I have never really been one of those people who looks for the next best thing, the latest and greatest. I don't thrive on finding the "new" in everything. I am a girl who likes comfort, security and the old warm feeling of the "known."
Now this does not mean I do not seek adventure and like trying new things. This just means that I find more comfort and joy in something I have learned and loved rather than trying to find the next newest model. This applies to almost every area of my life, including my hubby.
I know my hubby. I know the ins and outs about him. I can look at him and tell you what kind of mood he is in. I know how he will react to a situation. I know his habits. I know when he is feeling good in our marriage and when he isn't. I know what he likes and does not like. After being with this man for ten years I can honestly say there is really no mystery in my hubby and I like that.
People talk about their marriage getting boring, or their spouses getting boring. I don't feel that way at all with my hubby. He still excites ME in every way. I still get anxious when I know he is coming home. I still get excited when I know we are going to go somewhere together. I only look to him to do things with on the weekends and after work. I enjoy being with him and miss him when he is gone. I love texting him during the day to let him know I am thinking about him. And yes, I still feel that thrill in my toes when he kisses me or touches me. Ten years is a long time to be with someone and to still have a burning feeling for them, but I do.
I delight in my spouse even when he is being difficult. I enjoy being with him in every possible way and even when things get tough between us there is no one I would rather be with and no where I would rather be.
This chapter instructed us to "Purposefully neglect an activity you would normally do so you can spend quality time with your spouse. Do something he or she would love to do or a project they'd really like to work on. Just to be together."
We do this almost every night. We have our routine that we both enjoy doing together. We go to the gym, come home make dinner and have dinner as a family. Spend some time with the kids then put everyone to bed and we retreat to our room where our quality time is spent with each other. It never matters what we are doing just the fact that we are together is enough. There have been many times we can be laying on our bed doing Facebook on our own phones and our feet will be touching each other. We are still together, feeling connected and still enjoying our quiet times.
"The responsibility is yours to relearn what you love about this one to whom you've promised yourself forever."
I don't have to relearn my love with my hubby because the only change my love has gone through with him is developed into a deeper love. I have loved this man from the very start of our relationship and I don't think or care to think about anyone else. I gave my heart and soul to him and have spent the last ten years trying to show him that. My love is deep, it's true and it will never leave.
I have come to a startling realization as of late---I am not going to live forever.
Really, I'm not.
Armed with this new knowledge as of late, I have been focused on living my life as if this day, this moment, could be my last. Now, don't get me wrong--I'm not giving anything away and walking around in all black, wearing a sign. But, I am slowing down to smell the flowers, as they say; enjoying each day and each moment for what they are--a gift from God to spend more time with those that I love.
I can be impatient.
As in, REALLY impatient. Actually, maybe inpatient is not the word. I expect results, and have little patience for things or people that aren't producing what I believe they should be--what I know I could produce.
This is difficult to apply to 3 kids under the age of 7, but I manage to hold them to the same standard as I hold myself.......
Love takes delight........you get to choose to what you treasure.. treasure your marriage.
I am who I am, that will never change. But, I can change who I am. I can change what I value in my family. I can change my belief system. I can believe that I can be the person I was meant to be, and that any mistake in my past can be left in my past...where it belongs.
I can change the way I impose my will. I will always be a doer. I will always be someone that would rather do something about it, then spend countless hours (torture) discussing, pondering, considering.
But, I am learning to take delight in the little things in life. I am learning to treasure my marriage, which means treasure my spouse and treasure my family. I think so highly of my kids, the older boys and the little ones. I think so highly of my wife. As I have said before, she is everything to me. She inspires me, she motivates me. She accomplishes things that I simply would not have the determination or ability to accomplish.
But do they know this? Does my wife know how I truly feel about her? Or, does she think of me as being impatient and perhaps easily annoyed. Even, perhaps, moody.
And, if she feels this way, then isn't that a result of my actions?
Yes, it is.
It is my job, my duty--my honor as my wife's husband to make her feel the way I think about her. She is the center of my universe. She is what I live for. I hold her in the highest esteem. It's not about telling her this. It's not about writing her the sweetest poem ever written---although could (or not).
It's about what I do. How I act. It's about those times when I am feeling inpatient and annoyed, but choose that I would RATHER my wife feel treasured, then feel the brunt of my frustration? Why? Because I treasure her and we shield those that we love, that what we treasure, from pain as much as possible....including pain inflicted by ourselves.
The responsibility is yours to relearn what you love about this one to whom you've promised yourself forever.
Maybe I'm a closet rebel that needs to learn to play by the rules, but the fact is I do not need to relearn what I love about my wife. Rather, I need to relearn the way I show my wife the love I have for her.
This is a perhaps subtle, yet critical, variation.
As I have said, I love my wife. She excites me. She motivates me. She encourages me. I am what I am because she has been there with me...through the good and the bad. All she has ever asked of me is to be my true self--the honest, moral, loving man that I once was and perhaps lost my way for a time.
It feels good to be back, and I look forward to sharing this man with my lovely wife.