the weekend alone
I've felt really stuck inside my head this last week. Finally on Friday night, before Joel left for a long business trip, we had a meaningful conversation that drove me past my fear of communicating to him all the ways I was stuck, just terribly stuck. In his normal unflappable manner, he assured me that not only were my thoughts acceptable, but that because of them, he found me more attractive than ever. He then left, and I've been ruminating all weekend upon us.
That and baking, nesting, wandering around my neighborhood, talking with Jess, and trying to give my thoughts a reprieve.
In life, I am still surprised by how damn good it feels to express something to someone. I have been seriously scared shitless to say some of those thoughts to Joel, asking hard and hurtful questions of our relationship and if he hadn't the internal strength to handle it, to handle whatever I can throw at him, I would be a lesser, sadder, broken-er version of myself. He has buoyed me to a place of such confidence and love that I am now secure enough to doubt. Lucky him. In a way, it reminds me of my relationship with god (or whatever/if whatever). I've been given enough security that I can throw it away and know I'll still be caught.
Loved enough to question, strong enough to doubt.
But it doesn't feel very good, and I've been terribly hard on myself. One thing I cannot seem to shake is the judgement of my feelings. I cannot control how I feel and this eternally pisses me off. I can control WHAT I do with how I feel, how I treat people with what I feel, but I do not possess the power to stop feeling what I feel - dark or otherwise.
So we are left with an internal battle, a viscous mental game of repression and anxiety. I am slooooooowly learning that I need to just stop trying to control the feelings at all...my insides, my reactions to the world, my relationships, my heart. I feel how I feel that that's just that. I'm tired of asking hard questions, tired of being scared - but that's my reality right now. I must have to learn to let it be, otherwise there will be no peace, and worse, no honest discovery, no pure answers. We do not get to change how we feel. I keep raging against this notion, and I'm getting very beat up in the process.
My insides quietly whisper, "Leave me alone."
You know, I think it's normal to always want to feel in love with your spouse. I want to go back to when we first knew each other was more than a friend, that we had somehow become each other's "person." I want to feel his arm touch my waist and get chills. Don't get me wrong, I still can feel all of those things, but what do we do when we simply don't FEEL those things as readily? Is it as simple as needing to nurture the relationship more, more therapy, more dates, more lingerie? I can assure you dears, Joel and I are doing, have always done, will continue to do any and everything to keep us connected, but there are phases impossibly harder than others. When we don't FEEL the nuances of a novice relationship anymore, how then do we then begin to foster a different, more mature feeling? We get restless, we get bored, we get curious about anything other than our current life. These are scary, scary feelings at any age of marriage, but after almost 9 years, feel silly. There is NO guarantee that we'll last a lifetime just because we set out to. Is Joel scared, no (it's really, REALLY hard to scare that guy). Am I? Yes. I am scared that we won't always be each other's answer, that our marriage will fall prey to the daunting divorce statistics, or worse, become a comfortable, unintentional relationship where we are only excellent roommates. Joel and I have only ever known a marriage of peace - and something is shifting. I am petrified that the earth will crack beneath us and we'll be left standing on opposite sides of the the earth's tectonic plates.
But we don't always get to feel what we want to feel. Sometimes we feel distant and isolated from our spouses despite our very best efforts. This has to be okay. A lifetime with someone is not about only ever feeling love (the emotion of love, I should specifiy). Phases are to be expected, and I'll be honest - I'll be damn happy as hell when this one passes.
And when Joel comes home.