Day 109 and Counting…Restoration, Chicago Style

Posted: January 3, 2013 in Love and Marriage
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Friday, November 26, 2010

Even though we woke up just a half a block from Chicago’s “magnificent Mile,” or Michigan Avenue, we stayed away from the black Friday shopping crowds. We really have no desire to get in the middle of that, so we ate a leisurely breakfast, then did walk up and down the avenue and visit a few stores. We found a few small things that we picked up, like the Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, but we don’t go to Chicago to shop.

This year, we went to Chicago for our usual visit, but also as part of the restoration tour. When we went last year, it was fun, but the truth that our marriage was unraveling was evident in a few different incidents. At navy pier, we were impatient and snappy, but we blamed it on being hungry and tired. There was some tension and coldness while we walked around, and we put it off as stress from all the activity.

The thing that haunted me, though – and it couldn’t simply be explained away – is that I blew up at my wife in a store for no apparent reason. I didn’t just get irritated; I lost it and made it a personal attack against her character. It was without provocation and my wife was both hurt and confused by it.

In the early years of our marriage, that kind of thing just didn’t happen. In the years since the tornado, it became more of a common occurrence. I never had any answer I was willing to give when she would want to know why or what she did. The truth was, I was very unhappy inside and didn’t know how to express any of it in a healthy way, so I took it out on her when I reached a certain level of frustration.

So, while the parade, the German market, the deep dish pizza, and all the things we love about Chicago are still here, there’s something very important about this visit. The restoration tour is about setting things right and repairing the damage. It’s about fixing what needs fixed and maintaining what was formerly neglected. This time around, we’re being very intentional about expressing our love and appreciation for each other and restoring the wonderful feelings of being together in a place we love.


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