The Odd One?

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Tell me that I am not alone, that I am not strange. Why is it that after seventeen years of marriage, people look at me as if I am an alien from outer space when I say, “I am still in love … with my husband”? 

I feel almost afraid to speak the words in social circles. All my friends are unmarried, divorced, separated, struggling, or unhappy. I feel out of place when they tell me of their struggles; I try to offer the advice that has worked for me and they laugh saying, “That is so old fashioned, or unrealistic.” I cringe while they publicly bash their significant other or berate their children, air their dirty laundry; I hold back tears when they openly insult their spouses or talk down to them in front of family and friends. I wonder, where is the love? If the love is gone, have you looked in the mirror? If you feel taken for granted or feel unloved, have you given love or do you have unrealistic ideas of what love should be? Most people want to work a relationship 50/50, but really, it is 110/110 with some days 90/10 and vice versa.

Marriage so far, to me, has been a time of always trying to be affectionate, openly and brutally honest in private, encouraging and uplifting one another, catering to each others needs and not expecting them to always reciprocate (unfortunately), but if you are honest then afterwards you can say “Hey, I thought if I helped you with [blank] then you would have helped me with [blank].” I have learned that my husband, as wonderful as he is, is not a mind reader.

I love my husband, I love my marriage, and I am thankful for our family. I pray continually that God blesses my husband in his work, in his decisions, in his discernment, that God gives him wisdom and blesses our marriage. I pray that God allows me to be the wife my husband needs. I try my hardest even when I am not well and he sees and it makes him want to take care of me all the more. Some things I take care of; the laundry is done and folded so he can go out without looking wrinkled, he comes home to a clean house, I try to always kiss him hello and ask about his day. A nice snack keeps him tided over until dinner and represses the bear. We share the finances six months on him and six months for me, we take equal part in seeing the damage done. We had agreed to rules of the house before our daughter was of walking age, so that we could be in tune and the times we disagreed, we did not say in front of her as to usurp authority, we discussed later and regrouped. She grew up with two parents and one law. We live to please each other and see each other happy, we share in cooking and hobbies, even if we don’t like the same ingredients or toys, we are interested in why each other is interested in these things, taking an active interest in each other. We did before while we were dating, why not now.

My mother had always said, Never go to bed angry, but there have been times that, that has not been realistic.
I would never move myself to another room of the house, that in my opinion is an unhealthy start to excuses. I would say, if anything. “Goodnight honey, I love you” doesn’t matter what tone and then I might even give him the turned back, then a little later slip my leg under his or touch his arm as he slept, but I am refusing to give up on us, and in the morning I would be very open as to what bothered me, and ask for a hug. Husbands are suckers for some squeezing. Even as mad as I was sometimes, I would say sorry first and then he would say “No, I am sorry, it was me, or he would jokingly say yea you should be” and we’d laugh it off.

I do feel bad that good marriages go unnoticed and unappreciated and people with good advice go unheard.
I think with all the media comes an unrealistic expectation of relationships, love is not a game, a passing fad, a free trial marriage. A turn on the Next bus, love is work, and lots of listening, learning to be thankful for what you have and not wasting your time with what if’s and shoud’a coulda’s. Love is an education, an ever learning life experience. Lately, I have felt so blessed, I have begun vocalizing my thankfulness, some have looked at me as if I was a Extraterrestrial but some, have looked at me with wonder, and I would like to think Hope.
Speak up, don’t be afraid, If we don’t show the world that love still exists, who will?

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