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Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Reluctant Husband: Part 2, The Process

I was the reluctant husband, but now I'm on board for a 12 month, round the world adventure. And I'm even blogging about it.

So what has the process been like? One might say that constant droplets of Crystal's persistence slowly tapped at my will until it cracked like a water-boarded prisoner. My will is not so rigid though, and her persistence is not so torturous. Others might say that my desire to stay home propelled a propaganda campaign to black out her heralds of rebellious messages of freedom. She is not so mutinous though, and I am not so oppressive. It's been a long, evolutionary process for sure, but always more of a dance than a battle.

Crystal would speak of all the amazing things we would see while we're traveling and all the amazing people we could connect with. We would watch travel documentaries about emotional humanitarian stories like Living on One, or ones about awesome geographical or historical attractions like Rick Steve's Europe. After each (sometimes with a tear in her eye) she would say, "See?" I would rebut with with the fact that we had agreed on the current path we were on, and that interrupting it now would only set us back years and that we had mortgages and credit card balances and student loans. Or we would spend an amazing weekend with friends or family and we would both feel affirmed that those are the moments worth living for. Afterward I would look at her comfortingly and say, "See?"

So many dinner conversations turned into passionate pleas on both our accounts and they often lasted late into the night. We always were very careful to reconcile and be sure we both went to bed knowing that the most important thing was that we loved each other. I can't emphasize enough the magnitude of that act. But the conversations were still hard. It was exhausting and heart wrenching. I felt like she didn't understand or accept who I was and she felt like I wouldn't believe in her or her dreams. What we didn't realize though is that throughout all those conversations we really got to know each other. I mean really got to know each other. There's no moment more sincere and honest than when your spouse, completely emotionally beat down after hours of intense arguments, clutches her chest in front of her heart with both hands, looks you in the eye with tears on her face and says, "this is me." Wow. I didn't know I could know any person like that.

The process has been long and difficult, and I'd bet one day it will fit perfectly as just a single chapter in the story of our lives together. But through it all, Crystal and I have gained something that would have been impossible to attain if we'd just agreed with each other all along: a truer, deeper understanding of one another and synchronization what we dream for our lives together to be.