They understand that loving each other is not looking pretty, but treating each other with love despite the scrapes of life, and overcoming together what comes from the hand of God.
When I got married, I discovered that fairy tales only tell one part of the story, and omit the most enriching. Why, after he and she defeated the plans of the wicked and witches and finally left for their castle together, did the narration stop? That made “they lived happily ever after” seem too simple. And it is just the hardest part, and also the most exciting.
When I was newly married, my awareness of this reality fell like a bucket of cold water. I had overcome many obstacles with my husband during our courtship stage, I had a hard time finding her. And I confess that I had believed the mirage that – once I had found my soul mate – I only had to live days of endless joy.
I had to learn something deep
Once married, the path to my “happiness” was delayed. Starting to smooth things over with my husband, it cost me tremendously.
But I had chosen it! Why did I sometimes feel so frustrated? (I know for sure that the same thing happened to him). The answer is that we both loved each other, but at the basic level, and – if we were ready to do so – we would begin an intensive course to love each other with a capital letter.
The reality is that we were stuck in love and the illusion of the meeting, but we still had to start a way down to a wonderful sea. The heart of this trip would be in what we would endure together. You want to know more?
We are each an iceberg
But how?! An iceberg? A cold, giant and imposing iceberg? Yes.
You are a piece of ice that comes out of the sea. Your qualities and defects, your physical appearance and character show your being to others, but you are much more than that. Beneath the “water”, below appearances, below the public, is your inner world, and in it is something wonderful, your image and likeness to God.
When you fall in love with someone, you “click” with the other, suddenly, you orbit around him. Their movements provoke your movements, and together they initiate a very beautiful dance of self-discovery. That is a precious anchor that God wanted to determine in our psyche so that we would open up to the other, and we would like to share our individuality with another.
Once we decide to join that magical being forever, suddenly, and without warning, the intonation with which it says our name stops moving us. Their big hands stop looking so wonderful to us, and the true coupling begins, which only arises from the conscious and generous dialogue in which man and woman open up to make the other happy.
So, it doesn’t matter so much that I send you letters, and you value more that I make you breakfast, and so on. I helped you to get to work earlier.
What’s under the water is more important
So, an important challenge begins: we can rejoice in finding that the other person pleases my tastes, makes me feel good, listens to me and pampers me – and feels that this is true love – or make the leap to what is shown at first glance. , and dare to dive into the largest part of the iceberg, the one under the sea.
That part is what makes us all equal: men and women with dignity, deeply loved by God, who wants us to be happy.
If we know how to look at that part of ourselves and the other, we will try to satisfy it, and little by little we will forget the accessory that comes to the surface.
What does this mean? May your husband, even if he begins to lose hair, is still the man you chose. That your wife, who has a season that you can’t get used to, has given you her best years, and in her body she has raised her children.
If you know how to look, you will see what really matters
But what should you look for, when looking? The man or woman who left other potential partners and chose you. That person left their home and comforts to start a life with you from scratch. To the one who has overcome the bad times with you. The one who – without feeling comfortable – has remained by your side. To whom you have sometimes treated inconsiderately, and who the next day smiles at you like nothing.
Looking at the person behind the acts is challenging but comforting. In this way, you do not set yourself up as a judge of what the other “deserves”, but rather you give your love and understanding to the other being, thus learning to truly love.
In this way you could bring to life the prayer of Mother Teresa, who tells us that “People are unreasonable, inconsistent and selfish … love them anyway.” The good you can do should not be stopped by someone else’s emotional wounds.
But you can’t do it alone
What I propose to you here is difficult, because it goes against what everyone tells you: “Don’t give if you don’t receive”, “Don’t let yourself!” Christian message:
« But I say to you: Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who abuse and persecute you; so that they may be children of their Father who is in heaven, who makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and makes it rain on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Do not the publicans also the same? »(Lk 6, 44-46)
Maybe you no longer feel butterflies in your stomach when you see your husband or wife arrive, but if with him or her you have healed scars, endured storms, and you stay together despite everything, you are beginning to submerge yourself in the beautiful iceberg of the delivery, which will give you more fulfillment than the mirage of the story you imagined and will give your life a transcendent meaning that you will value like never before. Enjoy that love!