Thursday, September 29, 2011

Forsaking All Others

Lately my husband and I have been going through a "growth phase" as I like to call it. It is something we go through every couple of years. I would imagine any long-term relationship does. Sometimes it is precipitated by a clash of horns for weeks on end, eventually erupting into a tangled lock of hurt feelings and emotions. Sometimes we can act like adults and get there in one piece. Its so much better when we can do it that way. But life is tough, long and hard. We are not always perfect, nor would we ever want to be. So we have turned off the TV and are talking. Lots and lots of talking. Sharing, understanding, explaining, forgiving and yeah, some pleading too. Whatever it takes to get us back on the same page, for we only function at half mast when reading from a different script.

I was watching General Hospital the other day and two characters exchanged traditional wedding vows. Or at least what WASP(C) American me perceives as traditional. It was a tender and sweet moment I had seen a gazillion times over. But for some reason there was a part that jumped out at me. I pondered this part, for some reason it struck me differently than it ever had before, made me think about it in an entirely new way. It was that part that says forsaking all others. I remembered saying those words when I got married 10 years ago. But had I done it? I was sure to keep the transparent vows intact; in sickness and in health (ha ha)*, for richer or for poorer (double ha ha)* and certainly the most paramount of all, till death do us part (tripple quadrapule ha ha!)*. For were you married if you did not? But I never paid much attention to that little forsaking all others part squeezed in the middle. It seemed automatic, like the others. Implied fidelity, common sense, right? But as I thought about it I wondered what did it even mean?

Forsaking all others. Such powerful words when dissected from the whole. Forsake: abandon, desert, leave, maroon, quit, strand. All others? All? Really? Meaning put nobody before our marriage? No, can't say I have done that, I had to admit. I had certainly put myself first, and every health problem I ever had. Basic survival, right? At times friends or family or my career have come first. That's just life, the way it is. But after thinking about it I am not so sure. Do we always have to settle for the way it is? My husband and I have been solitary through my illnesses. Yes we love each other and have been committed and present, hanging out and laughing and being there in good times and bad. I could not ask for a better person to race around this gameboard of life on. But at our core we are different people than we were when we got married. Tragedy, multiples of them, can do that. Actually shift the fundamental base of a person. And as much as we have walked side by side we have also walked alone, for we were both dealing with devastating situations from completely different perspectives. And in this weakened state the drama and unhappiness and needs of others have littered our union with  messy complications, further causing chaos in our lives. So I wonder, as we take this opportunity for a "tune up" so we can sync up once again and get back to being happy, can I become a wife who forsakes all others, placing no one or no thing above our marriage? Do I even want to? We will see. It depends if he brings me flowers tonight or not.

Thanks for joining,

*All the ha ha's are my bitter and sarcastic attempt to express I feel we have overcome MORE than our fair share of adversity, specifically in these areas.

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