again

When I was fairly young…maybe 9 or 10…my mom and dad took us to dinner at a restaurant. We had been out of town for a few days and didn’t really know the culinary landscape. Being in the time well before Google or smartphones, we just chose a place that looked halfway decent and plopped ourselves down for some sustenance.

Fast forward an hour and a half…we’re back in the car and my dad says – with a distinct air of distaste – “Never again…we will never go to that place again.”

I imagine we’ve all had those “never again” experiences in our lives. Places seen…foods tried…clothes worn…people visited…jobs attempted…

In August of 2011, just days after our 19th anniversary, my wife told me that she was leaving. She no longer loved me and she no longer wanted to be married, but she hoped we could find a way to remain friends because she thought I was a beautiful person and she cared deeply about me. If you go back in this blog, you’ll find a couple years’ worth of posts about me dealing with the sadness and grief and anger and brokenness.

It was horrible, but friends and family surrounded me and I saw God’s faithfulness at every turn…and I survived. I knew that if I was ever blessed with marriage again I would do things differently. I would never…never go to the place of divorce again.

In March of 2013, I met a beautiful curly-haired womn who immediately stole my heart. It was – almost literally – like a ray of light from heaven showing me God’s promise in the feminine form of the person I quickly knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. We married on New Year’s Eve 2013.

Every relationship, romantic or otherwise, has its ups and downs. Our marriage has definitely been no different. We’ve had seasons of being head over heels in love and seasons where everything hit the fan and we talked of ending it. It felt a bit like a crazy roller coaster at times, but I kinda love crazy.

In the past couple of months, our marriage has been going through some very unfamiliar changes. We’ve recognized some issues and tried to navigate through them…committed to staying together even though it wasn’t easy.

Last week, it all changed again.

She moved out of our bedroom and into another bed. We’re still under the same roof, but everything is different. Everything seems raw and painful like someone tapping on a bruise…and it all feels familiar. It feels like ending up back at that awful place I swore I’d never see again.

And it sucks. It absolutely sucks.

Now, I can say with absolute certainty that God will carry me through this and my friends and family will love me through the difficult moments and I will survive…again.

I can also hold out hope that this is just a temporary downhill drift on that crazy roller coaster and things will be okay soon. God is definitely bigger than the both of us and nothing is impossible with Him. If I’m being honest, however, I’ve been in that place of hopefulness before and He didn’t revive my marriage. You could say I’m bitter…and I suppose I am.

This woman has my heart. We paired our lives and planned for the next sixty years…together. We joined our families and welcomed one another’s children into our affection. And now it feels like it’s all done.

I hate falling asleep with my wife thirty feet away. I hate not feeling her legs tangled with mine as our breathing slows and we drift off. I hate waking up in the morning to the cold space where she should be.

I hate so many things right now. I never…never expected to be here again…and I hate that I am.

There isn’t a nice, sweet, moral ending to this post. It just ends here…with uncertainty and fear and pain…

again.

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