I wrote this article in 2011 for the website CatholicMothersOnline.com, which is now Real Life at Home. With Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought it was time to bring this (edited) article back! Enjoy!
I am still totally smitten with my husband. We’ve been married over six years, and of course we’ve had bumps in the road, but we’ve still seen each other through everything. And we are more in love than ever.
When we had our first child, it was instant and amazing love. Unconditional, in fact. There is nothing my children could do that would make me love them any less. They make my life joyful, fun, and full of laughter. The kids also challenge me to be a better person because they deserve a mother who is patient, loving, and helpful all the time. There is no doubt that I love my children. SO much.
There are some who say, “I’m so in love with my baby.” And I’m sure I’ve said this before, but when I really stop to think about it, I’m not sure that’s true. The one I’m “in love” with (whether I feel like it or not) is my husband. Some of you will want to kick me for saying this, but I love him more than I love our children. More.
It definitely is a different type of love. When each of our children were born, we had the “love explosion,” the instant attachment knowing that this tiny person is a part of you, a decision made by the two of you to become parents. It’s completely natural and easy to love our kids.
But my husband and I took our time falling in love. We had to get to know each other – click here to read our story. Married love is so different because there are times we don’t even like each other, but we still love each other because of the choice we made, the vows we said in front of God and everyone we knew. Our love is a choice we make every single day to get up and love each other the best we can. Sometimes it takes a conscious effort to love one another, and because of that effort and that daily choice, I love him more.
He’s the one God created for me. I am the flighty, high energy one, and he always keeps me grounded, makes me laugh with his dry sense of humor, and is honest with me, even if I don’t want to hear it. When I look at him, it’s like looking in an opposite mirror. The reflection is as familiar and comfortable as looking at my own face, but he’s the perfect complement, the perfect opposite to me.
We were talking about marriage recently, and it went like this
Him: You know, marriage is between two people.
Me: Duh! We aren’t polygamists!
Him: Yeah, two people. God and me and you.
Me: What? Isn’t that three?
Him: No, God is one, and you and I are one.
He and I are one. When we got married, we became one body in Christ. We are just one person now, and nothing can separate us.
So what is love for my husband and me?
- Love is packing his lunch every morning, no matter how tired I am.
- Love is my four-year-old son asking, “Are you thinking about Daddy?” when he catches me randomly smiling.
- Love is attending Mass as a family, and always giving each other the sign of peace first with a kiss.
- Love is parenting together and acting as one unit when it comes to discipline.
- Love is putting him above all others, even myself, and letting him do the same for me.
- Love is growing together in faith through all means possible.
- Love is respecting each other’s feelings and treating each other as equals.
- Love is knowing that I’m his rib, the one God created for him.
- Love is when he puts the kids to bed every night, prays with them, and reads them stories so I can have a few minutes alone.
- Love is forgiving each other, no matter what, even when we don’t feel like it.
- Love is praying together, even if it’s awkward.
- Love is choosing to care, choosing to rely on him, choosing to put him ahead of everything else. Except God, of course. But that’s just a given.