Once upon a time there was a bright eyed college girl who met a rugged, athletic college guy and they had a lot of college fun together. They fell in love and graduated college and decided to start their lives together. And so they got married, had two babies, bought a house, and had another baby. And they had some really good times and they went on some vacations. And they had some really bad times and they had some really sad times, but they were their times.
And then they got busy raising kids. They ran to different activities and went in separate directions and always put the kids first and themselves last. They stopped really seeing each other. They were busy. They were stressed. They became distant. They stopped laughing. They would sit on separate couches at night and watch TV, or stare at phones, or read books. They fell asleep on the couch and went to bed at separate times and left the house in the morning in a hurry.
And they were both just always so busy. The house was always messy. The bills were always piling up. The stress of teaching and work and life was getting overwhelming. The division was getting bigger.
She started to get angry. And he started to get aggravated. And she got flustered and resentful that the kids were acting out and dinner needed to be cooked and laundry needed to be done and the house was a mess and nobody had any clean socks and no she didn’t call the mortgage company because she worked all day and then parented all night and why didn’t he just GET THAT?
And he started to get lonely because why didn’t she talk to him anymore? Why didn’t she touch him anymore? Why didn’t she see the stress he felt with work and bills and money? Why didn’t she see how exhausted he was from running from work to practice every night?
And she started to get sad because why didn’t he just see her anymore? Why didn’t he really talk to her anymore? Why didn’t he touch her anymore?
And he started to get distant while she was lonely. And he started to get overwhelmed because money was tight. And she started to get overwhelmed because money was tight. And they started to fight more. And they started to lose each other in sadness, loneliness, and anger. And individually the little fights were nothing, but collectively they were everything. Communication broke down, anger and annoyance festered just below the surface, waiting for one more thing to set off another big fight. And the kids started to notice.
And then after one more fight she thought, “I don’t know if I’m happy. I don’t know if I can live like this. I don’t even know if he loves me anymore.” And he didn’t listen. Instead, he resigned himself to, “This is life.”
And she shut down. She got lost. She convinced herself that everyone would be happier apart because nobody was happy together. And when she finally told him, he thought, “No. I will fight.” And she thought, “No. I will go.” And he thought, “Why didn’t you tell me sooner?” And she thought, “I tried.” And he thought, “I’ll fight. I’ll fight for us.” And too many bad things were said that could not be unsaid. And too many bad things were done that could not be undone. And then he thought, “Maybe I don’t deserve this.” And she thought, “Maybe I don’t deserve this.”
And then there they were, facing a cliff, ready to tumble off when she looked at her husband, really looked at him, and he took her hand and it was the first time they touched in too long and she thought, “No. I want to fight for us.” And he thought, “I don’t know if I have any fight left in me.” And she thought, “I do. I will fight for both of us.” And he thought, “I love her enough for this.” And they started the long climb up. And they started to talk again. And they started to laugh again. They started to communicate again. They started to love again.
And they realized how much they missed each other. How much she missed how her head fit on his shoulder and the smell of his neck. How much he missed the curve of her waist and the softness of her skin. And they said these things. And suddenly what was once taken for granted was now appreciated. And they said these things. And laughter returned and intimacy returned and love returned.
It’s not easy. It was never meant to be easy. But for me, this fight is worth it.
I love you, KRS. Always.
“Come to me my sweetest friend
Can you feel my heart again
I’ll take you back where you belong
And this will be our favorite song”
–“Come to Me”, Goo Goo Dolls
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