Rite of Passage Fifteen –All At Sea –
1959 I am twenty-five years old
Q. Jealousy and desire are not unusual “bedfellows” but they are usually suffered in private. So you think they should remain so…or does it somehow help to see the survival take place?
At this moment, when pencil meets paper, I have no idea how to handle this very touchy subject. All I know is that it must be included, even through the emotions it may reveal were amongst the most uncomfortable for me at the time. Even the thought of putting them before you is difficult!
As a direct result of my perceived indifference to Treena during my six months of preparing for her and Tessa’s arrival in New Zealand, I had only written six times!
On arrival, Treena was astonishingly beautiful and after six months apart I was quite preoccupied with sharing her bed…okay, so I really hadn’t thought of much else for many long weeks.
So, why hadn’t I written to declare my desire?
When she told me that she had had an “affair of the heart” with a kind and attentive ships officer, my life suddenly crashed! “What does this mean about …tonight?” was my immediate thought.
Then came her ultimatum, “I’m going to give you three months to prove that you still love me…us.” She drew Tessa close.
Obviously, my desire remained –not unlike throwing water on a fat caused fire. Jealousy flared alongside desire and raged within me.
This was my first love; the love of my life was giving me three months to prove that love!
Desire and jealously combined to provide an immediate answer to my apparent indifference!
I became the least indifferent husband on the planet!
So…what about now?
In less than one week she was convinced and we shared the very inexpensive secondhand bed for the first time in over half a year.
Desire was quenched but jealousy remained deeply imbedded where it danced a tormented tango with self-pity and a sense of betrayal.
At this time it was enough that my love had been accepted –for that, I was profoundly grateful. Our son Andy arrived nine months later to be our ‘love’ child.
Looking back over all these years I have come to fully appreciate the use of a frank discussion entered into by both parties, even with an umpire, to explain how it ‘felt’ to be on what looked like opposite sides.
In tennis, the umpire and his line judges decide if a ball was ‘in’ or ‘out’. In a marriage, the umpire becomes a counselor, pastor or friend? Someone who is impartial and above all a good listener who asks questions that bring clarity and don’t see themselves as a “fixer”.
The only fix that ever lasts is one that both sides come to see as both reasonable and moderate and therefore able, as a result, to be used as a basis for both forgiveness and acceptance.
It was to take another fifteen years for me to find that counselor and so, within those ‘unattended years’, the apparently buried seed of jealousy began to germinate.
PLEASE seek an umpire in whom you both trust, one that is respectful and kind and do so…sooner, not later, and stop playing brinksmanship with your emotions.
“No one alone is wrong, no one alone is right. Love is ours, not flight”
This week I read Treena’s poem Easter Day