This is a special place to be…
You know your marriage has weathered well when love brings you to the place where you bear the other’s sharp word or dark mood, knowing as you do that these raw places cover a weary or wounded soul and require tenderness, not scorn or assault. Forgiveness is given, easily, before it’s ever asked, the scuffle brushed away, no more bother than a stray piece of lint.
… and it takes time.
It takes understanding over the long haul.
It takes listening first, second and third more often than not.
I confess, it means I should mute the TV or turn it off to keep traveling towards this space in the journey together.
We went to Greenville, SC last Friday, just the two of us. We walked. We ate wonderful food. We saw Falls Park and all the upgrades around the Downtown area.
Mostly, I enjoyed that we were there together. The walking, the words, the silence – all coming through as part of the long haul kind of life we’re living out together.
Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife of 25 years, Maria Shriver, announced Monday that they are separating.
The statement, issued by a spokesman for Schwarzenegger, said the two were working on the future of their relationship while living apart and would continue to parent their four children together.
“This has been a time of great personal and professional transition for each of us,” the two said in a prepared statement. “After a great deal of thought, reflection, discussion, and prayer, we came to this decision together.”
via Schwarzenegger, Shriver announce separation – USATODAY.com (LOS ANGELES, AP).
Knowing that things happen in this world, that people change and relationships need to have room to grow and sometimes fall apart, it is still always sad to me when a couple divorces. The level of fame or fortune doesn’t matter – it means that something together has been taken apart.
In this case, having the public eye for twenty-five years makes it more tragic, I think. Once on this road, it’s easier to stay on it to the end – momentum and inertia being what they are in a relationship.
As I wrote above, I understand these things happen. But it doesn’t mean I have to like it.
Photo Friday: Symbols
Coming up on our nineteenth anniversary this week…
I might be the only person saddened more than disgusted in the continuing stories of Tiger Woods and SC Governor Mark Sanford. Don’t get me wrong, I’m hacked that they’ve done what they’ve done, and that they’d still be caught up in it if not for the “oops, they found out” scenarios. Their confessions are not much more than p.r. spin to save face… more than actual apologies to save marriages.
The romantic in me realizes that the saddest thing isn’t getting caught, but that after these things have come to light, our collective mindset goes for the jugular faster than wishing the best for all involved. We want to assert moral superiority, even as families deal with tragedies brought upon them by the men who are supposed to be protector and provider.
I’m all for justice, but not at the expense of grace and mercy, too. Reconciliation is difficult enough without us all wanting some accompanying retribution, too. We’re more about karma than real forgiveness. And it plays out on Twitter, the evening news and late night opening monologues.
In the midst of it, these two families are working through severe upheavals in relationship, in life processes. And in thousands of other homes today, the same thing unfolds – and we’ve given up hope that anything can ever be restored…
All that to say: I’m sad for the moms that have to deal with idiot dads, for dads who have to deal with idiot moms, and the kids who get covered in all the crappy fallout.
Where’s the hope?
In fairness, I hope for contrition behind closed doors. I hope for forgiveness that brings not only repentence but also renewed love and respect for each other. There’s always hope – we just forget that it’s not a punchline.
I married my sweetheart on May 18th, 1991. It's been a wonderful ride, now having spent over half our lives together. When it all boils down, it's me and her every night, every morning. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
Happy Anniversary, Sweet, and here's to the best that's yet to come.