"I don't know." I sit defeated, watching his eyes intently. Hoping he might have an answer to his own question. "What about you? How do you think we can get the intimacy back in our marriage?" I hit ball back to his court, a sort of blameshifting on my part. Feelings of contempt knock ever more incessant at my heart's door, threatening to bang it down. I lift a silent prayer, Spirit, please answer for me. I'm weak, vulnerable. I want to say mean things.
The room feels suffocating. He leans against kitchen counter, across the room, worlds away. "Maybe we should take a break from this conversation."
"Maybe." There are no more words. We've begun the New Year with a fight in proportion to Time's Square at midnight on January first. Except without the well-wishes. Painful exchanges like confetti littering heart's floor.
Like cordial roommates who more or less tolerate one another, we move through the next couple of days. Each person quietly contemplating the next right move.
"Let's get up together tomorrow morning -- before the children. Just you and me," his words slow, pauses deliberate, heavy with meaning, "to spend time together." I wrap longing arms around him, pull him close in mutual embrace.
And. then. He walks in room, resolutely, this morning. While I sit at computer, reading e-mails. I didn't think he'd really get up with me. Yet, he sits down beside me, so determined that his presence causes me to turn my full attention to him. And he gives me the gift, (the one so huge that I put off asking for it for Christmas until the last minute and even then said it with I-know-I-don't-deserve-something-so-special undertones). Quality time. He looks right at me and says, "I'll get up at 5 AM with you every morning to work out."
He takes me downstairs, to the kitchen. I make us a pot of coffee while he opens the book Intimacy -- A 100-Day Guide to Lasting Relationships by Douglas Weiss, Ph.D. Reads words out loud,
"The picture [of Christ and the church] is of the hero and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who loved and died for His bride so that she might be with Him forever. This word picture closes with Jesus coming back for His bride and hosting a great banquet to celebrate their eternal intimacy. God is a romantic...
...I want to savor the scent of her personality, the moments of her fury and the playfulness of her spirit. I am committed to intimacy with both my God and my wife -- and this committment is not halfhearted."
He pauses to look up at me, his eyes wet with emotion, tells me the author has expressed what he feels for me.
Just when I think I couldn't possibly love this man sitting across from me anymore than I've already loved him... I find my hopelessly romantic spirit, (and often fickle heart), falling head over heels in love with my hero, a hopeless romantic himself.
"My beloved is mine, and I am his." ~Song of Solomon 2:16