Last night you were lightly snoring. I lay awake in the dark, listening. You have told me if your snoring is bothering me I can nudge you.
When I do that, you stop.
But last night, I remembered that when we were first together, I adored your snoring.
It meant you were alive and next to me in bed.
When we were first together—when I had a crush on you—my whole body lit up when I saw you’d texted me, or your knock came at my door.
New love opened up a portal in me, a portal of pureness, a portal through which it was almost impossible to see the “bad” in you.
That’s what they mean by love is blind.
But is it really? Maybe love is the purest form of seeing. Later, when we get cynical or irritable, when we take the other for granted, that is blindness. That is blocking out the light of love.
When after only three months we decided to move in together, some of my friends said, “Isn’t that too soon?”
And somewhere deep down, I knew the answer to that question was up to me. I knew that to keep my crush alive, I’d need to keep the portal open. I’d need to line up with my choice.
How? By appreciating the hell out of you. Gratitude is where the high vibration is, and what’s a love-crush but a high vibration?
I knew all of that in theory. But I’d never tried it in practice. Could I really do it? Could I really keep seeing you with a heart as open as when we first met?
The truth is: You became my experiment.
Five years later, here are the results:
- When I see you as a nitpicky clean freak, we get into an argument. When I appreciate all you do to keep our stuff clean and organized, we have rousing sex!
- When I see you as someone who sometimes has the “wrong” opinion, we argue. When I appreciate you as a thinking person who is separate from me—when I think, isn’t it exciting how differences keep the energy flowing—we have a great conversation.
- When I object to a bad mood you’re in, I hassle you about it and you sulk. When I see you with a tender heart, knowing that we all have ups and downs, I can softly be with your mood without taking it personally. Or I can gently move to another room to take care of my own damn mood.
- When I grumble to myself that your snoring is keeping me awake, I stay awake for hours. When I remind myself that I’m grateful you’re in our bed, that your heart is beating and that you are enjoying your sleep, my body relaxes and, usually, I fall asleep and have good dreams.
- Sometimes I remember this: the time, two years ago, a few days after I had brain surgery and couldn’t use my right arm, you lowered me into the bathtub and ran a warm washcloth across my back. You massaged shampoo into my hair. You helped me up and dried me off. Then you kissed the tears from my face.
When I focus on that, it’s impossible for me to see you through anything other than the eyes of love.
That’s what it’s really all about: What I choose to focus on.
I know I’ve been guilty in the past of focusing on a lover’s great qualities at first, and later focusing on their deficiencies.
Too bad we are told this is normal. Comedians have generated a lot of material about the “natural” deterioration of relationships. And therapists have made a lot of money from the notion.
My experiment is telling me that relationship corrosion doesn’t have to be the case. What it’s telling me is this: I am responsible for my own happiness.
This may sound silly, but there’s a profound truth here: I am responsible for deciding if your snoring is going to drive me crazy, or drive me deeper in love with you.
So, my husband, perhaps we will be lucky enough to have another five or twenty-five years together. No matter, I will take as many moments as I can to appreciate you, because I love having a crush on you.
You just texted me. My heart flipped. I can’t wait to answer you back.
The Truth About Marriage, Monogamy & Long-Term Partnership.
The Secret to Making Love Last.
Author: Kate Evans
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: author’s own
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