grown-up love

We have been fighting last night. The kids awoke and demanded our attention. We went to bed, crying and upset. There were little bodies to hug and to gently tuck back into bed. we functioned.

A very awkward day followed. Two people, a loving couple, circling around each other like the other is the most fragile china handed down by many generations. Silence piercing the air. No one spoke until we couldn't anymore.

I followed him into the bathroom. He was shaving and the room was lit by a fluorescent light. I crept in and sat on the edge of the cold bathtub. I wondered how this single light can illuminate it all. While I, the one standing right in the middle of it, can only see the pitch-black darkness of despair.
I follow the moves of his body with my eyes and watch him shaving. His glance meets mine in the mirror and I break eye contact. I can't, I think. I just can't bear him looking at me like that, with this argument still between us.

He stops shaving and turns off the fluorescent light. It feels even darker now.
I feel the cold bathtub rim under my body. He sits on the toilet seat right across from me.
What's the matter, he asks.
And really, I want to scream all the nasty things I make up in my mind about this situation. I want to yell. Lose control.
Instead I say that I am sad and hurting. He knows. He says, me too.


We move to a different room in order to talk. We sit beside each other like strangers, deep in our anger and disapointment, neither of us willing to let up. To let the other person in again. To show up and be seen, because it hurts. Little by little we talk through it.
I feel broken.
I feel like something broke between us to the state of not being able to be mended again. I'm afraid this will be the end. We hold the exit door open for each other, very aware that this relationship is not granted. It's not unbreakable or bulletproof.

All I need is the proof of love. Of his never-ending, soul-wrenching, can't-live-without-you love. This is marriage. The impossible rollercoaster-ride of life, with the my soulmate right beside me. With the person that forever will stay worried with me about the kids or the person I always have to forgive. No. Matter. What. This is grown up love.