Well, it’s been a hot minuet since I last wrote but we’ve had a busy and amazing summer (more about that in other posts). Today I want to talk about is love and marriage (just try not to think about the theme song to Married With Children when I say that).
Today is a big day in our house, it’s David and I’s 19th wedding anniversary. I spent a lot of time the last few days thinking about how this cancer diagnosis has affected our marriage and besides having children, there has been nothing more transformative to our marriage than that.
I believe that there are two kinds of love in a marriage or partnership; “romantic” love and “intentional love” Romantic love is a feeling, it’s what draws you together in the first place. It’s desire and wooing and swooning and all the things Hollywood and Disney represent love to be. Intentional love is a choice that you make and the actions that reflect that choice. I truly believe a successful marriage requires both types of love, with intentional love being the cake and romantic love being the icing on top.
I’m not a marriage guru, I’m not here to give advice or even insight. I’m only taking notice of and sharing what I’ve experienced over the last 20 years and how our marriage is different from 5, 10, 19 years ago. You see, David and I married really young. He was 23, I was 21. I sometimes joke that we were too young to realize we were so young. David said something to me about 5 years ago that has always stuck in my mind. He said that we may have been young when we got married, but in a sense we grew up together. We became adults together. Everything we have, everything we’ve achieved, we’ve achieved together.
Over the years we’ve had ups and downs. Times when we were too tired or occupied with raising babies and building a business to put each other first. Times when the romantic love flew out the window and we were left working on a relationship built on commitment and the strong desire to make this work. Times when we held each other, grieving over the loss of two pregnancies, grandparents and a beloved uncle.
There have also been times of absolute joy when we were so pleased with each other that our marriage was taken to another level. Three of those times were the days our babies were born. They were the days we accomplished purchasing our first home, and being satisfied in the careers we’d built for ourselves. The times we took trips together and explored places we’d not been to and learned things we didn’t know before.
Through both the ups and the downs, David has remained and will always be my best friend and this new phase of our lives and our marriage has taken our love for one another to a whole new level. I have never felt more loved by my husband. He is a true example of intentional love and it is not easy. Choosing to love me, to be committed to me and our family means more now than it ever has before. It means hospital stays and illnesses. It means taking up the slack when I’m too tired to do anything. It means pulling more than his fair share. It means working harder to make up for the smaller income I’m now contributing to our family. It means sometimes sacrificing what he wants for what his family needs. Most importantly, it means being the shoulder for our children to lean on when they’re scared about what’s happening to their mom, even when his heart is breaking about what is happening to his wife. David has done and is doing all of this and my love for him has grown beyond measure.
David, you are my best friend. You are what home means to me and what love looks like to our kids and I. I thank you for all that you do and for choosing me and choosing us.