Are you gagging or oohing?
Doesn’t matter… we’re all going to have different perspectives and back-stories to draw from in regards to how we feel about fairy tale romances and our Very Real Lives.
Either we’re still holding out for the hearts & tiara & handsome prince, or we’re sneering at the ludicrous imaginations that come up with this stuff.
Or maybe we’re somewhere in between.
I don’t know. I’m no expert.
What I do know is that even though I outgrew the whole Disney princess thing ages ago, I still felt twinges of sadness when I would witness the tenderness between my brother and sister-in-law; and somewhere down deep I’d feel the familiar question tapping at my heart’s door: “how come I don’t have that? What’s wrong with me?”
I distinctly remember my then-husband talking to me while I sat on the bed, and feeling like a bucket of ice cold water had been thrown at me.
This isn’t working.
I don’t think we should be married anymore.
I want a divorce.
I guess I was naive, but I truly didn’t expect that. Not from him.
Granted, we hadn’t been happy in three or four years together, but surely we would make it through this. Surely he would eventually forgive me for rocking the boat with my honesty about my own unhappiness with our lives, and we could move forward.
But no. Apparently not.
So I read all the books I could find on marriage.
I listened to all the marriage courses I could get my hands on on disc.
I asked for a marriage study in adult Sunday school at my church.
I went to counseling.
I worshiped. Sang.
I knew from the beginning that there was something different about our relationship.
I chalked it up to the fact that everybody’s different, and, well… its too late now.
We said vows. We were a team.
To be honest, I know now that I was grasping at straws. I also know now that I was married to someone who had great difficulty letting me in. Being vulnerable. Accepting love, or even knowing how to love me in return.
At the time, though, failure and rejection were the banners soaring above my head.
There was something wrong with me.
I knew I was missing out.
I knew that fairy tales and Prince Charmings weren’t real, but I also knew that some people had the benefit of being connected with someone special in their lives.
They weren’t perfect. They had stuff and junk to work through just like everyone else. But they respected each other.
They worked together.
They chose to love each other well.
And they really seemed to dig each other.
I wanted that.
This is where I envision certain people rolling their eyes in disgust.
I honestly don’t care anymore.
My longing to have an intimate relationship with someone is not something I’m ashamed of.
I used to be.
I used to feel guilty for wanting deep connection with a partner. For wanting to love and be loved. To be celebrated for our individuality, yet mesh as one.
I listened to the voices around me, and tried to tell myself that it was a fairy tale, just like the Disney princess stuff I used to think was so great.
Yet, I would continue to observe candid moments of sweet adoration, admiration, selflessness, respect, honor, and loyalty in a select few around me, and that knocking would start again in the recesses of my heart.
“How come I don’t have that? What’s wrong with me?”
I have discovered that the storyline of our lives can change.
That Hope is a very powerful force.
My personal story of various losses and brokenness has slowly begun to change.
I have felt battered.
And somehow through that junk I have had tiny strands of hope gleam, catching my eye, causing me to keep going.
I think I’m ready to tell my story again.
You see, I have a happy ending now. Despite the eye rolls and sneers of the cynics and hurting, I have a love story to tell.
A love story that centers on Love Himself who taught me my worth, who broke the chains that have so paralyzed me for most of my life, and who showed me that He created me to want deep connection in a relationship with my partner.
Which doesn’t make me weak or irrelevant.
He is the Author who invites me to co-create with Him. And I keep saying yes.
So we’ve rewritten my story, and for those who wish to hear it, I will begin to share.