Monday, November 19, 2012

Real Love

Real love is the thing of myths surrounded by clouds of romanticized ideas.  We spend so much time reading quotes about the perfect person for us.  We hear cautionary tales of about who not to trust your heart to.  We spend years and lifetimes yearning for the man who holds a boom box in the air outside of our bedroom window to tell us they love us.

But real love, not the kind where true loves first kiss awakens the princess, but real, honest, raw and sometimes painful love is none of these things.  It is running into the arms of someone who isn’t always perfect, never says the right thing and wondering if what you have will glow brightly for all to see, or burn in flames.

So much of love is what we are told we should want, we should expect and what we think we are supposed to feel.  But I’m not a romantic at heart, I’ve just spent my whole life being told that my lover should do romantic things.  But what I've got instead is a man who secretly fixes the closet door that has been sticking for years.  He takes the garbage out every week, so that I can sleep in.  
There are no large romantic gestures, perfectly placed words or intensely tender moments.  But I have real love.  I have a love that looks into the face of the man I married knowing that the face I’m staring at is the face of a stranger.  I love him, even when he can’t love me back.  I love him through his anger at the world, his frustration and his pain.

I love him through isolation.  My carefully chosen words when talking about work, life, my frustrations and irritations are all so that I do not trigger pain in my husbands mind.  It often means that I can’t tell him about what I really do for a living and much of our discussions and connections are on a very superficial level. 

But, you see, my love is not based on always apologizing with roses, or even holding hands at sunset.  We don’t take long walks in the park, or have candle lit dinners.  There are no surprise gifts for me, no kisses in the rain .  But there is love.  Real love.  There is the kind of love that aches because I can’t take his pain away.  The kind of love that leaves me wishing I could take his place so that he can stop hurting.  
We may go days without talking, he may be angry for months, but I still look at the empty space in my life and know that he will fill it back up again someday.  I look at him and know that someday, I will know this man as well as I knew the man I married.  Because the kind of love I have, is the patient kind.

I will continue to love and continue to wait.  I will continue to hurt and continue to feel lonely. I will be here, no matter what, because the kind of love we have is real love.  It’s not the stuff of myths and legends.  It’s not shrouded in romantic ideals or flowing, well places words.  It simply is.


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