JJ Heller on the difference between marriage and Hollywood movies.
I love romantic movies. Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail, the remake of Sabrina. The funny thing about all of these movies is they end right when the characters finally get together. The happy ending of the movie is the very beginning of the relationship.
I as a viewer love movies like this because it leaves me feeling all the feels. It reminds me of what it feels like to fall in love; stomach full of butterflies and thoughts consumed with my crush. At the beginning of every relationship, the feelings of infatuation are front and centre, and all we want to do is cuddle or daydream about cuddling.
Infatuation and affection are a part of love, but not the whole thing. Dave and I have been married for 15 years now, and let me tell you, there have been times when we didn't feel affectionate. In my experience, that part ebbs and flows. And as C.S. Lewis points out, God designed it that way. If we always felt infatuated, we'd never get anything done!
Truly loving someone means being willing to stick around and work on the relationship even when you don't feel like it. When I was experiencing extreme amounts of panic and anxiety about 12 years ago and would wake up in the middle of the night scared to death, Dave was there to remind me I was safe. When Dave went through a season of being angry and frustrated with the world, I was there to listen and talk for hours as we wore down a path on our neighbourhood sidewalks.
There have been countless highs and lows over the course of our marriage and I'm so very thankful to have a partner who's willing to talk about what's really going on. We've made it a point to tell each other when our feelings are hurt, and do our best to show our gratitude toward one another. Our marriage is far from perfect and we're not always lovey-dovey, but we're in it for the long haul. Our love story didn't end when we fell in love 17 years ago. That was just the beginning.The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
View all articles by JJ Heller