One of the most important truths of my marriage that I hold in my heart and mind is the realisation that Steve and I are two separate people. No duh! But in an ongoing, day to day relationship, it can be easy to forget this.
When Steve and I were on our honeymoon in Italy, I nearly started our first fight. We had spent the morning at Pompeii and were on our way to another ancient Roman ruin called Herculaneum. I was driving and Steve was navigating. It was a hot day, on unfamiliar roads, in a foreign country. We missed the turn off from the motorway to Herculaneum and I found myself driving into Naples on a two lane road which, somehow, had three lanes of traffic. I started to get really pissed off. At Steve. But I caught myself and remembered that I probably wouldn’t be doing any better if I were in the chart room. I also realised that I was not feeling confident behind the wheel in a big Italian city and was scared about ending up in Rome, driving in crazy Italian traffic.
It would have been really easy to explode with anger and blame Steve, but I was able to step back and get some perspective. Instead of blowing up, I asked Steve to find a place where I could turn around. We decided to go back to Atrani and venture out to Herculaneum another day.
Yes, we are two people and have infinite space between us, but can use understanding and communication to build bridges to one another. Whether times feel good or bad, it is so important to step back and be mindful of the space between. Then we can truly come together in a balanced way, in sunlight and in shadow.