Love is a choice

photo credit: JazzmYn* via photopin cc

photo credit: JazzmYn* via photopin cc

As I’ve grown older, I’ve become less and less comfortable with the term “falling in love.” To me, it suggests an accidental, undesired occurrence. I know, I know, for you hopeless romantics, “falling in love” is a bigger than life, cosmic, explosion of gratification and fulfillment and you no doubt feel as though it just happens without intent, without logic, like a strong wind that rises up and knocks you over, but I contend that there are some definite choices being made (or that should be made) when one “falls in love.”

I suppose I’m less concerned with the choices we make as we meet and get to know someone we eventually marry than I am with the choices we make as life, with all its stressors, responsibilities and hardships kick in. When we’re not in the newlywed phase of our marriage, especially once our precious little people come along, life gets a little tougher and some difficult choices must be made. We don’t often FEEL “in love” with our spouse; however, we can and should CHOOSE that we will love them through what we see as questionable parenting choices, not so pleasant bodily functions, emotional wounds, nagging, weight gain, hair loss, illness, wrinkles and even infidelity. It’s then when some folks decide that they have “fallen OUT of love” with their spouse…an obvious conclusion if you built your relationship on the notion that you “fell in love” in the first place. If we believe we can fall into such a thing, then we run the risk of believing that we can fall out of it…and into it again with another to whom we’re not married. Successful marriages are a result of a series of choices , including the one to love for better or for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health.

I choose every day to love my husband. Those series of choices have resulted in me adoring him and loving him more than I can adequately express and our marriage is successful and fulfilled, because he has made the choice to love me as well.

I encourage you to make the sometimes difficult choice to love your spouse. It’s worth every bit of effort.

 

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About Lori Mitton

Lori Mitton is a licensed clinical psychotherapist (MA, LLP) specializing in marriage and family therapy. She is co-founder of Permanent Passionate Partnership.