Re: “True love is painful.” Should it be though?

Last night as I put my husband to bed early because he was so old man tired, I sat did my nightly facebook stoned-face swipe exercise on my phone until I found something interesting.

It was the article that has already been shared lots called “True Love Is Painful.”
His full post is here if you want to read it. And it’s a good read, but

I clicked on it thinking, “no it isn’t!” It isn’t at all painful!

Seth made a few great points about how love means that we are opening up to someone and that makes us vulnerable and therefore open to pain. Pain that we will experience together to refine ourselves into better versions of ourselves. True. That’s all true and great, and I whole-heartily agree with the sentiment that we often go through hard times together as married couples.

What I disagree with, is that it’s the LOVE that is painful. It isn’t! It is not hard to love, when it’s actually love we are talking about. It isn’t painful to take care of each other when sick, and while it might be painful to watch them in pain, it brings me joy, pure painless joy to be there for him when he needs me, to lift him up.

I know of a few that have a spouse in pain, possibly for years to come, and will be taking care of them daily for the foreseeable future. While that part of life is hard, and seeing them in pain is hard, the desire to take care of them and keep them happy, comes naturally, even if the actual task of doing so is hard.

My home is pain-free, but it’s not because we have a perfect marriage, and it’s definitely not because we haven’t gone through tough things together.

There are a few reasons for that, perhaps, but before I go there, a bit of background.

I had a few guys, great guys, I dated before I dated the man I’m married to. One, I dated for a while, and while a really great guy and I did love him, it did seem painful. It was painful because it was a lot of work! We were so different and life wasn’t as swiftly gliding as we had hoped. It was a constant conversation about how to make it work, when in reality, it didn’t.
I was unhappy and filled with a lot of pain. Not because of anything he had done necessarily, but more because I had used all of my energy on life, and I was depleted. I loved, and he loved, but there was bitterness, and eventually closed hearts. I almost married under the notion that well, “marriage is supposed to be hard, right? it’s supposed to be lots of work and pain to be great, right?” NO!!!

I can tell you for a fact that true love isn’t and shouldn’t be painful. I do feel that most nights I go to bed feeling light as air and even happier than I did the day I was married. Not cherries and roses and unicorns, but happy. I had so many tell me “the first year is the hardest…” Oh ok… so after the first year, we thought, “really? that was so much fun and easy!” I even had an employee of mine say, “Well you just wait, after you’ve been married a few years, you’ll get it, it will be hard….”  Nope. Still just as smooth sailing, and we are still ridiculous happy.
Why? Why am I so happy?

Well, 90% of that is because I chose right.  I am often writing blog posts in my head about him… they are usually titled something like “Is my husband for real?” and “You’ll never guess what my husband just did for me!” Because he came into our marriage with a husband tool set that I know lots of men don’t bring to theirs {which is probably another whole post on it’s own}. He knows and understands how to communicate and helps talk me out of anything that troubles me. He’s like a tactical team, batting off the angry life monsters that try to bring me down.

The other 10% of why this love is pain-free is because I live on a drug of positivity. 
I choose to be happy with my choice, and so does he, every day. This means we can be literally high on life, and choose not to let the painful parts of life get in the way of what makes us so ridiculously happy. 

From the article he said:

“Yes, love is painful. But as C. S. Lewis suggests, we can respond to any relationship with either a closed, hellish heart, or an open, heavenly heart. If you keep your heart open, that same pain can become a purifying pain, a strengthening pain. If we choose forgiveness over bitterness, that pain can heal instead of hurt. Instead of a pain that divides, it can be a pain that binds. Instead of a pain that breaks us down, it can be a pain that builds us up.”

Love isn’t what is painful, it is watching awful things happen to those we love, or watching them live in pain.  It’s dealing with negative damaging relationships with those we want to be close to. But even in our marriage, one that I consider to be pretty easy, we both do just that: come with an open, understanding heart, and it gives me strength.

He also said:

“True love asks us to do hard things, almost impossible things—to repeatedly try to help a sibling overcome an addiction again and again and again, to care for a dying parent, to embrace a wayward child, to comfort someone who is suffering, to risk your safety for another, or to give birth to a child.”

I’ve done those things too. And those experiences are, yes, painful. I gave birth to a child, I can now say, and you know while it was one of the most physically painful things I have ever done yet, it wasn’t in any other way. I have never felt more painless love for a child and especially for her dad, my partner in it all, who experienced the pain with me. I do love what he said about love being exercise for our hearts. If you have ever gone through something hard together and NOT come out of it closer and more bonded, something is wrong.

I love a whole lot of people in my life. It does come easy for me to love. Life sucks sometimes. We have and will have more big decisions yet to make in our lives together here, and while life is painful, I take comfort in the fact that I have someone here who lifts me up out of that pain. We hold hands and charge through whatever it is.

On that note, today is that man I love’s birthday
There is no one that makes me happier, and who I admire more than the one I chose and I love growing old with already!  
Happy Birthday, CC! 😉


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Meg

About Meg

I am Meg, a photographer and designer and a wish-i-owned-a-house-er. My husband and I are self-declared foodies and LOVE projects. We blog about food and DIY adventures from sunny San Diego with our two cutie kids and have an apparel line at colormeapparel.com to keep us busy. Email me at colormemegblog@gmail.com to work with me!

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