I'm reading a book called "The 5 Love Languages". For the majority I know it's true, but a lot of it makes me sad, and also makes me realize that Dave and I do not have the normal marriage. For that 1 fact, I am eternally grateful.
The other day in the kitchen I was making dinner and Dave and I were discussing how our 4 year Anniversary was coming up in a couple of weeks. That's 5 1/2 years of us being together. (Now please know that I don't claim to know everything about love, and I realize that 5 1/2 years is a VERY SHORT time in the big scheme of things). As we sat there chatting while I whipped up some spaghetti, I made the comment, "Isn't it amazing how I still feel like I just married you yesterday? I love you just as much as I did the day I said yes, and even more if that is possible. I still love all your little things you do, and nothing that you do really ever bothers me enough to get mad. You leaving your clothes on the floor or towel on the ground are things that I would miss so much if you were gone, and they are things that I love about you, because they ARE YOU."
Dave got a little smile on his face and he said, "You know babe, it is crazy. I feel the exact same way about you."
I understand that what Dave and I went through during the 1st year of our marriage really changed the way our marriage would be. After a month of being married, and almost losing the "love of your life" you tend to not sweat the small stuff. The toilet seat being left up doesn't matter, and the dishes in the sink can wait over cuddling on the couch watching a movie. You learn that time together is much more important than time spent worrying over all the other miniscule things in life.
As I read this book they talk about "Falling in Love" and that it lasts as the most 2 years. The thought blew my mind. I feel like I'm still "falling in love" with Dave. Everyday he does something that makes my heart go pitter patter, and he makes me bite my lip. Every day I find myself starring at him while just thinking about how much I love him, until something happens to make me snap out of it. I believe that I'm never NOT falling in love with him. Every day is another day that I get to fall more in love with my husband and I'm so grateful for that.
Now I know there truly are 5 love languages. Dave has his as much as I have mine. The thing is though, that if one of us do something outside of the other person's love language we are able to acknowledge that they are still trying. Not only that, but Dave and I have the most amazing communication. There is nothing that we don't talk about, or that I feel I can't share with him. We are constantly talking about what is important to us, and what the other person can do to help us feel more loved and more important. It never irritates either of us to hear that the other person needs a little more of this or a little more of that, we just look at it as a way to love each other more.
I was very lucky when I found Dave. I found a man who is not only my best "guy friend", but he is also my lover. He is the most unselfish man I have ever known. His main goal in this life is to provide for me, and make me happy. Everything he does is based around the thought, "will this make Jilly feel more loved?" I never knew that existed until I met him. Not only did I not know it existed, but I didn't know that I was capable of loving a man that same way.
For those of you who know me, I tend to be selfish and self centered at times. I love shopping for myself, I love cooking for myself, I love taking time to do the things that I love, and I absolutely HATE doing the stuff that needs to be done. Now, because I love my husband, and I love other people I choose to serve, but not always as fast as I need to. Now take a lesson from my husband.
I had let the dishes pile up and up and up. Why? Because I absolutely despise doing dishes. I don't think in a million years I could truly explain my disdain for washing a dish. It is my arch nemesis. I HATE IT! Dave knows this. He knows that a week is going to go by and I'm going to leave the dishes in the sink. Now finally I will have had it and I will break down and do the dishes. Here is the amazing thing about my husband though, when he can see that I am really struggling mentally, with my bipolar, or physically, with being ill all the time, he will lay me down on the couch, bring me a drink, try to get me to take a nap and he will stay up until 3 in the morning at times, to do the dishes. After he has gotten home from his lab at 10, worked all day at the VA Hospital, and studied until 1am, he will then put those dish gloves on and scrub those dishes for me. He never expects a thank you, and he never gets mad that he does them. He does it because he knows how much it means to me, and because he loves me so much.
He scrubs the bathroom weekly, just to help me out. My husband understands the physical challenges that I deal with on a daily basis. I know I complain, and he's an angel and just listens, but not only does he listen, he goes above and beyond to help me out. He goes to school, work, and study time, and he still comes home and helps me clean the house, fold the laundry, and wash the dishes. He does all of this without ever expecting ANYTHING in return. To me that is true love, and that is why I continue to "fall in love" with this amazing man every day. That is one of the many reasons why after 4 years of marriage we still feel like we said "I do" yesterday.
I know I haven't said the things that I do for him, but I don't need to. They're not important. The important thing is that I feel truly lucky to have the marriage and relationship that I do, because by reading this book I'm finding that it is very rare. I'm finding that so many people live in "loveless" marriages, and it breaks my heart for them. I can't imagine how, nor would I ever want to experience what that feels like. It almost brings me to tears to know that people are married and don't share what Dave and I share.
Dave and I learned a very valuable lesson after 2 months of marriage; nothing in this world matters if you don't have the love of your life to share it with. When I laid in the hospital bed, and was almost dead, we got the opportunity to see that, 1. I would do anything to live one more day with Dave. I would overcome anything just so I could wake up and see his face again and 2. Dave learned that nothing in this life is worth an argument because your spouse could be gone tomorrow, and that thing that they do that bugs you would no longer be there, and you would miss it.
I think if we each could change our perspective a bit and learn to cherish the thing that "Bugs" us about our spouse, whether it be that wet towel on the ground, toothpaste in the sink, or clothes dumped around the house. If you learned to love those things, your entire perspective would change. You would know that those are the things that make them who they are, and you fell in love with "who they are" so you need to keep loving them. You shouldn't want to change your spouse, you should want to change how you feel about them. They love you for who you are, and they accept you with all of your faults, so you need to love and accept them with theirs. Plus, they could be gone tomorrow. Nothing in this life is permanent. Nothing is guaranteed. Those things that you let make you crazy today, could make your heart ache tomorrow if they were gone. I promise you, you would miss picking up their socks off the ground if they were gone.
So on this 4th Anniversary to my sweetheart, I want to thank him for loving me in a way that is unlike any other love on the planet. A love that is so rare, and so few and far between, that I am truly blessed to have it. I am the luckiest girl on the planet, and I'm so thankful that Dave continues to love me with ALL of my faults. And believe me, I have a TON!!! Turning this corner into year #4 I love him as much as I did the day I looked him in the eye and said "I Do."
That day 4 years ago was the greatest day of my life up to that point, and now each day that I get to wake up and see his smiling face is the next greatest day of my life. I will cherish every morning that I wake up holding his hand and see him sleeping next to me. It's the small things that matter, and the little things I treasure. So happy Anniversary my love. Here's to another 4, and another 50 after that, if we can both keep on kicking. I love spending my life with you, and I look forward to spending the rest of my life with you. Happy Anniversary and all my love in the world,
Your Jilly Pepper