I’ve felt disconnected from my husband lately because I wasn’t seeing his love in action. And I bottomed out from that a bit. When love is idle, for too long, it sends me into a tailspin. I get in my head and once there, I wade in too deep. Too deep into our perilous past and too far gone in worry over our uncertain future.
And I do this thing. I fully expect him to just know how I’m feeling and what I need from him. Without having to tell him. I expect him to divine it. Because he knows me, or he should, by now. Because we’ve been married for 22 years. And if he loved me and understood me, he would show me, on his own.
This is how my brain works sometimes. Because I can be a slow learner.
I needed some extra attention this week because the greatest difficulty in our past rose up for me again and I struggled to keep it in the past, where it belongs, for it’s been dealt with. It’s done. But even so, this difficulty repeatedly tries to break into my present, and sometimes, it overpowers me and gains entry.
I needed a text from him during the day, so I knew he was thinking of me. I needed him to nuzzle my neck in that sweet and intimate way of his that sends me to the moon. I needed him to turn up some music and get lost with me in the movement to it. I needed a love note or a random act of service. I needed him to show up in any way shape or form that speaks extra love to me. Because I was extra needy this week.
Did I tell him any of this? No. I wanted him to just know it, by his own self, because that’s what would speak love to me. I don’t want to have to ask for love, I think it should just show up right when I need it.
Yep, I can be like that. Because I’m a slow learner.
I got mad because he didn’t just know all of that. And he got mad because I was mad at him for not knowing something he didn’t even know I wanted him to know. And because we are both bullishly stubborn and headstrong we spent a couple of days in misery and it was flat out miserable there.
We are 22 years in, people, and I still create this pattern for us sometimes. Because I can be a slow learner.
Tired of self-pity and misery today, I kicked the unwarranted, unfair anger and resentment out of my head and beckoned for love to well up in my heart instead. I’m certain love is the way, the truth and the light, and still, sometimes I won’t lead with it.
Because I am a slow learner.
So over the dysfunction, I looked my husband in the eye and spoke my hurt and my needs to him. He responded by saying he had no realization he’d fallen away from loving me with action. Because life. But once I voiced it he immediately recognized he had become idle in deeds. He said he was so sorry, and yes, he’d absolutely do those things for me. Because love.
I made the conscious choice to lean into to the vulnerability of being in the needy place, I led with love, and I got love right back in return. In an instant, we were able to leave misery behind and make our way back to peace.
Never once in 22 years has leading with anger and resentment produced anything other than more anger between us. Never once in over two decades has leading with love failed to lead to even bigger love for each other.
But I can be a slow learner and so we struggled again this week.
Love will flow freely again now because I let go of unfair, negative emotions and spoke my heart’s needs to my husband, a man who truly desires to meet them.
All of this because I am a learner.