Moving In… and Moving Forward

Posted: June 9, 2011 in Love and Marriage
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I have to confess.  When I left Macy’s the following Monday, my thoughts were running wild with the reception I would receive on my first night “home.”  I imagined my wife waiting for me, breathless with anticipation.  I pictured her taking hold of my tie, pulling me close, and leading me upstairs.  Even though we had been together for more than 15 years,  I was as nervous as a new boyfriend. 

When I got to the loft, absolutely nothing happened.  No joyful reunion.  No passionate encounter.  Nothing that suggested that this was anything other than the most ordinary night in the most ordinary of marriages.  I was confused and let down.  It was all very surreal after Saturday morning.  I had no idea what to think, but it was infinitely better than being separated, so I decided to take it as it came and let it develop.

As the week went on, things became increasingly awkward between us.  There wasn’t nearly enough communication, and we were tiptoeing around each other, unsure what to say or do, or what our roles were to be.  We took some bike rides together and went to the gym, and we were getting along well, but there was an uncomfortable feeling to it all.  It was as if we just stepped from one life into another with no transition or adjustment period.

For me, there was the obvious adjustment of moving “my stuff” into “her place” and trying to not completely disrupt everything that she had worked so hard to accomplish.  I wasn’t sure what the boundaries were.  She would casually say, “It’s our place now,” as if it was all completely natural and expected, and for her, it may have been.  I wanted to make sure that my moving in would be a blessing to her and not a major disruption. 

For her, the issues were less clear, but I could tell she was dealing with some fallout from the separation.  I didn’t want to push her to talk about things she didn’t want to, and I kept trying to reassure her that we were going forward into our future, not back into the past.  We both had some fears and doubts after what we had been through, but I had no intention of letting anything stand in our way now that we were living together and committed to one another again.

The Tour De Cox, a 62 mile annual bike ride, was scheduled for the upcoming Saturday and we were planning to participate.  It was to be the first organized cycling event that we would ride in as a couple.  By Friday, the tension was nearly unbearable for me.  I had moved in and there were way too many elephants in the room to ignore for much longer.  At some point, we needed to talk.

I prayed a lot throughout the day that Friday, asking God what was going on and what to do.  I wasn’t getting any answer, so I figured I must already know. I was listening to Flyleaf’s second CD and the song that was playing contained the line, “We’ll cry tonight, but in the morning we are new,” and I took it as a sign.  When I got home, my wife was sick to her stomach.  I almost changed my mind and decided to let it go, but I had resolved that we needed to get this taken care of, so I told her we needed to talk. 

I told her that I needed to know why she had called me and asked me to move back in.  I needed to know what had happened and why she had left me and now had come back to me.  I needed to know what was going on in her head and her heart and her life.  We simply had never talked it through and we needed to.  I felt really bad because she was feeling so sick and I suspected that this would keep us up for too much of the night to be able to make the bike ride in the morning, but once I asked the questions, there was no backing out.

We talked everything out, and we did cry together, just like the song said, over the pain we had caused each other and the choices we wished we could take back.  After a time, my wife was able to fall asleep.  I held her for a while, then went downstairs and sat by the window.  I spent some time praying and meditating and looking ahead to the future that I could foresee.  I finally came to bed for good around 3AM, knowing that the bike ride was out, but that we had needed to do this.

In the morning (also just like the song said), it was if we had somehow hit a “reset” button during the night.  The air was clear and everything looked new and beautiful, like it was the first day of a brand new marriage.  It was then that the restoration tour truly began.


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