Friday, June 8, 2018

The Moment I Fell Back In Love with My Husband, Why Marrying Young is Often an Excellent Choice for Committed Partnership and A "Just Checkin In Sort of Love."

(Disclaimer: *I want to express here to my friends who are divorced or separated, that I acknowledge your immense pain and heartache. This post is not focused on that aspect of understanding and perhaps is not meant currently for your eyes if you are in a tough spot right now. While I understand those tough spots and I currently never wish to be in those moments again, I know that both partners have to be willing to get back to a place of being in love. One person's love is not enough for both. I am so incredibly sorry for the one whom loved, but it was not enough to carry, and that pain can be worse than death when it's fresh. Miserable marriages are the worst, speaking from experience when one particular year was so heartbreaking...I had PTSD for the next full a small part I understand but in another aspect- I don't...because my journey is suddenly in happiness again and this post is about that reclaiming and giving advice to couples who are on the precipice but have choices...)

The Moment I Fell Back In Love with My Husband

I have alluded to the fact that my husband and I recently had 2.5 tough years in THIS and THIS post. In our 17/18 years together, we have had some terrible years, epic times, and neutral moments, but currently, I am celebrating that thus far, this is becoming one of our together times. 

 A couple months ago my husband and I were watching a movie together. It was a perfectly ordinary moment in which we both started laughing and I snuggled into his chest naturally. It took a second to register that I didn't have to pre choose to be near him, or force myself to make contact, and then my head popped quickly off his chest and I exclaimed,"Oh my goodness!!! It happened!" And he knew EXACTLY what I was going to say, because at the same time I said, "I'm back in euphoric love with you." He said, "What? You are back in love with me?"

The fact that he had the same realization at the same moment made me love him even more. I felt like I had in years passed. We have always been FOR each other in a chosen partnership, in good times and bad times. We actively choose to get through the hard years, because we know that we would just have to eventually traverse a similar path with someone else. All relationships have their eventual ebb and flow. We knew we valued commitment and nothing barring two definite rules of ours, would be worth losing what we had. In tough times, if we work on our relationship and actively choose to try, eventually the feelings will come back. This time it took almost 2.5 years to fully come around to the feelings of being IN love, but we still HAD love. We chose to have each other's backs despite our issues. 

Why Marrying Young is Often an Excellent Choice for Committed Partnership

Our natural relationship is based on the beautiful ordinary. I often tell my children to try to marry young if they want a lifelong committed partnership. Why? Because contrary to popular advice, marrying young causes the couple to GROW together. It's easier to adapt to each other because from a vulnerable age, both people have chosen to consider one another. It tends to go that these individuals are less set in their ways, there are more options to choose from below a certain age, and if chosen with wisdom and preparation, the couple has more time to bond together for a lifetime of choices. The problems of marrying young are NOT from age. They are from a lack of maturity (maturity is ageless and depends on perspective) when making choices, which can be partially remedied by preparation. My husband and I went to seven different marital counsellors of differing beliefs. SEVEN. I admit, we were trying to make a point that we could get married because almost everyone was telling us it was a bad choice. Which in hindsight, the naysayers gave us a head start by allowing us to "rebel" and figure out how to be stronger in our decision. Overall, most issues in life are not about age. Age is different from wisdom. I know 16 year olds who have more wisdom than some 68 year olds. I see couples who will succeed being married at forty and couples who will succeed being married at 18. It's not about age. But there IS an element of TIME. Being together longer, having moments to infuse love and bond together in almost every decade minus childhood, DOES add a special type of element to love. My husband and I knew each other at 17. We have witnessed the changes from teen hood to young adulthood, early twenties to thirties and thirties to mid thirties together. If you are older than 30, think of all those crucial life moments, skills and wisdom that was gathered through those years. Now imagine sharing them with a life partner in vulnerability and balance. That can either ruin a couple or fuse them so tightly together that it is almost impossible to bring them apart.

What will make the difference between ruination and fusing tighter to each other? This is a complex question. Unfortunately some factors are out of our control. Tragedy, death, and mental illness can change a couple's rate of succeeding. But they can also bring a couple together. It depends on BOTH people. Mostly, in a large generalization, it comes down to communication, humour, willingness to be vulnerable and natural, respect and commitment. If both partners are able to express the truth in love, remain open in vulnerability and share most experiences with each other, most obstacles can eventually be overcome. 

A "Just Checking In Sort of Love."
My husband checks in every day with texts like, "Morning love, How was your sleep? How are you feeling today?" He also calls me during work with his headphones. He can have the worst timing. I will be in the middle of check out at a store, or running to the bathroom, having a serious discussion with my kids, tacking up decor, dealing with broken glass or my arms will be full of packages while I am unlocking my door. Actually, often his timing is "inconvenient." But most of the time, I still answer. Because he is making the time, I need to make the time. I remind myself what I am doing can often wait. Or I can quickly tell him I will call him back. But most of the time, I smile as his ring tone of "At Last" starts to croon and I begin the conversation with, "Hi Babe, what's up?"

Since we were teens together, he has known that I tend to forget the sensory details of the day. He will ask me if I have eaten and make sure that I get food nurturing. I make sure he is covered in natural sunscreen if he is working outside, that his schedule is manageable and that he has drank enough water. During our 2.5 years of chaos, we still made this kind of love a practice.

In general, we have a rule to tell each other important or relevant news first, before anyone else. Sometimes we forget but we actively try to choose to share emotion as a priority. Each morning before he leaves, I will often feel a kiss on my cheek or forehead. If I stir, I will hear the words, "Shhhhh go back to sleep baby." And I will...with a slight smile on my face. When I wake up later I send a text to him with, "Morning love. Hope your day is going well." This routine still happened when we were going through tough times. Because practicing the daily love BECOMES love.

Whenever one of us is going away for the day, we make sure we say, "I love you." It's a habit that has been a part of us since we were 17. We have only had 10 full days/nights away from each other in 18 years together. Even when I feel I hate him, I can't stand to go to sleep without him. When I am super mad, I wait till he is asleep (which doesn't take long) and then I reluctantly move to spoon him, because it is easier for me to fall into slumber in that natural position. He will shift in his sleep to accommodate me and often he will move his arm so that it is holding mine. Even if we were arguing before sleep. Reaching for each other is a habit.

He makes me laugh and I crack him up. We will often be found laughing until our bodies are shaking. Actually the movie "Friends with Benefits" (which I do not recommend if you have issues with sexual scenes) reminds me of my husband and I. We are best friends first. Of course we have our sexy times, but often our private relationship is full of casual friendship moments, laughter, joking and a general comfortability.

The other day I could not stop snapping pictures of him. I couldn't get over how beautiful he was. I am often in awe of his natural facial beauty. I can't compare to him that way. I have to put on make up and effort into my form of beauty. He wakes up and those beautiful smile crinkles light up his face. His faded freckles dot his smooth skin and his stubble highlights his full mouth. He has the most stunning smile coupled with expressive, blue sky eyes. I find him more attractive than any movie star I adore (which isn't many but the ones I do think are attractive tend to look similar to him...except for Blaine in Glee, and he just encompasses my husband's charismatic personality in many ways.) Yet despite the fact that he is prettier than me, every day he tells me how beautiful I am. Often, he catches me off guard. He typically says it when I am feeling at my worst. Often he makes advances when I am in sweats, a t shirt and have barely any make up on or my hair is a rat's nest. I sigh with frustration and say, "Why do you never make these advances when I am in heels and a dress or look better?! Now, it will take me awhile to come around to the idea that I am sexy which factors into our time together..." But he always replies, "I prefer knowing you're comfortable. That's hot to me." Which, let's admit, is a pretty quick way for me to get over myself. It works, but I can tell he is genuine. I can be in a dress and heels like in this photo my son snapped below- when I think I look the best I can be:
... and even though we have time to connect, instead he chooses to focus attention on me a day later when I look casual, probably smell, am in glasses and PJs without make up and my hair is messy (pic below also taken by my son- my daughter snapped the photos of my husband and I.) and it seriously baffles me because it has been the pattern all through our marriage. These moments are not when I would personally choose me anyway...:

Often in Romances or Novels, there is this pressure to have an epic amount of sexiness. The romance hinges on constant sexual advances, hot bodies, or over the top romantic overtures in hot air balloons or exciting, expensive places...Even on Instagram, the trendy couple posts are the ones where two hot people with excellent clothes are taking pictures in stunning landscapes or in the perfect lighting. These photos capture a feeling and are beauty in a different way, but should not be a standard of expectation. While my husband and I have had similar epic moments, and we have a couple perfect pictures together or have had moments of constant attraction...these occasions are few and far between life's ordinary. And the ordinary bliss is truly what romance is about.

It's the moment when he tucks me in because I have been doing too much extraverting and he knows that I will crash if I do not have ample alone time in my room. Or when I arrange his schedule and organize his next business venture because I know those details stress him out and cause him to feel inadequate. It's when we run our hands along each other's backs as we pass in the hallway of our home. Or when we quickly peck each other's cheeks as we cross each other's paths. Love is where we are on Sunday mornings, snuggling in bed because we are free in time to enjoy each other. It's the moment when I finish his sentences and predict his behaviour so that I can change our environment to suit his moods. It's trusting that he doesn't cheat in any form including images on his phone, and vice versa. It's choosing each other to fill our needs instead of going to another convenient or seemingly exciting choice. It's when we share a smile over the kid's heads because something they said hit us right in our souls and we both KNEW what the other was feeling. It's him scrubbing the shower because he knows I lack the strength, and me doing his laundry because I know he lacks the time. A large part of this is also sharing our small hopes and dreams together and finding a way to activate our change together. If one of us wants to change our eating patterns, the research is shared and if it's drastic, we BOTH choose to walk the path together because we know that type of change can re set a person, thus we want to re set together. This also applies in financial goals, home goals and child rearing. (Obviously we also have our important separate choices and crucial alone time too.)

"It's ordinary, plain and simple, typical this every day love, same old, same old, keeping it new. Emotional so familiar, nothing about too peculiar, oh but I can't get enough of this every day love. Every afternoon I make a phone call, listen to the voice that warms my heart, I drag myself through a few more hours, and drive home to try to beat the clock, his smile will be right there, just like it was before, and it will be that way tomorrow, like every day before. I wouldn't change one single thing about it, it's run of the mill but I still can't live without it."- Rascal Flatts

P.S. Happy Birthday Baby. I love walking the tightrope with you in our ordinary day love. You are truly the only person in the world who knows me for all that I am. After these last 2.5 tough years I wanted let you know how very proud I am of you. That even in your tougher moments I was pretty honoured to still be your partner. I wouldn't want to go through hell with anyone else but you! But it's also lovely to be back in Ga Ga love with you. "I Hope you're the end of my story. I hope you're as far as it goes. I hope your the last word- I ever utter. That it's never your time to go."- Pistol Annies

From the Kids- Forever our Thor:

Song Choice: Everyday Love- Rascal Flatts , Tightrope- Michelle Williams, End of My story- Pistol Annies