Today is the anniversary of my wedding. Exactly 5 years ago on March 19, 2011 I said, “I do” to Vince Amendola, the most amazing person I’ve ever known.
And yet six weeks ago, we consciously uncoupled. We decided we needed to go on separate journeys at this point in our lives. Who knows what the future holds, but right now we are not in a romantic relationship. Although this transition has been the most painful one of my life, both Vince and I are experiencing change and miracles so deep and incredible, we each have no doubts this is exactly what we’re supposed to be doing right now.
I don’t regret marrying Vince. I don’t see it as a mistake in any way shape or form. It was exactly what we were meant to do. It molded us and changed us and it was a beautiful time together. But my views on marriage have obviously evolved in these past 5 years since I joined my life with Vince in a public ceremony. Here is the main way my view on marriage has changed.
The commitment of marriage, when revered as more important than Spirit’s leading, can cause 2 people to stay together past the point of healthy love.
Marriage, when it is the free and desirous joining of 2 lives, is a beautiful thing. Two people who come together to share their lives with each other — well nothing is more beautiful than that. But when God leads in another direction, through desire and joy and peace, and the commitment of marriage stifles us from following Spirit’s leading, the marriage that was once beautiful can become stagnant, unhealthy, unnaturally binding, and is reduced to obligation. The fruit of obligation is fear, deadness, stifled personal growth, and resentment, to name a few. The fruit of following desire is freedom, love, peace, joy, growth, and passion.
I miss having Vince as my partner, as my husband. A LOT. Much more than I thought I would, actually. And there have been sometimes when people write to me about the commitment of marriage and how God definitely does not want us to be separated, and I feel a little envious of those people who just follow the commitment of marriage. I’ve actually had the thought, “If I could have just followed that commitment above Spirit, I wouldn’t be going through all this pain right now, and he would still be by my side.”
But then I talk to my best friend on the phone – yes, that’s still Vince, we are closer than ever — and I hear the LIFE in his voice. I hear how ALIVE and JOYFUL he is. More alive than I’ve ever known him to be. And while it is painful that he is not with me in the van, that we don’t eat meals together, that he doesn’t call me “baby”anymore, I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that what we are doing is so good.
Vince is finding himself, apart from me. Apart from obligation. He is coming alive, and so am I. And so whatever the future holds for our relationship, I am confident to my very bones that what we have done in letting each other go, and in allowing our marriage vows to be held loosely, is exactly what God wants for us right now. The fruit of this letting go is freedom, peace, love, expansion, growth, greater courage, and wholeness.
I am grateful I can celebrate this day, our anniversary, with love in my heart for my best friend. The future is unknown. But in THIS moment, I’m happy, free, alive and full of love. And I trust God with the future.