After 38 years of marriage, I have made the conscious decision to stop telling my husband I love him.
Truthfully it was a decision I made a few years ago when we stood before family and friends at our vow renewal, celebrating 35 years of ‘wedded bliss.’
We have had some superb years, and we have had some tough years. Years that were so bad, we got lost and self-centered.
There was even the year we contemplated divorce.
But that’s not why I have decided to stop saying “I love you” to my husband.
In 1980 a 19-year-old Navy kid and an 18-year-old high school senior made a commitment (after knowing one each other for a long six months) to get married and spend the rest of their lives together. We stood before God and family promising to love and honour one another, till death do us part.
Honestly, what those vows really meant back then was, he didn’t have to worry anymore about finding a date for Saturday night, and I could finally be someone I always wanted to be…. a mum.
We were young, we were naive, and we were in love-ish.
But what did we know about being in love at such a young age and in such a short time frame?
Marriage can be as chaotic as a tree during a hurricane.
Learning to adjust and adapt when sharing your life with another person is tough, and you need time to develop strong roots that will withstand the storms life throws your way.
But something happened to love along the way. At least it did for me.
Love is a word
Suddenly, saying “I love you,” became like asking “Can you pass the salt?” They became ordinary words that weren’t even remotely capable of expressing the depth of what I felt for my husband.
Love’s definition is to have an intense feeling of deep affection for someone.
Feelings of deep affection? Yeah, that’s nice, but something is missing.
I mean, this man has:
Shown me the meaning of unconditional love, by always accepting me for who I am and never asking or expecting me to change.