“Can you massage my leg please, before I go to sleep?”
My big man whispered in the dark, across our two angels sleeping soundly sprawled on the queen bed.
He had been preparing for his big race for weeks. He said his limbs felt like they were beaten black and blue because of hard core training.
“Okay, just a minute,” I said, as I tried to finish a layout I was doing for a client.
I try to make the most of these quiet times. When the kids wake up the next morning, I will hardly have time for anything else.
And so once my girls’ tiny eyelids close and their soft breathing joins in a chorus, I slip out of tangled arms and legs and into my battered office chair.
I start tapping into my keyboard and tackling that to do list.
Halfway into a page of bullet points, I realized my one minute has turned into an hour and a half. And the hubby who had been patiently waiting for his massage had fallen asleep.
I look at his face, this man who has stood beside me for almost 12 years. The life partner whom I committed myself to six years ago.
He used to be the center of my world. And now, well, he’s at the side. Sometimes farther.
When the girls were born, naturally I had to put them first. Besides my husband is old enough to take care of himself. Or so that’s what I told myself.
But that’s not what I promised to him on that beautiful December afternoon, as I slipped the white gold ring on his finger.
I promised I would take care of him.
I slid out of my chair and sat on his side of the bed. I gently cradled his beaten leg. And I massaged the soreness — and neglect — away.
Pray for passion
Rewind two years ago, I was taping an episode with the feistiest and smartest host I’ve ever worked with.
Someone asked her how she loves and stays married with her husband after all these years. She distilled almost half a century’s worth of wisdom in three words:
Pray for passion.
Her words were etched on my mind ever since.
She was proof that love does last.
I used to think love was a feeling.
It made your heart go a flutter.
Lovely butterflies floating in your middle, making you squirm, in a good way.
Love made you feel happy and inspired.
You can hardly sleep at night just thinking about your love and reliving your moments together.
You’re excited to get up just so you can see your love again.
You think the amazement and wonder would last forever. But it doesn’t.
When familiarity sets in and your rose colored glasses have turned to a dull shade of gray.
Your love has faded away.
True love is…
It took a few failed relationships and necessary heartaches, before I realized love, true love goes way beyond feelings.
True love is a decision you make to commit to one person for the rest of your life.
It sees both the good and bad, and accepts them wholeheartedly anyway.
It treasures happy moments when life is smoothly sailing by. It holds on ever so tightly when the waters are rough and the waves are high.
As familiarity grows, true love grows stronger.
True love does last forever.
And so as I look at the face of this man, I whisper a prayer of thanks that he is my husband, my one true love.
Gone were the days of puppy love giddiness and flying butterflies.
On most days, I wake up with a feeling of comfort, peace and gratitude knowing that I’ll be growing old with him for the rest of my life.
After more than a decade together, I know that comfort can easily turn to complacency. I know I’ve taken my husband for granted before knowing that he’ll always just be there.
So after a month of focusing on loving ourselves, now I feel it’s time that we focus on radiating that love to others, most especially our spouses.
March will be all about rekindling love and bringing back the passion into our relationships.
Turn up the love
One of the habits I wrote down on my vision journal was “Date Kernan often.”
Before we had our girls, we dated each other almost every day of the week. Now, maybe a few times a month.
So I’ve actually written down dating as a habit I want to cultivate. I even wrote it on the poster on my wall to remind me to make time for it.
Before, dates would mean going out to the movies, eating at our favorite resto and shopping for clothes. We still do that, sometimes.
But now, dates could be as simple as going out for a foot massage at the neighborhood nail salon, taking out box o’ rice and eating together while watching Covert Affairs.
It’s more about being together, than what we’re doing together. We can turn up the love even in the simplest ways.
How about you?
Marriage takes a lot of heart work. It’s a commitment to love one person unconditionally. every day for the rest of your life.
I’d love to know: how do you inject passion into your marriage every day?
I’m always inspired by the love stories of couples who have just gotten together. And I am amazed at the wisdom of those who have been together for a long time.
So whether you’re newly married, celebrating your 50th anniversary or somewhere in between, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Thank you so much for being here and for making me feel loved in more ways than one.