They say opposites attract.
My husband and I are, in many ways, polar opposities.
And we are closing in on ten years of marriage.
Ten years of ups and downs.
The ups have been far outnumbered by the downs, and we have spent much of our marriage acting as adversaries.
Instead of teammates.
There have been so many downs, that I was almost completely convinced that the opposite percentage of our relationship was just too high to allow things to work.
Almost completely convinced.
And then, a couple months ago, upon the suggestion of my personal therapist, my husband and I started seeing a new therapist who is trained in a particular and unique type of relationship therapy.
I wrote about our first session with that therapist here.
The decision to give that a shot turned out to be the best thing we have ever done for ourselves and our marriage.
A game changer.
It’s been two months now.
And about three weeks ago we had the session.
That one you are hoping will happen.
The one where there was no attacking.
No blame game.
Just total vulnerability, acknowledgement, and ultimately,
that thing that, in ten years of marriage, we were never able to achieve. Ever.
And it was in that session that our therapist explained to us that we seek out a partner who forces us to stretch.
To move out of our comfort zone and stretch to meet those unmet needs from our childhood.
Which is, when you think about it,
very simply put,
And so, about three weeks ago,
during this session where my husband and I both allowed ourselves to completely let our guard down,
I fell in love with my husband all over again.
And about three days ago,
I fell even deeper.
My husband had total knee replacement surgery last week, and while it’s a common procedure, it’s fairly major surgery.
And for my husband, it’s beyond major.
He went so far out of his comfort zone on so many different levels to have this done.
And I admire him so much.
He is the strongest man I know.
By like a million percent.
For the first time in a long, long time,
I really missed my husband. A lot.
A few months ago, I would not have been in any rush to have him return from the hospital.
In fact, I might have even dreaded it.
But not yesterday.
When I woke up yesterday, I had those anticipatory butterflies thinking about him getting out of the hospital later that afternoon.
I couldn’t wait to get him home.
It was a Christmas Eve-like excitement.
And as I was thinking about how badly I wanted him to come home, and making breakfast for the kids, and looking out the kitchen window,
a cardinal flew into the backyard.
This cardinal has been making random stops to our house.
But they are always fleeting.
As soon as a door opens or a kid makes a noise, he flies away.
Yesterday that cardinal sat right on top of the umbrella out by the pool.
I watched him.
And he sat.
And he sat.
I clanked around dishes and opened the back door.
And still he sat.
I got my phone and took a picture.
And still he sat.
I was struck by this.
Then Number 2 came into the kitchen.
“Look at that cardinal!” he said.
“Cardinals are good luck,”
I didn’t know if he knew what he was talking about, so I Googled cardinals.
“…Cardinals are monogamous birds whose relationships with their spouses are harmonious, romantic and musical…”
I read some more.
“…Native American lore says if a cardinal crosses your path or attracts your attention… you may experience renewed romance and courtship.”
That little cardinal who was keeping me company was delivering a message.
And I received it.
My husband is home now.
And I am happy.
I have spent the past ten years being angry and defensive, and developing a growing resentment, and beginning to dislike him for being so different from me.
Ironic when that is what I initially found so attractive about him.
And so, little by little, I started hating him for not giving me what I wanted.
But it turns out he did something so much better.
No, he may not have given me what I wanted.
But he gave me what I needed.
This surgery has caused us to rethink things.
Just as that little cardinal is a harbinger for renewed romance, this surgery signifies renewal.
In the obvious… a new knee for my husband.
But also in the unknown. This is an opportunity to move in a new direction.
And we are seizing it.
A change in career paths.
Moving out of our comfort zones.
A paradigm shift.
And so, I don’t know exactly in which direction we are going, or where this leg of the journey is ultimately going to take us.
But I don’t really care.
Because this time, my husband and I are travelling together.
For the first time in,
we are strong.
Even though one of us may be limping, the obstacles in our path seem quite easy to get around, because we got rid of the biggest obstacles of all.
Sure there will still be some bumps.
we made it to that stretch of the trip.
That stretch that is harmonious, romantic, and musical.
It took a long time to get here.
But that’s okay.
Because it was totally worth the wait.
Number 1! Please get me there!
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