Wednesday, March 4, 2015

I Have to Earn My Husband's Love

Marriage is funny. It's like you think you know someone well enough to go and marry
them, vowing to spend the rest of your God-given life by their side, and then you wake up,
oh every other morning, like, "WHO ARE YOU?!"



Don't get me wrong. It's pretty fantastic. The quirkier the better, right?
Change, habits, old jokes that are getting reeeeally old, and the whole new level
of "I just farted under the covers and I don't care" comfort -- are gold.

Marriage is basically an Ivy League level education in EVERY department.
For example: after my husband successfully switched my old phone to a new one...

Nathan: "Did you get my texts?"
Me: "Yes."
Nathan: "Are you sure?"
Me: "Yea, you said, 'That will be $75. In kisses!'"
Nathan: "The next time you send me a flirtatious text I am go to read it back
to you like an Encyclopedia article."

Me:

They don't teach THAT in Marriage and Family where I went to school.
You got to learn those ropes in the trenches, people.

Mental note: respond better to flirtatious texts in the future.

This morning I woke up and found a very damp hand towel hanging by the shower in
our master bathroom. I felt bad as I chuckled at the thought of my husband drying
himself off with such meager material. And then I thought, "he didn't say a word."

We have TEN regular bath towels, all of which were dirty (which is saying a lot since we reuse towels) and he didn't mention it. Like he doesn't care that I'm not a laundry goddess or something. He also kissed my sleeping face goodbye around 7:30AM and didn't mention THAT either.
The whole I was sleeping, and he was going to work deal.

But in my defense, I didn't get to go to bed early like he did. It's like we have a 4 month
old and episodes of Fixer Upper to watch or something. Just sayin'. Ha.

I recently asked my husband to tell me all the ways that he felt loved by me.
I definitely was naïve in thinking that "all the ways" would be the same for "all the years".
Rookie wives. I tell ya.

After we both took some notes, Ivy League level notes, Nathan looked at me and asked if
I knew that I didn't have to earn his love.
That things like clean bath towels, dinner,
and an orderly home are nice, but not needed for him to love me.

I shot him the squinty eye and was like, "Um we should experiment with that. Pretty sure
you'd be fed up after a couple weeks of eating cereal for dinner and dousing yourself in
cologne to mask the dirty laundry fact."
WIFE FOR SALE.

DON'T HAVE TO EARN HIS LOVE

Call me wounded I guess. My brain doesn't register that well, and it makes my heart hurt.
Work hard, get rewarded. Family of origin? Country of birth? Oldest child syndrome?
You just DO things and people are happy, right? Get it out of my head.

The other day my counselor asked me what I would say if my child came up to me and said,
"Mommy, I'm going to do everything I can to make you love me." WHOA.

"Stop," I sighed. I would say, "Stop. There's not ANYTHING you can do to add or take
away one ounce of my love for you."
It's complete. Whole. Unconditional.

And yes, I think that God maybe loves me like that; that my husband loves me like that.
It's mind blowing. A holy and humbling experience. Jesus' love is one thing, but to be
vulnerable to a human? To trust that I am enough and all the other things are nice,
but not needed? WHOA. Jesus, are you sure? Nathan, are you sure?

Whoever the Jesus, mother, father, child, husband, etc. figure is in your life...
are you sure?

COME AS YOU ARE.
Just rest in that.

"Come to Me, all you who are weary
and burdened, and I will give you rest."

- Matthew 11:28

Now I'm not saying things are perfect or anything, but it's nice to peel back another
layer, go one level deeper, take two steps forward and trust and feel and love in that
space of new vulnerability. All bath towels aside. It's warm and fuzzy until...

My husband walks in the door from work, still chatting away on that irritating little
earpiece I went and *rolls eyes* bought him for Christmas... "Who was that, hun?"

We'll call his pal, John.

Nathan: "Yea John set a wedding date with his fiancé. August 14th of this year!"
Me: "That's CRAZY!" I said, eyes lighting up with serendipity.
Nathan:
Me: "Do you know what August 14th is?"
Nathan:
Me: "Wow. Only took 5 years to forget our anniversary."
Nathan: "Well, what is August 9th then?"
Me:

Well, that must have been the day you married the other girl. I don't know! Are you
kidding me? I see a lot of drying off with hand towels in your near future, buddy.
Jk. Jk.

COME AS YOU ARE, oh forgetful one.
I love you.















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7 comments:

  1. It's so easy in words to understand that we don't have to "earn" love but so difficult in practice. I pray for this understanding often. I wonder, too, if it isn't more of a problem for females than males. Perhaps our nurturing side makes us equate how well we're doing that with how much we deserve in return....
    Great post! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mmmm interesting points, Laurel. Maybe it's that we, as women, tend to associate love (more often) with being taken care of, doing, earning-- because it's just written on our hearts (thank you, Eve). Like you said, we nurture naturally-- so it just seems to make our world go round when it is given and received? Fun topic to discuss for sure!

      Delete
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