Last Friday, my husband Adam and I sat across from each other at a bar and read aloud to one another “To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This”
We were intrigued by the idea that there could be a formula or technique to falling in love, and although we are already very much in love, we thought it would be fun to answer“The 36 Questions That Lead to Love.”
I had not looked over the questions before we sat down. Honestly, while I thought it would be fun to answer the questions, I thought we really wouldn’t learn anything new about each other.
There isn’t anything we refuse to share with one another, and so I was surprised to discover that I still had more to learn about him.
I learned that when making important phone calls he takes the time to rehearse what he’s going to say. If he could change one thing about his childhood he would want to grow up in a trilingual home. And when asked whose death in his family he’d find most disturbing, he said his father. I knew he loved his dad, but I didn’t realize how much Adam relied on his father’s opinion, guidance, and wisdom.
As we passed the sheet back and forth, taking turns picking out questions to ask and answer, there was one question I was avoiding: What is your most terrible memory? I wasn’t scared of his answer, but I was unsure of mine.
When I finally discovered what I would say, a feeling of nervousness crept into my stomach.
How would he receive it?
Would he look at me differently?
Would his love for me change?
We had always been very open with one another, even talking early in our dating relationship about our good and bad past choices, our wounds, our regrets, and our shortcomings. I realized that I had never told him my worst memory. In fact, my memory still had my own raw emotions attached; I still hadn’t fully processed it.
It took another two questions before I mustered up enough courage to ask Adam about his worst memory, knowing full well he would ask it back. I was surprised by his answer and touched by his vulnerability. He opened up his heart wider to me and allowed me a glimpse at the root of one his main areas of struggle in life. I could feel my own heart expanding with love for him as he spoke.
Next it was my turn. Inspired by Adam’s own vulnerability and clinging to my memories of his loving responses every other time I’ve shared unpleasant things with him, I took the plunge. I felt lighter as I spoke, grateful for him to know me even a little bit better. Just getting it out in the open and talking through it helped bring healing and closure.
When I finished I could tell Adam wasn’t fazed by my story. He said some tender words of encouragement and love, and without trivializing my memory he also found a way to express that it wasn’t a big deal. If it changed the way he looked at me or loved me, then his eyes only contained more of the love he felt in his heart.
Our sharing also brought about a greater trust in our unconditional love for each other.
As we ended dinner and strolled hand-in-hand to the car, I told Adam how I was glad we knew each other more. I felt closer to him. The sharing of intimate details binds people together, and because we went even deeper into our own hearts, the bond was stronger than before.
The evening ended with me believing more than ever that Adam loved all of me—the good, the bad, the hurt, the strong, the beautiful, and the ugly. My heart was full and grateful and more in love with my wonderful husband.