Your eyes stared into mine. The cortisol pumped through my veins. Stress an all too familiar feeling in our relationship.
Come on, decide already, what are we?
Can we touch?
Can we stay here in the same house?
Can we go on that vacation next month together?
Are we still a married couple?
It took me a moment to gather my response. I knew we both needed to wrap up this unexpected and loaded conversation and proceed into the rest of our day. Bury our emotions in to-do lists and meetings. Immerse ourselves in a world other than this one right here at the kitchen table.
I wanted so badly to give you a clear, concise answer. Instead, I mumbled, I don’t know.
And then, I blurted out,
I guess we’re a married couple walking through a difficult time, trying our best to figure out how to proceed from here?
Ah, the dreaded “define the relationship” conversation, I thought it was reserved for the awkward and confused teenagers sitting at the bench in the park. Surely, not us. And not now, after 13 years of commitment to one another.
Why didn’t anyone ever tell me?
Why are we so secretive when it comes to the actual workings of a marriage? Meanwhile, most of us carry around heavy questions and our most treasured relationships suffer under the weight of silence.
Well, I’m breaking that damn silence. I’m going there. I’m asking the questions and inviting anyone to sit with me at the table. Let’s make it normal to share about…
the daily disagreements.
your messy divorces.
your happy separation.
your other lovers.
the chemistry you cultivate
and the sex on Saturday mornings.
Please, tell me everything, anything. Be an open book, I beg you as I sip my tea and listen deeply. I need your stories.
This shared space between the two of us is more sacred than any marriage. There is no define-the-relationship conversation happening here because we both already know what we are and are content with the answer- we are simply two curious humans trying to find their way.
Together, we go there…into the hurt, the loneliness, the leaving, the love, and the forgiveness.
In the whispered telling of the little corner table at the coffee shop, we uncover the surprising and varied shapes, forms, and textures relationships can take on. There is no one, right way. There is only an evolution.
We revel in the wisdom birthed from these stories, the ones we thought we could never mention to anyone, and we feel connected even in the dark.