A few nights ago, Joshua and I realized something about our relationship.
We are no longer infatuated with each other.
I’ve seen too many divorce stories in the news recently. Thankfully, I didn’t see divorce much as a child. Though I knew what it was, my parents always explained to me how sad it is that people would choose to deny their marriage consent. They explained that divorce goes beyond breaking our own promises—how it tears apart a beautiful, perfect bond under God. I understood the Bible verse “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.”
I remember a cartoon picture in my childhood catechism book of a man and a woman at a courthouse. They were standing in front of a judge who told them, “You are no longer married to each other.” Above him in the cloud sat God the Father, saying, “You are still married to each other.”
Now, as an adult, I know three divorced young women around my age. I see divorce announcements in the news all the time. All of them, in real life and in the media, have a running theme:
This is for the best.
Our culture seems to have an idea that divorce can just be okay. We believe that it’s for the best: the best for our careers, or for our own happiness. It’s so that we can be truer to ourselves. Our culture has this idea now that divorce is an avenue for being true to yourself and living your best life, even at the cost of dissolving your marriage.
But the truth is this, that infatuation dies off and passion decreases. The “love” that any of us experienced in the first year of dating, our engagements, or even our early marriages will not last forever. Time passes. Relationships mature. Babies are born. Husbands and wives evolve.
Less than two years into marriage, Joshua and I no longer feel infatuated with each other. But we are more in love than we ever have been. We have grown into adulthood together, not to mention becoming spouses and parents along the way. We have stood the test of time to a point that we don’t necessarily snuggle through the entire movie or night or struggle to make dinner because we can’t stop kissing. It doesn’t take that level of affection to convey our love and respect.
Over this time, we have grown in love, not lust. Our marriage has not lost anything by our infatuation dying off. Infatuation was only the kindling that fueled the fire of our real, true, holy love in marriage. This love will carry us in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, in good times and in bad, and for better or worse.