Three years ago, you gave a relative stranger a gift that many people would be afraid to give. You gave another woman permission to be best friends with your husband.
Any time a spouse finds a best friend outside of our marriage, it can be difficult. We’ve been taught that we’re supposed to be the only friend that our husband or wife really needs, so any intrusion on that ideology can already be a bit of a strain. Many people give up outside friendships when they get married, so giving your husband the gift of any friendship outside of your relationship already speaks to your character.
But your generosity extends beyond. Your husband not only found a close friend outside of your relationship, but he found that friendship with a woman. With me.
Most people would shut that down. All of the marriage advice says sure, men and women can be friends. As long as it’s under a very strict set of circumstances, the most important being, they can never be alone together. Of course, we had broken that rule before we even realized that we were friends, but certainly wisdom would dictate that as intimacy grew between your husband and this other woman, the right thing to do would be to demand that the friendship happen only when you could be around.
But you, being the amazing woman who you are, recognized a much deeper wisdom. You saw that whether or not you were physically present, you are always there when Rich and I are together.
You are there when he tells a story about your sons. You are there when he shares about adventures that the two of you had before I knew either of you. You are there in the wee hours after a gig when he sighs about how he can’t wait to climb into bed beside you. You are there in the unending declarations of affection and admiration that he speaks about you.
But you are there even when you’re not a part of our conversation.
Because you have given permission for Rich and me to develop a deep, genuine, pure love for one another, you have firmly embedded yourself as a part of that love.
Love that is forced to hide or that is couched in fear can mutate into something ugly and hurtful; something far removed from love. But love that is allowed to thrive without shame and without artificial boundaries encompasses everything and everyone that it touches. It holds all relationships in its grip and reminds us of the pain that can be caused by violating that love. It can be messy and even frightening in its power, but it is never exclusionary, and your ability to see and embrace that speaks volumes to your insight and your courage.
Thank you for trusting Rich. Thank you for trusting me.
Thank you for trusting Love.
We’re in the very beginning stages of planning for next year’s Sacred Friendship Gathering in Chicago. Go like the Facebook page for updates about dates and speakers as they become available!