This Valentine’s Day, I decided that I wanted a love letter. My husband used to write me letters when we first met, and I loved poring through them. They made me feel loved. They made me feel special.
Along with many of the other things that become more routine as you continue in a long-term relationship, the letters have stopped. I get a card for my birthday or Valentine’s Day sometimes, and it says: “Dear Gaby.” Then there’s the requisite Hallmark poem. And it is signed, “Love, Ty.”
I don’t often need or want a heartfelt card or letter, but this Valentine’s Day, I wanted one.
So I decided that I would also write a heartfelt letter to my husband.
You guys—writing my husband a love letter was one of the hardest things that I’ve done in a while. As I sat down to write it, I started to feel really uncomfortable. I haven’t expressed my emotions toward my husband in a while.
Don’t get me wrong—things are pretty great. And I’m content with the situation.
Things haven’t been bad. So I also haven’t really thought about how good they are.
Can you believe that?
We are so used to sweeping through our lives, rushing from place to place, remembering what we consider to be “important”: The kids’ lunches, their instrument on music day, birthday parties, picking up everything we need from the grocery store in one trip.
We often forget to focus on what’s really amazing in front of us. So much so that when we do, we’re not used to it.
One of the reasons that writing this letter was uncomfortable is that what used to be amazing isn’t necessarily what is amazing now.
- I used to crave the intensity of the butterflies that come when you’re in a new relationship.
- Now I crave the filling satisfaction of comfort and security with the person I love.
- I used to crave constant excitement, vulnerability and spontaneity.
- Now I crave the balance that my husband complements my personality with.
- I used to crave raw, passionate desire.
- Now I crave space and a contented place to rest my head.
I have all of these things that I crave.
But sometimes, society tells you that you’re supposed to be craving more. More, more, more. Is what I have enough?
What I learned from writing my husband a love letter
So when I sat down to write a love letter, I realized that my definition of “love” has changed in the past decade. I just didn’t want to write the passionate, butterfly-laden, spontaneous letter of ten years ago.
And we’re so often told that that’s what love “should” be that it made me uncomfortable. But I pushed through that discomfort to realize that love has many doors.
Right now, there’s this door on the other side of love. It’s not the same one I opened when I met my husband. It’s really deep inside. But it is wide open. It’s a door that is at once reassuringly familiar and surprisingly foreign.
Inside that door is a long history of ups, downs, and all arounds. There are babies that have grown into amazing young boys. There is passion that once was, that has disappeared, that has been re-ignited. There are memories. There is support. There is a future. There is connection. There are seasons.
Inside that door, it is balanced, it is warm, it is peaceful, it is intimate, and it is home.
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