I had a favorite sweater I loved wearing. It wasn't too bulky but was still warm and cozy. The only problem was the threads were loosely woven together. It would snag on things, so I had to be ever so careful when I wore it.
I was always mindful of the delicate nature of this sweater so I could protect it, make it last and enjoy wearing it time and again. Until one day I was in a hurry. I grabbed some things I needed for a meeting and rushed to my car. I tossed all my stuff over to the passenger seat, including a spiral notebook—whose metal-binding wire was caught on my sleeve. As I pulled my arm toward the steering wheel, the notebook came with it and pulled a huge snag in my sweater.
I unhooked myself and assessed the damage.
What I should have done was take the sweater off, put something else on, and later taken the time to repair the snag the correct way. But in the rush of all I had going on, I made the tragic decision to do what seemed easiest in the moment. I snipped the loose threads and hoped for the best. That tragic decision started an unraveling process that ended the life of that beautiful sweater.
Unraveling in marriage
A few days ago my husband and I got into an argument. In front of the kids. Over something insignificant. Right before we were about to head out the door to go on a date.
In the heat of the argument, he announced the date was off. He no longer wanted to go. And honestly, I no longer wanted to go either. I wanted to go sit in a coffee shop by myself and make a mental list of all the reasons I was right. All the reasons he was wrong. And justify my perspective. But it's at this exact moment of resistance that an unraveling can begin.
Doing what seems easy in the moment often isn't what's best for the long term. I pushed for us to still go on our date. It wasn't fun. It wasn't easy. There were tears. There were awkward stretches of silence. But we pushed through the resistance we both felt and eventually talked.
Talking through the snags. The pulls. The things that threaten to unravel us. There is a delicate nature to marriage. It's so easy to forget that. It's so easy to take it all for granted and stop being careful. Stop being mindful. Stop being protective. Stop embracing the unrushed yes of investing in those we love. The unraveling can happen so quickly.
Tying the knot
An unrushed yes means I've said no to enough other things so I can say yes to the spontaneous moments of relationship. It’s being together and relishing that togetherness even with all its imperfections. My unrushed yes that day led me to apologize. By admitting I was wrong and asking for forgiveness. Repairing the snags the right way — tying a knot and tucking it back into the weave of our relationship fabric.
Isn't it funny that when we get married it's called "tying the knot"? For us, this wasn't just an act at the altar. It's something we have to do over and over again.
All relationships require this tying of the knot in one way or another. And all that weaving together of lives happens when we give an unrushed yes to connecting with others. Conversational threads are what make up the fabric of relationships. We must take time — make time — to talk.
Where do we find this unrushed yes? We make it. We make time for relationships by thinking about them when scheduling our lives.
I must leave space and look for opportunities to give an unrushed yes — leave space for the times my marriage gets snagged and I need to tie the knot all over again.