Friday, April 22, 2011

Resurrection of a Marriage

It's only fitting on this Good Friday of Holy Week that I can claim that my marriage has been resurrected.
Fifteen days ago my husband walked out on me. The night before that, I came home from my internship unexpectedly early and he was drunk. This is after living with him during a 1 1/2 year relapse after 5 years of sobriety; after a 4 day detox which included watching him have a seizure in the Emergency Room; after a month of residential treatment an hour from home and running myself ragged trying to visit him whenever I could, keep up with my school work, my internship hours, and provide therapy to my clients; after what I thought was 57 days of his new sobriety. Hurtful things were said by us both that evening. Then the next morning, after showering and dressing, at 9:25am he walked to his car and drove off.
I won't - actually I don't think I can, describe what the past two weeks have been like. Only those who have lived it really know. Some days I was all "I-don't-need-no-man" bravado, other days I felt like I was getting hit by the same bag of bricks, over and over again.
He and I didn't see each other or speak to each other during this separation, and all I kept hearing from the few people he was talking to was that "he wasn't ready to come home yet." Some days I felt like I would keep the door open forever, other days I felt like this door ain't gonna be open for much longer.
After much deep prayer, meditation, and contemplation I came to my decision: the door wouldn't be open forever, but knowing that my husband is an alcoholic, it wasn't slamming shut anytime soon, either.
It's not a coincidence that all of this thinking and feeling was happening during Holy Week. I often contemplated my pain in light of the pain God felt, having to sacrifice his only son for the forgiveness of us all, and Jesus's pain of having to sacrifice his very life for our, for my, salvation. I was betrayed by my husband and the most insidious disease I have ever encountered, but I had to consider where my compassion and my forgiveness lay. I am by no means a New Testament scholar, but I imagine that the list of crap humanity had accumulated by the time Jesus was crucified way out measures my hurt, my pain, and my sense of betrayal.
So my husband came home today. Within days of his leaving, both of us had taken off our wedding rings. Earlier today I placed his band back on the ring finger of his left hand, and he did the same for me.
I can't explain the unconditional love I feel for this man and that I know he feels for me. In 5 1/2 years of marriage, this is the first true "rough patch" (that grossly under-describes it, by the way) that we've encountered and we've endured. In my mind, it defies logic and's something more like faith.

No comments:

Post a Comment