Marriage can be difficult even in it’s best moments. We are capable of incredible damage with just one slip of the tongue. The moment when your otherwise harmless organ turns into a razor-sharp blade with the ability to make a cut so deep that even the most skilled plastic surgeon would be unable to hide the scar left behind. I remember the moment when four little words brought me to my knees. Simple words, that suddenly had the power to emotionally cut me in half. “You don’t like me.”
It was, and to this very day is the worst thing my husband has ever said to me! What made it so horribly painful was the fact that he actually believed what he had said. The man who had been my best friend through every single event in my life for over thirty years was standing before me believing that I no longer liked him.
I know what your thinking. Oh big damn deal some of you have heard name calling, fuck yous, I hate you, I cheated on you, and a lot of other horrible things that on the surface seem like much worse things to say. I get all of that, but the very idea that I had somehow given my husband even the slightest notion that I didn’t like him was deeply painful to me. It had never even crossed my mind that this thought would be something anyone could convince him of, under any circumstance, least of all me.
Somewhere along the way something I had said, or done had cut him so deeply that he harbored this thought. My mind was spinning. How could he believe something so awful? Why didn’t he say something until that moment? God, how long has he been thinking this way? Most importantly how could I have not picked up on something so big between us? In my mind I guess I felt exempt from this kind of miscommunication between us. It was a huge wake up call. A reminder that I had been complacent. That I had taken him for granted,assuming that I knew how he felt, and that he knew how I felt.
Relationships are not self-sustaining states of being. They are ever-changing, living organisms that require you to be present. They need attention, and maintenance to survive. If we are really smart about our relationships we will do way better than just trying to survive. We will put in the wiser goal of thriving. 😉