I love rom coms. It’s fun to watch two people falling in love. It always makes me feel all warm and happy. There’s nothing like popping some popcorn and watching two people’s love story. But here’s the thing – rom coms only start the story. Because no one wants to watch what happens when love and life collide.
I love my husband. I love our love story. I like to think back on the time we met when we were young and in our prime, looking smoking hot and doing whatever we wanted because life hadn’t really started for us yet. Going on multiple dates a week, being romanced with flowers all the time, just that east peasy love bubble that we both lived in. Ah, the love bubble. But…that love bubble? It pops. Sometimes it explodes. And it’s not the guy or the girl that makes it happen. It’s just life.
Life is hard. Harder than you ever think it will be when you’re just starting out and living in the love bubble. You get married, things are sweet. You spend all your time together and little things like him leaving his socks on the floor and her leaving a sink full of dirty dishes are irritating, but not bubble popping. But then time moves on and when you start to experience life together, that’s when things get hard. That’s when the bubble bursts.
I’m not a marriage expert, but I am an expert on navigating life when it gets hard. Illnesses, disabilities, accidents, workplace stresses, infertility – all of these things can be difficult. And when the heat starts rising, that’s when the bubble implodes. But here’s the thing – life might make the love bubble a thing of the past, but it doesn’t mean that you don’t love each other anymore. It just means that life is hard.
Marriage is really just living life together. Committing to navigating through the fun times and the soul sucking difficult times. It’s not quitting on each other when things get tough. And if I’m being honest – that’s hard. Because when you say “through better or worse” you have no idea how hard that worse can be. I repeat – no idea whatsoever.
My husband and I have navigated through some awful storms. In fact, it’s storming at our house right now. But through all of our married life, instead of running away from each other in the hard stuff – we come together. It’s clinging together in the storms that makes a marriage strong. Praying together, crying together, encouraging one another. Some of the hardest things in our marriage that could have broken us made us stronger together. The happy ever after that we see in rom coms doesn’t exist. But happy does.
It’s Valentine’s Day today. Our 17th one together, as crazy as that seems to me. I remember our very first one – we weren’t technically dating yet, but we might have well been. He showed up to my house with some pink flowers and a whole bunch of pink themed gifts (my favourite colour). We went out for dinner together, too. It is such a sweet memory.
We have had many Valentine’s days like that, but they haven’t all been that way. Sometimes we do flowers and dinner out. Sometimes we just give each other a card. Tonight we are doing pizza with our kids and probably watching tv in our PJs. If I’m honest, I prefer pizza and PJs over the most romantic dinner in the city. Because that every day, comfortable love is more real than any happy ever after I’ve ever seen on TV.
Rom coms still make me smile. I’ll never quit watching them. (Plus, I love how they make my hubby tear up when he watches them with me). But I’ll take our every day love over romantic gestures every time. Because it’s real, and it’s raw and it’s beautiful. Love and life go hand in hand. And when you love through life, it’s built to last.