I have been married to my husband for 8 years and just like many wives, I too wish to have a lasting marriage.
However, I will admit to you that there were times when I thought that I made a mistake in choosing the right husband for me. There were times when I hated him more than I love him. There were times when I thought about leaving him because I didn’t feel loved and appreciated… but I THANK GOD THAT I DID NOT.
So, is there really a “lived happily ever after” when two lovers get married?
I know 8 years of being married is not long enough to be such an expert person in the subject matter of relationship and love- and I must admit, I am always learning. But please let me share with you what I have learned on how to make relationships work and I hope that these would be helpful to you too.
1. Once the feeling of being-in love is gone, real love begins.
What do I mean with this? After the period of cheesy, mushy, heavenly feeling of falling and feeling in love with someone, you will start to see the things that you do not necessarily like with the other person.
The girlfriend you appreciated for looking good when you go out on a date is now the annoying wife who takes hours in the bathroom to get herself fixed.
The boyfriend you were proud of for being smart and dependable is now the irritating husband who always nags when he sees something that is out of tune.
I believe this true to every relationship. After the heightened emotion of being in-love is over, we get back to reality. And the reality is that you and your partner are not perfect. But we need to accept this fact, otherwise, we only jump from one relationship to another. And so we need to decide and commit to stay in love.
I realize that Love is not a feeling, but rather, Love is hard work. When I come to accept this, it became easier for me to deal and worked on the imperfections of our relationship.
2. You need to discover the love language of your partner to be able to show love.
This is probably the biggest relationship-changer for me. You see, I was like other people. I thought that the way I want to be loved is also how my husband want to be loved. Was I ever so wrong in my life.
According to Dr. Gary Chapman, there are 5 Languages of Love. These 5 languages are different ways to show love to a person, and each person has their own primary love language- the way for them to feel that they are loved.
The 5 languages of love are:
1. Words of Affirmation
2. Quality Time
3. Receiving Gifts
4. Acts of Service
5. Physical Touch
A person who has Words of Affirmation as love language will feel very much loved when he is always told “I love You”, “I appreciate what you do”, “You’re doing a great Job!”, “I love how you did this…”, “Thank you for doing this..”
A person who has Quality Time as language of love may appreciate these words of affirmation, but may not necessarily feel loved when his spouse is not spending time talking to him, or when they aren’t going out on a date. He feels much more loved when he is in the company of his loved one with undivided attention.
You see, for years I and my husband have been showing love in the wrong language. I didn’t know that his love language is “Acts of Service” and he didn’t know that mine is “Quality Time”.
Since I go to work, I leave most of the house chore to our helper so I could spend more time taking care of our daughter when I’m at home. I didn’t know that I could show my husband that I love him if I just make him his coffee, prepare his meals, or trim his nails (now please don’t judge, I have a different love language!) I did little act of service for him. I could just imagine how little love he must have felt from me.
At the same time, I didn’t feel that much appreciated and loved too since we seldom go on dates- just the two of us. We always go out as a whole family. We go out of town to visit relatives or be with friends, but not alone together as couple. He showed love thru the language he knows- he washes the dishes when the helper is not around, he fixes our bed, he pays the bills- but all these things didn’t speak love to me. Perhaps now you see the disaster! We both love each other and express it in ways that do not speak love to us!
I shared this discovery to my husband and we made adjustments almost instantly. Now we feel much more loved by each other and we are happier definitely! 🙂
3. Love is a choice.
We are humans and we make mistakes. Our partners may do or say things that hurt us. We may fall short of expectations. We may disappoint one another. And we may even hate each other sometimes. But we always have a choice. We can choose to forgive and move on or dwell in past failures and allow hurt to continue to wound us. We can choose to listen and see things in our partners’ perspectives to be able to understand, or refuse to seek understanding. We may choose to stick thru thick and thin, or leave when the going gets tough.
I choose LOVE. I choose to love my imperfect husband like he chooses to love his imperfect wife. I will choose to always forgive him. I will choose to always have hope for him. Just like Jesus loves and forgives us. Together we will do our best to make sure that our marriage will have the “Happily Ever After” ending.