Early in our marriage,  I sometimes worried that my feelings of affection for my spouse tended to wax and wane.  Sometimes I felt delicious affection for him and other times I wanted to be left alone. Where was the “happily ever after?”  I remember actually praying for help to love my partner again.  My answer came when I realized that feeling affection for someone and loving someone are two different things.  It also came to me that love is a choice.

Feeling in love is thrilling; however, it is only the icing on the cake.  These feelings come and go with the wind — or my mood, or my physical condition, or a myriad of other factors.

As pleasurable as it is, affection  is not all there is to marital love.  Among other things, love is commitment, a choice to stay with someone in good times and bad, to support him, to be compassionate and tolerant of  his imperfections,  and to work through common problems and goals together.

After 50 years of life together, my body still sings with delight when my spouse brushes his lips against mine, however, I’m not afraid of the times when it doesn’t.  I now know that’s just how it is.  I’ve learned that the feelings will come back.  But even if someday they fade, I will be secure in the knowledge that the real deal will last through whatever each day brings.  And, that is more than sufficient.

A diet of dessert only is not the healthiest diet.  My love for my spouse is much more varied and bounteous than dessert only.


Written October 13, 2010


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