Unexpected Changes in Unlikely Places

Posted: May 26, 2011 in Love and Marriage
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Wanting desperately to give your love to someone who isn’t returning it and won’t receive most of it is a perilous place to find yourself.  My wife wanted to be pursued, yes, but by a strong and capable man, not a weak, pathetic one.  There’s a fine line between lavishing love on the object of your affection and driving her away by crawling around at her feet.  I knew it was important that I navigate those waters correctly during our separation, which was why it was absolutely critical for me to get myself healthy. 

I spent a lot of time feeling pathetic and sorry for myself, but I did my best to keep this hidden while I worked on getting myself right and overcoming the obstacles in the path of our reconciliation.  I realized that my wife needed me to be someone who had something to bring to her, not someone who constantly needed something from her.  She needed a man, not a puppy, and I resolved to put aside my pain and be the man she needed before someone else took on that role.

After my wife got her first tattoo, I began to think about getting one.  My initial idea was to get the same design she got, but smaller, and in a different place.  My reasoning was that it would mean that I belonged to her; that we were bound to each other.  I also realized (thank God) that it would be exactly the type of weak, desperate move that would be more likely to make her despise me than feel drawn to me.  It would have been a permanent statement that I didn’t have enough self-worth to be my own man.

I kept the thought of a “tat” for myself on the back-burner, since I didn’t really have any idea what to get.  I figured that until it would really mean something, I wouldn’t pursue it.  Meanwhile, I was devouring books, websites, scriptures, and anything else I could find about love and romance.  I read and re-read the Song of Solomon, the Old Testament book that parallels married love with God’s love.  It really spoke to me, and one verse stood out in particular. 

Chapter six and verse three says, “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” That became my verse, and I held onto it fiercely.  In chapter 8 and verse 6, it says, “Place me…like a seal on your arm, for love is as strong as death.”  That sounded like a tattoo to me, despite the cheesy and highly questionable images of guys putting their girlfriends’ names in tattoos as a way of staking a claim, or showing off their “catch.”  I was determined not to do that, so I needed to figure out how to make this work.  The answer came in the most unlikely of places.

I had an app on my phone of love poems and quotes that I can hardly believe I am admitting to reading.  One day, I read the words, “Don’t put my name in a heart because a heart can be broken.  Put it in a circle because a circle goes on forever,” and just like that, I had it!  I sat down and sketched a circle with Song of Solomon 6:3 going all the way around it and my wife’s name in the middle. 

I shared the idea with our oldest daughter and a few close friends and they unanimously loved it.  I decided not to share it with my wife, though.  I figured that if we got back together, I would have it done, but until things were worked out between us, I wasn’t going to tell her.  I also felt that it was missing something, but couldn’t figure out what else it needed.  Eventually, when we got back together, my wife helped me decide on two interlaced wedding rings inside the circle with the nickname that I had made up for her. 

My permanent seal of love

Now she teases me that I’m stuck with her because I have that on my arm.  That’s kind of the idea, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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