Romance and other buzzwords that can crush a good thing.

Author: Jennifer Roberts

It’s not my goal to sound like a cynic and be a big grump about Valentine’s Day and all. But sometimes expectations can kill what’s already working. I’m all for date nights and keeping the flame alive in the marriage don’t get me wrong. However, there is nothing wrong with normal, ho-hum nights out or nights in and just building a history together.

In my opinion, one of the most “romantic” movies I’ve ever seen was UP. Yes, it was a cartoon and I wasn’t the target audience, but I loved the movie. It celebrated a monogamous relationship. The beauty of a life lived together with a common history and the companionship shared in growing old together.

Dwayne and I have been married 29 years. I made a vow that I was going to love him in sickness and health until death due us part. That’s romantic! The vow he made to me and his commitment to walk it out brings deep security to me. It brings security in conflict resolution that he is with me in this fight and will not walk away when times get tough. If I had the option to walk away the conflict wouldn’t be worth resolving. Just stuff the real issues and keep on plowing through until you can’t take it anymore and then recycle him for a bigger better new and improved version.

Often we draw our definition of romance from Hollywood. The prevailing sentiment is that you deserve to be happy and if your marriage is hard and neither of you are happy then split up because otherwise, you are living a lie. I HATE that sentiment. Marriage is worth fighting for and preserving. Romance is seen as candles and butterflies, and poems and flowers, etc etc. I’m not against any of that stuff. To me, romance is sticking with someone even when you see their weakness and choosing to love them, despite their humanity.

When I stop and survey our past 29 years together I see the good the bad and the ugly. I remember the times that I was blinded by my shocking selfishness. Or the multiple times I crushed his attempts to “romance” me by my unrealistic expectations of him. Dwayne’s unwavering belief in me when I was disillusioned with myself and frustrated by my lack of perfection, has won me over again and again. I’m in LOVE with my husband. Not the idea of marriage or the fantasy of whom he will become, but my present reality is satisfying.

Ultimately, the only way to arrive at this conclusion is to accept that your truest form of satisfaction is found in your relationship with Jesus. My relationship with Dwayne is not eternal. My relationship with Jesus is. Countless times I have expected Dwayne to meet “my needs” that he as a human is not designed to meet. Honestly, what I’m craving is connection with Jesus, but I mistake Dwayne as the one that can meet those needs in me. He can’t. We need to erase the rules of romance and free our spouses to be human and find our ultimate satisfaction in God. Then we can love our spouses selflessly and their love for us is icing on the cake, oh and I love cake!

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Romance and other buzzwords that can crush a good thing.


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