|January 28, 2012|
We are seriously blessed with such an amazing sister (and, for Mr. Howard, sister-in-law) and she is constantly offering to do things for us. A couple weeks ago she came and watched the kids for us so we could go to a dinner (with a gift card that she gave us) and this past weekend she came and watched the kids for us so we could go to a movie. Talk about uhhhmaaazzzing. I really don't have enough wonderful things to say about sometimes needing a break.
Mr. Howard and I are reading The Five Love Languages at night, which I have mentioned before, and trying to be super deliberate in our relationship. That particular night we really needed to get out of the house to do something just the two of us, because we were struggling a bit to stay kind to each other! Before I got married, I had no idea how much work it takes to STAY together. Of course, there are so many wonderful, rosy, happy, joyous moments; but in the 11 years we've been together, we've also had our fair share of not-so-happy moments. I think what defines a couple is what they're able to do in those not-so-happy moments. Thankfully I have a husband who is willing to do the work with me just as much as I am with him and I can honestly say that I love him infinitely more than I did that day 4.5 years ago when I said "I Do" and certainly more than the day eleven years ago when we met (actually we "officially" became boyfriend/girlfriend January 30th, 2001 - Happy Anniversary to us!).
One of the most eye-opening parts of the book for me was the part about being "in love." I always had a sense of guilt that I didn't have those same butterflies, "oh my gosh is he going to call?!?" feelings. Dr. Chapman writes, "At its peak, the 'in love' experience is euphoric. We are emotionally obsessed with each other...We have been led to believe that if we are really in love, it will last forever. We will always have the wonderful feelings that we have at this moment...Unfortunately, the eternality of the 'in love' experience is fiction, not fact. After studying couples, Dr. Dorothy Tennov, concluded that the average life span of a romantic obsession is two years...True love cannot begin until the 'in love' experience has run its course...If love is a choice, then couples have the capacity to love after the 'in love' obsession has died. That kind of love begins with an attitude - a way of thinking. Love is the attitude that says, 'I am married to you, and I choose to look out for your interests.'"
I absolutely love the idea that it's a good thing that Mr. Howard and I are no longer "in love," because now we are CHOOSING to be together. It is not some obsession, some euphoria. We are rational, adults who wake up every day and choose to be in a healthy, happy marriage. We choose to stick together through thick and thin, good times and bad, in sickness and health. What an amazing way to look at it!