Love, no matter the form, is beautiful. It often goes through phases.
Have you ever heard of a parent who said ‘I just don’t love my child anymore’? I haven’t. There are many times that, as a parent, love isn’t the first emotion you feel when looking at your child, but it is still there deep down, and when you calm down and things have settled, that love finds its way back to the surface. In marriage these phases can seem like the end. It is important to enjoy each phase of it that your marriage will go through.
It is like that with marriage sometimes. Early in our marriage my husband once said that as long as there were more good times than bad he would never divorce me. How could he say that if he loved me? I didn’t understand it at the time but because he had been hurt before and he didn’t trust anyone. He didn’t understand that marital love has phases and goes through many changes. At that time I didn’t know the stages of love in a marriage and I was very hurt and offended.This marriage thing isn't easy - no matter who you share it with. Click To Tweet
Tall, dark, handsome. Those characteristics mean different things to different women. Tall for me at 5’2 is 5’7. But if I were 5’7 I would want a man that was 6′ or better. Finding the ONE for you isn’t always a matter of finding the one who is everything on your “Perfect Man” list. Sometimes finding the one is a matter of realizing the one you are with is more than adequate for your needs – he is your PERFECT.
Some things are almost essential to have in common, religion for example. But even that can be challenged with examples of couples who are of different religious backgrounds. My husband and I do not have the same beliefs. While we did talk about it before we married, time changes us and priorities shift for one or the other.
What is the secret to overcoming major issues in your marriage? I think it is understanding love. It is understanding how your partner needs to feel love. There is a book that sparked a movement about love languages. It has been a lifesaver in my understanding of how my husband loves me.
The excited feeling of being in love fades between 18-30 months scientists say, so why after all these years, am I so stupidly in
love with my husband? I am still stupid over him because he has proven to me that he loves me. In all the different trials that a relationship goes through, his love is there.
Just as parents have the ability to love their children and be angry with them at the same time, wives have that same ability. Wives have a view of their spouse no one else has. You see his weaknesses, but not just the weakness, the reason behind it.
If he has a hard time making friends, you know why. It could be that he was never socially adept, or it could be that he has been hurt by close friends in the past. You as his wife have that insight. That is a gift.
A gift like that is not to be abused or mistreated, no matter how angry you are. When you struggle to find other couples to do things with, know that as much as you want that, he wants to give that to you. But because of the insight you have into him, you know why he cannot. At that point you have two options.
One option is to continue to bring it up and let him know how miserable you are. The other option is to begin to do things with girlfriends so that you have the social outlet you need while keeping socialization from becoming a problem area in your marriage.
Get Past the Butterflies – There is Better Stuff Ahead
When you look at him are you going to have butterflies every time? No. If you do, you are still in the ‘in love’ phase and the ‘lasting love’ phase hasn’t kicked in yet. The first two years of my marriage my husband would say ‘I love you’ and my response would be ‘I know you love me, but are you IN LOVE with me?’
Queue the rolled eyes and his response ‘yes honey, I am IN LOVE with you.’ I was so scared of not being IN LOVE that I could have easily caused issues in our marriage. Luckily for me, he had that intimate knowledge of me, and he knew my fear of being unlovable.
Does he have faults, yes, and a boatload of them. If I dwell on them I get angry and hateful, straining the relationship. When that happens whose fault is it? Is it his for having faults, or mine for my reaction to those faults? I say it is mine. Who doesn’t have faults? One man that ever lived, and to our knowledge never married I might add.
So if fair is fair, I can expect him to react to my faults the same way I do to his. Do I want him to rant and rave, nagging me to death when I don’t put the car in the garage every time I come home? No. I don’t want him reacting that way to me so why would it be acceptable for me to react that way to him? It isn’t.
Marriage takes two people working together. There is no exception to that rule. But you can increase your odds of a successful marriage not by attempting to change your spouse, but by changing yourself. Ask yourself how many times a week do you look at him and think about how handsome/ smart/ intelligent (fill in the blank) he is? Love is a mind affair, not a heart one. The heart may have gotten you into this, but the mind – your mind will keep you on course.
I challenge you in this new year to think about how you love others and how they love you. Are you speaking your spouses love language?