I was looking through my memories on Facebook when a little survey thing I did seven years ago popped up. It had a lot of the basic questions; favourite this, least favourite that, and so on. Then it got a little more interesting. It asked questions about people in my life. Romantic dalliances, friendships, and the like.
Now to the average person those questions aren’t necessarily interesting, but in my life there is a drastic difference in answers. That’s what makes it so interesting. Seven years ago, things weren’t always horrible with my ex. They weren’t great, but he was busy sucking me into that abusive cycle so it seemed good more often than not. He was good at convincing me that he didn’t mean whatever it was he said. I believed it for a long time that he was genuinely sorry.
One of the questions was who can I stand being around for the longest amount of time. Seven years ago, I answered my ex’s name. Today my answer wouldn’t be J. As much as I love my husband, there’s a limit to the amount of time we can be around each other. By the end of the weekend, we tend to get annoyed with each other and need some space to recoup. My answer would be my girls. As it is, I spend all day, every day with them, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love being around them. I love being their mother.
Seven years ago I was naive. I didn’t understand real love. I didn’t understand that someone who purportedly loved me would never treat me the way he did.
Now, though? I get it. Real love is respecting each other, loving them not in spite of their flaws, but because of those flaws. Real love is watching your husband playing with your children and falling more in love with him because you can see how much he adores them. Real love is that overwhelming feeling you get when you see your child for the first time. It’s the happy tear you shed when your babies take their first steps, say “Mama” for the first time, ask to hold your hand, ask to hug you.
Real love is worth the wait, worth the fight, and absolutely worth the work it takes to keep it healthy.
Real love is worth everything.