I’m still praying and processing so much from our firstborn’s recent visit. One of the loneliest things is to feel strong sadness, confusion or grief, because I tend to feel it alone. I know that even in a healthy relationship, we can only share our individual solitude. In essence we are alone, and while the presence of people and love comforts, it has been God that pierces and enters my solitude. Still, I long for a partner who will also initiate conversations of shared thoughts and feelings. Maybe most men don’t do this, but I wish for one who would also desire and need this in relationship. After all these years, I’m more unsure than ever as to how much or how deeply my husband really feels. I’m so sad about that.
While he is who he is, two unusual things have happened. When we walked back to our room after listening to our daughter talk of living in what sounded like a cultic like commune, we sat quietly and reached out our hands and prayed together. I don’t even remember the last time we did that. After many years of my being so hurt by him, and yet he’d behave as though he was untouched by my pain when he’d cheerfully read his Bible or attend services, I eventually couldn’t bear to sit next to him in church or read Scripture together. I’d also come to the point where praying together made me feel a kind of suffocating desperation, and my entire being would want to revolt and run; not run from God, but perhaps from a feeling that I’d be acquiescing to some kind of subtle agreement that God condoned what felt horribly wrong to me.
So it had been such a long time since we prayed together. I can’t say that I perceive anything has changed between us. It just happened.
I don’t know. It’s difficult to sort it all out. I only know that the recent praying together was a time when my heart was breaking, and his hand was there.
We ran errands last night at dinner time, and it was mostly pleasant and companionable. We can often be this way, but we are so rarely intimate. Not intimate in heart, emotion, passion or thoughts, but instead we can be more like amiable siblings living together, or two old friends that decided to live as platonic roommates. When we’re not fighting. When I’m not reaching out for more and being rebuffed with a stream of passive aggressive resentments to justify the distance that he creates and simultaneously denies creating while defending why he’s justified in creating it. Chew on that convoluted dynamic and you’ll get dizzy.
Beneath the white noise of companionship is the awareness that you can muffle but never eradicate: that at any moment he might find a reason to resent and create distance, and there’s no safe hope for intimacy. You have to try to choke back any need for that.
The other thing was that last night as we laid there in the normal silence, he rolled over and kissed me goodnight. It was tender and bittersweet. He kissed me goodnight in the way that I imagine normal loving couples kiss goodnight, but then he rolled back over without a word and it was silent again. Eventually I fell into fitful sleep.
It’s still dark outside here, and everyone else is still sleeping. This doesn’t feel lonely, just peaceful. I’m checking in here, and then on to hopefully a productive day.
Oh, we watched a movie that I found so touching, and would recommend: Tuesdays with Morrie. I believe that Jack Lemmon may have received an Emmy for his amazing performance. Maybe watching the movie was what stirred him to kiss me goodnight.