Last night as we sat on the beach, soaking in the last few moments of summer sun together, I turn and asked my wife how she thinks we were able to make it through all the challenges we’ve faced in the last 5+ years of our life together.
We both talked and shared our thoughts, but there was one underlying principle that kept showing up in our conversation – emotional connection.
From the very start, the first moment we met, we connected. At the beginning, it was through laughter. Later, through common interests. Eventually through deep, truthful needs, wants, and desires. That deep, truthful connection has been the foundation from which we’ve built everything.
When I look at the facts about our love story – meeting when she was married with three young children and I was engaged, her in a custom-built home and me just about to close on our first house, her a SAHM with constant council to her mother and I moments from defending my doctorate and starting my solo career – we had so much pulling us apart right from the start. And only one thing pulling us together, the only thing we needed – that soulful connection.
And even though in the initial moments of break-ups, divorce, moving, familial estrangement, co-parenting, career changes, financial shifts, and anything else that crossed our path, we questioned why it all had to be so hard; we also knew that easy isn’t what comes from truly sharing yourself completely with another person, openly and full of every shade of vulnerability.
And we were never looking for easy anyway.
We didn’t make all the right choices, we didn’t always do our best, sometimes we didn’t know what to say, but we always came back to try again. And we still are.
It’s not a fairy-tale, and it’s not a love story I have ever read before, but I think
that’s because it’s more honest and real than anything I’ve ever been shown in this lifetime.
Although it has only been 1936 days of my lifetime that I have loved her, I have never even remotely experienced a connection like the one we share. I find myself often struggling to put it to words and trying to make sense of what that can possibly mean.
In the very beginning I think we both thought that our connection was based on some fundamental similarity between us. We learned quite quickly (and through lots of heated arguments) that similarities are not where our true connection lies.
We are vastly different in countless ways, and yet what pulls us together is
stronger than anything that has ever tried to pull us apart.
Magnetism. Gravity. Addiction.
Give it whatever word you want, the truth is that we don’t need to put it to words.
It’s something we both know we have, together, underneath everything, always.
It’s messy and complicated and ugly and peaceful and simple and beautiful, all at the exact same time.
Truthfully, it’s our ability to express our raw emotions to each other in every circumstance that has fortified our love and helped us brave the elements thus far.
We are open and honest with each other, always. We have never held back anything. We push and we pull and we settle into the sweet spot. And we never stop trying to be there for each other.
I think that’s as best as I’ll ever be able to put words to it, but something tells me that will always be enough.
So go ahead, call us emotional; it might just be the greatest compliment I’ve ever gotten.