Friday, November 19, 2010

Til Death Do Us Part . . . For Real . . .

After being a sounding board for some friends, and reading some of your blogs out there about the realities of marriage, I thought that this favorite post of mine was worth a repost.


The Decision

When my dad toasted hubby and me at our rehearsal dinner, he pointedly looked at each of us and said, "Love is a decision that you make each and every day."  At the time, I was so engrossed in the moment and celebrating with my family and friends that I did not really comprehend what he was saying, but nine years later, I am beginning to grasp its meaning.

To fully love another human being, you have to recognize that love is not just a feeling, it is a choice that you need to actively make. Each. And. Every. Day.  Falling in love . . . getting that butterflies in your belly feeling, that feeling that you get when you are a little kid and you are swinging just a little bit too high on the swing set, that feeling that you get when you are just about to dive off the high diving board at the pool, that feeling . . . is the easy part. 

It is the staying in love that is the hard part.

You see, once life takes over, the ability to choose to love takes over too.  And, choosing to love your honey when every fiber in your being just wants to scream, beat your fists into a pillow, and just let honey have it, is so much more difficult than just allowing the hate and anger to consume you.

So, when hubby decided to scrape the snow and ice off of my window one morning before work and used our metal shovel to get the job done, I had to almost bite my knuckle raw in order to not kill him for putting 4 foot long scratches across my windshield with the shovel.  When I found out that we would have to replace the windshield, I had to switch knuckles and keep on gnawing in order to maintain control.    I had to actively remember that hubby was just trying to be nice when he scraped my windshield down. I had to choose to love hubby even when every little nerve in my body was so mad that I could strangle him.  There was no rosy, pretty pink love feeling at that moment.  Instead, there was a bold and cold decision that I knew that I had to make, even though I didn't feel like making it.  

And when I recently messed up our bank account, hubby had every right to be downright ticked at me.  I had screwed up and screwed up royally, and it was going to cost us extra money that we did not have.  But instead of taking it out on me, hubby immediately recognized how terrible I felt, swallowed his angry feelings, and gave me a much needed hug.  He chose to love me even when I felt completely unlovable.  He made a decision to love me. A decision that, at the time, was not easy.

Hubby and I have to make these decisions daily.  Whether it is his clothes on the floor or my penchant for leaving egg shells in the sink, if we let the little things bother us day to day, if we accused and used each other to get our petty anger out, then we would be chipping away at our own foundation as a couple and we would be in no shape to handle the big things when they inevitably creep up.

And they always do creep up.

By choosing to love each other, hubby and I are constantly reinforcing our foundation.  With every choice, our wall gets a little thicker, and with every decision, we are just a bit more solid.  Together.  That's not to say that we don't have our cracks, either.  We do.  But because our focus is to be proactive in our foundation and in our relationship, we can weather the cracks.  We can repair them. And we are that much stronger for it.

So, when we have to face a new life or an unexpected death, when we have to face financial adversity or a tragic loss,  or when we have to face a success or a defeat, hubby and I are ready.  

We have nine (now ten!) years of decisions to prove it.


  1. Wow, you sure got this one right! Very important point that us married folks need to remind ourselves of on a regular basis.

  2. I'm glad you reposted this because it has such an important message. You just said it perfectly; after the "butterflies" fly away and you are left with everyday life, it DOES become a choice that you need to make every day. And each time you make that choice, your foundation that your marriage is built on does get stronger. Well said and thanks!!!

  3. Beautifully said, it's not often you find such wisdom in marriages! I believe my husband and I have kept to the same unspoken code as what you have talked about here, and we have 10 years as well as proof that it works and is an undeniable truth. Love is an hourly, daily, and yearly choice! Once we make that choice, our actions will follow suit. Thank you for putting it out there in such a clear and well written way! :)

  4. Today is my twelfth wedding anniversary- and I posted a blog about it today and, although not written as nicely as this, I mentioned that I hardly remember the ceremony. The ceremony was not important... the marriage is, and we have weather many things over the past twelve years that could have either made us stronger or torn us apart and we chose to hold onto each other. My grandmother- who has been married 62 years- once gave me one small piece of advice too. She told me that there were many days- months even- when she didn't like my grandfather... but that she always loved him. I needed to remember that I just because I didn't like my husband sometimes didn't mean I didn't love him.. I should always dig deep and find the love.

  5. Yes, I have posted a similar opinion about marriage. It is a DECISION. Doesn't sound too romantic but it is true! We've been married 11 years, together for 13. Boy have there been some ups and downs. For us, seven years was telling. Once we got through that, it all becomes a lot more solidified (I think).

  6. Great post Annie. I kind of feel like you were talking to me in reading that . . ha ha. Seriously - I appreciate those words and those sentiments - they are so true. I am honestly just pissed off at all the kids books that ended "happily ever after" and never prepared us for the fact that cinderella was probably pregnant, pissed off and dealing with prince charming ignoring her as he was watching football on sundays with his friends and drinking beers.

    Those would have been the stories I wish my parents had read to me. You know - the "keeping it real forever after."



  7. Thank you for this amazing post. I needed it today!

  8. Oh man...the shovel thing...that would take ALL of my control not to scream. xD It was my parents anniversary yesterday, but they are celebrating it today (Since yesterday was Thanksgiving). It was nice to come along this post at such a perfect time. My parents always talk about how their love has grown deeper with the years, and when they first got married, they could never imagine how deep love could go.

    And great analogies with the "swinging too high" and "high dive", your writing is great. :)

    Also, maybe you could check out my blog? I just started and need some followers or comments...or if you could just read it, that would be nice.

  9. I love this! When my brother in law got married, the pastor said to him that he would need to TELL her every day that he loved her because she would forget and more importantly, HE would forget and by telling her, he would be reminded. He then turned to her and said, men can be idiots, when you want to kill him, say you love him, it will help you remember WHY you said "I do" today. Best advice I ever heard!!!

  10. Just found you Annie. I have been jumping around from post to post and am loving your voice. Sometimes it feels like youre speaking right to me. Thank you. I'm your newest fan! This post really spoke to me and reminded me of some thoughts I had on the subject as well...thought I'd share.


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