These days people speak of true love as being a fairy tale come true, he’s my ‘knight in shining armor come save me from everlasting woe’, or to save us from those cold winter nights alone. Love itself is so misunderstood that some find themselves in unhealthy relationships purely because being with somebody is better than being with nobody, as if being alone means to be unwanted. I’m not sure when exactly we equated being alone with being unwanted. I always enjoyed solitude, though ones thought patterns certainly define how we see things and as we all know, solitary confinement is used as a method of punishment in the penal system for a reason.
I didn’t fall in love with my husband: falling infers a large degree of involuntary action, as if I had no control over where our relationship took us. No, I walked in to love with my husband with my eyes wide open.
My husband had been married previously, I too had been in prior relationships so we were well aware of what we did and did not want in a relationship and our focus ultimately was marriage. Despite what the world tells you it is perfectly okay to have marriage goals, you don’t have to chase someone who doesn’t want to marry you, it is okay to say “this is where we differ, thank you for your time”. In fact, my then-fiance had a list of questions that were deal breakers such as “Do you want to have children?”, “Have you ever hit someone?” and “How much time will we spend with our in-laws”. Thankfully he and I agreed on all of the above, and thankfully through our own experience we both had the self respect to not accept anything less.
Forgive me if I have burst your bubble but there is no fairy tale. That burning you feel in your bosom at the beginning of your romantic relationship could otherwise be defined as lust and I have learned unless I seek opportunities to fall in love with my spouse repeatedly, it will not see us through the year let alone the eternities.
Love, true love, comes over time, it is a choice you make over and over to keep loving regardless, it comes through putting the other before self, through humility, and through loving wholly as what might only be described as a reflection of the Saviors love. True love changed me in as little as our first year of marriage, in ways that have brought me to tears on many occasions, but in ways that have only ever drawn me closer to my husband than any feeling of lust ever could.
NB: This post was co-authored by my wonderful husband (once the shock had passed)