Sunday, August 11, 2013

Loving every day.

Falling in love.

Before I met my husband I would daydream of the wonderful things we would do together, what our life would look like.  Sipping mojitos at the beach, staring into one another's eyes over a candle light dinner, someone to tie the Christmas tree to the top of the car, holding hands down the street, making a mad dash in the rain and laughing hysterically when we're soaking wet.

Love doesn't really happen like that, and yet it does.  In bits and pieces throughout a lifetime together.  We have had momentary blips of movie perfect romance.  Yet our life is made up of the day to day.  The frustrations of a broken dishwasher, bills to pay, jobs to work, kids to care for.  Our conversations are not unending.  They are not amazing.  There are moments that we could talk for hours, lost in our own little world of togetherness, and others with nothing more than a small recant of the day before returning to our own devices.

At this point in our marriage, every story has been told one thousand times, our kisses are common, our love is quiet.  

We are coexisting.  We don't have a lot of magical, knock your socks off moments.

Our love is steadfast.

We laugh and we talk.  We make dinner and go on walks.  We play frisbee.  We cuddle on the couch and work near one another.  

I remember when I watched other's marriages in this stage and I wondered if they loved each other.  

When the sparks and fire are gone, what's left?  I have found it is a slow and steady burning.  The coals are hot, but the flames are dormant.  

It may seem as if I am making our marriage sound old and worn out.  Yet it is so far from that.  It simply isn't the exciting, heady arousal of new love.    

We have fallen into a rhythm of love.  We know each other, like a favorite sweater that fits perfectly.  We drink our marriage like a well aged wine, slow, lingering, tasting each sip, and savoring the complexities of merging flavors. 

I tend to be the one in the relationship that needs more reassurance.  I want things to be picture perfect, always.  We fight and I wonder if we've lost the love.  We don't talk beyond good morning and good night and I worry we are falling out of sync.  

I get in my head.  And that is the worst place you can go.  You see, your mind will lie to you and play tricks on your heart and emotions.  We could go days with nothing more than a quick kiss on the way out the door and my husband will be perfectly happy.  He never frets about our marriage.  He is in it hook, line, and sinker.  I'm the one wondering when it's going to end.  A heart stretched tense by watching others walk out the door, keeps me from getting too comfortable in any relationship setting.  

It has taken me too long to realize I am the one putting pressure on this to be perfect.  To be movie scene awesome at every turn.  And when it's not, I'm cueing the departure music in my head.  

Because my head is a dangerous place to go.  It turns tricks and breaks apart what I love most.  

Marriage is a beautiful and mighty union.  It holds and teaches, strengthens and grows.  It is also a choice.  Each day you choose to prefer, to love, to give, to nurture, to sacrifice, to enjoy this life side by side.  It will take chunks out of your dreams, the illusion of a life together.  Until you realize that in its imperfection, its boring day to day, there is astounding beauty.  There is strength like iron, gut wrenching joy, peace, mercy, a grace you didn't realize you deserved or were capable of giving.

Don't let go, if you wake up and look at your spouse, remembering the person you fell in love with and wondering where they went.  Don't feel discouraged when the weight of life crushes and grows you.  Each day you choose to walk hand in hand, to not falter when the other falls, to not give up when they look away, to not judge when they lose hope, to love fully without worry of return.


It is the beautiful irony of time, holding two together, while everything desperately tries to tear them apart.


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