Love Is As Love Does: How To Take Action In Your Marriage
Hello December! Since December is my wedding anniversary month, I thought I would start the month by talking about love. This year my husband and I will have been married 7 years and together for many years long before that. While marriage, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful expressions of love, the other being motherhood, it is not without difficulty. I think we get so caught up in the fairytale of love sometimes, we forget that it takes work to make love work.
Love is actionable. To truly love someone, you have to actively work at it. You have to demonstrate love, not just say it. You sometimes have to choose in favor of love, which is ultimately is in favor of you both, but we don’t always see it that way.
If love is actionable, it is more than a feeling. It is more than the “butterflies in your stomach”. The butterflies are the fairytale. True love moves throughout your entire body like breath, and just like breath, some days you feel congested and you have to work to breathe. Let me give you an example…
You might use supplements, avoid people, or wash your hands frequently to prevent from getting sick and sometimes that works, but ultimately at some point, we all catch a cold. So we take medications, drink honey lemon tea, eat warm soup to feel better. Love, marriage, is much like that. You communicate more, you go on dates, you are thoughtful, you do things to support your loved one to protect you from “catching a cold”. And when you do happen to get sick, you reallocate your time back to your relationship, you go to counseling and you get support to get better. Does that make sense?
We are taking action beforehand to minimize something bad from happening like catching a cold, and when we catch a cold, we take action to decrease the length of time we are in discomfort or “sick”.
We take action all the time for what is important to us, and love is no different.
In the past year, I have personally made decisions in favor of my marriage. Decisions, that quite honestly, would have been different if I wasn’t married. And that can be hard. It can be hard to choose your union in the absence of feelings not aligned with love. As women, sometimes it can feel like we are always making sacrifices for our marriage and not getting the same in return. That can leave us feeling upset, disappointed, frustrated, resentful and maybe even angry. What are you supposed to do then?
Can you remember love when someone’s actions seem to show you something different?
I use “Remember Love” as one of the writing prompts in my Workaholic Uprising Journal because I think it’s so important to use writing to help you navigate your thoughts. Writing can help you hold onto love when it gets hard. So when I need to journal about remembering love, I initially think about the words I associate with love. My words are:
Once I reconnect to those words, I then think what action can I take that reflects one of those words. Taking action with wisdom, for example, might mean not acting emotionally to a comment or situation. Taking time to stop and reflect before I respond. Compassion might look like being sensitive to what your husband might want even if he won’t admit it. For me, that could be my husband coming home to dinner ready, the table already set, all the dishes washed and put away (I don’t do dishes)….
Now it’s your turn….
Think about the words you associate with love. Then think about what actions you can take to demonstrate those words. You can share one or two from your list in the comments below.
And one final point….We sometimes minimize the impact our relationships can have on our health. The challenges you are having at work, in your finances, your feelings of overwhelm and anxiety, your weight gain, is usually not about there not being enough time in the day or you needing a different job. The real reason might be you just caught a “cold” and now you need to do something to get better.
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