This isn’t one of those angry chick articles where the woman finds out her man is in love with someone else.
In fact, he’s in love with everyone and that’s what I love so much about him. It’s a love that is great and teaches me a lot.
We both came from marriages in which our spouses “smothered” our love for passions and people. They wanted us to be something we were not, only for them. They wanted us to wake in the morning with only them on our minds and fall asleep at night dreaming about them.
Reality bit us both in the a**, and as the universe would have it, we were going through it with our spouses at about just the same time.
When I first met my current husband he was sure he needed to leave his spouse. I was still hesitating, believing that I was only supposed to be with one person my whole life—but how could that be when my heart told me that love is not limiting or restrictive?
I went on a quest to figure out what love is.
Books and counselors kept telling me to have patience. All the while, my heart was telling me that love is ever expanding and always guiding—it shows us where we are supposed to be and when—if we only listen and obey its message.
Meanwhile I was having conversations with my spouse, and he was telling me that I “belonged” to him and needed to “apologize” for how I felt. How can I apologize for a feeling?
I’m still scratching my head on that one.
And my heart said to release. That I couldn’t keep anyone. We are not designed that way. And, of course, because I had built up this world with my spouse in which we “belonged” together, I felt the grief of detachment. And all the while, there was this other man—just being.
We talked and he told me that he wasn’t sure he wanted to commit to anyone ever again. And I said that was fine, that I totally understood. It wasn’t that we didn’t want to commit, we just didn’t want to limit our love.
In further conversations, we realized that the reason we started to feel trapped in our prior relationships was because our spouses made us feel bad for having other loves—for having passions. If something lit us up, they became jealous over it.
I got it. I knew what he meant. I could never put my finger on the “why,” but suddenly, my heart understood—it had felt squelched—and that is not love.
Eventually I married him.
So the other night, when my new spouse told me about our good friend who is single and tending to her mother in the hospital, I told him to go be with her.
And I told him to hold her like he loves me. And to listen while she talks about all the frustration with the hospital staff. And to take her to a nice dinner and make her feel like a lady. To bring her home and just sit with her and tell her that everything is going to be okay.
He looked at me funny with a tear in his eye and said, “You are brave.”
I smiled and replied that the one thing I knew she needed, more than anything, was a close friend to hold her tight and just be. And that’s exactly what my sweet man is good at.
It’s what I fell in love with when I met him. It’s what he did for me and what he does for many people. He teaches it by living it.
I have faith, that one day, the world will become a place in which we will recognize the light in each other and encourage one another to shine it brightly.
I am a happy woman because he lives this way everyday.
And I think this just might be the start of something good.
Author: Amanda Gatlin
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock