent.  She could choose to pursue a relationship with me, or someone else, if she wanted to.  She could choose to be alone if she wanted to.  It wasn’t until later that I somewhat understood this.  I thought that having this car would make her less likely to ever return to me.  In reality, it helped assure that the door stayed open, and my willingness to be a part of it all made choosing me a more likely outcome.


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