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Be Vulnerable

It was our tenth year of marriage, and life had been rolling along pretty smoothly. Three kids, successful careers, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel financially, and yet….something was still not falling into place. We would replay the same trite arguments, re-visiting the same old monuments to past issues but never really resolving much of anything. I am the one who tends to dramatically bring up the issue, and he is the one who reacts, but always in a very contained, logical way….
There we were in the midst of our dance and he asked, “So, are you going to leave me now?” What?! Where did that come from? Should I leave? Is my time here up? Why would he ask such a thing, this isn’t part of our language.
I suddenly realized that I had been holding on to my heart, very tightly, for ten exhausting years. Because of past hurts I had been protecting myself, not allowing him to get close enough to hurt me again. What if he sees me as weak? What if he wants me to leave?
I waited a long time before I answered, not because I didn’t know what my answer was, but because I didn’t know if I should vulnerably tell him the truth.
The truth is that I believe you are a gift from God, the only fit for my form. The truth is that I don’t ever think about leaving you. The truth is that I cannot imagine life without you. But what if I let you know this? What if I show all my cards? Can I afford to give you that kind of ammunition against me? Is it worth it?
As I weighed my response, I heard the answer, “Tell him the truth.”
I sighed deeply and let it spill out of me. It hurt a little to let go of my protective stance, but the relief of saying it was greater than the hurt of my pride. Although the word divorce had not been a part of our language, it had been a part of our landscape; unspoken, but always available. Telling my husband how I truly felt about our commitment to one another was the beginning of a new partnership for us. He has not asked that question since, and those old monuments have crumbled to dust.
Yes, it’s worth it.

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