Love is a Choice

I came across this great blog yesterday about a recently divorced dad and his inspiring take on life after divorce:

Love is a Choice. via http://mustbethistalltoride.com

Stay with the same person long enough and you’re going to feel it.

Monotony.

Staleness.

Boredom.

At times, you’ll feel things much worse.

Discontent.

Resentment.

Anger.

And this is why I have a low tolerance for people who spend too much time talking about feelings.

Feelings. Are. Bullshit.

Feelings are why people are addicted to drugs. To alcohol. To sex.

Feelings are why people rack up debt.

Feelings are why people commit adultery.

I’ll bet $100 to your $1 that everyone reading this has felt a deep emotional connection to someone before that is now completely nonexistent.

I’ll bet you all felt amazing the last time you got behind the wheel of your new car. The same one you get in and out of every day and don’t really think about now.

The evidence of feelings being fickle is everywhere.

When you’re crushing on someone—that’s infatuation. It’s an amazing feeling.

When all of the blood rushes to one place on your body and all sense of logic and responsibility vanishes when you think about someone—that’s lust. That one’s powerful. And it feels good.

What would happen if all of us did whatever we felt like doing all the time?

Would we go to work?

Would we be sober?

Would we be faithful in our relationships?

Would we have any friends?

Would we be healthy?

Would we be educated?

If people simply did what they felt like all the time, the world would be in absolute chaos. When we follow our feelings in our personal lives, they become embroiled in chaos, too.

We have to make better decisions. Especially in our relationships.

It’s time to acknowledge something that doesn’t jibe with our little, romantic hearts:

Love is not a feeling.

Love is a choice.

What Will You Choose?

Maybe you’re young. Preparing for marriage and a long, happy life together.

Maybe you’re my age. Immersed in total shit. Because every day is a battle. And you’re terrified. And you feel your life falling apart. And you don’t know what three months from now will look like.

Maybe you’re older. Wiser. Maybe you’ve “seen it all.” But maybe you’ve just never really thought about this before.

I hope you will. No matter where you are in life, I hope you’ll think about whether it makes more sense to just do whatever you feel like today.

Or whether you’re going to remember your wedding vows.

For better or for worse.

For richer, for poorer.

In sickness and in health.

In good times and in bad.

To love and to cherish.

From this day forward, ‘til death do us part.

Because I don’t think we should say these things if we don’t mean them.

If you do, it’s all going to break.

Broken vows. Broken homes. Broken people.

If you’ve made the choice to get married. If you’re making the choice to get married. Then make the choice to go all the way with it.

The most-frightening part of marriage is that you have no say in what the other person will do. And if they quit, it’s over.

Over.

Marriage is a huge leap of faith that you’re partnering with someone who is always going to pull in the same direction with you. But there are no guarantees in this life.

But you always have control of one thing. You.

You always get to wake up each day and decide what you’re going to do.

And I’m asking you to wake up each day and choose to love.

You’re not always going to want to. Because your partner made you angry. Or sad. Or embarrassed. Or ashamed.

You’re not always going to want to because you don’t feel like your partner is holding up his or her end of the bargain, so why should you?

You’re not always going to want to because you’re a human being and we are all diagnosed with the human condition.

That means you’re going to take things and people for granted. It means you’re going to hurt others’ feelings. It means you’re going to be selfish. It means you’re going to think about and feel things that you shouldn’t in the context of a committed marriage.

But you can always make the decision to love anyway.

That’s what love is.

It’s hugging your child and telling them how much you love them even though you wanted to give them away 20 minutes earlier.

It’s hugging your friend or sibling and telling them how much you love them even though you were just at each others’ throats.

It’s hugging your parents. You know. After all the stuff kids and parents do to push one another away.

If you want love to be like the illusion you see in romantic comedies, you’re doomed to a life of sadness and disappointment. We never get to see Reese Witherspoon or Matthew McConaughey or Sandra Bullock or Ryan Gosling three years later when there are screaming babies and unpaid bills and dying relatives and the kind of disagreements real people like you and me have to deal with.

The Hollywood writers skip those parts. Because those movies would perform shitty at the box office. Because we pay to feel good. Not feel bad.

But you can’t start comparing your life to the movie scripts. Because those actors never figure out how to have sustainable relationships off-screen.

But you can.

And you only need two things:

  1. The will to wake up every day and make the choice to love.
  2. The blessings of having a partner willing to do the same.

That Grass Is Not Greener

Here’s something I’m absolutely CERTAIN of: If you leave your partner for that other person, there will be no fairytale ending.

There never is.

I’m not suggesting you can’t have a lasting relationship with that other person. You can. If you’re willing to choose to love every day, and get the same in return. I submit any two people can make it, given those parameters.

The problem is, you’re so focused on all the bullshit your partner does. And you’re completely infatuated with that other person who has a TRUCKLOAD of bullshit you just haven’t been slapped with yet.

But it’s coming.

We all have demons. Now’s the time to decide whether the demons you don’t know are worth all those broken vows and broken homes and broken hearts.

There’s no such thing as a maintenance-free lawn. They all require a special kind of care, depending on soil, climate, precipitation and seed.

There’s no such thing as a maintenance-free relationship. And if you’re daydreaming about one with someone who’s not your current partner?

I feel so sorry for you the day you wake up and see all the brown spots.

You Can Make It

You can’t control your partner. You’re not promised a long, happy marriage. Hell, you’re not even promised a heartbeat five minutes from now.

But you can decide what you’re going to do.

Have you ever chose love? No matter what? Unconditional love?

Or is your love only conditional? Do you only love them if they love you in exactly the way you want them to? Are you only willing to love them if you feel a certain way?

Please give it some thought.

Because maybe you waking up every day and loving unconditionally is exactly what your relationship needs. The missing link.

There’s only one way to find out.

This is where peace lives. When it’s just you and your thoughts in the dark. Peace will find you if you choose to love. If you give more than you take. If you do the hard, brave, courageous thing.

Humans fail.

Our marriages fail.

But not love. Not the real kind. Not the chosen kind.

Love never fails.

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