…and loving it!
My husband and I recently had a much needed date night at The Hall Arts Hotel in Dallas. Dubbed “approachable luxury” this art-filled escape in the Dallas Arts District provided visually stunning abstract pieces, beautiful black and white photographs and unique statues and sculptures. The drinks at the hotel bar are named after themes in the art work displayed and the rooms were posh yet comfortable.
Like most couples our daily lives revolve around work, and school, kids schedules and the occasional bath (for the kiddos, we bathe daily- most of the time). Lately our lives have been cloaked in an added layer of stress which has, at times, resulted in harsh tones and unspoken grievances.
More than that, we had stopped communicating. We had stopped appreciating and supporting one another. We’d ceased to hold one another accountable for our actions and words and forgotten to allow one another, and ourselves, some grace as our family adjusts to all that is new. We were raw and exhausted.
Easing into the evening, we arrived ahead of our dinner reservation and took seats at a somewhat private table and ordered cocktails. While we waited for the drinks to arrive we found ourselves commenting on the art, the other guests, and the live music. Our chairs were kind of low and we laughed that if I didn’t stand up just right, the people behind me were gonna get a nice look at my undies.
At seven o’clock the hostess retrieved us from the lounge and led us to our table which overlooked the patio. To begin, we ordered roasted cauliflower soup and a charcuterie board (I order those every chance I get because I finally learned to say charcuterie and I’m proud of myself, lol). Having relaxed a bit we delved into the real talk that needed to happen.
I spoke of my fear that he would resent me for past decisions made about our kids and he shared that he felt I had one foot out the door. We were reminded that in moments when we think we are on the same page, we couldn’t be father apart. I said I needed more support – that I needed to be asked what I needed once in while. He expressed that he needs to feel seen and heard – like a relevant member of the family. It was the most authentic conversation we’d had in awhile.
We finished off the evening with an apple tart and key lime parfait and then retreated to our room. We are “old” so at the very late hour of 9:30 pm we were ready for bed (and frankly looking forward to a full nights rest without our 7-year-old coming to snuggle two-thirds of the way through).
Our daughter called just as we were beginning to get settled. She was worried about falling asleep without us home. My husband patiently talked her down and I changed into a flirty undergarment set. I was kind of feeling myself so I began taking pictures of myself in the mirror. Realizing what was happening my husband tried desperately to wrap up the call with our daughter. I found complete amusement in the situation so I continued snapping away.
Finally managing to settle our daughter and hang up the phone my husband looked over at me. Smiling, I handed him my phone. This was no small gesture and my husband recognized it for what it was. I was offering to be vulnerable. I wanted him to be in control of the camera, to capture me through his eyes. It was both scary and emboldening. I felt exposed but also completely beautiful. It was a powerful demonstration of trust and it brought us a renewed sense of connection.
It felt really good to be open with my husband, to talk about my fears, wants and desires. To let him see me in a vulnerable state and to see myself through his eyes. I felt exposed for the first time in a long time and it was great!