I love my husband because he first loved me. That may sound unromantic, but as I learned, it’s quite the opposite! We met through mutual friends Thanksgiving of 2007. My husband was doing an internship in my hometown and I was visiting home after a difficult first semester of college with no idea that my life was about to change forever.
We talked, and found we had so many things in common. This caught my husband’s attention. Me? Well, I thought I just found a fun guy to talk to. But this guy was quick on his feet, and soon after my return to college, sent me a casual email. I returned it… and before you knew it, we were dating. I liked the guy – his tastes, desires, inspirations, and dreams were so similar to mine that I couldn’t help liking him. But love him? I wasn’t sure. I didn’t know it, but he loved me even before we started dating, and that knowledge became a key influence in my decision to love him in return.
We continued to date long distance, but I had doubts. I was afraid of the sincerity of his love – afraid that I couldn’t give it back. Oh, trust me: I was in angst for months and months over this! Why could I not love a man who loved me so completely; so utterly, that even in the midst of grueling health problems I had accumulated, he remained faithful, constant, and an ever-watchful guardian over my fears as he assuaged them day after day, night after night?
I couldn’t believe this guy! What kind of man would stand by my side, helping me through my doubts, sacrificing his time and energy, just to help me sleep at night? What kind of guy would occasionally write me hand-written letters “just-because?” (We were still dating long distance, and we visited one another every other weekend.) What kind of guy, would tell me he loved me when I was at my worst, and assure me of his commitment when I wavered?
After a few months, I realized that this man was showing me something unique – something not found very often amongst the ranks of young men and women searching furiously for a lasting love, not knowing what to look for, and not knowing what to give. But my husband knew, and I knew he knew, and I saw that he was a single star in the black heavens – shining brightly and beautifully just for me.
My husband’s sacrifice, his actions, his day by day commitment and words of affirmation and adoration told me that his love was something I could count on for the rest of my life, and his character was one of utmost loyalty and dedication. Of course, no one is perfect, but I realized that he was a remarkable human being, and of all people, he loved me.
I couldn’t help it – I fell in love with this man. His love convinced me that my love was safe to give. His love showed me that I could attach myself without hesitation to everything that he was, and everything that he would be. I realized that no matter what, I would return the love he so generously and wholeheartedly bestowed upon me. And I did.
After a delightful marriage of five years, I realize I deserve this man even less, and love him even more. But our story is one that will continue on as we grow old together, because out of all things, love—complete, gritty, sacrificial love—is the foundation of our relationship. I am so grateful for his love – it won my fearful heart, and I now belong to him so wholeheartedly, and so enthusiastically, that all I want to do is give back his love 100-times over. That is what he did to me. And I love it.