It was the first one.
Kevin sat on the bed while I tried to distract myself with putting up clothes and folding socks. It was the only thing I could do while trying to figure out how to have the same conversation about the same topic. That’s how I’m built. While I tried to match socks, I was also mentally trying to sort through my own feelings before approaching his. My lips were cemented shut, at least until I could figure out how to say how I was feeling from my heart and not my hurt. Meanwhile, Kevin was trying to use any phrase to open me up, expressing his deepest thoughts to verbally navigate it together. He pondered aloud, hoping I would say something in response.
When we finally opened up, the tears began to flow. The scrapes and bruises of our own person are again exposed, and, regardless of the topic, we always come back to the core; we perceive and experience life differently. In the same way our love languages are different, so are our hurt languages. The gestures we need to experience love are as unique as the actions and words, or lack thereof, we regard as hurt.
We agreed that we would love, honor, and accept the whole self of each other: our expressions of love, our hurt languages, our shortcomings, our successes, and our failures to each other. In our lives, we will succeed in romancing and honoring each other, but we will also fail each other. It is the failure that provides opportunities for us to make a decision to grow or deteriorate. It is as small as the choice to speak from your hurt or from your heart and extend grace to the other.
This first time, we chose Grace.