For eight years, my husband and I have built our life together, adding in children, buying homes, changing jobs, and moving across the country-twice. My husband has always been my best friend. We fell in love built off of a great friendship, and our love has been a strong one, full of sacrifices for one another, great laughs, and plenty of grace. But that did not stop the question from escaping my lips this morning, Are we going to make it? I asked because things have changed over the past few months. His feelings have changed, I have been depressed, and things are just different. There has been a gap that is shaped like loneliness between us. So, as we began the Christmas which would be our last in our southwest home, I had to ask... because starting over in our hometown would only be good if we were still in it together.
But then I got an answer that I was not expecting, an answer that stumped me- my husband felt as though he was sacrificing everything for me, and I wasn't appreciating it. I couldn't say anything. I sat in my chair trying to comprehend what this meant, or why I would do that to him, or IF I was even doing that. And then, as he explained to me better, I began to see what he was saying. I was never happy with what he was doing, not because what he was doing wasn't good enough, but because I was expecting something else. Let me explain... I've been doing a study on the book of John, and I was shocked that the people of His time could see the miracles that Jesus performed, see the signs that pointed to Him from the Old Testament prophecy, to see the wonders that He did, and yet NOT believe in Him. I could not understand it. But in my studying, I learned that the reason for their unbelief was because they didn't expect Jesus... they expected a conquering king, a mighty warrior who would avenge them, not a kind, soft spoken man. So they missed out, big time, on the wonderful gift that He was giving, because they were still looking for the Messiah when He was right in front of them.
What does this have to do with my marriage? Everything. For eight years, I felt unloved most of the time... not that my husband wasn't loving me, because he was, and he was saying it and showing it, but it never felt like enough. That was because I was looking for it in a different way, in MY love language. Once this realization hit me, I looked around me, at the walls, blankets, computers, rugs, clothes, every single material comfort, and all I could see all around me was "18 hour workday... sacrifice.... sore knees... giving up on dreams.... headaches.... working on birthday.... late nights again...." written in the sweat and blood and precious time of the man that I loved with all of my heart. How did I miss this? How in the world did I never see that everything he ever said 'yes' to was an expression of his love for me?
I say this from the bottom of my heart.... NEVER underestimate someone's love for you until you try to see their love through their eyes. Just because I speak words of encouragement and use touch as my love language does not mean that is how my husband expresses his love. All the time, I was feeling like he didn't love me enough, but in reality, I wasn't perceptive to the love he was killing himself to show me.