Breaking isn’t permanent

This past winter, I wanted out of this life I’ve created.

I wanted out of Alexandria, out of my job, out of my house, out of my relationship. I felt like I couldn’t breathe, like I was being crushed and confined to this little corner of the world. When I really started to think about being here long-term, my anxiety took control. I panicked.

But I wasn’t brave enough to say those things, let alone act on them. So I started to push away the person that held my life here together: Brandon. I stopped choosing him. I removed myself, stopped doing the things that create a relationship.

Eventually, as it does, the breaking point came. On that night in February, I thought he would tell me that we weren’t salvageable, that a life with me was no longer what he wanted. I didn’t think I deserved him, so I’d let myself spin the entire conversation in my mind before it was actually had. 

So when he didn’t tell me any of what I had assumed he’d tell me, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Instead of telling me what I decided he would tell me, he told me the things I had been waiting so long to hear. He told me we owed it to the life we had built to work on our relationship. 

I agreed. I agreed to give our relationship another chance.

And I am grateful every day that we both saw something worth saving.

The thing is, Brandon and I value different things. I crave physical touch. I need verbal reminders of why he loves me and what I mean to him. He didn’t used to give me that because he doesn’t necessarily need those things. He is happy spending time together, doing daily tasks for me to show his love.

We’ve always understood this about one another, but it hasn’t been until the past six months, when we’ve really been focusing on rebuilding ourselves as a couple, that we have truly considered what the other person needs in that way. And it’s been a game-changer.

Now, in the mornings, Brandon will come in and kiss me on the forehand, or brush his hand over mine. He makes sure to tell me he loves me daily. And I try to understand that these aren’t natural things for him. I try to love him the way he needs as well, by simply having time together, by expressing interest in his projects, by simply being.

This winter, I wasn’t sure. I wasn’t sure I could stay here in this life. I wasn’t sure I could ever feel happy and content here again. I thought the feeling of restlessness that had consumed me was something permanent.

But it wasn’t. When I began choosing Brandon each day again, I found myself falling back in love with him all over again. When I look at him, as he’s working outside, or playing with the dogs, or simply sleeping, I feel so full. 

Writing this wasn’t necessarily easy. I’ve been sitting on this one a long time, reflecting on it almost daily. That feeling of restlessness that consumed me felt like a private battle in a way, but I guess I’ve never been one to keep those to myself. It also felt like it wasn’t only my story to share, which is why I’ve struggled to post about it. 

But if this post can give hope to anyone struggling in their relationship, then it’s worth it. My point in sharing this is that being broken isn’t a forever thing. Sure, you can make it that way by choosing to walk away.

But you can also choose to stay. If both people want it, relationships are rebuildable. They are repairable. They can become whole again.

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