Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Unexpected Gifts

A challenge this weekend became a gift.

On Friday I came home to find that John’s ex-wife had been to our home and left a pile of pictures and cards on our doorstep. It was creepy and felt like a scary intrusion. When I found the stuff I had to make a quick decision. We were heading into a long weekend that we’d planned to have some romantic time together. I was upset by the intrusion but didn’t want us --or me-- to devolve into anger and accusation. I realized standing on my doorstep—key in hand-- that this could become a blow up or we could do this differently.

I prayed.

John arrived a few minutes later and I showed him what I’d found and said, “Let’s do this differently.” We went inside and talked. I told him what I felt and my fear, and he told me what he felt and his fears. We agreed that we had to do something. John said, “We will respond as a couple, and as us, and as we.”

Instead of fighting we talked. Instead of losing the evening we made dinner and watched a movie. Saturday we talked again about what to do. He said this is happening to us as a couple and we will respond as a couple. He drafted a letter to his ex-wife that we edited together and both signed. The conversations were not all easy. We talked about hurt and fear and the future trouble that this might cause.

I kept praying to change my thinking, my beliefs and my behavior. I felt myself stretching and being stretched. I didn’t get mad. We held hands when we talked. We heard each other and decided together.

Sunday night watching TV we thanked each other. We had in fact done it differently. We had our sweet weekend and we had become closer as a result of working out a solution together.

Last night, coming home from a concert, we talked in the car and realized that this weekend was a turning point. Facing this unsettling situation together had helped us recommit as a couple. It was a gift.

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