Not All Surprises Are Good

Posted: June 25, 2011 in Love and Marriage
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Probably the biggest surprise for me of our restoration and reconciliation was the way my thoughts and emotions would sneak up and throw me for a loop at the most unexpected times.  There was the initial newness and bliss of being together again that was so amazing, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  Then there was the completely unforseen dynamic of me becoming very angry or sad because of everything that had happened.

I suppose it was extremely naive and unrealistic to think that we could go through everything we did and that I would just be able to put it all in the rear view mirror and go happily forward.  It seemed like it at first.  There were the fears and doubts that plagued the first couple of weeks of being back together, but those mostly amounted to opportunities for each of us to reassure the other of our love and commitment.

Still, I didn’t expect things to get worse after they had been so good.  I don’t know if I just pushed things down and ignored them and it was only a matter of time before they came back up, or if it was more that I was initially so filled with gratitude and relief that I really didn’t think about any residual effects from our time apart.  I finished up my therapy about a month after my wife and I reunited, based on my doctor’s opinion that I no longer needed to make regular visits.  He left the door open for me to return at any time and, as the months went by, there were numerous times that I seriously considered it.

I know just enough psychology to understand the way I’m wired, and my emotions are very much tied to specific events.  These “events” can be as major as the day my wife moved out, or as minor as a casual statement that she made that struck me wrong.  I tend to have triggers like certain days of the month that correspond to painful memories, or visual reminders of past hurts.

For a while, life began to be a maze where I had to try to navigate without getting caught by any of those reminders.  Fairly quickly, I realized that it was not only unhealthy, but a form of running away to live like that.  My wife also was carrying burdens that she needed to be able to release, and I needed to be strong enough to let her give them to me and help her to heal and be free.

This is where the need for complete trust and honest communication became so critical.  We each had to trust the other’s love enough to be able to open up and talk about the things we were having trouble with.  We needed to know that even if these conversations were painful, they were necessary to produce healing for us.  Unfortunately, the more I knew, the more I had to heal from.

I decided at the beginning of this summer, it was time to make sure any remaining issues, no matter how small or insignificant, were taken care of.  I still hd a few questions and there were a few things that still bothered me.  I wanted us to reach our ceremony and our honeymoon in August completely healed and free from any guilt or hurt.  The truth is, as much as we may not want to talk about these things, the healing comes when we express them and are assured once again, of each other’s steadfast and continuing love.

In just the last few days, my wife and I have both had little things unexpectedly creep up and surprise us.  For her, it actually occurred while reading this blog.  For me, a series of events over the last couple of days took me back too much to a place I didn’t want to be.  Just this morning, I ended up expressing that I was still a little bit angry with my wife over some deception regarding her state of mind before we separated.  It was triggered by three or four things that I still had some painful associations with, and I realized that it wasn’t just going to go away.

That’s really what the restoration tour is all about.  It’s about identifying those memories that have been corrupted by gaps in our love, commitment, and faithfulness, and revisiting them.  Not to rehash the hurts, but to replace them with new, better memories.  We are taking back what used to be ours and claiming those things for us that hadn’t been ours before.

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