Thursday, February 01, 2007

god help me to love this man

this was a prayer i prayed a couple of weeks ago. desperate for connection through this place in our journey together. it is an intense place. a place of plowing, upturning and digging in. it is a place of intention. most marriages dissolve before they get to this place. there are not a lot of guides, signs or lights along this path. it is hard. doing nothing is tempting. i think that is what most marriages do. i don't say this from any self-congratulatory place, just an observation.

so i prayed this prayer 'god help me to love this man, help me to understand him, to care about him, not for him, and give me some insight that will bring us closer, not farther apart'. it was a skeptic's prayer, i really said it more as a challenge than a heartfelt plea. i really wanted this, an answer, a lifeline, but figured unanswered it could be an excuse to give up, ignore or place blame, either at liam's feet or god's. i really didn't care, i just wanted to be able to stop having to work so hard trying to find real intimacy and love.

i awoke this morning with a thought bubble over my head. i don't know if i can explain it. liam understood it when i talked to him about it over breakfast, but if it translates here only time will tell.

i awoke with an ah-ha feeling of something that seems quite obvious. it's obviousness made me ponder it all the more, and as i engaged with this thought i felt it sink deeper and deeper into my consciousness. it felt like water reaching the deep places in the earth after a drought. i understood for what might be the first time how ungrateful i have been for how hard liam works.

i explained to him that because his addiction is workaholism the line gets really blurry between what i love and what i hate. if he was a crack addict hating the crack would be obvious, right? hating alcohol would be just as easy. but hating work gets blurry, fuzzy even. my loathing of those things about work that take him away from me, shut down his world and closed him off to the rest of us was right and good, but the ungrateful place in me that never seemed to be able to honor his provision, his determination and diligence was so unhealthy and wrong.

i never thought that when i prayed that prayer this would be the first way that was answered. i was given insight, understanding and sympathy into the struggle he must face daily. as a compulsive over eater i can respect that. with alcoholism or drug abuse, alcohol and drugs can be avoided in life and life can function normally. food cannot. i have to eat. liam has to work. these are both complicated addictions that don't have easy answers and solutions. there is no clear abstinence that is easily defined. the door cannot be slammed shut never to be opened again. work and food are necessities of life. finding the balance in them is the tricky line we must walk in recovery.

i hope that this ah-ha moment might help others who are struggling with this in their marriages to understand their spouse a bit better from the light i was given today. i know it built a bridge between liam and i we didn't have before.

it also nurtured me deeply to know that god stepped into our marriage today in a way that i hadn't suspected before. i know this thought bubble came from god. it wasn't anything i could have conjured on my own. so i will keep praying this prayer. god cares about our marriage and somehow that makes it seem like there might be a reason for all of the struggle.

1 comment:

Patchouli said...

I know, I know. I really, really know.