Not everyone reads this blog because they like me. Some read it for ammunition. (Grab that ammunition! Load! Ready! Aim! Fire!) Why do I continue to put it out there? (Or phrased in the negative way: 'She just puts it all out there. Call me old fashioned, but I just don't think that's right!') So why do I? Because I am not a perfect person. Because I fall down on a diet, and get back up. Because sometimes marriages go through rough times. Because sometimes people get cancer and struggle to be positive. Or people face unemployment as best they can. Because going back to school is an option, even if you are old and gray-headed. Because life is beautiful, and it is hard, and it is funny, and it is rewarding, and it is a rut, and it is a journey. All of those things. Mostly, though, because people have been kind enough to share their stories with me, and I have been encouraged and because I think that I can be encouraging too.
Anyways, in the most recent struggle, Tim and I learned a great deal about ourselves and about our marriage, and about each other. Do not think that I am exaggerating. We teetered on the edge of separation for a couple weeks. What we learned about each other is that there is enough love there that even then what was most important to us was making sure that the other would be okay. We were very civil. We were kind. We listened to one another. We did not throw our hands up in the air and head off to seek the true love we deserved. We did not shame the other. We told very few people what was going on. The people we did tell prayed, because they love us both. They supported us. Tim and I struggled and it was an awful time. We're moving away from the abyss. We scared ourselves though. Wide-eyed, we are gasping for breath, shaken.
What we've learned though is this: that every marriage has a breaking point. It is our responsibility, each of us, to know what that breaking point is, and then to stay the heck away from it, to never go near it. We have learned that we actually have very good communication skills, both of us. We've learned that our love has a very solid foundation. I've learned that my cancer has profoundly changed Tim. Me. Our marriage. Mostly, though, what I've learned is that although my marriage is a good one, a strong one, I can never, ever allow myself to believe that divorce cannot happen to us. It could. We are both now aware that we are not invincible.
Things are settling down, but hard times are hard times. Working the bugs out in anything is a pain in the behind. However, we move tentatively back into each other's arms, and the music begins again. The rhythm is just a little bit different so our dancing is sort of awkward, but we hold each other more tightly, looking into each other's eyes for reassurance. We listen carefully, mindful of where we are stepping. Can we learn this dance? We're pretty sure that we can. We are giving it our very best efforts.
For anyone out there who is having a hard time, I hope this is encouraging. For the people looking for ammunition, there it is. I've put it all out there again. Fire away. You're not hitting anything anyway.