I stepped into my marriage under the presumption that love will last forever, but I was wrong. Committing your life to another person, until death do you part, is not always the happily ever after that you might see in fairy-tales and romance stories. After being married just shy of two years, I am coming to terms with the fact that I don't love my wife...
At least, not in the way that I'm expected to. If I were to follow today's rubric for marriage then I would need to rule my house, be the absolute head, the provider, the fixer - yadda, yadda, yadda. That's probably fine for most people but I view marriage as a partnership. I don't agree with how society paints the picture that shows men and women doing specific sets of jobs in their marriages because they are expected to do them or how it defines the way married couples are supposed to act.
See, men are supposed to take their wives out, buy them gifts, and spoil them to make sure that they feel loved and viewed as important. According to what we see 90% of the time, flowers fix problems and every kiss begins with Kay, but I call BS. Why is it that people put so much emphasis on material gifts? In my heart, what I can buy for my wife is no where near as important or as impressive as what I can do for her.
I'm not saying that you should never buy anything for your significant other, because you would be foolish to even believe that. I just don't think those gifts should be used as problem solvers or indicators of how much you love someone. I do things for my wife like cook, clean, give massages, wake up early to make her sandwiches before work, talk, encourage, support her dreams, make her laugh, and the list goes on.
In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. - Ephesians 5:28
One of the most important things I can do is to love my wife as I love myself, or even more. Marriage isn't about me and most of my contribution goes towards making her life better. I support her dreams as if they were my own. When she is sick or not feeling well, I may as well be too. If she is down about a disappointment then I am right by her side trying to encourage her. I don't spend my time selfishly thinking of what she does for me or what I wish she would do. I benefit from focusing on loving her because she in turn does the same to me - it's a win win situation. I make love sound like a chore or a job or something, because in reality it is!
Marriage isn't easy, and anyone who has been married will tell you that. Remember how I said that I thought love would last forever? I was wrong about that. Love does not last forever. True love, however, will last for a lifetime but you have to be willing to work for it. We eventually grow out of the stage of "puppy love" and if it doesn't mature into 'true love' you will find yourself in an unhappy place. Looks aren't everything (even though my wife is gorgeous), but one day we will be old and wrinkly and maybe not as attractive as we are now. Luckily for me, not only is my wife pretty, she is also hilariously funny, my best friend, ambitious, intelligent, supportive of me, giving, and the list goes ooon and ooon. She's great, seriously.
I don't just love her though. I am hopelessly head over heels in love with her, because I choose to be and because I work towards nurturing that love. In the 2 years we've been married she has helped me to grow into a better man than I was at the beginning and she has encouraged me to pursue things that I otherwise would not have (like starting my blog).
I thank God for thinking enough of me to bless me with such a wonderful woman and I cherish His gift and this opportunity to continue learning how to really love.
***This article was also featured on the Huffington Post***
***This article was also featured on the Huffington Post***
One day, long ago, someone decided that it would be a great idea to designate a specific day out of the year to celebrate being in love. I am sure that when the holiday first started, it was probably a really lovely experience. It is now 2014, and the very idea of Valentine's Day makes me sick.
Let me explain, I am not a vindictive side-piece that has never experienced a real Valentine's Day. I am not a bitter male that can't get a date either. I am a married 25 year old and my wife hates v-day just as much as I do (if not more). It's the idea, that on this one day out of the entire year, we are supposed to put on this show of affection to let someone know how much we love and appreciate them. I get it, take the time to put a little extra effort towards making them feel special. That's nice, right? Nothing wrong with that...
Valentine's day is NOT about love anymore.
Not in the way that most people think at least. This day is more about the love of attention. I'm almost willing to bet that users of Facebook will see their timelines overflowing with posts like "Me and the babe are going to go do such and such" or "Look at this picture of all the wonderful things my love got for me". V-day is less about spending time with the one you love and more about showing and telling everyone how your Valentine is better than theirs.
What's the point of that? Please fill me in on what happens on the other 364 days of the year in your relationship. Do you ever do nice things or buy gifts for each other simply because you want to and not because the date on the calendar said that you should? Valentine's day is just another big circus act that usually climaxes with corny marriage proposals or (if you're lucky) wild romps in the bedroom, or should that be the other way around? Whatever. The point is, I think we could do without the fanfare.
Valentine's day should just be another day of the week. I know that's unlikely to happen, so in the very least it should be a reflection of what you've been doing all year. Feb 14th should not be the first time that you go out and buy flowers for your woman or take her out to a nice dinner. Feb 14th should not be the first time you put on you sexiest outfit to try and impress your significant other either. Do these things when you feel like it, not simply because of a holiday. I can almost guarantee that the other person will appreciate it a lot more because they'll know you're doing it simply because you want to and not just because it's Valentine's Day.
But hey, what do I know?