...quiet, about a lot of things...

Friday, April 04, 2008

All That You Can't Leave Behind

Don't worry, I've moved all of my "Rocks my Socks" friends to Google Reader. This started as a suggestion, from Karl at 2HT...and ended as a necessity, as I tried to "glam" up my template..and lost quite a chunk of my blog.

But there are things I refuse to leave behind. You will travel with me.

I had a conversation this week with an old friend. Inadvertently, the rules of a marriage came up. I think it's funny that different marriages have different rules. But it makes sense. What works for you, may not...and probably doesn't..work for me.

Michael and I have very few hard and fast rules anymore. After years of marriage, things have smoothed a bit.The vestiges of any rules, I may have put in place, long ago, sometime seem strange to me now.

Like "the call" from the road. When Michael first started to travel..over 10 years ago...he would leave, and often forget to call home. Some times I wouldn't hear from him for a day or two. I would worry..fret and fester. So I made a rule. He must call. I have never been a calling kind of wife. He has dinner meetings...and he doesn't need to field calls from me in the middle of conversations.

A lot of girlfriends think this is a big mistake. For me, its just the way I operate. But then I made the rule that he HAD to call me. He has tried very hard to fulfill this promise. Mostly, it's been a good guideline. However, sometimes, I see how hollow it is. There are days I get a call at 9:30pm..as I am drifting off.. (yeah..some days I am DONE by 9:30)with a message left.."just Checking in". He is keeping up his end of the bargain...but that call leaves me feeling more alone, than if I had received none at all. I'm not his Mom. He doesn't have to check in... I'm not the absentee office at the high school.

I am not a check mark.

But, that's what a RULE does. It says every time, every day...I (or he)will respond the same way. I train horses. I know training when I see it.

So..what is the alternative? I guess co-existence. A pledge of love.a pledge to try to avoid malicious behavior. However, a promise also to remain true..and present to ones self FIRSTLY...and then to try to meet the needs of another, the beloved.

No rule of mine will ever make him miss me, or need to hear my voice. No rule of mine will keep him safe from a terrorist, drunk driver, or blonde at the bar. He will live as he must. And so will I.

We will be married, joined...when we no longer look to rules to guide our marriage. We will be joined when we let life join us honestly. When we allow each other to live independently..and merge authentically. He must breath his own air...and my heart must beat on its own..

He can not promise to never leave me...through death or will...and I can not promise that either. The only promise or pledge I can make..is to love him fully each day I have with him.

I love him with all my flaws and perfections..with all my triumphs and mistakes. With all of my selfishness and generosity. I love him for now.

There are no rules for the future..not one that I could conjure..I just don't have that power. I never will.
posted by wendy at 8:37 AM


As I get ready to become a wife again - after a long-ago bad marriage and divorce - I find myself less concerned with rules and more with simple trust and respect. It seems less complicated and more honest.

4/4/08, 9:49 AM  

this could not have
come at a better
time for me...
thank you.

4/4/08, 11:02 AM  

Oh Wendy, you KNOW my story. This resonated with me, in part because my marriage has morphed into something very different than what it started out as. Twenty six years into it and the rules, if there are any left, have all been rewritten.

Last week a girlfriend told me she didn't buy a dress she liked because she knew her husband wouldn't like it and she likes to buy things that attract his attention.

And when she told me that it occurred to me that I have no idea what type of clothes my husband would like to see me in, how he likes my hair, what he considers attractive or unattractive on a woman. And if I did know, would I ever alter my choices? What does the fact that I don't care say about me? What does the fact that I don't know what he likes say about him?

We hold each other very loosely, and I haven't yet decided if that's a sign we're growing stronger or a sign we're falling apart.

When he travels, I often don't even know exactly where he is, and he very seldom calls. When he comes home, I'm here. As you put it in a poem--he's the boat and I'm the port he returns to.

As you said so eloquently here, I can no longer make promises. As I told a friend, we get up in the morning and we decide to "be married" another day, to be a wife, a friend, a lover. That's all I can do.

Loved this. Thanks for writing it.

4/4/08, 6:02 PM  

I concur; a great post, Wendy.

Great new look to the blog too.


4/5/08, 5:28 PM  

Ah the intricacies of marriage ... you have described certain aspects of that mystery very well.:)

4/7/08, 4:45 AM  

The blog looks great. I'm amazed how many people are taking that post to heart. Ha. Soon I will have the entire blogosphere under my control!

4/11/08, 8:05 AM  

Love your words here - marriage is complex, just like those who are in it. Your blog looks fabulous! Have missed you, Wendy. Great photo of you and the girls. xoxox

5/4/08, 10:50 AM  

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