Family Life

Love the One Your With

It’s the time of year for a ton of love stories to infiltrate your feed. It makes sense. Cupid is all over stores, the Internet, marketing campaigns and more. This isn’t that post. How we met doesn’t work well for our love Story because we slowly developed a love. By slowly, I mean 6.5 years.

Falling in Love is not nearly as important as staying in love.

And that, my friends is what I’m writing about. Because I’m not married to the man I fell in love with over a decade ago, or even the one I married. I spent many years mourning that, but these days, I’m okay. After all, staying the exact same implies there has been no growth. I wouldn’t want that either.

Hubs and I met at a Youth Night when I was 15. He had just graduated from high school and was searching. Sitting there in a blue tee and holding a Bible I was intrigued. I already had a boyfriend and wasn’t interested in that so much as finding out what kind of 18 yo boy carries around a Bible. It turn out, one that was just discovering the Faith and God.

Our love Story has had many twists and turns including people insisting we were perfect for each other, him saying we would NEVER be more than just friends and me getting married to someone HE introduced me to. The one constant has been our interaction with each other through the Church. It’s where our friendship began, where we spent the bulk of our time while I was a teen and where he took me when I realized I had to leave my first marriage.

I’m grateful for that because Church has also been where I turned as life threw us curveballs.

If you asked me why I fell in love with my husband I would tell you it was the way he played with my nieces and nephews. I knew he would be an amazing father. My second reason was the way he stayed calm and loving in all situations. I can remember as I struggled with the pain of my divorce having him tell me I was worthy of love, that nothing in my life made me unworthy and he would always love me. Hubs was generous in spirit and everyone who met him knew that.

Seven years in the military and two deployments have changed him. A and E have some memories of him being that guy. C won’t. Does it make me sad? Of course it does. I had married a man who encouraged me to be my best self on a daily basis. I wanted to be worthy of his love and the life he gave me. And now, I know the tables have turned.

I encourage him to be a good man. To recognize that the pain from the past is not all of him but a piece of him. That God can heal his hurt and help him be a better man daily. There are days that I fail. There are days that he fails. I can’t fix the past. No one can.

So, I focus on the good things and I love him for those.

I could lament the old days, but why choose misery?

This wasn’t an easy point to get to. I remember after Hubs came home from Afghanistan talking to my mother and saying how frustrated I was and I wanted things to go back to what they were before. She told me I could choose to be right or I could be married. I don’t get to be both all the time.

And I’m not.

It’s funny. Instead of constantly being frustrated I’ve taken to using ABA tactics with my husband. Things I don’t like I quietly work on. Moreover, I work on myself. He’s happier and when he’s happier he has more time to woo me, to help me fall in love with him daily.

Today, as we washed dishes, I told him how I’ve been looking at Bluetooth headphones that TJMaxx sells. I haven’t bought them, but I consider them each time I go in. Without skipping a beat he told me he has a pair he barely uses and I’m welcome to them. In that moment, my heart swelled.

Hubs isn’t that up for any adventure, always making me laugh young man anymore, but he’s still generous of spirit. I’m in love with a different man today than I was ten years ago.

And friends, I’m okay with that.

Have you found that time and situations have changed your relationship? How do you make it work?

I encourage you to tell your spouse something you appreciate about him or her today.

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