As we fast approach our tenth wedding anniversary towards the end of the year, I am more than convinced ever that true love is a choice.
I still remember the first time I laid my eyes on this extremely handsome and good-looking man,now my husband. Little did I know then, we would come this far.
Back then, I remember exactly feeling what they call ´Love at first sight´. The rush and the high were real. And, I was already imagining walking down the aisle with him by my side on our very first meet. For real! Did I know he was ´The One´? Instinctively, Yes!
But, it was far more than just his physical good looks that swept me off my feet. It was his sharp mind and soft tender heart as well. I fell in love with him as a complete package.
And so, I married the handsomest man I ever laid my eyes on. And, we lived happily ever after.
Not quite so in those fairy-tale terms. Fairy tales end at the wedding affair and don´t dwell on life after marriage.
Marriage is a different ball-game altogether. It is the ultimate test or proof of your love for each other.
Living under the same roof is drastically different from dating one another. While dating, you are on your best attire and behaviour. You compliment and say wonderful things to one another. You buy gifts and plan romantic things to do together. Everything is so rosy, dreamy and pretty.
Marriage,on the other hand, is the proverbial ´the proof is in the pudding´. You can never truly claim you have loved someone until you have held on, sailed through the worst times and come out of it triumphantly together.
I remember one of our fights in our marriage. I was sobbing and accusing my husband of not supporting or understanding me at all. And he said something that took my breath away.
´You only have to tell me what you want and I will fight for it. I will die for you. ´
And, I was completely speechless with those words of ardent passion.
Today, however we both don't seek love and solace in words anymore. Words mean nothing and actions everything. The understanding of Love as we knew it, changes with every passing year as we grow older. What we perceived as Love in the beginning days of our courtship seems superficial today. Yes, I still find certain things we did together in our earlier days extremely cute. But, we would look retarded if we did the same things today.
I sometimes fail to understand why we don't have movies made on true love. Yes, there are movies galore on the chase and hunt for love, all that courtship drama and syrupy songs. But, when will we ever get to see movies about true love? Picturised on actually old imperfect couples in the 70´s and 80´s who have been through all the ´highs and lows´of life together and still more in love today than ever before.
I remember seeing a really old couple in Lake Tahoe while boarding the hotel shuttle. There was something endearingly sweet about their love for another. They both still had a zest for living and both seemed to be extremely happy in each other´s company. It was such a treat to watch them. Closer home, I find it extremely adorable when my FIL still addresses my MIL as ´baby´, with both of them in their late sixties. My own father doesn't start any meal without my mother. Over time, looks or appearance hardly matters to those truly in love.
There is a saying about Love that I totally believe in -
´Love is like fine wine. It matures and tastes better over time.´
But, for Love to mature and grown on you, we need to have patience and give it time. Lots of time….till death does us apart. Till then, we will have to endure and hold on to each other despite the storms, temptations, doubts, crisis and hurdles.
I told my husband back then in the day -
´There might be better guys than you but I want only you. My search for Love ends with you.´
That was the choice I made ten years ago when we decided to get married.
Today, to love each other unconditionally and stay committed as we grow older is another choice we both continue to make firmly with every passing day.
With Easter just a day away, the crucifixion of Christ is the ultimate act of Love. It is a reminder that love, forgiveness and sacrifice all go hand in hand. And it is our choice to undertake the pain and suffering and forgive our partner´s faults while loving unconditionally. Till death do us apart!
Love is a choice and not just a fleeing feeling.