What I Have Learned in Three Years

I recently found some of my old journals. Something that I wrote in the 8th grade left me feeling really embarrassed. Not just because of how pathetic it was, but that I actually thought I was in love: I just have to share:

Dear diary,
I wish Tom would say something to me at school. I can’t stop thinking about him. He is so smart and cute, and he’s super nice.
I may be too young to know what love is, but I think this must be it. I just think about him all the time. I really do think I love him.

Wow. It goes on, but I’ll spare you the torture. What was I thinking? Seriously? He didn’t say anything to me at school because he thought I was a weirdo! Younger me: That ain’t love, Hun!

Yesterday was my three-year wedding anniversary to not-Tom, and I have learned a thing or two that might have been nice to know back then.

My 8th grade self knew nothing of love. First of all, if he doesn’t even speak to you, and you know nothing of who he is on the inside, you can’t love him.

It is not solely about feelings. I am a firm believer that love is a choice. Or, at least, it becomes a choice.

In the beginning of a relationship, making the choice to love your significant other is so easy, it doesn’t even feel like a choice. It comes naturally. But three years down the road, trust me: making the decision to love your spouse is not always an easy one to make. This is because by this time, you really know who he is on the inside (and, consequentially, he knows who you are inside).

There are times that all I would like to do is punch my husband in the nose. I think that it would be really satisfying if it bled. And then I could flip him the bird, just to say, “eff you!”

But I don’t. I make the conscious decision to love him, despite the smart-ass thing he’s done to make me want to resort to violence. Because some days it is a choice.

Since I got pregnant, and especially since I gave birth, my relationship with my husband has been strained. We’re still in love. Our marriage is still going strong. But sometimes, I really have to take a minute to evaluate how I feel. I recently thought we may need to see a marriage counselor.

Things are just so different now, it’s almost like we’re two different people than we were three years ago. And really, we are. I’m a mother now. He’s a father. Things are different.

Love just isn’t coming as naturally to us as it once did. We have to make the conscious effort to love each other each day.

And it’s not easy! I wasn’t exaggerating when I said I want to punch him sometimes! But I know that I never want a divorce. I know that I want my son to see what love really is. And I know that marriage is difficult.

So, everyday, I choose my husband.

And I just laugh at my 8th grade self.


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