The Messy Truth of Marriage

I stopped wearing my wedding ring.

My husband and I struggled for some time, and at one point I even told him I wanted to separate, but that’s not why I pulled my ring off.

I was starting to develop a callus on my pinkie, right at the place where my wedding ring would rub it. It was irritating, a little uncomfortable, and unsightly (so says me). I removed the ring thinking the callus would soften and fall off.

A callus caused by my wedding ring …

The symbol of what was supposed to be a “perfect union” was “hardening me,” making me rough, untouchable, undesirable …

It’s strange how our emotions can manifest in our bodies.

I was allowing my anger and resentment toward my husband to harden my heart. I was becoming rough, untouchable, and undesirable.

For a moment, I thought giving up the ring and the relationship would help me become soft again.

That might be true for some, but I don’t think it’s the case for me.

My anger and my husband’s quiet withdrawal left a dark cloud hanging over our relationship. Even with months of therapy and lots of fake it till you make it, we were still struggling. And I think it’s the faking it that was the problem.

I don’t have to tell you that relationships are hard, and not just marriages. Mother-daughter. Father-son. Brother-sister. Putting someone else’s feelings before your own can be hard, and it becomes harder to do when you have a crying baby and you’re sleep-deprived.

We made our relationship harder by faking like things were fine and hoping to make it. We should have been digging in and answering hard, honest, painful questions:

Do we really want to be together? Are are we staying in this marriage out of fear? What are our expectations for one another as husband and wife, and are those expectations reasonable? Are we willing to to put in the time and effort to be what each other needs?

We recently delved into the difficult stuff, and it hurt. There were tears and hurt feeling on both sides. But there was no yelling, no anger, just raw honesty.

The next day, the cloud over us didn’t seem so thick. We were more cognizant of what we said and did to one another. We were trying to be better and to be a team, and it wasn’t that tough.

It’s been a few weeks since we had that talk. We’re not where we want to be, but I think we’re miles from the hellhole we were in.

The callus I’d let develop over my heart is starting to slough off.

And you know what? So is the one on my finger.

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