There is no happily ever after without hard work…

img546We are inundated with ideas about love everywhere we look. Or maybe I should say romance. Somehow we’ve come to think they are one in the same.

But if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that love, real, pain in the ass love has very little to do with romance. All romance gives you is the mushy feelings that tend to disappear when the shit hits the fan. Sure it’s nice to get flowers for no reason, or go out to a fancy dinner, or celebrate greeting card holidays, but it doesn’t beat the security and stability of love.

Ah, but wouldn’t it be so much easier if romance was real or even possible 24/7? It would make things more fun, wouldn’t it? We’d all get to walk around with all of these mushy, feel good feelings and the divorce rate would plummet.

But, like anything worth anything, love requires a decision and lots and lots and lots of hard work. If you want it to last.

It was 20 years ago today when I met R.J. for the first time. 20 years. Half of my life spent with the same man.

I still remember that day. My life was a gigantic shit show and I wasn’t sure where I was headed. Then I met R.J. I’m not going to say it was love at first sight because I had no idea what love was back then. But something happened.

It was like I caught just a glimpse of what my life could be with this man. I remember feeling such a strong sense of peace and calm coming from him. And I knew, I just knew, that I would become the person I had always wanted to be if I spent my life with him.

And here’s where I say, ‘and we lived happily ever after.’

LOL, there is no happily ever after. At least not unless you’re willing to put in the time it takes to grow up and invest in the relationship. My life continued to be a shit show for the next decade or so. It wasn’t R.J.’s fault. We both had so much baggage it was a miracle we stayed together.

But we made the decision. What I found pretty amazing was that the more I made the decision to love and be in love the easier it became. Not easy. Love is not easy. But easier. I could go for days, weeks even without having to consciously make the decision.

And now the life I glimpsed all those years ago is a reality. I am so very, very grateful to have the most stable, rock-solid marriage I could have ever hoped for.

And that’s the point, my marriage isn’t a romance novel or a fairy tale, it’s reality…

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