Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Door of Love

I thought my marriage was over this past weekend. I do not say that lightly. Saturday night my husband calmly told me that he did not want to be married to me any more. He had realized that he had been smothering me for our whole marriage and wanted to release me. He said we have been living (emotionally) detached for the last couple years and he was tired of the pretense of marriage. He said there was nothing to salvage. He was done. Just like that.

I will spare you the description of the weeping we both did.

Sunday morning I was tired and wounded and wanted time away from the house. For the first time in 10 years my husband stayed home with the kids, without arguement, and let me have the day to do whatever I needed to do. He just told me not to do anything rash like run the car into a tree. As if. I have 3 beautiful kids. I wouldn't abandon them that quickly. No matter how dejected I felt.

I drove over an hour to go to our old church where I knew I would be among friends and comfort. After the moving (for me) service, I sought out my friend Holly and before we both knew it, was weeping all over her and spilling out my story. She said all of the right things (not glossing over the truth or giving me meaningless, pat advice), said she would be praying for me and for us as a couple, and said for me NOT to lose hope. I headed home feeling better. A bit of release that I was not dealing with my crisis alone.

On the way home, I stopped at the Brass Armadillo, a HUGE antiques mall I had been to just once, and back then with 2 children who would not let me browse for longer than half an hour (it's a minimum two hour mall!) It felt good to be on my own and looking at my leisure, but I began to miss my husband and my kids. I found a beautiful, chippy, weathered newel post that for some reason symbolized my marriage to me. Beat up, peeling exterior, but solid at the core. I resolved to not give up without a fight and bought the chippy piece to tie a tag to, "I will not give up!"

Seems my husband had his own eventful day, because our son Seth greeted me at the back gate with a shy smile and a promise of a surprise for me. When I had left that morning, the kids had taken it upon themselves to make salt clay. Now at the end of the day, I was greeted in the kitchen with 3 angels concealing surprises behind their backs. From Seth, a lumpy plate with a yellow circle on it (a pond with the sun shining on it- beautiful). I got a lump in my throat. From Rebecca, two lumps of clay smooshed together (a cake). I smiled tearfully. From Victoria, a red bird sitting on a nest. The bird lifted off to reveal 3 eggs. She wrote on the nest, "love", "kindess","hope" and the eggs symbolized those three words (she explained). I was losing it. But wait, there was more!

The Door of Love. I was led into the dining room to see our bedroom door (we live in an old house with a weird floor plan). Our bedroom door is a single, mutli-paned french door to let light in to our dark, northern exposure dining room (the bright idea of a previous owner). We had a dark sheer curtain up on the door for a little privacy which Sylmon thought was never enough. While I was gone all day, Sylmon had worked all afternoon, using up 3 glue sticks, collaging the kids art and their photos onto each glass pane. With the door closed, we now have an art gallery in the dining room and complete privacy in our bedroom. I absolutely broke down crying at that point. My husband has never done anything so perfectly beautiful for me, ever. Or it's been so long, I can't remember. But even that wasn't all. He showed me into the room so I could see that he had rearranged the furniture and cleaned out the clutter (now all on the dining room table for me to sort through, but oh well. :) He closed the door, scooting Rebecca out who wanted to stay with "Mom", and said, "we need a fresh start (hence, the rearranged room) and there need to be changes" and I boohooed my resolve to not give up and yes, I agree there needed to be changes. "You can't get rid of me unless one of us dies", I said.

What we did after that is none of your business. Let me just say that the bedroom door stayed closed for a little while.

I am getting time off from my post office job this Saturday so Sylmon and I can get away for the weekend. My sister-in-law is graciously watching the kids. We haven't had an over night stay away from the kids in over 10 years. We are long over due!

Happy Valentine's Day.


Hens Teeth said...

Nathalie ~ you moved me deeply with your post. I sincerely hope that this crisis has given you both a fresh look at your lives together and how some adjustments can and will make all the difference. You obviously love each other and a good shake up can do you both the power of good. Kindest regards to you, viv x

Shabby Chick said...

Oh Nathalie, that has brought tears to my eyes, God bless you. I am so glad for you that you have tried again and I hope this fresh starts brings new happiness to you and your husband. I've been through some very tough times with mine over the last ten years and it's been a close one a few times but I'm glad we've stuck it out. What your children made was so lovely too, what a wonderful thing to come home too.

Hugs, Mel xxx

maggiegracecreates said...

Nathalie - your post brought me to tears. I immediately praised God for your bravery in posting and for courage and strength for the two of you. I am fighting my way through some similar issues and this gives me strength to coninue my fight. God's Grace to you all.

beth said...

it will take lots of work and patience and new eyes and you'll have to move things around in your heart a little bit...not just the furniture and it won't be easy and there will be more tears and words then you ever thought possible

and in the end, you will have to decide how you want your life to look and sometimes that can be the hardest thing to do !!...even if it's the right thing !

Anna said...

yes - I am in tears..... nathalie - you are a poet. I am moved that you share so much of yourself with us. Thank you!! Marriage is one of the hardest things i found in my life yet.... It takes so much work and I applaud both your's and your husband's strength and courage to weather it's bumpy road. Know that you are never alone..... the majority of us married people have a similar story...... Your family is in my prayers..... always. I feel blessed to know you. xoxo anna

my verification word is blesses - (how appropriate!)

Lorrie said...

What a touching post, Nathalie. Sometimes it takes these crisis moments to help us move forward. I'm so glad to hear that you are making plans to spend time away together. That's so important.

God's sweetest blessings to you and your husband.


Linda said...

I'm so astounded that you shared this on your blog. What a witness! You know how I feel.

Ashlyn said...

You are a strong woman! Where many would have went uncontrollably crazy and made things even worse, you somehow found resolve and a little peace in yourself to keep up the fight for love. Your strength amazes me, I do not know what my reaction would be. I thank the Lord that he realized what an amazing, caring woman he'd be leaving behind! God Bless You and Your Family! And if you ever need anything, please, don't hesitate to call.

Hugs, Ashlyn

Cindy Ericsson said...

Nathalie, I'm sending lots of love and prayers your way. As I came to the end of this post, I could hear Jesus saying "Behold, I am making all things new." Keep walking forward together.

Donna said...

The First thing I thought of after reading this was "When one door closes, Another, Opens"...Bless your heart to have been put through that...You just say the word and I can be there in a flash with my flatbed pickup...Hahaaa...Is that a Smile I see?? Hope So!!
Follow your intuition sweetie..and Happy Valentine's Day to You!!hughughugs

Margaret said...

Oh Nathalie I wish I could be there to give you a hug, I'm so sorry all this is happening to you. I'm totally in awe of your honesty in sharing this with us, we're all out here sending positive thoughts your way. I hope you both can find a way through all this. All the best Mxo

Angelika Westermann said...

Your post really hit me, Nathalie. It is just half a year past that an internet friend of mine blogged the same - her coming home from a workshop and her husband telling her, that he wanted a divorce.
However, you are more lucky than she was. You found the courage to fight for your love, and your husband realized as well that perhaps there could be a new beginning.
I hope for you that you will find a way for your both, but I think with your three kids coming into the equation you will do the right thing, both of you! All my best wishes for this.

Jeanie said...

Oh, Nathalie -- my heart was in my throat as I read this. And now, there are tears. I will send you all the energy I can that this was a "wake up" moment -- and that indeed your marriage is as strong as that bedpost. How analogous.

You are a strong woman, and I can tell, a woman of love. And a brave one, too, especially to share so openly with us all. I will treasure the moment I read this as a testimony not only to your experience but two the two people who are struggling to work through it and make it right. I think you have a good start.

Christine said...

Nathalie, I am hugging you really really close right now in my heart.

~Red Tin Heart~ said...

Nathalie, i send you hope on angels wings.
love nita

Ragamuffin Gal said...

Dearest Natalie ~
This is such a touching post and I admire your strength and sweet determination. I am holding you and your dear family in my heart and prayers. I love and believe in you, Katie

perilloparodies said...

Oh, Nathalie, May Jesus continue to romance you both into His love so that you can be a "three cord strand" once again... I hope you will not think it presumptuous to mention two verses which immediately came to mind... one is in Isaiah 40:4-5 and it says "The crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth; the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: For the mouth of the Lord has spoken."

and then... somewhere, i cannot remember exactly where, it says, that God makes "beauty for ashes"...

Trusting God, with you, to heal your family... you, your husband, your children, your home, your marriage-- in Jesus' precious, holy, and powerful name. Amen.

You are not alone! Praise God for His mercy, grace, and love.
1 Corinthians 13: 7-8 "Love... Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things... love never fails!" and that love is JESUS!!! Trust in, cling to, rely on, and believe in Him. He is faithful and is NEVER unjust. Hang in there!! :-)Sending a hug, and praying...

perilloparodies said...

By the way, also sending you a
:-), in hopes that it will perhaps be contagious! and, one of your posters said that "the majority of marrieds have a similar story to tell". it is true, and my marriage is a testimony only to God's faithfulness and loving care. Love in the Lord!!!


Anna-Marie said...

Oh Nathalie my heart goes out to you! I am glad that things seem to be working out well. God is so faithful. I will pray for y'all and believe that He will continue to work on you both. :)