“If we divorce, I know you will still come to change my light bulbs and fix the toilet (me smiling a toothy grin).”
“Yes, I will. You know this.” (he winks)
“If we divorce, will you still cook me my favorite flatbreads when I come over and fix things?” (he checks for my reaction before biting into his dinner)
Yes, I will. You know I will.” (me smiling a tired, end-of-day little twinkle)
This likely sounds like an absolutely terrifying interaction in some homes between two partners. Likely many women out there could never imagine this laissez-faire conversation of callous disregard for marital sanctity. Cool, whatever. In our home, this conversation isn’t daily, but it does happen off-the-cuff, and it’s nothing but sheer gratitude embedded in reality!
When we exchanged vows, my husband and I were six years younger than we are now, we were pre-kid, gainfully employed, in perfect health, and we took the words seriously, but we also knew – and still know – there are layers to love, layers to people, and layers to the human growth experience. (I hope to God I’m not the same person at 50 that I was at 30, and the same for him.)
The layers we would go on to encounter since that day have spanned the gambit. WE HAVE BEEN THROUGH IT, Y’ALL!
Do we have fights like any other couple? Yes. Do we sometimes have botched plans when one of us planned a perfect romantic outing? Yes. Life isn’t perfect. It’s not linear. But I know that there is a very bonded element to our two personalities after we have navigated the choppy waters of life. Is there a moment of hurt feelings in every marriage on occasion? Of course. Are there moments of sheer hardship on the heart on a random Tuesday? Naturally. But we are both so secure in who we are, and we love who the other person is.
Believe it or not, there are some psychologists that suggest those couples who can comfortably engage in the discussion of, “What would divorce truly look like for us?” Actually articulate healthier conversations more openly about the rundown of their feelings and emotions. (The fact that we happen to engage in the topic of divorce is sheerly by coincidence that it falls in the column of “healthy” according to some psychs LOL. We never intentionally worked to fit a psychology rhetoric.)
Here is what I do know. We are in a PARTNERSHIP. We outwardly show affection physically, state that we love each other, and strategize our moves in life together. I got me a good old-fashioned team player, an equal, not a spouse who would ever make me feel less-than, practice misogyny, nor deplete my dreams which is why we speak so openly. We BOTH recognize that maybe the day will come that I have grown, maybe the day will come that he has grown, or maybe the day will come that one of us internalizes a need to explore a different journey. WE DON’T KNOW! That’s how life works! I’ll be damned if either of us decidedly feels a need to stay physically within the vocabularic cage of, “in love” with someone that we have already determined we “LOVE” for the long-haul…period.
Maybe this will spark conversation among gal pals, maybe married partners, and maybe it’s a new conversational topic to stir the comment section of this post. I’m doin’ me. You do you. Clearly, by putting this new age concept of conversation between spouses “out there” I am proving that there is more than one way to exist. Explore your own paths together. Love each hard. Love deeply. And talk about the, “What ifs,” Because it’ll be a heck of a lot less awkward if the what-ifs become reality someday.