Last night I slept on the edge of the bed with my back turned to my husband. It is the most uncomfortable position to sleep in. No sweet slumber can be found in that lonely space on the outskirts.
We had a disagreement earlier and we hadn’t spoken since. We went to bed in silence. The space between us was both literal and figurative. I’m normally the one who feels the need to drift off to sleep while making contact with my bed partner. I love the peaceful, reassuring feeling it gives me.
Last night I clung to the edge and quietly cried myself to sleep.
It is rare for us to fight. I avoid conflict like it is a deadly germ. One that makes me sick and unsteady. And that is how I feel now, sick and unsteady. He left without a word this morning.
In my head I know he didn’t sleep well, allergies are making him miserable and he had a busy day ahead at work and was running late. My heart, however, is not so logical. My heart ached for a little sign of love. A little something to reassure my heart. Something to bridge the gap.
In the meantime, I’m unsettled wondering if the silence will continue into the evening. Debating on ways to break it and giving thought as to why that always seems to be my role. Egg shells are no place to walk.
My head knows we are fine, this is just a small bump in the road. My heart panics with every abandonment fear in me sure we’ve reached a sink hole.
Because I know my head is right I ask God for peace in my heart and in my home. Despite the fact that I sometimes resent being the peacemaker I also know it is a beautiful role to embrace. If I didn’t choose to accept my role as relational glue we might indeed find ourselves at a sink hole. A place where a small disagreement could fester into something far larger than it ever deserved to be.
For some reason, I often think in terms of analogies. In my mind, we are Velcro. Together we are strong and serve a purpose. On our own, we are missing key components and don’t work properly. One of us seems a bit harsh and one of us appears weak. As you can probably guess, I am the soft one. I get hung up on things. Perhaps I don’t discipline enough, but life can be hard and I want to be a soft place to land. When the two halves of Velcro are separated it makes an unpleasant noise. We had a bit of that noise last night.
I hate that sound. The sound of things coming apart.
So today I resolve to look for small ways to stick us back together, back where we belong. So I text my husband and ask if our son and I can bring him lunch at work. Upon arrival, I do my best to hide my still sick feeling. We eat our lunch and make small talk going through the motions. As we said our goodbyes, he kissed my forehead and all felt right with the world in that instant. Just like that, our Velcro halves pressed back together. Sinkhole averted.
What if I’d not took the first step? Would that painful silence fill our evening? Would anyone of us benefit from letting that awkwardness linger?
Sometimes couples need to disagree. Sometimes tempers are short. Sometimes someone overreacts. Don’t let it be more than it is. Bridging the gap is more worthy of your time than being right.