I wrote a post here awhile back about first love and a writer that I respect commented on how for as fascinating as that might be, what is really thought provoking was what comes after. The love that lasts through the years, through the trials that life puts us through and after the “glow” of the newness wears off. Since Leo and I have been together for over 20 years, I feel like this is a topic I can talk about. I think about the love that I felt with Leo when we were first falling in love and I love to be back in that moment because I really didn’t think I could love him more than I did then. I was wrong.
New love might be discovering exciting things about the other person you didn’t know but deep, lasting love is knowing everything and still being excited. New love is feeling the rush of how good it is to be in the other person’s arms. Deep, lasting love is hugging and sighing with complete contentment that that is exactly where you are supposed to be. New love is your heart skipping a beat when you hear “I love you” for the first time. Deep, lasting love is going through Hell and hearing, “I love you no matter what.” It’s hearing that your kids are going to battle a fatal disease because you married each other and saying, “I’d still marry you.” It’s hearing that something in your body is causing you not to be able to get pregnant and hearing the man you love say, “I want another baby but I want you more.”
What continues to fascinate me is how deep the love can run. How after peeling away layer after layer, the love remains. I think with “need” comes a deeper sense of love. Excitement is replaced with contentment. You’ll never have that first kiss with your spouse but would you trade the knowledge that you are with someone that totally and completely “gets you” for that experience? I wouldn’t. Someone mentioned that it is about finding a balance between feeling safe and yet still feeling excited. I totally agree. I think that and making sure your spouse knows that you still want them is key to making it work. There is an absolute calmness in looking at the person you are with and seeing them for who they are and letting them see who you are and still being wildly attracted to them and still wanting to be with them. Acceptance is a powerful thing.
The best advice about love that I got was from my Nana. She always told me, “Don’t marry the person you can live with. Marry the person you can’t live without.” When he is away on a business trip, I feel uneasy. I don’t feel better until he is back. I am the corny woman that wants to jump in his arms the minute he is back because I hate every minute he is away. Leo and I have been together so long that I sometimes don’t know where I end and he begins and vice versa. Marriage is hard and it takes a lot of work to keep the fire alive. People say all the time that the first year of marriage is hard or the year you have your first baby is hard but I think these are the hardest years. The years where you are trying to balance all of the kids’ needs and your own on top of yours as a couple, making sure you still put each other first. No one wants to come in last on the list of priorities. I’d be lying if I said we didn’t struggle with it. Momentary lapses in selfishness are normal but when you have that deep, lasting love, you recognize it and accept it for what it is and fix it because you know it’s special and worth working on and fixing. The Groundhog Day (movie) feeling of the same thing happening day after day can take its toll and before we know it, Leo and I have had three minutes alone to talk about things that are going on. I am comforted by the fact that Leo will notice it too and when it happens we’ll try and make it a priority to go out without the kids or set aside time to watch a movie after the kids go to bed.
The thing about new love is that you are so wrapped up in your own feelings that you can’t really see past the bliss you are feeling. With lasting love, you think of the other person and want them to be happy. That new feeling might feel like Heaven with all the happiness rushing in but I’d rather have the knowledge that someone is there looking out for me…getting me…even when the rest of the world might not. I’d rather feel like every time we are together, it’s like coming home.
I do not own anything on either of these videos. Just posting them because they remind me of Leo and our relationship. It’s not perfect by any means, we make each other a little crazy but it is ours and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.