I had an interesting phone conversation with my great aunt sometime last fall. It had been quite a while since we spoke so it was nice hear what she has been up to. We did not talk for long but we discussed the things that were taking place in each of our lives at that point in time. Throughout our conversation I could not help but notice how she spoke about one topic in particular. One very close to her heart- My great uncle.
This woman, who by the way is in her 80’s, giggled like a little school girl at even the mention of his name. After being married for 60 some odd years I could not believe that she is still irrevocably and insanely in love with him. To be quite honest, I was not sure that love like that even lasted at all! More recently, I have been really questioning love and its purpose in our lives. Also, I have had my doubts if it is even possible to be in love with someone until “death do you part”. Actually, to be quite frank I have always had this suspicion that maybe the “one” out there doesn’t even exist but perhaps multiple one’s for certain seasons of your life. Whether that makes any sense or not, the reason behind my questioning is for one simple reason. I feel that many couples nowadays give up and end their relationship before they even have a chance to thrive. Coming from a divorced family myself, it is sometimes challenging to have faith that true love can exist or that it can “conquer all things”. Do not get me wrong, I know that I am only 23 therefore, my own personal experiences with “love” are very limited and quite minuscule in comparison. However, this woman’s obvious excitement, deep and honest love for my great uncle gives me a slither of hope that not all relationships fail.
With just about everything in life, I am learning that relationships take a lot of hard work and a butt-load of patience & faith (which is probably my biggest struggle). It may seem a little immature that I have recently come to such a conclusion. However, based on my own experience, relationships require more work than I or probably many other individuals have ever planned; and sometimes it is oh so tempting to throw in the towel and call it a quits (I am guilty of this). However, I think about my great aunt and her love and clearly the love of her life.
Now let’s be honest, I know her marriage is not perfect (as no relationship/ marriage is!) and has probably had its dark moments; but as always curiosity gets the best of me and I cannot help but wonder what has kept them together after all these years. And that my friends is when it hit me smack dab in my face. From a very young age, respective figures in each one of our lives have always taught us that in order to accomplish some of the most amazing things in life you must put in a ton of work, non-stop dedication and sometimes an endless amount of sweat and tears. Therefore, nothing- Not ONE thing in life comes without good old sacrifice, will and determination. In comparison, relationships are no different, and why should they be? They deserve that same yearning, drive and passion that any other goal(s) in our lives receive. The important part is that the effort must be given on both ends and not from one person. This effort should not take place as a temporary solution to the problem (such as after a fight), instead, it should always occur, in everything you do, right down to the tiniest detail (it is the small things that count, trust me!).
I think it is safe to say that all relationships endure a time where they hit a plateau. This is the point where the so called “honeymoon stage” has left the building and that emotion of pure bliss is no more. Couples find that their once “exciting” relationship has been taken over by a stagnant comfort. At this point one of two things may have happened (or maybe even both); the relationship is now conceived as “boring” or maybe that “spark” decided to spontaneously get up and make a freaking run for the hills. But my question to you is why does the magic have to go away after the “honeymoon stage”? Well boys and girls the simple answer is IT DOES NOT! This may come as a shock because the answer screams simplicity but if you value your loved one get off your lazy butts and do something about it.
Clearly I am not a love doctor and I probably do not even know what I am talking about. Also, I understand that some people will disagree with me and state that many relationships end for multiple reasons that cannot be resolved e.g. lying, insecurities, financial issues or whatever it may be. However, for a brief moment I cannot help but think about my great aunt and the love of not only her life but the love she has known since every major mark/ milestone in her life. As mentioned previously, I am positive she has had her fair share of issues but she made it this far-Together they made it this far and that was not accomplished without effort!
Finally, my great aunt concluded with a joke that to this day (60+ years later) she still looks forward to seeing him dress sexy for her, walking around in his “light blue jeans”.
Sometimes things in life can be fixed and sometimes they cannot. However, how will you know if you never give it your all? I can only hope, that 60 years down the road I have that same determination; the will to not run when the going gets tough and at the very least try everything before I decide whether or not to move on. Personally, I like the thought that when I am old and shriveled like a prune my significant other will still love me as much as I love him, and maybe just maybe still find me sexy!
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.8 Love never fails.