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"Love after 10 years" by Christina Antus (CatholicMom.com) Image credit: Pixabay.com (2019), CC0/PD[/caption] Ten years of loving someone is nothing like ten months. Love is so different after time. Much different than when it's new. As the cool breeze blew my skirt across my legs and the sound of rushing waves filled my ears, I watched him run into the water to grab rocks and seashells for our daughter. He collected sea-treasure after sea-treasure for her, with each item lighting her face with joy, admiration, and love. The same way we used to look at each other in another lifetime, before sleep stopped and the endless busyness of parenting consumed us. Little moments that had completely escaped me for the ten years we’ve been married came back to me with such force, they were like new. I remembered everything from our first meeting to our wedding to the talks we had in the hospital after our first baby was born. I remembered everything in between. But mostly, I had this sudden rush of overwhelming love for him. The kind I constantly felt when I knew that he was the one. The kind that's gotten buried under everyday life. After ten years of marriage, life happens and sometimes it gets in the way. While love remains, it often gets buried under the thick of small kids, bills, responsibilities, work, and battles over who does what and who works harder. Everyday life creates exhaustion, tension, frustration, and all the little things that build until you wonder: Where has the love gone? Why don't I feel it the way I once did? Why aren't we where we once were? This season of our marriage is not for "us" like it was when we first met. It's for our kids. It's our time to give to them. Give, give, give, give. If blessed, we will one day have the opportunity to be just "us" again, but not now. Not today. Today we have small moments of hand-holding, a kiss sneaked here and there, a wink, an "I love you." We have changed, but not so much that we don't still love each other the way we did back then. It just takes digging some days, but it's there, because we do still love, but more. Deeper. Selflessly. We understand that for now, we give to each other what we can, and we take what we can get with a grateful heart. The love we have, then and now, is what matters most in our life together. Not the roles or responsibilities. Not who is more tired than who, or who does more than who. But the servitude and respect we’re both called to have for each other. The service we promised to each other and promised to God on the day we got married — the day when nothing else mattered but how much we decided we would love each other: until death do we part. We are linked together forever in this life in a bond of love, held together by a God who loves us more than we could ever love each other. We chose to love each other and we continue to choose that love despite the hard times and life's ups and downs. It hasn't always been easy. But it has always been worth it. That love never stops because we never give up. While time goes fast and feels so short, it’s those early moments I remember, the little ones that love is constructed from. Even after ten years, despite the flaws and frustrations, I see the same man I did when we first met. I see the hard work he puts in for his family and the role he fulfills on a daily basis no matter how tired he is. I see the opportunity and gift of being able to be by his side and help him along where I can in this life. Ten years of loving someone is nothing like ten months. Love is so different after time. Much different than when it's new. It's so much better.
Copyright 2019 Christina Antus