Thursday, March 3, 2011

Pillow Talking A Single Moment

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How do you forge and maintain a sense of emotional intimacy in your marriage when the lines on the road of your daily life rarely intersect?

I once read in a novel about a husband and wife who would share one, single moment from their day before going to sleep each night. Maybe he shared the expression on his employee's face after being fired, and then she shared the moment the glass of grape juice was pulled off the counter by curious little hands, shattering across the tile and carpet. Maybe the next night he shared the moment during his commute when he reflected how much he used to enjoy rock climbing. And she told him about about a new friend she'd made at her daughter's gymnastics class. After sharing this one, single moment they drift off to sleep feeling comforted in their shared regrets, or their potential for new adventures.

We cannot witness every moment of each other's lives, no matter how hard we try. I can talk to Jeremy for hours after the kids are in bed, but that usually results in overload for both of us. I'm weary of explaining, complaining, or trying to re-create the drama from hours before. He slumps against the pillows next to me with glazed eyes, holding my hand in a valiant show of support. We go to bed exhausted. And the cycle begins again a few days or weeks later when we remember how far apart we feel.

Sometimes our sharing isn't that graceful. The other day Jeremy said to me (with a big smile on his face), "I do not want to hear about any of the drama unless it directly affects your emotional well-being in a very real and urgent way." Well fine. Be that way, I sniffed.

Yet it's surprisingly true how we don't have to share every detail in order to effectively intertwine our lives. We just need to share, on a regular basis, those fleeting moments that matter most.

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