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 percent 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 nowhere 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 two 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.