Growing up, I always pictured my adult life as finding my Prince Charming and being “in love” with blue birds singing, rainbows, and happily ever after. Yeah right! What my adult life looked like in my marriage, was more of a nightmare instead of that happily ever after.
I knew what love was, I had felt it all my life growing up in a stable home with parents that showed love in their own marriage and showed love towards me. I knew what it was like to love someone. Unfortunately, I married someone that didn’t have a clue what love was or how to truly give it.
There are six things that I’d like my Ex to know about love that he didn’t seem to get while we were married:
1. Love is not a solo venture. To have a loving marriage requires TWO people, not just one that provides love to the other without anything in return. It seemed the more I gave, the less he gave in return. This wasn’t just in love but in everything.
2. Love does not inflict constant pain. When you love someone, you don’t constantly put them down, degrade them, make them feel less of a person than you. You support them, you help them when they need it, you encourage.
3. Love isn’t always 50/50: As in most things in life, relationships can be off balance where love flows stronger from one person to the other and as time goes, that shift occurs more naturally and provides for each other’s needs. The scales tip and at times they are even but sometimes they are off. That is OK. It isn’t always 50/50 and life isn’t always fair.
4. Love means doing everything you can to nurture it, protect it, and keep it from dying. Whether that be a date night, a surprise gesture of kindness, communication, compromise, or seeking professional help. It also means forgiveness. When you are in a loving relationship with someone, forgiveness is crucial. Holding grudges, feeling cheated, reminding the other how they ruined your life, are not things that foster love but destroy it.
5. The love of a child is priceless! This one I can’t stress enough. The love of a child is a gift that should be cherished. To not acknowledge that love and treat it as a nuisance, is just horrible in my opinion. My Narcissistic Ex didn’t want children and even now spends very little time with his children. What he fails to realize is that the attention he craves would come from his children if he just gave a damn.
6. Love and Sex aren’t the same! They are in a completely different league. Ideally, love leads to sex and makes it that much more meaningful. I’m not negating the importance of a healthy sexual relationship, but when sex is used as the only display of love and when it’s not provided, the relationship gets more abusive, then that is not love.
Love to me meant that I would try my hardest to help my partner, support him, encourage him, even when it was a nightmare. I would have been there for him through the process of getting help and working on himself, our marriage, and being a Father. I can’t say for sure that I would have stayed, as it would have taken a lot of rebuilding of trust in our relationship and a lot of healing, but I would have tried.
Most of all, I would like my Ex to really comprehend to the following quote and take it to heart if there is a heart in there at all. If he had followed this instead of using manipulation, violence, neglect, and all the other things he tended to display in our marriage, then who knows what type of life we would have had and our children might have had.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13