A Love that Lasts Forever
Love that lasts forever is what every couple hopes for, intends and commits to when they say I do. I say, “You are so brave, and courageous.”
I have never stood before someone like myself, an officiant and exchanged marriage vows with another human being. No statement has been declared by me, in the company of my friends and family that I desire to live a long life loving this person who is looking lovingly into my eyes.
I have experienced a deep and complicated love for my parents as well as family members, animals included. But choosing to love this man for the rest of my life? Well, the brakes have certainly been used on that one.
After years and years of asking myself some hard questions and taking responsibility for the way my life has gone, I understand why I am so good at braking. Practice of course is one reason. But most revealing is how I stop before I get started is because I have been afraid how people change. When they change, when their joyful self is overshadowed by a rude, stubborn or petty side, I shut down. I slam the door. I say to myself, and sometimes him, “I don’t have to put up with this. I deserve better than rudeness, stubbornness, uncooperativeness” — fill in the blank. I was wrong that this was a love that lasts forever.”
Hard-Wired to Change
Change inevitably happens in a relationship. We are hard-wired to change, just as our body is destined every six to seven years to replace every cell. Because I have not always felt secure in myself, I have shied away from commitment because I didn’t trust myself to adapt to change. A love that lasts forever must have within it the understand that change is healthy, it has stages, and everyone changes eventually. When we are in a relationship, to navigate change, we must remain committed to the same goal.
We don’t have to be perfect at love, just open to being changed from within by the Love that brought us together in the first place.
Being on the outside looking in, I can only suggest a worthy goal. It’s ultimately up to each couple to define a goal for them as a couple. So here is my suggestion for a love that lasts forever: Your work is to be the foundation for the other to find and express who he or she really is. To help bring out the best in the partner through honesty, self-reflection and awareness. We don’t have to be perfect at it, just open to being changed from within by the love that brought us together in the first place.
So much is easier said than done. Some 350+ couples have taught me through the years that change is a great teacher. Change builds the kind of character and depth in a relationship that develops a love that last forever. Those couples who believe in him or herself, who trust they can and will grow because of change understand this flux is what makes for a love that lasts forever. I have seen it happen. As Anonymous says in the reading I use in nearly every wedding I do, “The Key To Love” a love that last forever “takes time and patience to unlock all the ingredients that will take you to its threshold; it is the continual learning process that demands a lot of work, but the rewards are more than worth the effort.”
Congratulations, all of you, for being willing to make the effort.