Being in this relationship with Tyler has taught me so much more than I could have ever imagined.
So. Much. More.
For a long time, and honestly still, I hear mixed reviews on "marriage is hard". Some people take that to heart as a helpful warning that sticking with one person for the rest of your life will take some effort. Others, however, feel that it's a bad omen.
The way I see it, yes, marriage takes effort...and yes, sometimes, it can be hard.
Being able to listen in an argument for the sake of truly hearing what your partner has to say and NOT building your own argument can be hard. Apologizing after you recognize a mistake you have made can be hard. Learning how to share finances, own up to whatever spending habits you have, and creating a life plan that supports both parties both individually and together can be hard. The list goes on.
Despite the challenges, one single piece of advice has helped me to key back into the heart of our relationship again and again, almost like a mission or vision statement that guides a company. It was a couple of years into our relationship when Tyler first gifted me this nugget of wisdom, that he would choose me every single day...and that was all that he asked for in return. "I choose you every single day. I just choose you."
It seriously changed the way I saw our relationship forever. It stopped being about how compatible we were (I thought tirelessly about how "compatible" we were in the beginning) and reframed our relationship entirely. It wasn't my job to analyze his every move, to compare him to my past or keep him under watch to observe our compatibility, instead my job was to simply choose him, to love him and to make that choice all over again every single day.
Now, if this feels like a jail sentence, then we have some chatting to do my friend. No judgement, just make sure you send me a message so we can examine the thoughts that led you to feel like choosing your partner/spouse on a daily basis feels less than exciting.
But what if it was as simple as that?
What if I made it simpler?
Try this on... "It is simply my job to love him/her."
Similar to choosing your partner on a daily basis, what if your only job in the relationship was to love and celebrate them? What if you spent time thinking about how awesome they were? (Yes, even with all their lovely "quirks"). No really, map out 3 minutes a day - a song's length yall - and just think about all of the reasons you love them, why you fell in love with them and what their partnership means to you.
What if you spent time thinking about ways you could show them your love? (If you have not taken then Love Languages test, please do! You will find out the best way you receive love. Bonus: Have your partner take it too so you can better understand how they best receive love). This one ends of being so much fun as I brainstorm fun date ideas, ways to surprise him and how to show my love in both big and small ways.
I have been in the practice of choosing Tyler daily for several years now, but it did not occur to me until recently that maybe my only job was to love them and maybe his only job was to be loved? Not to serve me, not to make me happy, not to take care of me. While all of those things are certainly welcomed, when I take all the pressure off of them to do for me and step into a space of giving love...watch out! Things are about to get spicy!!
I have started spending more time thinking about the ways I can make Tyler feel loved and that has led me to write him impromptu love letters in both the written and text form.
And guess what - he loves them!
Here's the thing, when we give from a place of true love...not expecting anything in return. Not only does it feel really good, but you serve as an example for your partner. And as we all know, it serves us so much more to show than to tell.
My biggest takeaway: I show up in my relationship with freedom. When I let go of my expectations of what he should be doing for me, and open up that space to simply love him, our relationship feels so much better; it feels like a gift. I was so worn out, thinking about our compatibility and whether or not we were a "good fit"...when I shifted into "I choose you every single day" I stopped with the worry in my brain and simply chose love.
Love will always feel the best.
Side note: If you are in an abusive relationship, you know it. Honor your inner voice and make the choice that is right for you. Please do not hesitate to reach out for support.
I'd love to know your thoughts! How many of you already practice this in your relationships? For how many of you is this new information? Do you think this is a bunch of mumbo-jumbo? Let me know! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy Loving my friends!