A year ago today, I woke up, eyes swollen, heart heavy, and exhausted from a sleepless night. My husband and I had been separated for almost a year, and after a two hour therapy session the day before, were headed for divorce. Thirty-four years of marriage, and we were done.
Or so I thought.
As I lay there, trying to get the gumption to actually get out of bed, I shut my eyes, exhaled, then totally surrendered, heart, mind and soul. I asked the God of my understanding, what it was that HE wanted me to do. I immediately received a strong, distinct message. “Get up, grab your husband, pack your bags, deactivate from all social media, and get on the road.”
I didn’t move. I couldn’t. I was stunned. And yet, I felt a sense of peace that I hadn’t felt in a very long time. I didn’t analyze the strong message…I acted instead.
Because we had decided to talk after our therapy session (and drink a bottle of wine), I didn’t drive back to my apartment the night before. I stayed at our home instead. I got up, grabbed a cup of coffee, and sat with my husband. He quietly said good morning, then began to discuss how we would go about dividing our assets, and how we would do our best to make our divorce as amicable as possible. HE didn’t want this, was still willing to fight for our marriage. I listened, then asked him if he would be interested in packing up and taking off with me, shutting out the whole world, just US. He never hesitated. “Where do you want to go?” he asked. “Anywhere,” I replied. He immediately picked up the phone, called work and told his sales manager that he wouldn’t be in for a while. It could be a weekend, or six months, he didn’t know, but he would be in touch and he trusted everyone to take good care of the company while we were away. Our three children work for our company, so he talked to each one individually, letting them in on our impulsive plan. Exultant, they cheered, cried, and assured him that they would happily take care of everything while we were gone, and each said “don’t worry Dad! We got this!”
We headed north, deciding to stop in Santa Barbara for the night. While at dinner, I sat across from my husband, and told him I wanted to start at the beginning. I stepped onto “Fantasy Island” as I call it, speaking without editing, no judgement, no constrained thought, just talking off the top of my head. If he and I were strangers meeting at a social gathering for the first time, I said, would I find him attractive, just as he is now, without knowing anything about him whatsoever? I stared at my husband, as if seeing him for the very first time, with no history whatsoever between us. I barely hesitated…my answer was a definitive yes. So, I continued, would I want to get to know him better based on that attraction? Again, my answer was an honest yes. I then imagined what a first conversation with him would look like. He is not the flirtatious, self absorbed type, he is respectful and curious. I knew he would ask me many questions about my interests remembering every answer, would never brag about himself, and would never encroach in my personal space unless I invited him to do so. Would I be curious enough about him, enjoy his company enough to want to see him again? Absolutely. And in my imagination, getting to know this man, learning about his integrity, character, values and interests, I had no doubt that I would hope and pray that I would spend the rest of my life with him. Wow…what a revelation!
After a week on the road, hours and hours of honest conversation, new experiences and some rough spots, we headed home.
I never went back to my apartment.
Miracles happen, and sometimes, real love simply wins. 🙂