After the Phone Call… Now What?

Posted: June 8, 2011 in Love and Marriage
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The day of “the phone call” was July 31st, so school was out, and it was a Saturday, but I did have to work at Macy’s later that day.  I didn’t expect to see my wife, but she showed up with our oldest daughter soon after my shift began.  Her face was flushed with excitement, and she had been sharing the good news with our daughter, who had stood strong for us throughout the entire ordeal.

There are two moments in my life that I will never forget.  They are forever etched in my memory like living photographs.  One is our wedding, when I first saw my wife at the back of the church.  At the risk of sounding cynical, I’ve never bought into people saying someone was the most beautiful bride ever, but that moment is permanently frozen in my mind, and I’ve never seen anyone or anything so beautiful. 

The second moment was that afternoon at Macy’s, when my wife got me away to where it was just the two of us, looked me in the eye, and told me that she loved me.  She repeated it, as if to make sure that I understood what she was trying to say, and she looked at me with eyes that melted me completely.  If you’ve ever seen the movie, Notting Hill, you know the scene near the end when Julia Roberts says she’s “just a girl, standing in front of just a boy, asking him to love her.”  In my wife’s eyes was both a statement and a question as she repeated an almost pleading, “I love you.”  The statement was clear. “I didn’t mean what I said before.  I do love you.”  The question was equally obvious.  “Will you love me back?  Will you please love me back?”

She told me that she had been wrong and had made some mistakes.  She said that she had done some things she wasn’t proud of.  I told her that it didn’t matter and that if I had been the man that she needed me to be, and the man that she believed she had married, she would never have been put in a position for any of this to happen.  I told her that I took full responsibility for the entire mess and that I would never again allow her to ever be in that type of situation.

She said she needed a little bit of time to clear her head and get things ready, and she asked if it would be all right if we waited until Monday evening, when I got off work, for me to move in.  I told her that was fine and to do whatever she needed to do.  We kissed right there in the store and I didn’t care if I got in trouble (I didn’t).  I don’t really remember much of anything about the rest of that day or the next two days.  Monday evening just couldn’t come fast enough. 

On Monday, August 2, 2010, my Facebook status was the famous quote from Al Michaels, “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!”  This was no hockey game, though.  This was a marriage pulled from the wreckage and rubble, being rebuilt, restored, and made new again.  This was the result of countless tears, unmeasured anguish, hours and days of prayer and faith, and work.  Work like there was no alternative but to do this, no matter how long, how hard, or how insurmountable it may have seemed at any given moment.

If you are reading this, and either you are struggling in your marriage, or you know someone who is, let me be very clear.  It is never too late.  It is never beyond hope.  If the two of you loved each other enough at one time to marry, that love can be rebuilt.  That’s what it takes.  Building love by your actions and not getting stuck in the past or the what-if’s.   Just like you’ll never get fit unless you start working out, the feelings of love won’t come back until you start building the love back up in your relationship.

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