Our souls are always whispering to us. The whispers of our lives tell us there’s more. The whispers of our souls speak of and point us toward the desires of our hearts. The whispers of our hearts appear all the time in our marriages. But we don’t always listen, do we?
When we don’t listen to the whispers, they don’t go away. They only become louder. If we continue to ignore the whispers in our lives, over time, they get louder and begin screaming.
My life had been whispering to me for a while, but I hadn’t been listening.
I met my first husband in graduate school and we married at 27 years old. He was (and still is) a good, kind man.
We lived in a four-bedroom home in a suburban golf community. We had nice cars. We took vacations. He worked in the technology field and I was in marketing at the time. We had investments, 401Ks, and pension plans. We had one dog and no children.
From the outside looking in, I had no reason to be unhappy; but I was. I was unhappy, lonely, and disconnected.
Most of that is mine to own.
I married my husband because he was safe. I knew he wouldn’t lie to me, cheat on me, or hurt me. We rarely fought, but we didn’t take the time to connect with each other either. Because he didn’t require me to share much of my soul with him, I could stay safe and hidden, but not necessarily in love.
What I didn’t know at that very tender age is that there’s very little passion in taking the safe approach.
I didn’t know about affection and connection.
I didn’t know about intimacy and vulnerability.
I didn’t know what it was I was missing, but I knew that something was missing.
I began noticing other couples that had a natural affection between them, the kind where a hand lands on a leg or a head gently rests on a shoulder. I would notice couples for whom conversation flowed easily and their eyes never left the other. There was a comfort, an ease, and a connectedness between those people that was so foreign to me, but that made my heart ache and made me long for more in my own relationship.
I didn’t know how to have that with someone, and neither did my husband.
If I could have created a checklist for my husband to do each day to make me feel loved and adored, he would have tried to check off every box dutifully. But I didn’t know how to ask for that, how to receive it, or how to return it.
The longing and loneliness I felt became increasingly present until it was a big, gaping hole in the centre of my heart.