"Thank you for loving me."
I think sometimes we forget that love is a choice.
It isn't something that we just fall into. Falling denotes a lack of agency, a lack of decision making. And yet that is what many movies and media portray for the ideal romance.
But I think it is far more romantic to CHOOSE love. And I know that is what Andrew means when he says, "Thank you for loving me." He is saying:
I think our marriages and relationships would be so much stronger if we contentiously and purposefully CHOSE to love every day. This is something that I have learned from my husband.
"You're my best friend."
Andrew will often say this to me in the most random moments, and it makes my heart swell with so much love. I think this phrase goes hand in hand with the last one: we have chosen to be best friends.
Not just friends. BEST FRIENDS. We go to each other instead of other family members or past best friends to talk about our deepest hopes, plans, fears, successes, and failures.
I am really close to my mom; in fact, I talk to her every day and tell her practically everything. But I remember a piece of advice she gave me when I first got married. She said, "Don't tell me everything. Don't tell me the fights and frustrations. You and Andrew will have disagreements and you will be tempted to tell me or another close friend to find support. I would hear the negative accounts and I'd probably be on your side, but then I wouldn't be able to see the reconciliation. You and Andrew would make up, but I would be left with a negative feeling towards Andrew. He doesn't deserve that. Let your conflicts be between you two. Work through them as a couple rather than as individuals trying to find support from other friends or family."
That advice has been so valuable. To be honest, Andrew and I hardly fight. But of course there are the moments of impatience or miscommunication. While I have sometimes wanted to tell my mom or another girlfriend about my frustrations, I have remembered this counsel and have chosen to work through these moments with Andrew by my side. These deep and personal conversations have strengthened our relationship. He really is my best friend.
"What can I do for you?"
Our marriage is formed on a foundation of loving service. (We were actually counseled about this in our marriage ceremony.) Andrew always looks for ways he can help make my life a little more enjoyable. Whether it's putting a blanket over me in the middle of the night so that I don't get cold, helping me wash the seemingly endless piles of dirty dishes, or rubbing my back after a frustrating day, Andrew excels at showing me his love by serving me.
We just took the love languages quiz a week ago, and it comes as no surprise that one of my top love languages is Acts of Service. Especially after having a baby, these helpful acts really make me feel appreciated. Andrew helps me with Grace all the time, and it makes parenthood even that much more enjoyable. I am so lucky to be married to a man who speaks so clearly to be about his love through his actions.
I love going through this crazy life with my best friend and love of my life.
Thank you for 3 beautiful years, Andrew. I am so happy I get to go through this life and forever hand in hand with you. I love you.
Andrew and Maichael
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