I met up with two friends recently that I hadn’t seen in ages.
We clinked glasses and agreed that it had been way too long since we did this.
When a reunion happens with friends that I haven’t seen in a while, one thing I always wonder is why, after so many failed attempts to make it happen, had we chosen this particular evening to get together?
In some cases, it’s days or weeks before I figure it out. But tonight the question was answered for me immediately.
A moment after we took our first sip, my girlfriend took a deep breath and blurted out that her husband had left her the night before. She called it a trial separation.
I gasped and reached out my hand to console her. This was a huge surprise, and not the good kind.
For the rest of the evening we listened intently to what had happened. She told us about all the good years, and the terrible months that had followed them.
Though I was grateful she felt comfortable enough to share this with us, my heart was breaking for her.
As she recounted the last few weeks, I thought about how truly amazing it is when two people decide to spend their lives together. It’s beautiful, colourful, and downright magical. But it can also be difficult, frustrating, and painful.
Sometimes it feels like a miracle that any relationship survives.
I desperately wanted to offer my friend some advice or insight, anything to give her hope. I decided to share a special message I had written for a wedding I officiated recently.
“A marriage is a rainbow,” I told her.
When a couple first meets, the purple hue of the rainbow appears. The first colour band of their relationship. This shade is fun, dreamlike, and truly passionate.
With every touch you feel butterflies and fireworks. Your mind is filled with thoughts of them and nothing but them. It’s pure chemistry!
My friend smiled like she was remembering those days fondly.
“But a rainbow has many colours,” I continued. As the relationship buds and then blooms, passionate purple welcomes a glorious shade of red.
“Or anger,” she observed, giggling. That was definitely true.
I smiled and continued with my explanation.
Love hits you like a ton of bricks. It knocks the air out of your lungs, leaves you reeling, and it’s the best feeling in the world. It’s euphoric. Lust turns into trust, and commitment just feels right.
Her eyes started to water. “He said ‘I love you’ first,” she said, her voice cracking.
I let her hold onto that moment for a minute.
“A ceremony happens and the orange colour band is added,” I continued. The blissful first year of marriage. it’s delightful and sweet. Your rainbow is growing.
You have a ring on your finger, a smile on your face, and wedding photos to prove your love for each other.
Sexy lingerie, weekends full of fun, and dreams of an incredible future together. You truly believe you’re winning at marriage, and life is amazing!
“Such an amazing year,” she interjected. “We were broke, but incredibly in love.”
We all smiled.
“Eventually the soft hue of yellow is added,” I went on.
This colour feels like a hug, or a warm blanket on a cold day. It’s also track pants, no makeup, and weekends on the couch with Netflix and Doritos. It’s warm, comfortable contentment.
Yellow in any marriage is blissful, but this shade comes with a warning. Comfort can easily turn into boredom if the passion of purple and the fun of orange colour bands are forgotten.
“Isn’t that the truth,” she said, and we all laughed.
Then, without warning, blue appears. This tint is life. Reality crashing the party.
A parent dies. Someone loses their job. It’s depression, stress, ego and arguments. The blues. This particular band of colour can easily shake any relationship to its core.
When added to a tightly woven rainbow, some couples sail through, their relationship stronger than ever. Other couples fall apart; their rainbow fades from the sky.
A tear rolled down my friend’s cheek.
I reached out for her hand and said, “But hovering at the end of this wondrous spectrum is a beautiful shade of green.”
Forgiveness, empathy, compassion and kindness. These things are crucial for any relationship to survive through tough times like these. Green is a fresh start.
When we gaze at a rainbow in the sky, an individual colour doesn’t occur alone. All are present and beautiful, existing as one. For a marriage to flourish, each hue must be experienced, embraced, and endured.
As I finished my story, I looked into my friend’s teary eyes and said, “Your rainbow may have hid behind some storm clouds at the moment. But eventually the rain will stop and the sun will appear.”
“As this happens, my hope for the two of you is that you realize that your magnificent, glorious rainbow can shine brightly once again. Please don’t forget all the years and all the colours that went into creating your marriage.”
Most of all, remember that a rainbow always shines brightest after a storm.
Written by Heidi (Founder of the Positive People Army)
If you like this story you will love “Life is Terminal – 86,400 Seconds”
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