Choosing love

In honor of the made-up holiday that I won’t be spending with my husband, due to an ill-timed work trip (seriously, who schedules trainings over a weekend, and over Valentine’s Day?), I thought I’d write a semi-mushy post about the thing I’ve had to work on most during our 357 days of marriage. Our one-year anniversary is in just 8 days, and I can’t believe it. Sometimes, it feels like only yesterday I was stressing over which stamps to put on the invitation envelopes (we went with white roses, I know you were so concerned) or whether all the groomsmen would order their suits on time (they did, bless their souls). Othertimes, it seems like we’ve been married forever.

One of the things I have a hard time with, in life and in our marriage, is trust. It takes a long time for me to open up with people, to truly feel comfortable around them. While I truly do trust my husband, occasionally, there are shards of self-doubt that creep in. Doubt that I’m not doing enough, doubt that I’m not pretty enough, doubt that maybe he doesn’t love me unconditionally. Rationally, logically, in times of peace and happiness, I know that I am and he does.

But what about when we fight over whose turn it is to do the dishes? When he’s exhausted after a long day of work and inadvertently snaps at me? When I’m frustrated over something completely unrelated and want to lash out at him because he’s there and it would selfishly, temporarily, make me feel better? The what if, what if, what if wheel starts spinning in my head and I need to stop it, wrestle with it, before it whirls out of control.

In those instances, it has become my mantra, my goal, my intention to choose love.

I’m not sure where I first heard that phrase or when it started clicking with me. Maybe I heard it in a yoga class or read it on an inspirational tea tag. Maybe I saw it while browsing through Etsy. Regardless, it has changed the way I look at our marriage.

Ultimately, I can’t control whether he loves me. I believe in my heart that he does, and he shows me he does through his words and deeds, but at the end of the day, the only actions and reactions I can control are my own. I cannot be scared of loving fully, of feeling deeply. I cannot be afraid of caring too much. All I can do is close my eyes and continue to allow myself to be swept off my feet by this man who loves me, who I love. When my doubt, my anger, my insecurities, or my shortcomings, real or imagined, try to chip away at our marriage, the only thing I can do, should do, is choose love.

I know, but sometimes forget, that this man I married wants nothing but the best for me, for us. When life gets in the way, or when we argue about something trivial, I could choose to be angry, to be resentful. I could choose to be offended. Or I could choose to love. When I want to put up walls around my fragile heart, when I want to huff and stomp and whine, I’m making a point to choose to love and forgive. To cut us both some slack. To see the sunshine instead of the clouds.

I am so grateful for my husband, who knows my faults, sees my vulnerabilities, and loves me anyway. He is my rock, my world, my liferaft. Here’s to (almost) our first year of marriage, and to many, many more.

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