What is love? (a 25 year story)

I’m not going to go too much into the back story of how I met the love of my life, or the few years before we married. Instead I’m going to share about why I feel the celebration of 25 years marriage is a testament to how love can conquer anything and what still drives the love and passion I have for Samantha.

When we decided to share a home we both had children, from the outset there was going to be challenges. Add to that two children we created together and you have a classic “yours, mine and ours”. Those years taught me so much, I just wish I’d known then how special they really were. It’s funny, in hindsight how much we don’t appreciate along the way.

What’s special about 25 years? great question, firstly I’ll answer with a response to the person who on our wedding day said “it will never last”. 25 years isn’t a bad time frame to prove you wrong, is it? Secondly, it marks the anniversary of when my parents first visited Australia. It had been 7 years since I’d seen them, and it was an amazing time sharing our wedding and family with them. To make this occasion just as special, mum and dad are here this year too.

Over the years people have asked “what keeps you guys together?”, to my thinking the answer is the same as the question “what is love?” Smarter people than I have tried to answer this over the years, but one thing I have learned has kept me grounded for over two and a half decades. My answer…. “love is a choice”. You don’t randomly fall in or out of love, you decide each second, each minute, each hour, each day that you want to be with someone. Now before you start raising comments and shouting abuse at me, hear me out.

Many times I have woken during the night, seen the sleeping outline of my wife and just laid there thinking about things, the fact that this (amazing) woman choose to share our bed, chose to bear our children, and lets be frank, there is a lot involved with conceiving, growing, birthing and raising children, something men will never fully understand. That even after all the events life has thrown at us, all the dumbass things I’ve done (or not done), that she still chooses to share our bed. I’ve lost count as to the number of times I’ve laid there awake, thanking God that I have had the privilege of feeling that love.

There is a line in one of my favourite musicals, Les Miserable, that says, “to love another person is to see the face of God”, it brings tears to my eyes when I hear it being sung. But I feel that I have had that experience.

Let’s not ignore the fact that it’s not been all rainbows and ice-cream. There have been many times when we’ve considered throwing in the towel, life has it’s way of testing you, whether it’s interacting with an ex, feeling underwhelmed or overwhelmed, dealing with wayward children, recovering from horrific events like the dog attack, or just wondering what the hell you’ve done with your life. But that’s where stickability comes in, when you actually look at that greener grass and realise that as the years roll on, the person you’ve made so many memories with is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.

It’s easy to get caught up on the wedding day, making vows, sprouting promises, we only have to look at society to understand that wedding “vows” are often and easily broken. But if we put half as much effort into keeping our significant other as we did trying to win them over in the first place, then I’m sure many more relationships would survive the test of time. I’m always drawn to the lyrics sung by Meatloaf…

“So now I’m praying for the end of time
To hurry up and arrive
‘Cause if I gotta spend another minute with you
I don’t think that I can really survive
I’ll never break my promise or forget my vow
But God only knows what I can do right now”

That to me talks about the importance of vows. I’m not for a minute saying that I’m “waiting for the end of time” 🙂 far from it, but if more people took the vow seriously, how much more stable would society be? Anyway, I digress, this was a post about the celebration of my love for my wife.

Please raise a glass and join me in toasting …. to another 25 years Mrs Usher…