To heal: to make sound or whole
"You are married. Healing is not a profession but a way of life. Your spouse is not your patient but your flesh. Healing, then, is a task for your heart as well as your head and your hand. "
"Mutuality is accomplished by two whole persons; and if each partner truly intends to be but the fraction of a relationship (thinking my whole makes up half of us) he or she will soon discover that these halves do not fit perfectly together. The mathematics can work only if each subtracts something of himself or herself, shears it off, and lays it aside forever.
— Walter Wangerin Jr. (As For Me And My House: Crafting Your Marriage To Last)
Forty years ago this Saturday (April 23, 1971), my whole became a half of a new creation - a marriage. In fitting my half to my husband’s I have been healed - made sound and whole in a new way.
As Walter Wangerin says, a marriage only works if the two shear off parts of themselves. That happens over time, not at the altar, and the healing from it is an ongoing process, “a way of life”.
In our first year of marriage my mother died. We became parents. My husband went away for 4 ½ months for officer candidate training in the Coast Guard. It was a beginning that might have been too much for some marriages. But we clung to each other and promised that after that separation for Coast Guard training we’d never be apart again.
It wasn’t a promise we were able to keep - work and life have separated us physically many times over the years. But we also know now that the separations that harm a marriage aren’t the physical ones. The retreat into selfishness, the breech in communication - these are the separations that harm. Selfishness is there every day, whether I want to admit it or not. My attempts at communication often fall short - too many words, no words, the wrong words; a misinterpreted sigh or frown or tone of voice. Every day my husband forgives and accepts me and loves me despite my faults. God’s grace helps us heal the wounds we inflict on our marriage and it strengthens our love and commitment to each other.
My husband is a kind and generous man; a devoted, steadfast and faithful husband, a loving father who continues to set a fine example for his children. His love has carried me through every difficult moment. It has multiplied my joy many times over. It is my greatest blessing.