From our first date to getting engaged, to having a baby and walking down the aisle, my life has been forever changed because of my husband.
Recently, I was looking at him thinking about how much I loved him and wondered how different my life would be without him. I started thinking about where our love story began and I tried to recall the day I knew I fell in love with him. I began to realize there really wasn’t a precise moment where I said to myself, “I’m falling in love with this man.”
I guess it’s because I never fell in love with my husband.
Maybe I’m thinking too outside of the box. But when I think of falling in love I think of being swept off of my feet with never-ending butterflies and believing he is perfect in every way. I think of an undying romance and a relationship full of passion that I never knew existed. When I think of falling in love, I think of feeling vulnerable; of being scared that my heart is in his hands and he could break it if he chooses to.
I never felt this way with my husband.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have the butterflies in the beginning. I did and I still get them from time to time, four years later. But I know that the butterflies in my stomach will come and go. I know that we sometimes get stuck in a routine and often are caught up in this thing called life. The butterflies won’t always be there. I know we still love each other more and more every day because we chose each other. I don’t have unrealistic expectations in my marriage. Our marriage isn’t a love song, a book inspired by Nicholas Sparks or one a little girl dreams of. Our marriage is real. He doesn’t have to sweep me off my feet. I’ll be happy if he sweeps the floor. I guess I find love in the simplest forms.
I know he’s not perfect. As we’ve grown together I’ve seen him at his highs and I’ve seen him at his lows. Nothing makes me love him more than the times he opens up to me and shows me weakness. The times where he needs to find strength in me and needs me to let him know everything is going to be okay. Nothing is more attractive to me than my husband being exhausted from a hard day at work but still lying next to me at night fighting his sleep to ask about my day. In these moments I know I’ve found love.
Our romance dies. All the time. I mean sometimes our romance doesn’t just die, it’s tortured before a slow and painful death. It isn’t candlelit dinners and kissing in the rain. Our marriage is trying to have dinner on the table by 6:00 and more times than I’d like to admit, that dinner is a frozen pizza. It’s reading bedtime stories to our little girl and looking at each other with pure joy because we made this miracle. Our kind of romance is a quick beer at the local bar and a movie before rushing to the babysitter afterward to pick up our daughter. In these not so romantic moments, I find love.
Between a job, a toddler, a house to take care of, dinner to be made and life getting in the way, we don’t always have the energy to have a marriage full of passion. Most days it’s just not realistic for us and that’s okay. Despite being tired, I still smile at night because I am lying next to my best friend. Tomorrow will likely be another crazy day and we will do it all over again. Our marriage isn’t an amazing love story. We are simply two people who chose to do life together. Among the chaos, I often stop to look at him and I still see nothing but love.
My husband has never made me feel like I should be scared to love him. I’ve never felt like he might break my heart. I knew when we took a leap of faith and decided to love each other forever that he meant it. He has always made me feel safe. That’s what I’ve always wanted in a husband; I needed to know that he was in it for me. I don’t need a Prince Charming. I need a partner, my other half. My heart is so full of love for my husband because he’s never made me afraid to love him with all that I’ve got.
When I say “I never fell in love with my husband” I don’t mean I’m not in love with him. Believe me, I am. From day one, he’s been there for me. He’s been a shoulder to lean on, he wipes my tears, celebrates with me at my highs and is there for me at my lows. He’s been consistent, committed and everything I need. I am so deeply loved by him.
I guess I just don’t believe that love is something you can fall into and expect to live happily ever after. It’s just not that easy. Life is too unpredictable and chaotic to think that marriage is always flowers, romance, passion, butterflies and being swept off of my feet. To me, the feeling of falling in love is only short term. It’s the honeymoon stage where unrealistic expectations exist. I choose to love him beyond that because I want our marriage to last. I choose to believe that marriage is trial and error, hard work, dedication, compromise, and sacrifice.
I choose to work every single day at this marriage and I choose to love him every second of those days for the rest of my life. I choose to face the hard times with him and I choose to wake up next to him every morning. I choose to believe I can always be a better wife and I choose to believe we will be together forever. In my marriage, failure isn’t an option. I will never choose to fail. I chose forever.
I guess that’s why I never fell.