I think we often get caught up in the appearance of love we see in movies or on social media. You know, the perfectly timed photo of that “spontaneous kiss,” or wildly romantic (but probably impractical and very expensive) dates? We tend to compare our relationships with other couples’ highlight reels.
I want to be with the person who will get in the trenches with me. That person won’t only walk through hell with me, but carry me across the burning embers.
Recently I came across a beautifully honest article by Neely Steinburg, for the Washington Post called Marry the Person Who Will Help You to the Bathroom. In it, Neely writes about how her husband compassionately cared for her after her C-section.
Reading this article reminded me of my own husband, and the imperfect moments we have shared. In fact, it brought me right back to my speech from our wedding day.
Here is an excerpt:
Usually when you are at weddings you hear love described in many different ways. Unconditional love, romantic love and everlasting love. Mike and I have had the ultimate test in our relationship experiencing “ugly love.”
At this point a few guests giggled, thinking that was leading into a joke.
Ugly love is when you miss someone so badly, that you pick a fight with them on the phone, just to keep talking. Ugly love is feeding someone strawberries, and fixing their draining tube after surgery. Ugly love is staying in, night after night, playing monopoly because their dog just passed away.
By this point there were a few tears.
Mike, aside from constantly encouraging me, and being my best friend, you have also always been patient with me, and shown such compassion when the road has been tough. Experiencing these moments of ugly love has given me a glimpse into what kind of husband and father you will be, and that fills me with so much pride. Mike, I love you so much and I cannot wait to spend our life together as husband and wife.
>> Insert sobs from guests.
Since this speech eight years ago, we have experienced many more moments of ugly love. These include me giving birth to our four children, the pain of loss, spending sleepless night up with a new born or a sick child, depression and illness.Although we know that our marriage cannot solely rely on our history of ugly love, it does, however create a great foundation. I am so glad that I married the person who I am happiest with, when things are not perfect, or staged.
He’s the person that I want to be in the trenches with.