They carry far more power than we give them credit for. Some words lose their meaning with use. Others become lost in translation. When life really throws a curve ball there are no words. There’s just a void to be filled.
I’ve learned an incredible amount about words this past week: How to choose them wisely, how to force them to be said, how to listen better to the words of others.
So let’s start with a word I’ve been hearing a lot lately:
I just called mine off. The perfect, beautiful, fall, Maine wedding to my partner of almost eight years will not be happening in six weeks.
Here’s another word:
Somewhere along the relationship track, I underestimated the power of this word. Marriage is (theoretically) forever. Or at least until death do us part. Which, for all we know, is the only forever there is. When I caught myself thinking, “If it doesn’t work out, we can always just get divorced” I should have seen the red flag. But I didn’t. Because I didn’t want to. Because of another word. The most loaded word of all:
To be clear, I didn’t call off the wedding because I didn’t love my fiancé. I love him now and will continue to love him no matter what happens down the road. He’s always put me and our relationship ahead of everything else. He loves me. But there is more to a marriage (another big word) than love. How each person gives and receives that love is of equal importance. Then, of course there’s the difference between loving someone and being in love with someone. Semantics matter.
Through this experience I’ve also learned a great deal about the importance of using my words, no matter how vulnerable they make me feel. Without going into too many details about our personal life, it’s safe to say that my fiancé and I were not communicating well prior to the decision to call off the wedding. There was no fighting or bickering. There was just an absence of expression. The words we did use lacked transparency. Avoidance and acceptance (in the negative sense) clouded our discussions.
Speaking of words, I have many more I could say on the topic. But for right now, I’d like to let the dust of this week’s decision settle. I want to respect my relationship’s privacy and let it heal however it’s meant to.
With that, I’ll leave you with one parting word:
Courage to use your words when the time comes for them.
Because it will.
And you’ll know, deep down, exactly what to say.