I love my husband and children. I love my friends. I have loved always. The feeling love is a real thing. It’s a label we put on our visceral reaction to a particular person, place, or thing. That’s because love is actually a connection. When nurtured, this connection becomes stronger.
Love at first sight
It’s a real thing. My husband says that he fell in love with me the moment he laid eyes on me across that high school parking lot. Who am I to deny him that? Me, it took a little longer to develop.
My husband landed himself on the sidelines as friend pretty quick. We connected, but I didn’t see it as love like he did.
I was new in town. It was mid school year when we moved up here. I remember the snow that covered the fields as we got off the expressway the day we arrived. All I could think was what have they done? I had spent a good portion of my growing up years in Plano, TX (population 274,409 ), and they moved me to Richmond, MI (estimated population 5,200). My husband was one of the first people I met on my first day of school.
We were introduced after school by a girl I’d met in choir class. I picked up vibes of this is my man, so I didn’t even consider him an option. There he was, friend zoned. He didn’t let that deter him.
Building a deeper connection
He was there. Always there. He wasn’t the only one. I had other close friends who were there for me. I don’t know when it happened, but he became my best friend. This still kept him in the friend zone. Poor guy was there through every relationship. Through every breakup. I kept him benched.
I don’t remember the day he finally got up the nerve to ask me out. Sadly, I was struck by a car almost immediately after the words left his mouth. After that accident, I fell out of touch with everyone. Including him.
Sometimes you have to reconnect
I ran into him just over a year later. We tried to reconnect, but sometimes life gets in the way. Then one day, I saw him driving through town. I took a chance and called his parents’ number.
That’s when we started to reconnect. I had an almost 3 year old son at the time. Still, he took the time. He took the time with both of us. The relationships grew.
A relationship needs to be nurtured. It didn’t take long before we were seeing each other. There were some starts and stops. We’d break up. We’d go our separate ways. One of us would break the silence. We’d come up with some excuse to talk again. Soon, we’d be dating again.
We’d come together, we’d grow apart. That’s just the nature of relationships. At one point, I filed for divorce. We’d grown so far apart, I didn’t see us ever coming back together again. I saw it as hopeless.
It’s never hopeless
Around the time that I filed for divorce, we were losing our house. The mortgage payments had become to high. We couldn’t afford them any longer. It seemed like the perfect time for a divorce. We would need to find a new home anyways. We couldn’t save the house. Neither of us moved out right away.
We started planning for the future. We have two kids, so we were trying to work together to make it as easy as we could on them. Funny thing happened. I started to realize I didn’t want to plan two separate lives. I didn’t want to be deciding how we’d handle visitation. I wanted us to both be there.
Change the subject
That’s what I’d do. Started with simple things like discussing dinner. We started having those conversations that had become so boring and commonplace. They weren’t boring anymore. We were reconnecting. I’d missed him. He’d missed me.
Soon, we were discussing the possibility of continuing to live together. We pretended what we were talking about was becoming roommates. Maybe we even believed it. But it was a step. A jumping off point that led to the deeper conversations.
Don’t be afraid to talk
We started talking about what would be great about just being roommates. This was really an expression of the things in our relationship that had been hurting us. Then, we talked about the things we would miss. We’d talk into the night.
When you’re angry, you don’t listen. We weren’t fighting anymore. We rebuilt our lives, our relationship. We rebuilt it without realizing that we were doing it. When we started talking instead of fighting, we started hearing each other.
We learned. All the things I wanted from him. All the things he wanted from me. All the ways we were hurting each other. We heard them all. Sometimes, we’d start screaming again. I’d be so glad we were getting a divorce. Then things would cool down again.
Getting through it
My grandmother died. There he was. Holding me. Comforting me. Those divorce papers were back in Michigan. The court date was set. And he was facing my family. He stood strong when I was falling apart. I remembered why I needed him. I remembered why I loved him.
Just like I got through the pain of burying my grandmother, I realized we could get through the pain of our marriage. It wasn’t long after that I went to the courthouse and cancelled the divorce. We continued to talk. As a couple. As husband and wife. We came together to plan our future. We reconnected.
It’s true. There are no guarantees in love. There are days I feel the distance between us grow. But, I learned that the distance only grows if we ignore it. When I feel that distance, I reach out.
Sometimes, I just reach over and touch him. Sometimes that’s enough. Other times, I start a conversation. I reconnect. We learned that we have to put in the effort.You have to nurture the relationship. Being married isn’t what guarantees forever. You have to work for that happily ever after. Every day.
Love isn’t real
Love is a label we give to a feeling that comes from a deep connection. Love isn’t perfect. Love isn’t guaranteed. Love needs to be nurtured to grow.
Our 8 year old son was the photographer at our wedding. 9 years later, he captured another kiss.
A year after we’d almost lost it all, we celebrated our 9th anniversary. We were happy and in love again. We’d reconnected.
I won’t lie and say it’s all sunshine and rainbows. We have our ups and downs. We work together to keep working through the hard times. We reconnect everyday.