I meant to post this entry last Sunday, the day that hubby, Kai and I celebrated the sixth year of our relationship. However, for some reason, I wasn’t in the mood to write that time. It was only after listening to someone else’s love problems just now that I got in the mood to write.
After giving out some love advice, I found myself thinking that although there’s still much for me to learn about love and relationships, I have also learned a lot already. When it comes to love and relationships, experience is really the best teacher. And I’m lucky that I have one great teacher – my hubby.
When I met him 6 years ago, I had just gotten out of my marriage. I thought that by then I knew everything I needed to know already about love. I was wrong. It was only through Kai that I learned some very important love lessons and I’d like to share them with you. Warning, this is gonna be a long post.
True love means accepting a person wholeheartedly no matter how much baggage they have with them.
When I met Kai, I was a newly separated woman with two kids. Aside from caring for my kids, I was also busy trying to finish my MBA and struggling to go back into a career I left behind years before. I wasn’t looking for love. In fact, I was already trying to embrace my being “single and happy” as I used to call it.
I knew that I would probably get into another relationship someday but that it would take a long, long, long time and that I would probably have to deal with a lot of jerks first, those who only want to prey on single, vulnerable women. I thought, “what guy in his right mind would want a single mother of two, anyway?”. To a lot of men, I’m already damaged goods.
But it turns out, I was wrong. There was at least one man who didn’t think that and he turned up in my life when I wasn’t expecting him to. And not only did he fall in love with me, he accepted everything about me too, my past, my mistakes, my emotional baggage, and most importantly, my kids.
True Love means never giving up on the person you love.
I can admit this now because I believe I’ve already “evolved” (hahaha!). But, I’ve realized I was probably very hard to get along with during the beginning of our relationship. I had a lot of insecurities about my situation. Why would a single man, who has never been married and has never had kids, want me? There are a lot of other single ladies out there with no complications. Why me? This guy must be crazy!
Okay, so maybe he loves me now but what about tomorrow? Next week? Next year? He can easily change his mind. He can suddenly wake up and realize he’s made a mistake and doesn’t want me anymore. He can leave. All men leave, anyway, right? I had all these crazy thoughts in my head that caused me to subconsciously push him away. My head wanted to be right. That I just have to push him and push him and he’ll eventually leave because he doesn’t really love me that much.
All that time, he would argue with me, try and knock some sense into my head, try and assure me, but I didn’t hear him. My heart refused to. But he never gave up on me. It took some time….okay, a LOT of time and patience on his part but he finally was able to knock some sense into my head. One day, I just realized that a lot of time has already passed and he’s still around. That no matter how much I pushed him away, he pushes back with love.
He has never, ever told me that he wanted out, even during those times when I knew he felt so tired already. But I guess, that’s how much he believed in our love. That’s how much he believed in me. Now I can honestly say, our relationship wouldn’t still be here if he wasn’t strong enough for both of us. I can only hope that I can also be his rock if the time comes that I need to be the stronger one.
Love means learning how to say “sorry”.
I know this totally goes against the famous saying but this one holds true for us. In the beginning, I was such a proud person. I never backed down from an argument. I had a rebuttal for everything he said to me. He could never win because I never let him. I always had to have the last say in the argument. I always waited for him to apologize first. Why do I have to say sorry when I’ve done nothing wrong, right?
Well, if we are really honest with ourselves, we’re not always right. (Okay, Kai, this is the only time I’m saying this. Haha!). We’re not perfect. We also make mistakes and it’s not gonna kill us to admit that every once in a while. I’ve learned that saying sorry doesn’t necessarily mean admitting defeat.
Saying sorry just means that you love the person enough to apologize for whatever mean thing you said at the heat of the moment. It means you love the person enough to want to smooth things over and maybe discuss things more calmly. It can also be an assurance to your partner that you still love him no matter what the differences of opinions are.
I’ve learned that saying sorry also makes one feel good, not because you’re being the better person, but because you’re putting the feelings of someone you love first before your pride.
Actions speak louder than words.
In the beginning, Kai used to tell me he loves me a lot. And by a LOT, I mean, everyday in his text messages, his calls, and yes, even through a song. Romantic, isn’t it? But eventually, I didn’t get to read or hear the words “I love you” from him as often anymore and the insecure part of me couldn’t help but worry that his feelings have faded.
But during the past 6 years, I’ve realized that he really is a man of few words. He’s just really a quiet person who would rather listen than talk. In fact, he feels uncomfortable talking to most people. He doesn’t like small talk or chit-chatting. And I realized that his love language is SERVICE.
It wasn’t that he doesn’t love me anymore. I realized that he tells me he loves me everyday and several times a day with the things that he does. How he cooks breakfast every morning this summer so that I can sleep in. How he takes it upon himself to do some chores when he sees me so exhausted to do them myself. How he sacrifices much-needed sleep just to take the kids to school and bring them home or so I can attend certain events. How he accepts all the challenges that our blended family situation brings. How he sacrifices his own passions just so I can pursue mine. This blog wouldn’t even be where it is now if it wasn’t for all his support.
He does all these things without complaint. That’s just how he loves. Who needs the words “I love you” after all that?
He has taught me all these things and I am very, very grateful and very, very blessed. For sure, I’m gonna learn a lot more from him in the years to come. We have the rest of our lives.
Happy 6 years, Buhr!