Bob and I dated briefly in college. We broke up twice. The first time we probably needed space to see what else was out there. The second time we were afraid to commit to a future of unknowns for two people who were on the threshold of life after graduation. He graduated and I stayed to finish my last year.
Both breakups were painful and depressing. I spiraled, questioned my life choices, had a hard time getting out of bed, and became fearful of the simplest decisions needed to move forward.
After the second breakup in the fall of my senior year he came to see me in May. We got engaged – and I left for a summer tour singing with a music ministry group from the university while he was working full time in his first church appointment. We didn’t have cell phones or the internet. We had weekly phone calls, snail mail – and our vulnerability.
We got married two weeks after my tour ended although we had been broken up and long distance longer than we had ever been together.
Our vulnerability was the thread that held us in connection and conversation. We talked about our fears. We discussed our individual paths. We read the same books. We talked about the things we believed were important in life. We talked about jobs and family. We decided that our vulnerability together was stronger than the questions that kept us apart.
40 years later we are still using our vulnerability together to solve the world’s problems. And we have discovered, that often it is the case in most relationships and communities, that when folks allow themselves to be vulnerable the best work takes place.
I think sharing vulnerability is what what brought Sherree and I together as well!
I can see how you 2 bonded. You’re both so curious and intelligent people and your self esteem is healthy too. Honestly, I think back on my marriage and question why we just couldn’t be vulnerable together. It was a question of vulnerability that we each brought to the table when we wed. The question was one of trust. I don’t think one can be vulnerable Together if it can be used against you at any given time. You and Bob have developed a sustaining relationship with purpose and intent that withstands the burden of aging and change. I respect that.