Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Date Night

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!

4 comments:

Daddy's Dream ~Mommy's Miracle said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Jackie,
We have way to much in common!! Jesse and I just read this book as well!! And all three of our kids were just sick as well. I am so glad I have someone else traveling these "shoes" that understands my thoughts! You are a blessing!

The Schult Family said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I loved this post! Totally agree with your thoughts! You two have such an amazing relationship and are such awesome parents, too... D

Katie Taylor said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Awww, it was my pleasure to watch them. We'll have to set up another date for you guys to have a date night in the future. =) I know how important it is to have that bonding time. I really want to read that Languages of Love Book. I love the idea that you CHOOSE to love the other person, that it's not simply a chemical in your brain driving you to be obsessed with them. I can't remember where I heard it, but someone said that it's not in the first act, where everything is butterflies and admiration, but it's in the second act, with all the hardship and fights, that the true depth comes in. I liked that idea too because when I think about how much more I love Denny now then I did when we first met, and how much deeper our connection is, it's exponentially better! Knowing that he chooses to put up with my crazy, and I choose to put up with his, is pretty impressive when you think about it. Taking those pictures of you and Luke reminded me of your connection too. I see people like my bosses who don't seem to like each other much anymore, and haven't had many obstacles in their way, and then to see you two who have had a very difficult miscarriage and to have so much on your plate (3 kids under 2, 2 full time careers, and Luke going to school full time) it's obvious how much you love each other to go through all that and still look at each other the way you do. =)Love you guys!

Jodi said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Such a great post. I've been married for 15 years, and I have to admit sometimes I still miss those butterflies! But it is so true that we make the choice to stay married and work every day on respecting, being kind, and loving our spouses. Keep on doing what you are doing - you two are adorable together!

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