There are times when I didn’t think we’d make it past the first year or the second year or the third year or the tenth year.
There were times I wanted to run away from him or change the locks on the door when he went to the gym.
There were times when he said, “I am not the enemy.” But, I didn’t believe him because he felt like the enemy to me.
There were times when I felt I couldn’t do anything right to measure up to what I thought he expected of me, and there were times, I know, when he couldn’t do anything right, either.
Those times went on for much too long. It’s as if we waited so long to find each other and fell hard and fast… and, then, began to pick each other apart. Bit by bit. Day by day and year by year.
I’m not sure when there was a turnaround and if anything in particular precipitated it. Maybe we were just tired of being cross with each other. Maybe we were tired of having our BFF always be someone other than ourselves for each other.
But, we both changed and our relationship changed.
He actually was better with me when a long-term girlfriend relationship I had ended. He wasn’t jealous of the relationship, but from his vantage point, he felt as if I was constantly being taken advantage of. Maybe that made me seem weak with no backbone. He may have been right. I was beginning to feel that way, too.
I started to change when I felt appreciated. It made a huge difference. Doesn’t that make a difference to all of us?
And, now today, not only are we celebrating Groundhog’s Day, we are celebrating out twenty-first anniversary – not of wedded bliss, but of a real relationship revolution and evolution. And, it all feels complete.
I recently saw this writing by my friend, Terri St. Cloud of bone sigh arts. When I read it, tears welled up in my eyes. Why hadn’t we taken THIS vow when we got married back in 1995?
I ordered the print from Terri right away and it came just in time for me to share it with Bob. I told him, I’m taking this vow now – wish I’d been smarter years ago, but maybe this is what we both had to learn – to grow into. So thanks, Terri, for putting into words exactly what I needed to say:
“i will be mindful of the act of loving you
every day of my life.
i will not take you for granted,
but will keep my eyes open to the treasure
that you are,
allowing room for your individuality and
your own uniqueness.
i will not try to bend you to my ways,
but rather open myself to your ways as
being part of who you are.
i will embrace all of you.
the dark parts along with the light.
because, together, those parts create
the being that i love.
i will accept you,
respect you and admire you.
and if something comes between us
to make me stumble with this,
i will go to you and ask your help
with my struggle.
i will bring my challenges to you,
looking for your thoughts and support
and i will return that support to you freely.
when i’m hurt, i will believe in your love
for me, i will bring you my hurt, and together we
will grow from it and then put it aside.
i will share all of myself with you,
for i know to receive your entire heart,
you must have mine.
together, we will work,
we will play,
we will laugh,
we will grieve,
and we will find our way.
together we will live gratitude
together we will touch love.”
—Terri St. Cloud, a vow to my partner, bone sigh arts
Wishing you the best, the most love and healing you need in your life right now. I can almost promise you that if you go to Terri’s site, she’s already designed your feeling. She’s just like that.