Thursday, February 13, 2014

Lies The World Tells About Love

A couple weeks ago a co-worker stopped by my desk and opened conversation with this:

"Your husband needs to die."

I disagreed with her - mostly because we don't have enough insurance on him yet.

This friend had been through a pretty bad breakup in the very recent past, so I knew her comment wasn't a literal wish, but a desire to have some misery to keep her company. And also because (in her words) "He keeps saying exactly the right thing at the right time." It never occurred to me that other people noticed the back and forth Brian and I have on my Facebook posts.

Another incident at work was just yesterday when a bunch of women were talking about how much they wished they had a guy in their lives. They were musing about what he should look like (tall, dark, tattooed, The Rock) and asked me my opinion. I said, "Oh, I'm fine. I'm happy with my husband." They laughed amongst themselves and said, "Your husband *is* perfect."

I went back to my desk, pondering their comment. I knew my husband didn't meet their standard of looks and no one is very impressed by him when they first meet because he's so soft-spoken. In fact, the first time I spoke to him on the phone I couldn't believe it was the same guy I'd met in person who was so animated.

And he doesn't walk so much as glide like a cat, or an ice-skater, or a ballerina dancer. I worried a bit about that, too. Fortunately, it turns out his kung fu training is responsible for him walking like that. After seeing him fight in kung fu classes, I knew that glide to be a very deadly asset.

These two conversations played over and over in my head because 1) Other people think I have a great husband and 2) I have been wondering a lot about Brian's and my differences and what that means in a marriage. I will come right out and say it: We are not compatible in a lot of ways. Most of these are things that the world or Hollywood deems important. I don't think we will ever meet in the middle on some issues or desires or goals. Sometimes this causes problems, real roadblocks, in our relationship. Sometimes I wonder why God felt that Brian was such a good match for me when it is obvious (to me) we are not two peas in a pod. We can't compare to the love relationship of The Pioneer Woman and her Marlboro Man nor of other blogs I read where the wives speak of their husbands as though the hearts o' love float about their heads constantly. I couldn't keep a straight face if I tried to describe my relationship with Brian as lovey-dovey or hand-holdy or mooning eyes crazy for each other.

So, what is my marriage? Do I love him? Are we soul mates? Are we MEANT for each other?

I am guessing that is the wrong question to ask.

Brian and I were married on July 9, 2005 in the Los Angeles Mormon temple. I was 37 and he was 35. I had never been married and he had been married once before to a very bad choice. I had a master's degree, had traveled the world and several accomplishments under my belt. Brian had no post high school education, still lived within one mile of his parents' house and a long history of failures. We didn't match and some questioned my motive to marry someone so unequal. They supposed I was simply doing it to change my status from spinster to wife. It didn't help our case that we'd only met five months previous.

The Mormon wedding ceremony is actually very short - maybe 10 minutes and that with the officiator taking his time and giving us advice (he told Brian to make sure to give me flowers often). We joined hands over the altar and then Brian was asked if he would be my husband. I was then asked if I would give myself to Brian to be his wife (I love the Gospel and how everything is a choice). We were next given promises that if we were faithful, we would inherit all that God has to give. As I was looking at Brian over the altar, I kept thinking "Am I doing the right thing? Did I make the right choice? All these people are watching. Holy cow, it's too late now." We had entered into a covenant with each other and the Lord to make a marriage. But my heart wasn't worried a bit. Only my head.

So, what question should I ask? Did I make the right choice? Does compatibility in the romantic worldly sense form a required foundation for a relationship? Should I have chosen someone else more like myself or been happy to be alone?

As I sit here, I'm not sure of the perfect question, but I know the answer to this one: Could I live more happily without him?

The answer is a quiet, fervent NO. I can't imagine life without Brian. I don't get heart-swelling waves of love when I look at him, but I am unsettled when he's not home or asleep next to me. I roll my eyes when he starts talking about some subjects (*cough* politics), but I am really proud of how well-spoken and intelligently he frames his case. Sometimes his child-rearing techniques are a bit worrisome ("Has Kiff had dinner?" "Oh, I guess he hasn't. I wasn't hungry."), but he is one of the most thoughtful and present dads I have ever met. He gets the kids and understands their motives for so many things. And he tries ardently to TEACH them. He would rather spend time with them than anything else. Even over spending time with me. Hmph.

Here's what I have that I never hear about with other people. Or at least, I never hear of as a pillar of a powerful relationship. I am completely at peace when he is near. Even if we are disagreeing (or downright arguing), I only feel peace in my heart. Isn't that strange? Perhaps peace is a stronger emotion for me than romantic folderol.

I'm not sure whether or not this post has a satisfying conclusion. I thought I could answer 'what is love', but I think I've found the answer for myself that I am with someone who makes me feel perfectly peaceful and still in my soul. And I love that about Brian because I've spent most of my life in soul-jangling chaos.

Maybe God did know what he was giving me...




Edit: I posted the link to this blog entry on my Facebook page last night. This morning I woke up to a barrage of comments and a poem from my husband: 



I met a girl who didn't agree with everything I said
So I had to think better thoughts
I met a girl who didn't cater to my every whim
So I had to be more careful about my desires
I met a girl who didn't laugh at all my jokes
So I had to improve my sense of humor
I met a girl who needed things I couldn't give
So I had to learn new skills
I met a girl who didn't think I was perfect
So I had to be a better man
I met a girl I couldn't live without
So I married her for all eternity

I love you

February 14, 2014
  

(I'm the luckiest girl alive right this second)

1 comment:

Whatcha thinkin'?