I have fallen in love with my husband. This is something that earns me gold stars, thumbs up, a world nodding and feeling that all is right again.
There are times when it is only struggle. The two of us negotiating a life lived too closely, following behind each other, grumpy and beligerant, wishing we were forging separate paths. There are times when it is just two separate people tied together by posessions and promises. All the differences highlighted. All desire fled.
So I practice falling in love with others. I remember the things that soften my brittle exterior. I remember how to be generous, how to flirt and to laugh. I remember about longing and the frightening power of my lust. Perhaps it is all for this, for this turning back to the status quo and remembering that I can love my husband.
He has put himself out for me. He has driven for hours. He has fought with me then reached out with one hand to check that I am ok. He is extremely beautiful and becomes more so with the passing of years. He is unlike me, the opposite of me. He is a stranger and yet, he is kind and at times generous. He has stuck by me. He has made mistakes as I have made mistakes. But we come to this moment now when I look up from chopping the broccoli and I have that small, falling in love feeling. I know better than to reach for him as he may just struggle away and I will return to the cycle of rejection and self loathing. Instead I smile a little. I thank him for his tolerance and his care. I think I am falling in love with you, I tell him and he comes to me.
The men I choose do not want to be touched. They need coaxing out of their isolation. They need time and patience. If I wait, eventually he will come to me. He comes to me now and there is love.