August 28, 2012

Evolution of Love


Train of thought:

Watching a commercial for football....former players who are commentators now...shown walking down a hallway....thought it looked like they all walk funny....

Remembered that the way Mark walked when I first met him was something I found attractive -- I liked the way he carried himself....

But now, with his advanced diabetic neuropathy....he doesn't walk like that anymore.

Felt sad for a moment. Mostly for Mark. I recognize that I don't love him any less because he doesn't walk the same. In fact, I love him more today than I did then.

I believe love evolves over time. It changes. Morphs. Begins as one thing, but becomes something different.

I get frustrated with what seems to be a lack of understanding that relationships should and do change. You know, the typical, "he's never romantic anymore" kind of thing.

What I've learned is that friendship is the foundation of a good marriage. You need to not only be in love with that person, but actually LIKE them too.

Like being around them. Like living with them. Enjoy their company. Find them interesting, funny, inspiring....worth sharing your life with. And genuinely want the other person to be happy.

Even when it isn't awesome. Or perhaps, especially when it isn't awesome.

Before I married Mark, while thinking it all through, and in order to help me know for certain that we were doing the right thing, I asked myself, "Do I want to break up with him? Or do I love him and want to be with him?"

I did not want to break up with him, I loved him and wanted us to be together. The idea of not being with Mark made my stomach do flips and tears prick my eyes.

So I felt I was ready to marry him.

Fast forward 14 years, two children and a slew of experiences later, and I realize the things that initially attracted me to Mark are not why I still love him today.

Like, not at all.

In fact, we are both pretty different from the day we met 18 years ago. And we should be.

What is the trick to growing and changing within a marriage?

I have my theories. Things like the big "C" -- communication. Always trying to balance time together with time apart, respecting each other's interests and doing the little things. I'm sure our many struggles that have bonded us are important too.

But when it comes down to it, I don't have the answers. All I know is what works for us.

And that Love evolves.


  1. I really enjoyed reading this and I totally agree with you. I especially liked the line "Even when it isn't awesome. Or perhaps, especially when it isn't awesome." Nice post!

  2. This was beautiful. Love does evolve. Sometimes I look at my husband and think -- how did we get here? But I'm glad we did.

  3. Beautiful post, and very well written! Thanks for linking up :)

  4. Great post and so true! I think the evolution is so important-we aren't young forever and it's great to grow and evolve with someone over time.

  5. Yes. This.

    People in long term relationships change. They do. It's just nature.

    People grow. Although they don't always grow together.

    Love evolves.

    You hit that one on the head, Jen.

  6. Can't agree more with you, Jennifer. Nothing is permanent in this world. Everything - tangible and intangible - change, transform, evolve... Nothing stays the same forever.

  7. Love the post, and love your perspective, which has been honed by the tough times you have been through. One of the big gifts that tought times brings is the clearing of the haze or fog that surrounds such questions.

    However, the big "C", communication gets credit that it does not deserve. I actually believe that communication puts our relationships at a constant risk of exploding and does little to cement our feelings of love. I think Tarzan and Jane got on so well because Tarzan was a man of action and spoke almost not at all. How would you ever get mad at a man that was a mute? He could never say the wrong thing. Think of how any movies about love exploit this scenario in varying degrees. Remember that movie with Harrison Ford "Regarding Henry"? Previous to being shot in the movie, he is a lawyer with great communication skills, and lacks real love in his life. Struggling back from his brain injury, he is like a 10 year old boy, lacking in communication skills, but rekindling a lost love with his wife. I'm just saying.

  8. I have so many mixed feelings because I feel I'm in the middle of that big decision. It's so hard.

  9. We've been together for the same amount of time. We're both so different from when we met. We still seem to like hanging out with each and sharing. And, I'm getting better at communicating :)

  10. Great post, Jennifer. We evolve and grow and are not the same people we were a decade or two or three ago. And that's the way it should be, we learn from our experiences, or we ought to, anyway. I disagree with Anonymous when he/she suggests how can you get mad at a man that was mute? For being mute, of course. Communication is key to growth in a relationship. If you don't understand each other how can you live well together? I would also add that communication is not just speech.

  11. Thanks for sharing these thoughts. This idea is so close to my heart, because I feel like I've grown so much since my husband and I met. He's changed, too, but I've always been the one working on myself, getting stronger, trying new things... it creates strain. There is something in strong marriages other than what drew you to the person in the first place. I actually found myself saying to him not that long ago "marriage is sometimes about staying with someone even if you wouldn't date them." Frankly, dating sucks. I'll take my marriage any day, even if it is sometimes challenging in a much deeper and more frightening way. I'm just hoping my husband still agrees with me...

  12. Everything you wrote is so true. People change, marriage change and love changes. It is crazy to expect it to be the way it was when we first met.
    You just expressed it so well.