I’ve been quite sick these past couple of weeks. I’m dealing with a slight medical condition – I’m totally fine, I’ve just been struggling a bit.
Through it all my loving adoring husband, Jaime, has been taking care of me and dealing with the ups and downs with the patience of a saint.
And so I feel compelled to tell you our love story…
It’s not the usual love story. It wasn’t love at first sight. It wasn’t a whirlwind romance. It was a blossoming, slow and steady, and it gets more beautiful every year.
My husband and I grew up in the same small neighborhood in New York, but we never met. We went to the same school as kids, but he left after 6th grade and I started there in 7th grade. Eventually, we ended up at the same college in Boston.
We never dated in college, we just slowly became friends (very slowly). He was one year ahead of me and after he graduated he worked for a year as a paralegal. We ended up starting law school at the same time, right after I graduated college. His law school brought him to Miami, mine brought me back to New York.
Despite the distance, fate kept bringing us together. Random parties or events when he’d come back to New York. Shared friends. Tragedy. The New York Bar Exam.
Studying for the bar was an experience, I actually have fond memories of it. I made two close friends in law school, best friends to this day, and we went through every second of it together. And I had Jaime. Throughout that summer we checked in with each other, met for coffee study breaks, and continued to build our friendship.
After the exam was over, that very day, we started dating. Again, it was slow and steady. I had done whirlwind and love at first sight before and it ended in disaster. With Jaime I found that slow and steady really does win the race.
My husband and I are so different. Ying and yang in every way. And for awhile I wondered if we could really work. I never expected our love to unfold the way it has.
Every year our friendship deepens. Every year his heart seems to grow bigger. Every year I love him more.
My husband teaches me what love is all about. And so if I have any tips to share about loving your partner it’s from the lessons I’ve learned from him.
What I’ve learned about love from my husband…
Love generously, selflessly, wholeheartedly. My husband puts me in awe. He doesn’t just do birthdays, he does birthday week. He celebrates Valentines Day like it’s our anniversary. He does things to surprise me as if he’s still wooing me. He’s not always the best communicator with words so he makes up for it with an abundance of actions. He knows where his strengths lie when it comes to love and he uses them. Maximize your strengths in love and your weaknesses won’t matter as much.
Love with positivity and respect. My husband never yells or insults me. Never. It’s quite amazing. No matter how frustrated he gets or how much we argue, his voice never rises to a yell. I’m far more emotional than he is but he’s taught me that there really is no place for harsh treatment in our relationship. His calm demeanor keeps me calm. We don’t curse at each other, we don’t demean each other and we don’t insult each other, ever. Because of this we never have to worry about crossing the line or saying something we’ll regret. We may disagree, argue, and have “discussions” but we don’t degrade. Always show respect to your partner, no matter how upset you get at them.
Be confident in your love. I was once in a relationship with an extremely jealous man. He got mad at the mere sight of me talking to another man. It was toxic. At first my husband’s complete lack of jealousy made wonder if he loved me enough! But now I know that he just chooses to be confident in our love. He chooses to never try to control me. Instead he simply holds my hand and walks through life with me. He’s shown me what it means to love with trust which allows me to love him more. Always be wary of unfounded jealousy, it can tarnish even the best of relationships. Choose to trust.
Create simple rituals. My husband gives me the longest warmest hug every single morning after we wake up and every single evening when he gets home. It grounds us and reminds me that no matter what happens throughout each day, we are each other’s foundation. Create easy rituals that ground your love and do them no matter what arguments come up in between.
Take care of each other. My husband seems to think of me with everything he does. I don’t say this to brag, it’s how he loves everyone in his life. And so he brings me little things, calls me a thousand times a day, tells me he loves me at the end of each phone call. He helps me endlessly when I’m sick. It’s the little things that sometimes make the biggest difference. With each little thing he does for me or others he teaches me how to properly care for someone and show love. I’m constantly learning so I can get better at it. Show your loved one how much you love them by simply showing you’re thinking of them and taking care of them.
Love no matter what. We all have days or weeks when our partner gets on our nerves or we fight or bicker endlessly, but love through that anyway. Choose to love. Decide that no matter what, you will love through it all. In so many ways, love is a choice. The initial heart flutters and butterflies in your stomach come to an end. If you’re in a good relationship with a good person, choose to stay in love every single day.
Forgive, forgive, forgive. We all make mistakes. We all lose control. We all say things we don’t mean. We all F up. Deal with the problem as best as you can and then let it go. My husband never holds a grudge, he never brings up past events or arguments, he never holds anything over my head. Once we deal with something, it’s done, over. He doesn’t let it keep rearing its ugly head. And so I’ve learned to do the same with him. Grudges are full of ego, anger and negativity. Learn to forgive and let go.
Accept that it won’t all be perfect. Absolutely nothing in here should imply that our relationship is perfect, all fairytales and knights on white horses, no way. We have had our struggles, like every relationship. We even had to get couples counseling before we got married. We even discussed not getting married. The imperfections come with the territory and add to the story. You grow in the imperfections. As long as you’re both putting in the work, the imperfections help create the fairytale. Grow together in your imperfections and weave them into your love story.
Love unconditionally. I haven’t always been good at loving myself unconditionally. Yet my husband seems to love me that way no matter what I do or where I’m at in life. It’s such a comfort. We all deserve that. We have to choose to give that kind of love to someone. It’s so easy to get frustrated with your partner or to let things get stale but you can instead choose to love them no matter what every single day. Choose to stay in love. Choose to be nice. Choose to try harder. Choose to show love the best way you know how. Choose to love with positivity. Choose to love selflessly. Choose to love unconditionally.
This is my love note to my husband for teaching me so much about love. So much I never knew. So much I’m still learning.
The truth is that we are all teachers in love. We teach each other, we teach our children, we teach ourselves. And it’s never too late to learn new lessons, to stop negative behaviors or habits, to be more selfless, or to even find a new teacher if you need to leave a bad relationship.
But once you find a good teacher, don’t let your love story go stale, simply choose to stay in love and choose to love unconditionally. Choose to create the love story you’ve always dreamed of, even if it comes in an unexpected way. And always let fate play a hand, it knows what it’s doing.
Some of our wedding photos…