Later that evening, the kids down for the night, the stillness of the house deafening between them as they sat, opposite each other on the long sofa, Tansy spoke.
“I can’t do this anymore, Dan. I’m at the end of my rope. I feel so alone in our marriage, the tension is wearing on the kids..it’s just not working.”
The tissue she worried between shaky fingers, was rapidly becoming tatters, falling in paper snowflakes to her denim clad lap.
She chanced a glance at her husband, surprised at the raw emotion in his eyes.
“I spoke with our Pastor this afternoon and asked if we could meet with him,” he spoke roughly, tears thickened in his voice, unwilling to fall. “Tans, it’s not you, I know it seems like it, I know it hasn’t been a picnic living with me.” He lifted his hands, but they fell quickly to his knees, as if he didn’t have the strength to fight the force of gravity. He turned towards her, patting the cushion beside him. “Please, I feel like we’re speaking across the room. Come join me…please.”
Tansy hesitated, her eyes searching his for a kernel of truth, seeing no deception in the deep blue depths. On shaky limbs she crossed the plush carpeting, taking her seat beside him, hating her stiff posture, wanting badly to reach across the chasm and sink into his arms, but it was as if her body had a mind of its own.
Dan took her hands in his, warmth seeping into the icy cold of her fingers. “I don’t know what’s happening with me. It’s like I woke up one day and my desire just left. I want you-I want to want you, I love you- you’re my wife, but I admit something isn’t right. I feel like I’m in my own bubble, unable to break free. I feel so isolated, like I’ve been stranded on an island, I know you feel it. I’m sorry.”
He looked deep into her eyes, silently begging her forgiveness.
Tansy nearly melted at the soft caress of his thumbs across the backs of her hands. They hadn’t been this close in, well there was summer with their family packed schedules, running here and there, swamped in clerical work..and this was December. Nights were lonely with him away at the warehouse until dawn. Sometimes she’d phone him about the children, with a brief rundown of their day, then drop into the four poster bed in sheer exhaustion.
Emotion choked her voice, tears shimmering in her eyes. “ I want to try, I want to save us. We have two precious kids who need their Mommy and Daddy, we can’t just quit- I know that. But I also cannot continue to live with my husband as a roommate. It’s squeezing the life out of me. I hardly recognize who I am anymore.”
Dan reached out, tucking a wayward curl from her eyes, into the ponytail she wore. Tansy hardly dared move, her heart racing erratically.
“I know. If you’re willing, Pastor Dave said he had an available time slot for us this weekend. Mom said she’d watch the kids.”
Tansy’s eyes flew to his. “Your mom knows about this?”
“Babe, everyone knows something’s wrong. We haven’t exactly been the best at hiding our emotions. She asked me, concerned, the other day and said she and dad would do anything they could to help us get back to where we were, including, but not limited to being our on- call sitters. I thought it was very nice of them.”
Tansy sighed, lifting her hands in surrender. “It is. I’m just so tired of feeling this way. I guess I’m up for anything at this point.” She pasted a smile on her face, squeezing his hand. “Okay, let’s do it. We have nothing to lose.”
“And everything to gain,” Dan said, leaning in to kiss her forehead. “I need to get ready for work, but I’m glad we talked. Have a good night. I’ll see you in the morning.”
Tansy sat, in a daze, listening to his receding footsteps, a slow smile lifting her lips. “Thank you, Father,” she whispered into the quiet of the room. “Guide our steps, Lord. Hold us together as only You can. Show us how to speak life into each other and save this marriage.”
As she climbed the steps to their bedroom, hearing the shower as it sprang to life, an idea formed, perhaps a whisper from the Holy Spirit, that she could start right now, wielding her wifely powers in a way that only she could.
And as she stripped off her clothes and slid the curtain aside to join her husband, seeing the look of surprise, followed by his open arms, she knew she had made the right move.