As of yesterday, July 9th, we have been married for 16 years. That is… wow. I love it. I think that’s pretty darn cool!
I recently read a romance novel that made me mad. To be fair, most of them do—I think most of them, ironically, get love wrong. But it got me thinking about what true love is to me.
To me, true love is built over time, time for roots to dig down and entangle until you can’t imagine your life without that person. It is a life built on profound friendship that can only be formed by living through adversity. It is a life with someone who knows all the good and bad about you, is well-familiar with all the skeletons in the closet, and adores you anyway. Someone who comforts you through illness, through the healing of old wounds, and refuses to give up on you. THAT is true love. And it’s something you have to work hard at and nurture.
True love is laughter. It is where you can have fun being bored together and cheer each other on in the discovery of new hobbies and passions, support each other during the mundane, take interest in the things that bring each other joy, and *forgive* each other over misunderstandings and mistakes. It is building each other up, not cutting each other down.
I mean it with all my heart when I say that I love our marriage. It’s more than just a marriage, it’s deep, trusting and profound friendship and an excellent partnership, where we just really want each other to be happy. Paul cheers me on in all of my crazy projects. I want to write books so much that I’m writing them all from my phone? He decides, “Well, this needs to stop,” and gets me a laptop. And when I’m crying myself to sleep because I think I suck at writing, he insists that I don’t, and because I love it so much, I can’t give up. He doesn’t let me give up on what I love so much.
I quit playing piano and writing songs because I was once told I suck. So he bought me a keyboard for our anniversary/my birthday, because he believes I need to start playing again. “I want to jam together!” he says. I’m going to cry.
16 years. And it just keeps getting better. I know what true love is because of Paul.
I love this guy with all my heart.