Two decades of marriage.
My husband and I both had serious issues with trust when we met and married. We struggled greatly in our marriage around this and I can remember in the beginning of our marriage living with the certainty that I would be greatly harmed in one way or another by my partner.
Not because of what he said or did, but it was what I expected being a daughter of a mother who had three marriages, 2 really unhappy ones and one defined by addiction and violence.
I married my first husband in part because he was a great guy and seemed solidly safe and predictable. I could see this lovely safe life and claimed it for myself. What I perhaps choose not to see was his challenges with mental health and addiction.
This is a cautionary tale that can perhaps be told in full another time.
With my current marriage, healing has occurred through the passage of time, through working through misunderstandings and my own challenges with honesty and transparency.
I have found so much healing in this relationship as well as my relationship with myself.
I believe this healing came with shared life experience. Experiences of spending many weeks in the hospital with our daughter. That healing came from Working time and time again as a team facing her health challenges, raising two children, facing financial hardship.
There have been times I felt like he was the enemy instead of my partner. I can easily be self absorbed and he rarely wants to own mistakes. This hasn’t changed much and yet somehow now we seem to navigate this terrain with less hostility and self righteousness.
How did we get here?
Minute by minute.
I often doubt my own ability to show up, but when he had his scare with cancer, I wouldn’t have been anywhere else but by his side. On the other side of two decades is my partner who has seen me at my best and my worst and is still here, fully loving and accepting me as well as challenging me when I become wrapped in family of origin cognitive dissonance.
Living life together.
Seeing yourself through the eyes of another can be brutal, but when that person reflects the whole of you, not just the obvious faults, but the whole of you and shows up everyday to the ordinary, the mundane as well as the life changing moments, you find yourself trusting your partner and yourself fully and wholeheartedly. This is intimacy.