There are so many books and buzzfeed articles on love and relationships and stuff that I’m not even gonna try to one up them. This will be a long post, and hopefully a fun one. Long because there’s going to be lots of multimedia and fun because — Megan and I are fun. I’ll just speak from my experiences in my marriage with Megan, starting with some help from The Oatmeal.
Studies show (no citation) love is a drug that affects your brain and makes you do stupid stuff, like commit the next 40-80 years of your life with one person after only knowing them for almost no time at all.
And then after a few years, studies show (again, no citation) all them drugs affecting your brain parts wear off. And bed farts are not cute anymore.
And after a while, studies show (just take my word for it, I’m an expert so I don’t need to give you any citations) we want those same brain chemicals changing drug stuff again from another person. So we do something stupid or something smart but whatever it is, we leave the person we said we committed to — and we do it either emotionally or physically. I’ll actually talk about jealousy, a serious topic, in another post. For now, The Oatmeal.
I told Megan I love her about a year or so after we met as expat’s in Korea, after she went home for a few months for vacation. I missed her a whole lot! She cried when I told her (PS. A good man makes her woman cry (from happiness)). She responded with “Thank… you…?” Haha, just kidding. She said it back. It was mutual. Cool beans. Mawwiage!
So what does love mean for me, for us? What is it that I need, we need?
- Love is holding Megan’s hand because she likes it, not because I always want to. I scratch her back, I keep her icy feet warm in the bed. She’ll make me hot chocolate. We do these little acts for each other, we try not to ask but to take the initiative to do them.
- Love means doing chores for the other person because the other person asked just once. Because it wouldn’t have been important if it was never asked.
- Love is making tough decisions together. That meant cooking at home more, not buying LEGO and make-up, and saving. We saved enough to cross a hundred items off our bucket list. I’ll have another post each on saving and minimalism and bucket lists.
- Love is keeping each other accountable, even if sometimes it sucks. Because it’s not easy to be healthy.
- Love is being goofy, like all the time. In public. At other people’s weddings.
- Love means Megan trying to learn Star Wars stuffs, and comic books things, and other Sci-Fi whatevers. And I try to be not just a “good husband,” but a good friend. So I watch her make up tutorial videos. I ask questions about mascara and foundations. I want to learn more about her interests.
And there’s more. I’ll touch on those other aspect of our mawwiage over the next couple weeks. Tomorrow will be a post about jealousy, a serious topic. Below is the beginning of some of that seriousness of the behind the scenes, behind the smiling photos and videos.
Love means working through (sometimes very public) pain and mistakes.
A lot of issues arise only after being together for some time. I wrote before about why I hated doing dishes. Sometime last year my father asked me to clean up dinner, I said “I don’t want to. Megan will do it.” I didn’t realize the hurt I caused her. The hurt was deeper since she knew about my dislike of washing dishes and she’s more than willing to do it. What she didn’t appreciate was my disrespecting her in front of my parents. We had to work out the core of the issue. I had to not fight her feelings, but to understand and change.
Sometimes couples don’t even know what they want in a relationship until it sometime blows up, and it happens in public. At my favorite restaurant, Fire and Ice, patrons pile uncooked buffet ingredients into their bowls to be communally cooked on a giant 30 person hibachi grill. Sometimes it takes a few minutes and sometimes we need to stand here alone for a half an hour. These are then great time to just relax, be patient, and enjoy the company of your buddies. Only this time it was a date with just the two of us and we didn’t get to the grill on time and were separated for a while.
I was a sourpuss the whole night for that, sat in silence and ignored her. I blamed her for ruining our date. I wanted to spend time with my wife and she didn’t want to stand with me. I fumed and those negative vibes could be felt by our wait staff. Love is when Megan would take my crap in public like that, and understand the core of the issue before I did.
An apology was very difficult. Because “it was her fault.” But she was more important than my pride. Our relationship was more important than my pride. My apology sounded something like this:
Megan, I want to apologize for what happened tonight. I felt abandoned when you did not stand with me. This was something I expected of you, even though I didn’t communicate that to you, ever. What I wanted was for us to be together and have fun together at all aspects of the night. But what I did instead was placed all of my frustration on you, in public, disrespecting and embarrassing you. I know you tried your best to help the situation but I turned you away. I was being selfish and immature.
This apology extended beyond these words. Megan responded, I listened. We continued for some time after. We can’t predict and prepare for every scenario for the rest of our lives. But what we can do is be patient with each other and for each other.
Love is not blissful all the time. It can’t be. Dare I say it, love shouldn’t be. Megan and I knew this before we got into our marriage. In fact, I wrote it into our engagement. What do I mean by that, well, watch:
I am blessed to have a very good woman. We are good together. Because we grow together.