This weekend, I listened to a chapter of the book where Glennon talks about a rough patch in her marriage. Actually, the term "rough patch" does not begin to convey the situation. Here, read:
Craig and I have two recurring problems in our marriage. I feel sad when I don't get listened to, and Craig feels sad when he doesn't get made out with. I am starting to understand that these two problems are related. They're both about intimacy. Craig and I lack intimacy. When we talk, we seem to miss each other; it's like we're communicating on different planes. I'm high and low, and he's in the middle. We don't connect. And when we have sex, we don't really connect either.
And that's not even the baldest the truth gets, either. I was breathless the first time I read the chapter simply titled, "Easter," and it took my breath away again when I listened to it for the first time this past weekend.
I wasn't sure where I was going with this when I started writing it yesterday. But now I do. Gratitude. I am beyond grateful for Glennon sharing the naked truth about her relationship with her husband.
Why? Well, you see, it's like this.
I am married to a great guy. Beyond great, according to some people. (Someone once referred to my husband as the "only good, clean thing in Baltimore." The speaker was only mostly kidding.) Our marriage is better than a lot of people's. I'd even go so far as to say that it's better than most of the marriages out there. But it does have its issues, and sometimes those issue rear their heads and things get hard. Really, really hard. Heart-rendingly hard. And because our marriage is so good the rest of the time, and because my husband is pretty universally liked, I start questioning myself. Is this really a problem, or is it the crazy talking? Well, doesn't he have the right to do whatever he's doing that's upsetting me? I'm so lucky to have him, everyone says so.
Luckily I have a therapist who kicks my ass on a regular basis, and over the years I've learned to speak up when I'm upset, and not roll into a ball and hide. (Seriously, I used to literally do that. I understand that technically, a grown woman in the fetal position under the covers is not terribly hard to find, but the fact that I made the effort still counts as hiding.) But in a way that my emotionally-detached-and-rightfully-so therapist can't, Glennon managed to give voice to the dissatisfaction that sometimes tromps its way through my relationship with my husband. My situation does not mirror hers, and I won't talk about what my "situation" is: my husband is such a private person that it would be a betrayal and a punishment if I did so. But Glennon gave me permission to listen to that niggling voice in the back of my head. This could be better. It's okay to be dissatisfied. Something in this relationship is making you unhappy, and you should really pay attention. This is a real woman. Not just me. Not just crazy me.
Like I told her when I met her back in June, she gets it in a way that few other people I've met get it. In a way that the people who love me most don't get it. And sometimes that's what I need most: permission and someone who Gets It.