Monday, March 3, 2014

What Makes You Come Alive: A Marriage Letter

Dear Jim,

I so often want more of you. Forgive me (you've always given so much), but I find myself a little breathlessly expectant, lately: your headlights slicing through darkness, your tires crunching over gravel. One door slams; another swings open, and--as the children climb your legs and talk your ear off--I just keep waiting for my turn at you. You're always mine before it's all said and done,

but it's the "said" part I feel inclined to discuss, here and now.

I'm sorrier than I can say, Honey, that I had just assumed your love language to be physical touch, same as mine. It's always been so hot between us that I could hardly believe the "words of affirmation" result to that test, but then I reckoned: I am, after all, a woman of many words. I can affirm with the best of them.

(Maybe a man in need of words will turn to a poet surely as a woman in need of physical touch will turn toward a body she likes: that of a tall and broad-chested tackle, in this case.)

I thought back to 1994 and the scandalous sorts of words I wove into notes and poems and whispered into your ear just before turning on my heel and walking away. I'd guessed myself unforgettable for other reasons (no need to write those out in this forum, right, Darling?), but maybe it was the words. Maybe it was, and my heart leaps at that thought because I hope to have words--even if other things fade--until the very end. I am so much of so many words.

I think back to 2007, that fleeting "Lips of an Angel" time, then South Boston and your swinging wide the door, your eyes a well of desire and suffering at least eleven years deep. You needed something, clearly, and what I'd neglected to consider from at least one angle is this: we stayed up most all night but didn't make love; we talked and talked and cried and talked and talked, and in the morning, you were a new man.

And I'm sorry, My Love, for those angry times of wielding words as weapons and just as sorry for those missed opportunities to fill lazy, open spaces with words that would've affirmed, blessed, built up. I know what makes you come alive, now; get on home and breathe on me (you fabulous effing man), and I'll speak love in wave after wave.

Yours ever,

Photo by Anjie Kay

**writing in community with Amber
**click here to read the marriage letter I wrote, last month


  1. So good - great reminder even to me, as my and Eric's love languages are the same, and I so often don't use my words the right way where it really counts.

  2. Beautiful. What love.

    Peace <3

  3. Ooooo, brandee, I loved the last line. If he was t home in minutes within reading this I am shocked. Lol.

  4. love your honesty in this.

    love is a process...a learning and understanding...a figuring out...a maintenance/growing/ take work...and def humility. smiles.

    dad is ok. he had a major heart attack. he coded. they had to shock him 3 times
    to get him back. they put a stint in. his numbers are stabilizing. they are watching the pressure in his head because they thought he was bleeding on the brain. but we are in the wait and see. thanks for the prayers.

    1. Still praying for your family, Friend. Let me know how it's going.

  5. What a fancy photo! It makes me think of the 1920s somehow and Art Deco style. I appreciate your willingness to change your behavior when you learn that's needed for your husband to receive your love better. That sounds so simple but can be so hard.

    May God grant many more years of love for you two together.

  6. Good grief, Brandee. This is amazing.

  7. Beautiful, Brandee. Our words have such power. Thanks for the reminder.

  8. Such good words. You wrote so honestly and beautifully. (As an aside, I've been meaning for years to read about the love languages. Of course I have my hunches, but I'd still like to.)

    1. Do it! At least take a quick test, here:

      Jim and I both have "quality time" as our #2, and we both care very little about "acts of service" and especially "receiving gifts."

      The thing to understand is that everyone tends to express love in the way (s)he hopes to receive it, so--without this information, for example--I might think I'm being as loving as possible in going for Jim's bod when it might bless and help him infinitely more for me to spend some time supporting him verbally.

  9. That man of yours.....he must be beating his chest right now feeling like the MAN! If this doesn't build him up I'm not sure what would. WOW! I'd say you are going to have your love language fulfilled after this letter, I can learn from you. (smile)

  10. Beautiful!! Thanks for sharing.

  11. Wow...I almost have no words...that. was. beautiful! And what a way to fill up his "actual" love language. I adore that you love him so deeply. I am moved by your words and the assumptions you made - it pulls me into the idea of reconsidering my own husbands languages. Well done. Truly. Thank you for making me "think".