50 Shades of Dave???

Why did I title the last blog post ’50 Shades of Dave’?

As I was three-quarters of the way through writing, I realized what a diverse character he is. I could have kept writing for hours with 50 reasons why I admire and love him. Yet, although he is a colorful guy, he has a consistency to him that is sort of like the color gray– it goes with everything. There is also this thing about David that is mysterious. This part of him that he keeps to himself. It’s going to be hard for me to put into words so I’ll procrastinate a little longer.

The primary reason for the title is that I know where I’m going with writing. (Act surprised to learn there is a method to my random musings.) It’s a play off the ’50 Shades of Gray’ book title.

No, Dave’s mysterious side is not sadomasochistic.
I refuse to read the book.

I wanted to tell you about a break-through I had as his wife that sadly, came only recently. Some couples have always known this secret to a happy marriage while some never realize how powerful and crucial this is to a satisfying relationship.

Monogamy.

Not just the physical “I’ve not been with another man” monogamy. It’s the part where you don’t even IMAGINE life with or even a night with another man… physically, flirtatiously, fantasy, coveting… none of this. Your thoughts don’t cross over the line of, “Sally is so lucky. Hal is such a great husband!”

Seems like a pretty basic and sterile theory. You might be wondering why I didn’t discover this great marital mystery long ago. It isn’t the basic idea of one man that I missed, I believe the turning point was when David realized I had no desire for anyone in the world but him. How, pray tell, did we get 20-some years into married life without this necessary element?

I don’t know.

Perhaps it was my striving to create a perfect life and masked feelings of imperfection.
Perhaps it was our age gap and disappearing youth.
Perhaps it was the lack of affirming words to speak to his heart.

Most likely, it was all of this and more. So much more.

There is something happening in the world that is going to destroy more marriages than it will rekindle. Lust.

Lusting after other men sexually.
Lusting after other peoples relationships.
Lusting after lust. Books. Movies. Provocative photos.
Lusting after what you feel you’re missing emotionally.

Some of us fill our voids with shopping.
Some of us fill our voids with eating.
Some of us fill our voids with work.
Some of us fill our voids with girlfriends.
Some of us fill our voids with our hobbies.
Some of us fill our voids with our children, vicariously living through them.
Some of us fill our voids with any number of potentially addictive compulsions.

Hindsight is 20/20

Looking back to figure out how the heck we arrived where we did, I realize how much time I spent trying to fill voids rather than investing in my relationship. I was trying to make a perfect life and seeing what we didn’t have rather than what we did.

“If only we had [insert material possession], I could feel content.”

Many church weddings include a reading of the LOVE verse found in 1 Corinthians 13

“But now faith, hope, and love remain; these three virtues must characterize our lives. The greatest of these is love.”

If you click on the highlighted link with the text 1 Corinthians 13 and read it in context, this verse is really talking about a different type of love rather than the love between a man and a woman. Nonetheless, the point it is making is love needs to be the basis of all that we do, say, and don’t do or say. Without love, everything lacks meaning and purpose. We find ourselves going through the motions of a relationship that one day hits a dead end where you look at your partner and ask, “Who are you?”

Too many marriages are hitting a dead end.
Too many marriages are going through the motions without love.

Love > Lust
Lust does not = Love

There is a magic that happens when two people know that they know that they are exclusive. Without a doubt, exclusive. No matter what the day hands you, at the end of it you can fall into the arms of your love and instantly feel a weight lifted from your shoulders. It’s a comfort that envelopes you physically and reaches the depths of your soul where no one else may venture. When you look into the eyes of your lover, you see into that special place and you realize how blessed you are to have one another.

As I continue to write future posts about marriage and relationships, I hope we will discover together what makes our relationships worth the struggles to keep them together. The road isn’t the easiest. In our modern world, we all know the words ‘recalibrating’. Just as if you took a wrong turn on a journey, every now and then you need to pause to recalibrate. Reconnect. Revive.

One of the first times David visited my office, the receptionist who loved us all like her children said, “He has the most beautiful blue eyes!”

No matter what has changed about us or between us, I know that I can look David in the eyes without saying a word and he knows that I love him. I spent way too many years looking at him and wondering how to change him instead of simply loving him. I’m sorry for that.

I’m sorry I worked to achieve a level of completeness that the world promotes as perfection. It’s a game where the bar moves higher and you never achieve perfection. You walk away weary and feeling like a failure. Don’t buy into that scheme. Love is organic without a shred of materialism. This is why the naked beauty of love between a husband and wife is intimate, passionate, and should be exclusive. When you look at one another when youth is fading away, I pray you will still see into that special place in one another’s souls where only the two of you can venture. You will always have passion.

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