Sometimes I’m too naive. I like to think I’m just optimistic. Thinking the best about people/situations. But I’ve learned recently that I’m also very naive.
I recently reconnected with an old “friend” via Facebook. He wasn’t my boyfriend. We never actually dated. But I fell for him hard my senior year of high school and we had a deep connection. He became a very close friend by the time we graduated but our relationship, whatever it had evolved into, ended abruptly, shortly after the start of college.
Abruptly and completely. And I was heartbroken. I had lost a friend and more than that. With no explanation and only my own thoughts and emotions swirling around in my head telling lies and truths and not knowing which was which.
Years passed (18 to be exact) and we spoke maybe twice. The last time we spoke or had any interaction was 13 years ago. I’ve actually written about it before here. It’s interesting how you hold on to memories when you don’t have closure…
So when we became Facebook friends last month I had a naive expectation about how it would look. I’d browse his Facebook page, see who he’d become, where he was. He’d do the same. We’d say “hey, good to see you again” and sporadically like each others’ pics and posts.
It didn’t quite work that way. It’s too easy to go back to the past, remember those feelings. I was naive in thinking that wouldn’t happen…
A few days later, a friend invited me to pray for Adam every day during the month of September. We had spoken about this a week or so before and the timing couldn’t have been better. Adam and I were in a fine place in our marriage, but at the same time I was reconnecting with someone I had loved and cared for very much in the past. I knew I needed to proactively protect my marriage in every way possible because no one else would do that but me.
So I made a strategic choice to love Adam more. To love him better. To love him purposefully. To pray for him each day. To pursue him lovingly. And it has worked.
I feel more connected to him than I have in years. Actually, I’m not sure that I can remember the last time I felt like this. I have (re)found a love for him that feels alive and real.
I keep asking myself why I haven’t done this before? Made a CHOICE to love my husband? We’ve been through rough times. Where I wasn’t sure I could picture living the REST OF MY LIFE *together* with him. Why didn’t I choose to love him in those times? To protect and guard my marriage then like I am now?
Let’s be honest. For most of us, it’s not another person that is coming between, or causing problems in, our marriages. It’s disagreements about parenting, money, hormones, the way we speak to each other, lack of respect, not loving ourselves… I could go on and on.
But we can make a choice EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. to love our spouse more. Because after this long, it HAS to be a choice. The butterflies go away and day to day life, STAGES of life, get in the way and change dynamics. Kissing him goodbye in the morning and goodnight before bed becomes a ritual. But let me tell you. CHOOSING to love someone? It changes all of it.
So I challenge you to make the choice. The choice to love your spouse. Love him better. Love her more. Love him deliberately. Love her purposefully. CHOOSE love in all the moments of the day. And look at him like you love him. Like you really, deep-down mean it.
Because you *will* mean it. And it’ll feel amazing. I promise.