In love or deep love?

As conversations ensue between my husband and I, the faucet opens up a little more each time.  When you’re in such a hurry like me to raise the rug and throw it out the door, patience is difficult.  I admit I want a waterfall, and I’m getting a slow, steady stream.  I remind myself to be content with this, because not too long ago it was just a slow, ominous drip.   And it’s not easy.  If nothing else, throughout this whole ordeal, I’ve learned patience.

We’ve been talking about love lately, specifically love versus in love.    When he wrote me a letter a week or two ago, one of the things he wrote was “There is nobody I would rather spend time with than you.  And that’s because I’m more comfortable with you than anyone else.  Does this mean that I’m in love with you?”  After you’ve been married for some 23 years, there’s not a question that the fires that burned when we first got together were hotter, much hotter.  Neither of us deny this fact.  And, we both can’t deny that the allure of any new relationship is like taking a drug, it makes you feel intoxicated and heady.  But, is that feeling supposed to stick around forever?   So, we have been discussing our love for each other.  It’s important to him that I understand that he loves me.  He has stated this over and over so many times in the last year and a half.  But, we recently asked of each other, are we still in love with each other.  Neither of us were really sure exactly how to answer this and what did it mean if we said that we loved each other, but weren’t in love with each other, if being in love means intoxicated and heady.   And then the question was presented, what does being in love with someone even mean?

I think in the beginning of any relationship, the mystery is part of the equation.  You are learning about someone new and different.  All of the experiences are brand new. All of the stories are brand new.  You are exploring that person, studying who they are and what they’re about and what makes them who they are.  And likely, a good portion of who both of you are at that point in the relationship is not exactly who either of you really are.  We present as peacocks to perspective mates, showing only the best of who we really are to the other person.  And then, slowly we settle in, and the more comfortable we become the more of who we really are starts to present, while a few of those peacock feathers start falling out.

When we build a fire in our fireplace at home, the sequence of events is always the same.  We use a lot of kindle to start the fire, and it isn’t always easy (I have no idea how real fires start when I can’t seem to get one to start on purpose in my fireplace.)  Then the fire slowly starts getting going,  burning hotter and hotter.  It’s at this point that we start taking the blanket off of ourselves on the couch or removing the heavy sweatshirt.  The kids back away from the fireplace to a cooler spot in the room.  Then, the fire gets low, but the embers are glowing brightly underneath the wood, turning the excessive heat into a cozy warmth.  And that is where it becomes enjoyable, when it’s cozy.  And we huddle back in around the gentle heat.  And every so often throw another log on our fire.

I think we have both realized that the term “in love” might represent those beginning feelings of our relationship, those moments of extreme heat, where ripping off clothes was what we lived for, when we were hopelessly infatuated with each other.  These are the times when a lot of kindle was needed to keep those flames going.  Now, we are settled in, just enjoying the life we have created.  We have plenty of moments of extreme heat, but that’s what they are…moments.  Of course we will never feel what we did in the beginning again, because we aren’t new to each other anymore.  The period of infatuation is past us and what we feel now is deep love.

He recently told me he was infatuated with the “idea” of her.  And she was like a drug that he wanted to stop taking, but couldn’t seem to figure out how to stop.  And he recognizes that she lives her life for infatuation, never quite experiencing the deep love that comes later.  I guess it must be like her drug to keep looking for that feeling of giddy that comes with a new relationship.

Love is something that deepens over time.  And there may be days or months or years when it wavers, but if it’s the real thing it settles in and maybe it won’t be as hot, but it will definitely be comfortable and you will be content.  And that is the definition of happiness…..being content.

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2 thoughts on “In love or deep love?

  1. This is a great post, and a concept I’m still having trouble to fully pin point. Perhaps, that’s the point of love – it’s some thing so complex that isn’t meant to be fully definable – and thus the mystery as well as the power of love. But I think love shows its face during different aspects of life, but especially during the difficult times.

    Love in the initial stages of course is the heat and extreme attraction. But this is just pure animal attraction – infatuation. But this passion is just all about getting good feelings that satisfy you. But as love deepens, I believe the focus starts to shift from what you get out of the relationship, to starting to deeply care about the happiness and well-being of the other person. And with mutual respect, and caring, you develop a sense of stability, comfort, trust, and “love”.

    But of course, it’s the hard times that test the strength of love. When every fibre of your being is tempted to stray, to be disloyal, to do selfish acts that would hurt your partner/betray your relationship, thats when you make a choice – to pursue your own “happiness” and gratification, or to choose to honour the wellbeing of your partner, the one you love. I believe when you believe someone loves you, you trust them to stand by you – and thus the values of faithfulness, loyalty and trust in a relationship built on love.

    Of course, failing to do so doesn’t mean they never loved you, nor that they don’t love you. We’re all human, we all make mistakes. We’re all tempted, and we all stray. So it’s the choices afterwards – to reconcile, to accept the consequences, and to work hard towards being faithful, showing their remorse and ultimately, where their hearts truly lie. And at the same time, for the betrayed spouse to fight for their wayward partner – to choose to forgive and reconcile – that is also a testament to the strength of their relationship and love to each other. But I will say that during the time of any affair – that is not an act of love, nor does the person fully “love” you during that time. Love cannot be built on lies. But a relationship cannot be defined by 1 act – but needs to be viewed in the continuum of the entire relationship.

    Love is so many things and to define it is difficult – because how it manifests will determine on the circumstances life presents itself. At the end of the day, love is a choice – a choice to always choose your honour your partner each and every day throughout thoughts, words and actions. Key word – honour. The way you honour your parents, partner, friends, children are all different. And so, the love between each of these relationship will be expressed differently.

    Anyway, those are my 2 cents… Great post btw. Really encouraging to read this.

    1. Love is definitely complex. And I have learned a few things since my husband’s affair. He had told me early on that he had no intention of leaving me. That was clue number one. Despite this, he continued the affair. He was telling both of the same things, that he loved us, etc. But, he never clearly committed to her. He would imply that he was on board, but that’s it. Meanwhile, he told me several times, if you love me you will figure out what I need. That is the message that I overlooked over and over. But, that was his cry for help. He was in deep and couldn’t get back out. He needed me to do all of those things that I refused to do…but looking back should have. We both knew we were never going to split up. We both knew we were going to get through it, although those words were never really spoken out loud at the time. It was just something we knew just because we were so close to each other. The one catalyst was the way they parted. He believed she loved him and had changed for him and he chose to leave her. It was his sticking point. But, after he found out that she was basically living a triple life, he realized that she was what he originally thought she was, and what his intuition had been telling him all along. What came out was basically something he knew and believed, but couldn’t come up with proof. Love, when it’s real, will always stand strong in the end. But, it’s definitely a choice you have to make to keep that relationship going. Forgiveness is such a huge part of love. And forgiveness is an attribute of the strong. The weak can never forgive. Their egos won’t let them. We do all make mistakes and sometimes we get pushed into a corner that even the strongest struggle to get out.
      Thank you for your kind words.

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