I spent Saturday night out of town with a girlfriend, and I came back home yesterday. I was a little worried, and I prayed all the way home about my return. My husband and I have established a stupid pattern for when we reunite after I go out of town. We hate each other. We treat each other like strangers, invaders, and enemies.
Before addiction undermined the deep current of affection and attraction that initially drew us together, we came back to each other after being away like lovers should. We were eager to see each other...passionate...affectionate. I would anticipate coming back home and falling into his arms and smothering him with kisses. Once the addiction started wreaking havoc on our relationship, though, it became different. I'd drag back home, stopping frequently to avoid the inevitable arrival at the scene of all the pain. It was liberating to get away from the dark cloud that hung heavy over my husband, and I hated coming back into it. I hated seeing him, and I hated that I knew shortly after I came in, he'd be distant and cold or angry or he'd ask me for things that I didn't want to give him.
On his side, even after the madness of active addiction stopped, he'd feel resentful that I had left him. He's chained to the methadone clinic, and it's been a long time since he's been able to go out of town. He's lonely, bored, and frustrated, and sometimes the one bit of relief he gets from the repetition of being home alone all day, trapped in his sick mind, is me. He's not always warm and fuzzy to me, but he does appreciate my presence and look forward to it. When I go away and am not around to take some of the weight off of his dark cloud, it makes him angry.
So we'd come back together, pissed off at each other before we'd even begun to interact in any real way at all.
Last night, though, I prayed that we would be able to see each other through God's eyes. I came in the door, and he rounded a corner away from me. I felt a surge of anger rise in me...he can't even say hello? I came to him, put my arms around him, and gave him a kiss. I felt his body melt against mine, and I felt his heart open to welcome me back home. "There's some dinner in the kitchen if you'd like some..." he said, tentatively.
My little gesture of affection allowed me to see his affection. Changing my own attitude, ignoring the voice that was asking me to see what is wrong with him above all that is right, opened my heart to all that was good.