How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
This well-known, often quoted sonnet by Elizabeth Barrett Browning embodies romantic love and sets a standard not often reached in romantic relationships. In the beginning of a new romantic relationship, one often feels this way – the rush of excitement, the thrill of pursuit, the exhilaration of shared experiences and the anticipation and delight of seeing your love after a separation. In long-term relationships, often this passion cools and contentment, sometimes complacency, replaces the passion. But, does that mean you love each other less?
My husband and I are together a lot; probably much more than the average couple. He’s retired and I work from home. While I’m in my office working 8+ hours a day and he’s doing his own thing on our property, we are within walking distance of each other 95% of the time! My point in sharing this bit of personal information is that even though we are together for hours and days on end, my husband and I show each other (rather than tell each other) in “a thousand little ways” that we are important to one another. They are simple, everyday things that multiplied together add up to big love.
I’m not going to share those thousand little ways that my husband, Charlie, let’s me know that he loves me, but I will identify a couple (no pun intended!):
- He makes me laugh – everyday. On our wedding day, more than 20 years ago, my aunt gave him instructions that he was to make me laugh every day. He has taken that to heart and never fails me.
- In the morning when Coco, our cat, starts caterwauling for attention (and this is no exaggeration – Coco is pathetic! You’d think his head was in a vice!), Charlie gets out of bed. This sometimes starts at 5:30 a.m.! Charlie does this to allow me to go back to sleep while he deals with our much-loved, spoiled feline maniac.
- He makes coffee every morning. Enough said.
- I have a terrible memory. Maybe it’s just that I don’t want lots of stuff cluttering up my mind. In any event, when I want to remember something, I tell Charlie. He never forgets to remind me.
He’s shown me in a thousand big ways as well. He’s a rock – a very solid individual; a trustworthy, caring, genuine, responsible, honorable, thoughtful, gentle, considerate, compassionate human being. He has been there in the tough times and I’ve no doubt that he will be there in future difficult times. We are a team and make decisions as a team. The decisions have not always been right, but made together they become a shared responsibility. Those tough times have made me spoiled because now I would expect nothing less of him. He probably feels the same way about me.
Until Next Time,