This year (more specifically last week) marks, for the Hubby and I, nine whole years of marriage. While this alone I feel is somewhat impressive, if you will allow me to toot my own (our own?) horn for a moment, it does not in entirety sum up the length of our relationship.
Before marriage the Hubby and I dated for two years, and before officially becoming a “couple” the Hubby and I were good friends for about another two years.
For those who don’t feel like doing the math, that means that for approximately the past thirteen years in some way or another we have been in each other’s lives.
In addition, a quick fun fact, I actually met one of my husband’s younger brothers a couple years before I met him, so all said and done I’ve been somewhat connected to the Hubby’s family for a LONG time (does this make me old? It does, doesn’t it?).
Ok. Other than to give you all a quick math lesson, what’s my point here?
Well really the above information is just a little brag that I have been with this man:
A long time and I haven’t killed him yet.
But on a more serious note, celebrating an anniversary always puts me down the path of “let’s think about love.“
If I had to guess, I would say that most of us, and more than likely especially the women in the house, have spent a lot of time loving love.
Yearning for love.
Seeking fulfillment of that deep-down desire to be wanted and loved by that one special person.
Searching for the I want to fall asleep and wake up next to you forever you are my whole world I will always love you the stars shine brighter with you
I know for me (and a lot of people I’ve talked to over the years) it was especially in my formative teenage years that I longed for nothing more than that picture-perfect Tom Hanks’s “You’ve Got Mail” style ending.
(Shameless plug here for my favorite rom com. Ahem. Moving on.)
There’s something special about imagining the rest of your life alongside that person who loves you more than life itself.
And it gives you all the warm fuzzies in the world when you picture a future of you and “the one” living out your days in the perfect romantic atmosphere.
But, if I have learned anything over the past nine years it’s this:
That “perfect” love we all picture? The movie version of romantic walks on the beach and cuddling by a roaring fire and always saying the perfectly timed perfectly romantic thing and just spending hours and hours staring into each other’s eyes?
That is so, SO shortsighted.
Don’t get me wrong, being with someone you love certainly begs for moments like those mentioned above.
But real love? Real true we will be together forever love?
Yeah. It just doesn’t look like that most of the time.
Real love is washing out the kiddo’s vomit bowl because your spouse just. does. not. have. it. in. them.
Real love is painting a fully functional (just not your style) but horribly ventilated bathroom in thousand-degree weather with paint that splatters like a nicked artery.
Real love is putting in overtime you weren’t planning on at home so your other half can go spend time with an old friend.
Real love is making coconut cupcakes for a birthday even though you HATE coconut.
Really hate coconut.
And real love is hard. Real love is getting to know the best and worst of someone.
Real love is disagreements and hurt feelings and angry nights spent as far away from each other in a full-size bed as you can get.
Real love is having to humble yourself to ask forgiveness when you’ve done the other wrong.
Having to humble yourself again when you mess up again.
And real love is forgiving the other person even when they’ve hurt you (again) because you have chosen to spend the rest of your life loving them.
Real love isn’t always cheesy quotes or that perfectly ended movie.
Again, don’t mishear me here – when you are working through life with the love of your life there are absolutely romantic walks in the beach and high-class dates nights and moments of staring into each other’s eyes (or so I’m told. Not so into that last one myself…).
But that’s not all love is about.
And honestly, that real in the trenches it’s your turn to get the crying baby please for the love of goodness can you do the dishes tonight love is so. much. better than anything you can imagine.
It’s so much better than movie love.
Because it’s real. It’s doing life with someone who’s been there at your best and your worst.
It’s knowing they aren’t going to walk away when things get hard because they have chosen to love you no matter what.
And it’s choosing yourself to work through the difficult moments because you too have made the decision to love them no matter what.
Real love isn’t found in perfect looking social media posts or picture perfect book endings.
Real love is shown in those hard, exhausting moments.
But moments that leave you treasuring the gift you have been given in that “special someone” to walk through life with. And having the privilege to continually choose to love them as you have been loved.
Despite them asking for coconut cupcakes on their birthday…