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The Truth About Love

With Valentines day on the horizon this week and Daren and my 10 year wedding anniversary in October of this year, I have been reflecting on the relationship that we have and where we came from to get here.

I had a conversation with a friend this past week and she told me that Daren and I have such a unique and special relationship and that she looks up to us in our marriage and commitment to each other as an example of a good marriage. As much as I am flattered that someone outside of our relationship, who knows the hardships we have overcome, can see the beautiful relationship that we now have with each other, this relationship only exists from an arena of mutual love, support, commitment and our individual needs and wants to continue growing and learn with each other.

We had a whirlwind romance. I was 23 when I met Daren and I wanted more than anything to find a partner, settle down and get married. I had been in a few "serious" relationships that all ended badly and had been single for about a year and a half before I met Daren. He was 30 and seemed to have his shit together in a way that I hadn't seen before. He was sensitive, attentive, he called when he said he was going to call and he treated me really well. Like I said, I had experienced a long line of rather dysfunctional relationships and he brought a sense of kindness that I didnt know I needed. 6 months into our relationship, he proposed to me on our way to meet his brother and sister-in-law and family in Victoria. It was perfect and beautiful and I was so insanely excited. I finally understood when people would tell me that when you met the right person, you would just know.

The knowing came from the way that he and I worked through challenges even early on in our relationship. I had an evening of super shitty behaviour and waking up at his place the next morning with very little recollection of the night, he shared with me how big of an asshole (my words, not his) I was behaving like the night before. I apologized and cried and started packing up my stuff as I was sure he was breaking up with me. He asked me what I was doing and I told him I was packing my stuff to head home and understood that he didn't want to see me anymore. His response caught me completely by surprise. He told me he wasn't breaking up with me and although my behaviour was really shitty, he knew that behaviour was not a reflection of the person that I am and that if I wanted to make this work, then he wanted to make it work too.

That was a huge turning point for me in our relationship and for myself personally. I had never known it was possible to be loved unconditionally. To be seen in a shitty light and to behave poorly and still have someone stand by you and tell you that although they don't agree with your behaviour, they love you and will continue loving you. It was the first time that I realized that I could screw things up and not be perfect and he would still love me. He didn't love me because I held everything together or because I was hot or because I was smart. He loved me for all of those things and he also loved me for all my flaws, the ugly parts, the parts I was not proud of and the parts I even regretted. He saw them all and he chose to love me anyway.

This is a life lesson that Daren taught me and that I truly believe is the reason our marriage has survived its many challenging seasons over the past 10 years and 2 years prior to marriage. the lesson that people deserve to be love fully - all of them, even the shitty ugly parts. Loving someone is a choice, one that we make every single day.

Do I love all of Daren's behaviours - HELL NO!

Does he love all of my behaviours - I am certain that is not the case.

Do we wake up each day and chose each other? YES

Do we lean on each other when life gets hard and shit gets real? YES

Does it always go smoothly without a raising of voices or disagreement of some kind? NO

We are far from perfect and when we reach an impasse in our discussions, we go to counselling!

Our relationship has ebbed and flowed and we have been required to support each other in different ways and different areas and we haven't always done it right. AND we kept choosing to try.

I want to debunk the idea that relationships that seem to be working are perfect or easy or that the people that are in the relationship are lucky (I am growing to really dislike that word). We have worked really really hard on our marriage and our relationship. We have never given up on each other. THIS IS A TWO WAY STREET - No one can keep a relationship alive on their own.

I don't know what it is that has kept both Daren and I committed to working on our marriage and what I do know is that without both of our commitments, without knowing that we can rely on each other to always reach back when we reach out, without a Love that we choose each and every day to participate in, we would not have the marriage that we have.

For our engagement party gift, my aunt and uncle gifted us a sign that is still one of my favourites. It says "We may not have it all together - but together we have it all".

WE have chosen a life together that many would think is insane. WE have been dished out life lesson after life lesson and have worked as a team to learn what each of those mean to us and how we can come through them still in tact. He supports me fiercely, loves me unconditionally and trusts me more than I trust myself sometimes.

I love him with every cell of my being, I trust him with my heart, my soul and my mind, He is the epitome of loyalty, love, grace and he brings a calmness to me that I never knew could have existed.

Have we been through challenging and difficult time? - HELL YES

Has he challenged my trust and made me second guess myself? - More times than I would like to remember

Our marriage has been the arena that has presented me with the space to do my greatest souls growth. Without the challenges that he brought to me, I could not have processed my traumas and unlearned behaviours that were not only not serving me, they were most definitely never going to serve another.

It is easy to forget that our partners job is never to make us feel better or to stop their behaviour because it makes you uncomfortable. It is never our partners job to make us happy or make more money to support us or to deal with their issues so that they stop affecting us.

It is always our job to CHOOSE.

Do you CHOOSE to continue living with your partners behaviour patterns?

Do you CHOOSE to peel back the layers as to why your partners behaviour affects you so deeply?

Do you CHOOSE to accept that it is your job to find joy in your life irrespective from your partner?

Acknowledging and accepting that no matter what state your relationship is in, you CHOSE to be where you are in this time, in this moment, in this situation, is the first step to deciding what you choose next.

Perhaps in the acknowledgment that you have chosen your circumstances, you feel angry or frustrated, stuck or helpless. Please know that you are never alone, you ALWAYS have a choice, even when it doesn't feel like it. And you can are choosing every moment of every hour of every day.

Being married or in a relationship of any kind is a constant choice from both parties. It is a beautiful dance that ebbs and flow between each others strengths. Sometimes I am required to hold strong and steady so that Daren has the freedom to expand and explore and at other times, he is the strong and steady while I am expanding and exploring. The energetic pendulum between feminine and masculine is in constant movement between the two of us and within ourselves. This commitment to flexibility, flow and trusting that we are being guided is all part of the basis of our foundation.

We are built on a mutual love, commitment and understanding of each other that is in constant movement. We are not committing to loving each other for just who we are today, we are also committing to loving each other in the growth and expansion of tomorrow.

So as this day of love approaches, take an inventory of your choices.

Are you living a life of intention or have you been choosing without knowing you were choosing?

Today and every day before this, I choose Daren. Tomorrow and each day after, will continue to be a choice. Sending all my love to each and every person in my life and to the love of my life, Daren - thank you for choosing me - I CHOOSE YOU!


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