I’m feeling kind of blah today. Not really sure why. Not really even sure what I’m feeling. Perhaps I’m having the absence of feelings. Sometimes I take these kinds of days as a sign. A sign that I should move on. A sign that I’m not making progress. Not moving forward. If I was, shouldn’t I not have these kinds of days?
I now know that these days are a part of life, whether you’ve been cheated on or not. We all have bad days. Days that we don’t feel as happy as we’d like. In the past, I would have taken this emotion and HAD to assign it to something. Some reason. Some occurrence in my life to explain why I feel this way. But what if there isn’t something? What if, as a human, I just have days that I feel disconnected? And what if there is no reason? Nobody or thing to “blame”?
I’m home with my daughter today. She’s sick 😦 After some Advil and long nap, she’s up and feeling a little better. I’m sitting at the desk pondering how my life got here and where its going. Were we ever really in love? What do I feel for my husband? Are those feelings enough? Will we make it? What is it going to take for us to stop being ambivalent? For us to fully commit to each other? Fully open our hearts and let the other in?
While these thoughts are swirling in my head, in walks my daughter with my wedding album. She wanted to look at it. See how pretty her mommy looked. I look like Elsa, by the way. Elsa with different colored hair and a different dress. But Elsa. So her and I went through the photos. I noticed how my husband and I looked at each other on our wedding day. I don’t think I ever noticed it before, but we look like two people in love. Excited to build a life together. Excited for our future. It reminded me of something his cousin, who was a groomsmen, told me that I’ve long forgotten. He said the second my husband saw me in my wedding gown, about to walk down the aisle to him, his face changed. His eyes lit up and were glued to me. I can see that in our photos. The way he was looking at me. The way I looked at him. I want him to look at me like that again. This time with the knowledge and tools we have now. This time knowing all my secrets, my faults, flaws, successes, strengths – all of it. Knowing all of me and still loving me. I want to be fully accepted for who I am. I want the same for him.
It was a much needed reminder that there was, and still is, love between us. We lost it somewhere along the way. We mistreated each other. We didn’t honor our wedding vows. We did alot of damage to each other and ourselves.
This got me thinking about love. What is love? I used to believe in the romance of it. The fairy tale. Now, I know love isn’t that. It isn’t the romance that we read about. See in movies. But damn it is so appealing in movies and books. I always wanted that. I thought that’s what true love is. When I didn’t get that fairy tale love, I got disappointed. My prince turned out to be a frog. He wasn’t the knight in shining armor. I found out that love is work. Nobody falls in love and lives happily ever after.
In my quest to define love, of course I turned to Google. I read several interesting articles and theories. I have to say my first reaction was disbelief. Even after what my marriage has turned into, I still wanted to believe in the fairy tale. I still wanted to hang onto the notion that true love conquers all. That love shouldn’t be work. But I kept reading. And it kept making more sense. Love is a choice. A decision, not a feeling or an emotion. A decision you make every day of your life. Even when your spouse lets you down, disappoints you, hurts you, betrays you—you can still decide to love.
Love is a decision to be open and to share when you don’t feel like it. Love is a decision when you don’t think your spouse deserves your love. Love is a decision means that you are open to honest communication with your spouse. Not only talking, but also listening. It is also a decision to be loved. To allow them to love you. From the action of deciding to love, often the feeling of love follows.
Good marriages are no accident. Successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.
Sometimes the most important lessons are the ones we learn the hard way.