Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Living With A Stranger

It's a good news/bad news thing where the good news is Huge and way far outweighs the bad news in significance and impact. And yet here I am writing a blog post I actually hope Ron doesn't read to vent about the bad part. Since Staci's visit Ron seems to have somehow let go of an enormous amount of anger and pain he'd been carrying around for a very long time. That pain gave my dearest a sharp, bitter edge that could be very unpleasant at times and I often felt I had to be very careful lest I set him off on a Major Angry. Which was painful to watch cause He was the one I saw so clearly terribly suffering from his anger and I have been trying since the day I met him to gently show him How to drop that burden.

I feel so much for my Ron because I have SO been there. As Staci could tell you I used to be the same way or worse. And part of me is just insane with joy to see Ron acting calm and pleasant most of the time and for the most part experiencing rather than suffering most of each moment, each day, his life.

But with all of that huge anger gone we are both having to look at all the ugly stuff that got mixed up and lost in it. It has been such an odd role reversal this weekend with Alan the emotional mess and Ron playing the patient counselor. And I am learning a lot of things about Ron that I never knew. I really am awed at the amount of anger that Ron has been able to let go of and I am trying my best to listen to him and hear what he now quite calmly tells me is what he is Really concerned about. Crucial information that Always got lost before under all the anger. I am so happy he is no longer bearing all of that pain and am happy to do the real work on our relationship that we're now having to do to actually deal with what needs dealing with.

So the saga of the friendship that was saved because they were all willing to keep talking to each other and trying to work things out until they worked things out has played against the back drop of major personal growth and the challenges of deaing with a spouse who really is a very different person.

The friend we managed to patch things up with said something to me that really struck me: "...this isn't the first time I've had a friend, especially if the friend is part of a couple, take something wrong and then boom they never return your calls again and it's like your dead to them and you don't even know what you did wrong....you two were the first couple who was ever willing to make the effort to work it out."

And he's right. Close relationships actually take some work and many people socialize with lots of people and are Never willing to do the actual hard work of working things out when someone's feelings get hurt and thus never move beyond the most superficial bonds.

Ron says we have to help our friend let go of something that is just as big as his anger rock was and once we have he will almost certainly move on to family. But when I think about what our friend said and I think about people that I myself have in fact dropped flatly and never spoken to again, I realized that having shown both of us very personally that he cares about us enough to have invited us over and genuinely looked glad to see us the day after he got to see me on my absolute worst behavior makes me realize that while Ron is no doubt right about us needing to help him with his own rock, he's already family to me.

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