Saturday, January 22, 2011

When He's Not Looking

Sometimes, when Rodney is not looking, I study him closely.  I stare intently at every detail of his face.  There are lines where there didn't used to be...some from worries, but mostly from laughing.  He has this big hearty laugh that makes his eyes sparkle and gives him little laugh lines at the corner of each eye.  Those eyes speak for themselves.  You know at a glance if he is amused or sad or angry or in love.  His hair is graying at the temple and maybe receding just a little bit.

I can't imagine ever taking that face for granted.  We have been together for almost 17 years and though we may look a little worn for the wear, we have managed to keep our love fresh and our relationship alive.  I have seen so many relationships come and go over the years.  Even the ones that survive, for the most part, seem to grow distant and cold.  How does that happen?  How do two people who can't keep their hands off each other, who laugh at silly things together, who stay up all night talking...how do they grow so cool towards each other?

I know that life is hard, believe me, I know.  Things happen that are either our own doing or are beyond our control.  Why do these situations, more often than not, drive a wedge between people instead of bringing them together?  My husband and I have faced a lot of hardships and had to work through some pretty big disappointments, but I don't know how I would have made it through those times without him.  Most certainly we have walked through times when we seemed to be going in different directions or we didn't have much to talk about.  But the key has been that we both have chosen to be unselfish during the very times we didn't want to be.  We have made a conscious effort to put each others desires and needs before our own.  I have to confess that he does a much better job of that than I do, but I try.

I know it sounds so completely cliche to talk about compromise and putting another's needs before our own, but that is truly the answer.  The wonder of it is, if you are both practicing selflessness, then both of your needs are being met and fulfilled.  It can actually be fun trying to outdo the other on serving.  Sometime it doesn't feel like it is being reciprocated, but that is part of the give and take of  being in a relationship.  I'm not talking about losing oneself or giving up our individual identity.  I'm merely saying that when we encourage the other person to shine, it encourages them to do the same for us.  When you have 2 people in a relationship who are feeling important and loved and respected, the relationship can't help but grow stronger.

I pray my children can find a mate who is worth compromising with and sticking through the hard times for.  Then they will have the rich lives that I so desperately want for them.  I would encourage them to sneak glances at their love's face when they aren't looking.  Take time to study their facial expressions and see what they are saying when they're not talking.  Look at your lover with your heart, not your eyes.  You will see the love that was there before hard times came.

 So I watch him when he's not looking and I take in every line, wrinkle and expression. I treasure it in my heart and get great comfort from what I see.

7 comments:

  1. Love what you're written here Erin. Wish I could have had that kind of relationship. X Lorraine

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  2. Thanks so much, Sandy!

    Thank you, Lorraine! It's been a lot of hard work and challenges, but we made up our minds at the beginning of our relationship to go through it all together, no matter what! Maybe you can still find that kind of relationship! XOXO!

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  3. What a sweet post, Erin! Sounds like you married your prince charming for sure :-). We have much in common: I grew up outside of PIttsburgh, I also LOVE the Steel Magnolias funeral scene (best scene ever!), and love photography! Great blog!

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  4. Thank you, Melissa. Boy, we really do have a lot in common! What did you think of those Steelers yesterday?

    My hubby is amazing and I don't know how he puts up with me! Thanks for your kind words!

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  5. I LOVE this! My hubby and I spend every moment we can together and are more in love after 15 years then we were when we first got together. I know our 'together 24/7' relationship doesn't work for everyone, but we truly aren't complete when we are apart. I am so glad you found/commented on my post, I am now your newest follower :o) I love to watch my hubby sleep.....it overwhelms me with thankfulness for the amazing man that God blessed me with!

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  6. Nicole, isn't it awesome to still have that spark after all these years?! Marriage is work but when you are in love, it's worth it! Thanks so much for stopping by!
    Blessings,
    ~Erin

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Thank you for giving us a little nugget of truth from your heart!

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