I soon found myself in the teenage cycle of "falling in love"... getting my "heart broken"... falling "out of love..." only to find myself "falling back in love" again. All these emotions did not make sense.
The movies and stories had always painted a picture that when you "fell in love" it was for always and forever... So then why, everywhere I looked, did I see families falling apart, people claiming they "fell out of love," or their mate, "didn't treat them right."
The movies and stories taught me that there was no monster so large, or fight so strenuous that could not be won for love... but if that was true, how was it possible that the only fights I saw were couples fighting, not for each other, but against.
The movies and stories taught me the magical phrase "happily ever after..." however half the happily "just married"s became "fortunately done forever"s, another percentage point on the growing divorce statistic board.
It took me getting married to realize that society taught me a lie.
You don't fall in love.
Love is a choice you make every day, it is not a state of being suddenly thrust upon you when you meet someones gaze. That is attraction. And while I am a firm believer that attraction can lead to love, it is not the same thing as love. Because while attraction can be sudden, love cannot, it must be built. While attraction can suddenly end when someone no longer meets the "eyes" expectation, love will never end, we just decide to stop loving.
There are many different ways people have described true love. But in my opinion, and through my experience, I think there is no better description of love than the one we find in 1st Corinthians, Chapter 13.
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not;
charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity Never Faileth.
That love that leads him to get up with me in the middle of the night, with no complaint, because I am scared. The love that makes it easy to get up early every morning to make him breakfast, so he can get 15 more minutes of sleep. The love that says "when you mess up, I will help you, not condemn you." The love that sees the best in someone, when society would tell you they did you wrong. The love that makes every day a chance to serve each other, not asking anything for ourselves.
Love is selflessness. It is the ability to do good to someone, no matter how they treat you. I think the goal in a marriage is for both people to develop complete selflessness for each other. Which is hard, but I believe it is harder to live selfishly, because their is no joy in that life, and there is only pain in those types of marriages. To love you have to see beyond yourself.
I believe I have a long way to go before I can say I love perfectly. But each day I sure do try. I am completely in love with Ash. But I didn't just fall there. I made a choice the day I married him to love him no matter what, unconditionally, and forever. And that choice has made my life more wonderful and beautiful than anything I could have imagined, despite any bad that life has thrown our direction. True love, while not easy, is possible, and worth it.
Society taught me wrong, yes. Happily Ever After doesn't just get handed to you, but it is possible because whether or not you get a happily ever after isn't determined by fate, it is determined by you.
Click this link for a video that does a better job describing what I'm trying to say in 4 minutes, then I have done in a thousand words...