Learning to Dance

My husband and I fell in love while dancing. That’s us in the picture (so young!) cast opposite each other in the play Dancing at Lughnasa.

Fast forward 16 years: our family of five (two parents, two children, one dog) lives in a 1,000-square-foot house where most of the dancing we do involves dodging each other in the hallway. Until recently, if my husband and I crossed paths in a doorway or other tight space his modus operandi was to back up and let me go through first. But not anymore.

In the last couple of months, as he’s learned more about what’s caused his depression, he’s been challenged to express himself more, give voice to his feelings, and advocate for himself. So now when we come to an impasse – physical or otherwise – we’ve agreed to keep moving forward and find a way through. No more backing up (or down). We’re learning how to move through the space together (in other words, dance).

In many ways that’s the metaphor for all that we’re going through, as we renegotiate our relationship based on the new personality that comes with and from his healing. I’ll admit, the thought of a new/different relationship initially frightened me, but now it attracts me – like those early days of dancing together. Even stumbling has become fun, because it’s still forward movement.

And while some things are changing, the important things aren’t. I’m still being held in the same strong arms, looking into the same beautiful eyes, and dancing with the man who wooed me in the first place. How many people can say that?


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