Sunday, April 19, 2009

Love and Forgiveness

from Modern Love in the New York Times

What a sweet, powerful piece! You must go and read here.

Inevitably, we are different from our beloved, sometimes dramatically so, and these differences tend to get exacerbated under stress - like that of planning a wedding, or traveling abroad. As the author says:
I tend to dash into traffic, thinking I can surely make it to the median. My husband, who was the captain of the patrol boys in the eighth grade, has a tendency to hold out his arms at the curb: stand back!
When such different temperaments come into friction, sparks erupt.

The author explodes with frustration, but then:
Sure, I had tried to do this many times before in our years together, tried to imagine how he felt, but this was different. I was him. And I thought, how awful, how terrible this is, being him. All of my own indignation and all of my poor hurt feelings that had built up through the years were vaporized.

I knew, despite the good and joyful nuggets of our daily life, that it was a difficult — harrowing — proposition for him to live with someone who is so voluble and indiscreet and extravagantly enthusiastic, someone who is always saying “yes, yes, yes!” What a burden it must be, I must be, for someone who is quiet and private and focused, someone so careful in his deliberations.
What a profound realization, knowing that
the temperament of my husband, the temperament of that patrol boy, is my salvation. It is beyond the call of duty and maybe even love that he makes the effort, time and again, to keep me from running into traffic.
I wish such generosity and insight for all of us.

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