Wifey Wednesday: I Did Not Marry My One True Love

Christian Marriage Advice

It’s Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I write a post, and then you all chime in by linking up your own marriage posts to the Linky below!

Today, please welcome guest poster, Lisa Hall Wilson, who shares a heartfelt and thoughtful post on how love is a choice.

Love is a Verb: Why I Did Not Marry My One True LoveThe hubs and I are celebrating 16 years of marriage (to each other) this week. I do not believe he’s my ‘one true love’ and not because he leaves his socks on the floor and seems incapable of closing a kitchen cupboard door. I didn’t find my one true love because the whole idea is hooey.

When Cole Porter wrote about true love, when Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly immortalized true love in High Society, they sold us a bill of tainted goods.

When we seek out our Prince Charming or Prince Philip and expect the magical power of true love’s kiss to ‘fix’ things, we’re setting ourselves up for disappointment.

Here’s the thing, I don’t believe in love at first sight. I do not have a true love out there. If there’s one thing 16 years of marriage has taught me it’s that the happy, life-is-perfect, bliss-mirage lasts a remarkably short amount of time and you’re left with the harsh reality that you married a human who can’t read your mind, doesn’t do everything the way you would, doesn’t agree with everything you say/do, has bad habits and irritating quirks you never saw coming.

And that’s when love becomes a choice.

To assume you have one true love means there’s this ultimate ‘right guy/girl’ for you. And everytime you disagree, you tear into each other, you’re alone in bed crying – the questions creep in:

Did I marry the wrong person? Why isn’t our sex life better – what if we’re incompatible sexually — what if it’s better with someone else?

What if your spouse screws up – BIG? Does that mean you’re off the hook? Just start over and keep looking because somewhere out there is the ‘perfect’ person for you. Where love is easy and the path is covered in rose petals, where neither of you has baggage from the past or a shred of selfishness. If you look long enough – hard enough – you’ll find that one person God made just for you.

Hogwash – as my grandmother would say. Too many arranged marriages work out. Too many widows and widowers find love with another person for there to be such a thing as finding true love.

We get caught up in the emotional high of it all when we first meet someone, when the relationship blooms, when we decide whether this is the person we want to spend the rest of our life with. That high is addictive but deceiving because it’s not something you can maintain.

When the socks hit the floor, when they overspend again, when they get mad at you — love is a choice. The only one responsible for my happiness is me. I put that on the Hubs and I’m just setting him up to fail.

Love is a verb, not a state of being.

Love is a Verb

You can’t fall in or out of love – you choose to surrender or harden your heart to another person. That’s a choice.The hubs and I have been through a lot of not so good times. We’ve had a lot of laughs and adventures, but there’s been some hum-drum ruts and serious rough patches. Love is a choice, just like forgiveness, trust, respect, and friendship. Sometimes it’s not fair, sometimes it just plain sucks — but you keep at it because somewhere along the way all that hard work, sweat, and tears pays off. There’s a bond forged in the hard times – in staying for no other reason than you promised God you wouldn’t leave.

After 16 years, 3 kids, 7 moves, several jobs, an addiction, and a ridiculous amount of student debt – we have a history together. I know his expressions, can anticipate many of his moods and reactions. We can look at each other and smile, because we have a thousand inside jokes.

Marriage is hard. If you’re struggling in your relationship, assuming all things are equal and no one’s being abused or mistreated, etc. (there are some things time can’t fix) — stick it out. In my experience, the hard work, tears, fights — it all adds up to a history you can’t buy and only time can build. This is a marathon not a sprint.

But every day, love is a choice — loving someone is a choice.

Wake up every day with the resolve to surrender your heart to your spouse, and take nothing for granted. You’ll be glad you did.

Time to fess up! Did you marry your one true love?

Now it’s your turn! Want to share some good marriage advice with us? Or tell us what advice you particularly hate? Leave a comment and let us know, or link up your own marriage post in the linky below. Be sure to link back here, too, so other people can read some great marriage tips!

Lisa_hall_wilson FB profileLisa Hall-Wilson has published over 70 articles in the Canadian faith-based market, is a syndicated columnist, and has won national awards for her writing. She blogs at www.lisahallwilson.com but you can find her hanging out on Facebook.

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  1. I totally agree with you. And I don’t. I don’t think there is one true love before you get married. I believe you could marry a number of different people and make the marriage work, because of your love and dedication to making it work. But, I also think the person you marry then becomes your one true love. And that is what you put into your marriage that counts.
    The Baby Mama recently posted…Bumps in the RoadMy Profile

  2. “You choose to surrender or harden your heart against the person” – words that sum up the turning point in a relationship. If we surrender our broken heart to God, He will restore our ability to trust gently. Choosing to love after being hurt is an act of trust that is supernatural, not stupid. God bless the readers that trust God to direct their marriages.

  3. I agree 100%! Although, I think it definitely helps if you’re married to the person God chose for you. Otherwise, the road is probably a little bumpier – but still drive-able!

  4. I don’t totally agree, I agree that you shouldn’t look for a “perfect” person but I think you can find true love and I do believe in love at first sight. I found my husband at only 19 and we instantly felt a connection and became best friends. We are 7 1/2 yrs apart and he was going through a divorce, had 2 young children, and had already been in and out of the marines. He was so much more mature than the guys my age. I was a little scared to be with him though because that’s a lot to take on so young. We went our own ways, while staying friends. At 20 he confessed how he felt about me and I told him I felt the same instantly. He finally was finished with his divorce, and we decided to get together… and got married. We now have been married for 12 yrs. We are still happy and in love. No, the marriage isn’t perfect, nobody’s is. Marriage is hard work. But I can honestly say through our hardships, it has made our marriage and relationship so much stronger! My husband and I both feel like when we first met and instantly bonded. We love to be around each other. It seems our marriage gets stronger and happier every day. So, I say I met my one true love. Does that mean there is nobody else I’m compatible with? No, of course I’m compatible with more people and so is he. But I feel like this amazing connection couldn’t be felt by just anyone, so we choose to believe we found the person God wanted us to be with. Only my opinion.

    • Thanks for stopping by. I think that we can definitely feel that instant connection or attraction to someone, experienced that myself. Not sure I’d go so far as to say it was love at first sight because in my case it didn’t end well – but I have met others who have had a similar experience to yours. Blessings.
      Lisa Hall-Wilson recently posted…The Hypocrisy of HalloweenMy Profile

  5. I love how you said love is a verb! I completely agree. It is something that we must take action upon!
    Cassie recently posted…The Secret to making your Husband Feel LovedMy Profile

  6. Love this post, Lisa! It totally resonates with me and is proof that Christ is the glue that binds marriages. How else can 2 people who are both sinners live together 365 days a year and get along?
    Thank you for your candidness! Just love it! Juana
    Juana Mikels recently posted…Taking Up of the Cross in Marriage, Free Ebook & Wednesday’s Prayer Girls & Link-Up PartyMy Profile

  7. This is so very true, Lisa. Thanks for the beautiful reminder of how God turns our trust and obedience into the sweet fruit of love in life and marriage. Thanks to Sheila for sharing your story too!
    Beth recently posted…Grace Filled Marriage Book Review & Giveaway!My Profile

  8. Completely agree!! I do not believe that God chooses our spouses or that there is “one person” out there somewhere that God made and meant just for me. That’s ridiculous in my opinion. We have free will to choose if we marry and who we marry. My husband and I get funny looks all the time when we tell people that we both love each other very much, have a wonderful marriage and would not trade each other for anything in this world, but that if we had not met or if we had not got married, we agree that we would probably be married to other people and have marriages just as great as the one we do now. It is all about choice….and attitude (which you choose).

    Anyway…great thoughts!!

    • I’ve had those same thoughts myself. Thanks for sharing!
      Lisa Hall-Wilson recently posted…The Hypocrisy of HalloweenMy Profile

    • I believe if you ask God to choose your spouse, He will. He instructs us to ask Him for wisdom, let our requests be made known unto Him, knock and the door shall be opened, etc. If He can save my soul, He can certainly find a spouse for me if I ask. That doesn’t mean the spouse He picks for me will be perfect. It will still mean we have to choose to love each other and stay committed to each other. His Word does instruct us to marry a believer, however, so He would never choose an unbeliever for us to marry.
      Lori Alexander recently posted…A Scolding WifeMy Profile

      • That being said, he may choose somebody for us who when we first meet them is not a believer, but becomes a believer after seeing our faith. That is what happened with my husband. I asked God while I was in high school to send me the man I was supposed to marry. We met in high school, and his family was not religious, but through having a relationship with me he saw my deep love of Christ. We read through the bible together, discovered answers to spiritual questions together and now he is a firm follower of Jesus, more than some men I know who have been christians all their lives. So sometimes I believe God will send people into our lives who are not believers to share his word and help them believe in him :)

  9. A few years ago, I was listening to Dr. Laura. The caller wanted her advice about marrying a good friend and all around nice guy that she admired and respected, but didn’t have any sexual attraction to. Dr. Laura’s advice was to look for someone else, because she would cheat them both if she didn’t go into marriage with that attraction. I was so disappointed in Dr. Laura that day. I felt no fireworks or chemistry towards my husband before we were married, but we were good friends. We have been married 27 years now, and life is great. I couldn’t imagine being married to anyone else, and we have become soul mates. But if I was looking for my “one true love,” I’d probably still be looking.

  10. I strongly disagree that there’s no such thing as true love, but I’ll allow that circumstances and viewpoints are different for different people. I do agree that love is a verb, but I also believe that if you wait on God, He will lead you to the right person in due time, and you don’t have to date or anything (Essentially, I believe true love is possible if you leave it in God’s hands). I never dated or had a relationship with anyone before I met my wife, and I found my soulmate right off (when I was 19). I thought I knew what I wanted in a wife, but when I actually met her, she was much better than anything I’d imagined. I loved her very much when we first got married and after 6 years, I love her even more now. While I think I could have been “compatible” with someone else, I’m glad to say I found my one true love right off and didn’t have to go through a bunch of disappointing relationships on my way there. I firmly believe God had us intended for each other all our lives and brought us together when the time was right. I’m not saying that our marriage has always been easy, but it’s helped that I’ve always been firmly convinced that I married the right woman.

    • I’m so glad that you have that kind of relationship! I’m sure you’ve had to work to grow your relationship and deepen or at least matured your love for one another. People forget that kind of work is necessary.
      Lisa Hall-Wilson recently posted…The Hypocrisy of HalloweenMy Profile

    • …but I also believe that if you wait on God, He will lead you to the right person in due time, and you don’t have to date or anything (Essentially, I believe true love is possible if you leave it in God’s hands).

      This is why so many women find themselves single, lonely and childless into their late 30s and early 40s. Waiting for God to find a spouse for you is not Biblical and not practical. And for the record, I suspect you did date your future wife, unless you married her on the day you met her. I’m happy you two found each other but you did work at building a relationship and that work is what most people call dating.

      Now, contrast your statement above with Proverbs 18:22: “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.”

      Note that God is not doing the finding, the man is doing the finding.

      Or try out Ruth 3, which begins: “One day, Naomi said to Ruth: It’s time I found you a husband, who will give you a home and take care of you.” Note who is doing the finding. Ruth went on to lay at the feet of Boaz to secure a husband.

      Then, check out the Apostle Paul’s take on marriage in I Corinthians 7:8-9: “To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.”

      Then in 7:28: “But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.”

      I know a lot of people believe God has one person just for them, but I can’t find such a promise anywhere in the Bible and if He doesn’t promise it in the Bible, then we shouldn’t be counting on that nonexistent promise to bring us a spouse. We can certainly pray about it, of course, but the “finding” and the “dating” is our job, not God’s.

  11. Great post- I totally agree!

    Some marriage advice I love:
    1. “Choose your love; love your choice”

    2. “Before marriage keep thine eyes wide open, then after marriage keep them half closed.”

  12. I love this “the hard work, tears, fights — it all adds up to a history you can’t buy and ONLY TIME CAN BUILD”

    That’s where intentional love – choice – comes in!

    It certainly helps to marry the right person! :) but when you do get married, a previously “wrong” person does become the right one…you choose to make it work :) !

    Great thoughts
    Ngina Otiende recently posted…5 Ways to Love Your Husband Through Every SeasonMy Profile

  13. Thanks so much for hosting me, Sheila.
    Lisa Hall-Wilson recently posted…The Hypocrisy of HalloweenMy Profile

  14. I would say that I’m married to my one true love. He’s not perfect (and here’s a newsflash: neither am I), but I feel he’s perfect for me. We fit together like two pieces to a puzzle and compliment each other so well. We’ve found that his strengths often correspond to my weaknesses and vice versa.

    I can’t say I felt like this when we married … our companionship and relationship have been cultivated over 15+ years to get us to the point where we are. I can’t imagine loving anyone else.

  15. I get what you are trying to say, but it comes across a bit clinical, cold, and frankly I feel like I should just go with arranged marriage for my kids after reading it. Why bother with all that fuss and muss and figuring out who you love when mom and dad can just make a good match and you can choose to love him? Easy peesy!

    • My point was simply that most marriages start out shiny and fun and life is easy and everyone gets along, but that can’t last. When you hit a few bumps or even a mountain, more than ever before love becomes a choice. I’ve heard so many women justify walking away from their marriages because they hit a rough spot and ‘he obviously wasn’t the right guy for me.’ All things being equal, every marriage is going to get rough at some point and you’ll be disappointed if you buy into this one-true-love Prince Charming to the rescue stuff.
      Lisa Hall-Wilson recently posted…The Hypocrisy of HalloweenMy Profile

  16. Although I deeply respect your opinion, I beg to deeply disagree too. I do believe that God has someone created for us long before we are born. I believe he’ll do whatever it takes to ensure that we end up with the person he’s created for us too. (My own marriage is a prime example of this. I included my blog post about it in the link up.)
    However, I can see what you’re saying to. Love is a verb, and it is a choice. This is an interesting debate and we could honestly go back and forth with valid points on both accounts.
    Crystal Green recently posted…Snow on the Tulips “Amazon Reader Pack” Giveaway from Liz Tolsma!My Profile

    • I disagree with this. If it is true that God “ensures we end up with the person he’s created us for” and does not direct a christian to a non christian, like someone above mentioned, then what is a person (like myself) to do after they have married someone who has not commited their whole life to Christ? Am I to believe I made a wrong choice and that I am not currently living out the will of God, and that there is someone so much better for me (never mind that I may be who God chose for him, if we are believing that God chooses our spouse) so I should end my marriage? Or just wait until something catastrophic happens in our marriage and believe that its God righting me with the one he intended? If this is the case, all seems hopeless for me to continue choosing to love my husband and I may as well give up believing in Gods grace and endless mercy. Fortunately I do not believe this (anymore) and have had my faith tested more times than I can count in the short while we have been married. And this is what I find to be producing perseverance in my faith, which surely cant be against God’s will.

  17. About marriage, I tell my children: “Mating is not dating. The qualities that make for a pleasant date have nothing to do with happiness in marriage. And what it takes to succeed in marriage, or anyway live with it, are not present on a date.”

    I married for the first time late (early 40’s) to a woman 8-1/2 years younger whom I knew about one year. We met in the context of a small religious community where marriage and children are stressed as the way to live and be happy. At the time, I felt I was “settling,” giving up my search for my ideal woman in order to take who was available that was pleasantly compatible and appealing but did not rock my world.

    We just passed the 25 year mark. It’s often not been all I wanted or needed. She’s not emotionally expressive nor generous with praise, and some important interests to each we do not have in common.

    But we have “glue” that holds us together, primarily religious observance, rearing the children and running a household that nourishes everyone. Some years ago I realized I married someone I could successfully be married to; that my ideal woman probably would have been difficult to live with and make many demands I could not meet. Also, as I like to say, “The girl of my dreams was not dreaming of me.”

  18. I also reject the “soul mate” theory–the idea that there’s a single person out there intended for you whom you must find to have a happy marriage, or else you’ll be stuck in an unsatisfying relationship. There simply isn’t any biblical support for that notion.

    Marriages in the Bible happen in a number of ways (arranged by parents, an award for military valor, falling in love, etc.), but the central message is to commit to your mate and live out God’s commands on how to treat one another. After all, if your spouse is patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, is not self-seeking, keeps no records of wrongs, etc., that person is probably going to be very attractive. Who does want that kind of selfless love?!

    I don’t deny the importance of attraction (I still think my husband is smokin’ hot), but our marriage is built on something deeper–as you say, that choice to love, the history we have together, and the foundation of our Father. My hubby’s not my “soul mate,” but he is my “sole mate.” Thanks, Lisa!
    J (Hot, Holy & Humorous) recently posted…What I Wish I’d Known before the Wedding NightMy Profile

  19. I feel frustrated that you are taking the words “one true love” wrong. In my experience, when most people talk about looking for their one true love, they mean that they have not found the right one yet. Yet you are basically saying how ridiculous that every person has one and one shot only at finding the one person in 6 billion who God intended for them. Why on earth should that matter to God? Are we really cutting Him out of our choice of spouse? Are you really counseling young woman who might be dating someone poorly matched to them (or worse) that there’s no such thing as your one true love so just pick a guy and work hard at it?

    I do in fact believe in love at first sight. The moment I met my husband I knew immediately he would be my husband before he said one word. I knew because after years of searching I felt a deep wash of God’s peace over me. We started dating that same week and were married 12 months after that.

    Do I believe there is only one person out there I could be happy with? No, because you are right when you say that love takes work and is a matter of choice.

    I liked what a previous commenter said about there being such a thing as your true love before getting married; but afterwards, whoever you chose is it! Just because I believe with my entire heart that God orchestrated my meeting my husband, that He led us together because we are stronger as a team and well-matched, doesn’t mean that now we sit back and relax. Relationships are hard work.

    Still, I think it’s foolish to say that God does not have a perfect plan for our lives in something so significant as marriage. I also believe that I came very close to marrying the wrong man before – do I believe God could have redeemed that marriage, absolutely! But do I believe he led me out of that relationship and to my now-husband, because He wanted the very best for me? There is not a doubt in my mind. My husband is not perfect and neither is our relationship – but knowing he is God’s best for me is a constant reminder to keep working at it – God brought us together to bless each other, but also to challenge us.

    All that said, I do NOT believe this gives any married person the license to doubt their marriage – if you married him, he’s God’s best for you!

    Also your point about widows and widowers, why shouldn’t God have another spouse for them? Just because I believe my husband is God’s best for me doesn’t disqualify me from marrying again if my husband were to die – it merely means at that time I have to ask God what His best is for me, yet again.

    I guess this whole thing really comes down to what you believe about free will. If you believe that our free will means that God has no interest in our decisions than I get why you believe this. I believe that God does have a perfect plan for our lives. Undortunately, our sinful nature will cause us to make choices that alter that plan. And so, God is constantly at work to redeem our futures and lead us back to His heart for us. And oh how He did in my life!

    Sorry for rambling… I just hate when I hear people say that love at first sight or finding the “one” is a lie. I experienced both of those things. Just because your love story does not include them doesn’t make it a lie for someone else.

    • If you believe that our free will means that God has no interest in our decisions than I get why you believe this.

      You are setting up a false choice here – free will does not mean God has no interest in our lives. God gave us the Bible AND he gave us free will. Why did he do that? The Bible is the owner’s manual for a Christian life. Free will is God’s way of letting us decide which path to choose. God is interested in our lives but he lets us decide how to live that life and with whom.

      I believe that God does have a perfect plan for our lives.

      What you believe is irrelevant.

      What I believe is irrelevant.

      What IS relevant is what the Bible says. No where in the Bible are we told that God has a perfect plan for every decision in our lives. Such a promise is never made.

      After reading your comment, I Googled “God’s perfect plan for our lives” and found this blog post. I don’t know the guy, but he is a Hoosier so he can’t be all that bad, and his theology seems on point.

  20. Dennis Briskin says:

    Maybe the truth lives somewhere in the middle. Perhaps we do not find one true love but several could work. Yet, if relationships are hard work (not everyone has that experience) some mates are harder to work with than others. Check out the book, “Why Talking is Not Enough” by Susan Page. Among her points: Communication may be essential, but so few people have the skill level for that to work. Plus, usually one partner is much better at it than the other, which can lead to mutual frustration. She also says most conflicts are just facts of life and not solvable.

  21. I like what my pastor friend told me one time. I was having a hard time deciding if I should go with my husband to visit them and ultimately I decided to go and visit them. When I got there I was still questioning if I had made the right choice. He said “It was God’s will for you to come. You know how I know that. You are here.” It is the same way with marriage. We made the choice. We are married and it is God’s will for us to stay that way. We need to choose to love, respect and treat our spouse with kindness even when the going gets tough.
    I really struggle with the testimonies of people that say “My husband is my best friend.” Because truth is… in my life I don’t see my husband as my best friend. We are complete opposites. We often have different opinions. We argue on a regular basis because we are both hard headed and even have attitudes because we have hurt each other. I entered into marriage with him not because I was completely convinced that he was Mr. Wonderful but partially because I felt guilty because we had spent so much time smooching with each other when we were dating. I am an indecisive person so I don’t know if I would have ever been convinced that it was “God’s perfect will” for me to marry any man in this world.
    I once heard a woman speak about marriage and what if you feel you have married the “wrong mate”. She made the point that you should pray that God will turn your mate into the right mate (note to self- maybe I need turned into the right mate too). I know when we were newly married and I realized that I didn’t really think that I could love the man I married, I prayed to God that He would give me the love I needed for my husband. God answered that prayer. Is our marriage perfect. No. This life and world are not perfect either. Are we trying and seeking God, yes. I think some of a person’s perception of marriage we receive from our parents’s marriage. My mom was always bemoaning that she had married the wrong person…probably rubbed off on me. Some people have grown up in a home where there was a better marriage example…more maturity, better communication, more respect, stronger spirituality, you name it. Some of us did not. God shows us the example, in the way he loves us demonstrating how to love each other. So even if we have wrong ideas about marriage we can look at His example and learn how to love our spouse.
    So for all you people out there who want to flaunt your perfect marriage in other people’s faces, it gets a little old. Tell us about some of your problems so we can relate. Since we know that we are all sinners, I doubt that your marriages are perfect. And it would do more to encourage others if you shared some of the things God has taught you and give Him the glory. It is similar to unbelievers viewing believers, unless we let them know that we are sinners to and have struggled we are not going to be very believable.

    • Oh my goodness, Yes! To everything you said here. I can relate to EVERYTHING you said, and im encouraged. I have struggled so much lately with these things. And I also am a very indecisive person, and it was AGONIZING for me to decide whether to marry this man or not (not the first time ive struggled with this). In my case my parents ARE best friends and have never argued I front of us, so I thought all relationships had to be this way. That has been very hard for me, but I am learning so much and your post is exactly how I feel. Yes, lets encourage eachother and give God the glory!

  22. I might agree with you if I hadn’t had the experience of meeting and marrying someone who is the only person I’ve ever met who sees life in the same way I do, and I had to meet him through a specific set of circumstances. God does guide us and direct our lives, as long as we choose to follow Him, and if He cares about us enough to number the hairs on our head, then He cares enough to be involved in one of the most important relationships we could ever have.

  23. You stay. simply because you promised God you would……so true

  24. Dennis Briskin says:

    The Infinite Reality aside, I stayed because when I imagined it, it never worked out to anything but devastation for our two children. I took/take my parenting responsibility as a sacred duty, certainly more important than pursuing what I imagined to be greater happiness with someone a better match for me, someone I did not know and did not know how to find. Also, I would not inflict single motherhood on my wife, who has many positives that make our union more supportive and loving than not. (I never outgrew my idealism, and she is not ideal. And the girl of my dreams is not dreaming of me.)

  25. Thank you so much for this article I know it’s been a few months since written but this sums up my feels towards love. I got married a few weeks ago after 9 years and 3 children but my family didn’t support it, my mum, stepdad and sisters didn’t attend and one of their reasons they don’t believe I love him, because I have expressed as engaged that I don’t believe in true love… I believe in commitment and working together, growing together and enriching each other’s lives. To be honest I go a step further in that I don’t really believe in forever (quite a few abandonment issues) as people and lives change… Don’t get me wrong that doesn’t mean don’t try to work things out I have gone through some really tough times and we came through it… But it did mean that when we got married I asked him that every 10 years I want us to write new vows to reflect our new circumstances to each other. But I felt rather insecure that I was an oddity.

  26. I proposed to my true love last week. We were college sweethearts 20 years ago. Now, after our separate divorces, we have reunited. We would never have made it if we had gotten married in our 20’s. We were to headstrong and had so many lessons to learn.

    Initially we were simply attracted to one another. It took 3 dates, each one six months apart for us to finally connect. Those first two dates were dudes, but by the third one, he finally opened up and talked. The connection that was made that evening has never been severed. And once we did connect, we were inseparable for three years. We went to school together, we worked part-time jobs together, we visited our grandparents together, we hung out with one another’s siblings. We literally did everything together. We were like Mutt and Jeff. Best friends first, then lovers. There was at least one moment every day that we were together that we both laughed til we cried.

    I chalked up the intensity of our relationship to youth and hormones and decided that if I wanted a happy marriage with someone, I should look for a nice, stable guy who didn’t stir up all the feelings my college sweetheart had. I figured I needed to take a safe secure route. Anyway, I married the nice sweet stable guy. And sadly, he couldn’t evoke the feelings I had had before. I loved him but he didn’t feel like he was “the one.” And I would have stayed forever, but he didn’t want to settle for someone who had probably settled for him.

    So after years of being alone for the most part, I called my first love, and lo and behold, his divorce was finalized a couple of years ago. He also married someone “safe.” Both of us now know how to compromise, how to communicate better, how to nurture, how to support. This time, we’re going to do it. And we still make one another laugh til we cry.

  27. Stumbled upon your post via a facebook share, so, um, first time reader, first time writer.

    When she was a freshman in High School, I was the first person to ever ask my wife out on a date. Our families lived about 100 yards from each other. We went to lunch, decided there was no romantic spark, but slowly became friends. We graduated high school and went to separate colleges. I later served a term in the Air Force. We dated a variety of people, had one night stands, and each had three year relationships with someone who played mind games and/or “if you really loved me” manipulations. Throughout it all, we would occasionally meet up if we passed through the city where the other was living, meet who they were dating, all have lunch together and see each other again a year or two later.

    Years later, we were both living in the same city and looking for a roommate. Decided to give it a try since we knew we got along well. That romantic spark that wasn’t there when we were in high school showed up with a vengeance. Three years later, we were married. It’s now eleven years and two amazing daughters after that marriage.

    There are many things we love doing together and several things we love doing apart. If either of us had ended up with someone else with whom we has also wanted to make it work, I believe we could have. If I were with someone else, those many things that we did together and few things we do apart would just be different things (for instance: one ex of mine loves football, which bores me and my wife to tears, but loves monster movies, which my wife does not).

    While our lives have had ups and downs over the years, our love has not. Not because we are mystical, preordained soul mates, but because both of us take the time to love each other every day. That act of loving is one of the more powerful forces in our lives and we always make sure to devote some time to “us” each day; though when the girls were young and we were exhausted, the “us time” for the day was sometimes just an exhausted kiss before falling asleep.

    In essence, I did marry my one true love, but we are only our true loves because we want to be.

    -Daniel, Loving/Loved Atheist

  28. Motherof1 says:

    This was a very encouraging post. Been married for 2 years.. Hardest two years of my life. Husband was from Arizona and I’m from Portland … Constant arguments about where to live and families. The only think that has kept us together is our Savior, Jesus Christ .. Cause like you said we not only vowed to each other bit to God. Everyday is a struggle for me to be happy with my decision I made 2 years ago. We are such two different people who want such different things out of life. He wants to be with his family and I want to be with mine.. It absolutely sucks. So thank you for this, for encouraging words.. <3

  29. I’ve always thought that love is not like a light bulb where you could just turn it on or off. It is something that we think about and eventually, love is a choice. Sure, at first it’s all about emotions but after a few months emotions fade away and things get boring, that’s when you choose. So one day when you wake up and feel like you don’t love the person anymore, that’s your choice, I just hope all of us make better choices.

  30. Three quick secrets to a long and calm marriage 1. Be a little hard of hearing so you miss a lot of the things that did not need to be said.
    2. Be a little nearsighted so you don’t see every thing you wish were different.
    3. Be a little forgetful so there’s less to bring up from the past.

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