Here’s the thing: I do love hubby. He’s a great dad to my little princess. He yells at her and flicks (in place of smacks) her when she’s naughty. He’s the strict one but he is very loving and the little one is a daddy’s girl. He loves me, too, I believe.
However, when you’ve been in a long-term relationship, the not-so-pleasant are no longer camouflaged. These less-than-attractive attributes glare at you. Hubby is a gentleman but – Boy, oh, boy! – he’s not the nicest person I know. He’s a good man, as good as they come, but he is NOT so nice.
I am not saying that I am perfect. No one is perfect! I cannot expect hubby to be perfect. As I’m also a rather difficult person. I have the tendency to be demanding. I expect from others what I expect from me, perhaps even a little more. I have an excuse: I have a long-term battle with the feeling of adequacy so over-compensation comes into play at times. I am fully aware and I take responsibility for this behavior. If only hubby only knew how to acknowledge his shortcomings. Just that. It will be a good start.
Without committed love, it certainly will be a mission to stay with him who doesn’t see himself but mirrors to others.
Committed love is what makes it slightly easier to be in a relationship even when you see the unpleasant. Commitment allows you to acknowledge and accept the not-so-pretty.
How do you get to the stage where you are fully committed in a relationship? Love! Not in-love, but love. True love. Real love. It doesn’t have to be unconditional even. Maybe it can be mature love, too. Love that is committed is mature, real and true. You may have a quarrel with your partner but you continue to love him/her. You may wake up irritated from the night before but you continue to love your partner no matter how irksome he/she might be at times. You know that you have your own annoying habits. You also infuriate your partner sometimes. I know this about me. Acknowledging my flaws allows me to accept his imperfection. I just hope that he doesn’t forget his own fallibility as forgetfulness could mean problems.
In short, we decide to truly love and commit to stay with our partners no matter what! Committed love is a decision!
We choose to hold on to love even when we can’t seem to feel it. When it can’t be felt in the heart, as it does happen to some of us, we have to trust our mind that love is there. We don’t rely on the unreliable flighty in-love state or infatuation. We decide to nurture the love so that it doesn’t die completely when circumstances are not conducive to keeping it alive. And, we renew that decision every single day because commitment isn’t automatic. Commitment is deliberate. Only then can we be assured that true love conquers. It is only this love that binds two people until death. Then, marriage does not end in divorce.
The ancient Greeks had different types of love and this post from LonerWolf provides an excellent overview that’s effortlessly comprehensible. Having experience ‘Eros’ and ‘Ludus’, probably even ‘Philia’ as we were first friends, I’d like to think that hubby and I am working toward Pragma, if we’re not completely there yet. Let us just hope we don’t ever get to ‘Mania’.
Psychology Today discusses 7 types of love. Mania is missing here and perhaps it is best. 🙂
This decision to love must NOT be a reason or excuse to stay in an unhealthy relationship where any kind of abuse – physical, emotional, mental – is present. Abuse of a partner is NOT a weakness. Abuse is absolutely unacceptable. No discussion required. A flaw that can be tolerated is farting in bed, under the duvet cover, not physical harm or sex without consent, even if in bed, and definitely not sex with anyone other than own partner.