Monday, July 6, 2009

Today at the bookstore, I bit my lip and committed literary blasphemy.

I, with the encouragement of my husband (I'm dragging him into this as an accomplice although he won't read it), bought "Pemberley Manor," a novel based on the "Pride and Prejudice's" Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy after they marry. I usually shy away from this type of book--an add-on by a modern writer who knows we also sigh at the "happily after ever" and yearn for more.



But is more always good for us?

I was perfectly satisfied by him telling Elizabeth that she "had bewitched him, body and soul." That was good enough for me. Close the book with a bang and insert swoon here. Please don't ruin the moment with anything more.



However, that's not when true love begins.

It begins, as Katie and I were discussing last week at lunch, at Year 7. Someone somewhere decided that Year 1 and Year 7 are the hardest years of marriage, and I may agree. Year 1 is fraught mostly with "Who are yous" in which we really begin get to know each other. And Year 7 is full of "Oh, so this is who you really ares," in which we learn the humanity of it all. That we aren't perfect. Our "happily ever afters" may easily become "hardly ever happys." The love that came so easily now comes as a choice.

I say all this in the frame of mind that I'm absolutely aware of the choice that my husband must make daily to love me...seven years after the "I do.". He knows the selfishness of my soul, my moodiness, and the very ungraceful, yet powerful, act of giving birth. I certainly can't fake any loveliness now. And yet, he chooses to love me all the same.

He, himself, is much easier to love; I'm sure of it. He out-serves me, submits to all my fears, no matter how how crazy they may be, and loves our daughter relentlessly. I could not help staring at him today with wifely wonder at the coolness that exudes from a motorcycle shirt, roughed up jeans, and aviator sunglasses that walks into a church to pay rent for his little family. He could be anywhere, working for anyone, having other women swoon all over him, and yet, he stays with us. He chooses to do this....everyday.

And, thus, I sometimes wonder about Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy...if they found it hard to keep choosing love despite Mr. Darcy's aloofness and Elizabeth's dreaminess. Surely, it wasn't just a piece of cake after Jane Austen wrote, "The End."

I know it can't be.

And so, with the hope I am right, I bought the book.

12 comments:

Chrisie said...

I love this observation. I always tell my newly-wed friends that the first year is the hardest, and it is very hard indeed, but you are very right too. As we draw near to that 6th/7th year mark, this hits home. It IS a daily choice...
Do share a review when you're finished. Well on second thought, I don't know if I really want my little bubble burst, lol

Becky said...

Great words about marriage and what true love is!

Let us know about the book. If it's any good I'd be interested in reading it as well...

Kat said...

Bravo. Love IS a choice.

Now, I am curious about that book.....

The Greggs said...

LOVED your post.

togetherforgood said...

I am amazed every day that my husband chooses to love me, even after nine years of marriage have stripped away the neat little mask I once put on.

Thank you for this reminder. :)

Sharone said...

This is a great, great post. This is the year for me when all my friends are getting married, and it's had me thinking about the little kernels of wisdom I've gleaned from my little 4 1/2 years of experience. I'm grateful that my husband chooses to love me, every day. :)

And can I just say, I love your blog title. You have a new fan in me :) Thank you for sharing!

deb said...

such a profound gift you gave in this, reminding of real enduring love is .
thank

Faith Imagined said...

Wonderful post!!! You are right! Making a marriage great is a daily choice!!! It seems like most movies end when they get hitched but that is just the beginning!!!

Kim said...

What a wonderful gift of words you possess. Thank you!

Marsha said...

Wonderful words of wisdom. I can attest to the 7 year milestone as well as MANY more since we will celebrate our 29th anniversary in a couple of weeks. You are so correct that through it all it is a conscious decision you must make to love your spouse. I will go a step further to say you must also decide to allow yourself to be loved by your spouse even when you don't feel so lovable!

Looking forward to a review that I hope is coming.

Julie said...

I am totally getting what you are saying. For me, love has changed so much over the past 18 years and I am more amazed by each passing year how it deepens still. And I actually tell my husband everytime he walks in the door, I am a little surprised and completely thrilled. Thanks for sharing and as for the book, I think I will pass. I love not knowing...

Taking Heart said...

I always want to know "the rest of the story."

Great post!