Love and marriage…

Sometimes a question on reddit really makes me dive deep and find a meaningful answer. Here is one.

[what does it mean] about marriage having a foundation when the love goes away? my partner believes that once we fall out of love and we no longer love each other, that the relationship is then dead and shouldn’t continue.

But what is love? The love I feel for my mother is not the same that I feel for my children, or my SO. Hell, the love I feel for my SO isn’t the same today as when we first got together 8 years ago. It shifts, and grows with you. Or it dies.

From experience, I was married for 15 years to a man who I passionately loved in my young adulthood. We had kids, we moved, we went through life and death experiences together… But we did not have that foundation of a steadfast relationship that grew even as our feelings shifted. We were not on the same page for finances, child rearing, and the basics of how a marriage should work. We tried to fix it, but after years I realized it just couldn’t be fixed and I no longer cared about this man at all. In short, the man I thought I married was not the man I actually married, and seeing him for who he really was killed the relationship.

Passion does that to you. It puts blinders on you and you overlook a lot of the little things, and sometimes the big things, because you want so desperately to keep that passion. But passion isn’t a foundation to build a house on, it’s more like sand, and it shifts with time.

Now, after 8 years with my current (and I think last) SO we have gone through a lot of the same things I did with my ex. Life and death situations. The raising of my children. Financial hardships. But we are on the same page. We come at the problems as a team and work together. Some days I might not like him, some days I get on his nerves, but the underlying foundation is there and we come out the other side stronger for it.

My relationship with him isn’t based on passion (though we have plenty of that, too) it’s based on mutual respect and a deep love that only comes from truly seeing someone else as who they are, and not what you want to see, and loving what you see flaws and all.