The Magic Phrase that Saved My Relationship

This past weekend my husband and I had the BIGGEST fight in our entire seven years of being together. The reason need not be shared, but let’s just say it was big enough to make my husband shove me away from him and storm out of the house. I listened as his tires peeled out of the driveway and down the road. I ran upstairs for my phone and called three times in a row before finally leaving him a voice mail begging him to come home. After my fourth call he finally picked up. I apologized and asked him to come home, but he said he couldn’t stand looking at me without feeling the need to slap me and kick me out of the house. He said it was better I let him be. He’d see me in a few hours. Click.

Second by slow second ticked away. I don’t even remember what I did to pass the time. I moved in a daze, my eyes glazed over. I heard my baby crying somewhere far away but whether I moved through the motions of calming him… I can’t really say. All I could think about was how I f*cked up, and how I may have lost my soulmate.

I apologized and asked him to come home, but he said he couldn’t stand looking at me without feeling the need to slap me and kick me out of the house.

I have no idea where my husband went or what he did to blow off all that anger, but when he came home he was calm enough to talk. However, nothing was fixed. We just went back and forth, back and forth. He was still beyond pissed and we ended up going to sleep with our issue still unresolved. It was the worse night of my life. I cried, and cried, and cried. I woke up with dried up tears still on my face. The saltiness was disgusting. It tasted of weakness, betrayal, and regret.

I gathered everything I had and woke up my husband. I had to fix “us.”

I apologized, I explained myself away, and I begged him to forgive me. I was still “me.” I was still the same person he’s loved for the past seven years. This was one mistake. The one and only one I’ve EVER made in our relationship. With my heart in throat, my undying love, remorse and regret reflected in my eyes I stated the obvious to him – “you’re my everything, I can’t bare to lose you, I love you. Do you still love me?”

That was it. Those were the magic words.

Do you still love me?

I watched his emotions change physically in the small minute ways his body reacted to that phrase. He seemed to collapse in on himself, the anger left and all that remained was the raw unfiltered pain. I saw how much I hurt him, how bad it affected him, and I broke down. Seeing his pain hurt more than his anger.

“I still love you.”

The relief that ran through me was elating. I wanted to jump into his arms, to cover his face with kisses, but the pained look he wore on his face… his furrowed brow, dark gaze, stern tight jaw… it made me pause. This was not the look of love.  He turned his eyes to me and the anguish steam rolled me. He still loved me, but he was still too hurt to forgive me. This I could understand. I hadn’t fully forgiven myself either. And yet, knowing he still loved me gave me hope. Love, our love, was strong enough of a foundation to build our relationship back up on. We’d still make it.

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