My husband made me cry tonight - in a good way.
He was just telling me how much he loves me.
We've been going to a weekly "marriage-enrichment" group at one of the churches we attend. (I know, look at us, multiple church attenders, but we only go half the time - to both! Wait. Huh?) Tonight our table discussed many different ways people tend to measure how loved they do or don't feel. We all know it's not supposed to be about "keeping track" of who owes who what, but it's really easy to use some word pictures to describe how we feel sometimes. We talked about perceived point systems, love banks, and the mental record of wrongs and rights done to us over time.
On the drive home he was trying to put words to what his love for me is like. He said none of those word pictures were at all like how he thinks about loving me. He started a few sentences, and then stopped, struggling to find the right analogy.
"OK, I have it."
I was all ears.
"You know Wolverine? Logan? It's like that."
I know of Wolverine, yes, and that he's in X-Men, but that's about the extent of it. I waited for his explanation. I really wanted to understand this and hoped it wouldn't be something that I couldn't grasp or fully appreciate in the same way he did.
He explained Wolverine and reminded me of the special healing ability that Wolverine has. Wolverine can withstand all kinds of physical wounds, poison and disease. His body gets hurt, but then quickly grows back until he's 100% healthy again.
My husband told me that's how he feels toward me. Yes, I hurt him sometimes and of course he feels the pain. The wound of my words or action cuts deep (especially the times I'm trying to hurt him (which is 3 million times worse and totally, wretchedly immature on my part)) but he doesn't stay bleeding for long. His love for me works right away and quickly grows back. He forgives me and soon he's all healed and his love for me is just the same as it was before the wound. It's like the wound never happened. There is no scar. This happens whether or not I'm still being wretched to him - it has nothing to do with me. "I can't NOT love you," he told me, "no matter what you do. My love just fills right back up."
When I think back over our FIVE YEARS of marriage and aaaaaaaaall the many difficult times we've been through, and aaaaaaaaaaaall the things I've done and said to hurt him... what he describes rings true. I rarely (I say rarely only because I know it can't be 100% true but not a single example comes to mind) feel as though I need to earn my way back into his good graces, like i have to somehow pay for what I've caused him to go through. He doesn't reject me, shut me down or sneer self-righteously at me. He doesn't give me guilt trips or have a field day with the multitude of wrongs I've done him.
It's true. He really does keep absolutely no record of my wrongs. (Or if he does he says nothing about it to me, ever.) It sounds almost too good to be true but I swear to you it's the truth.
This fresh realization combined with his earnest, humble description of his feeling for me was enough to bring me to tears. I have always, ALWAYS, since day one, felt that his love for me was in some way more pure and complete than my love for him. I don't deserve it. He loves me so much it just doesn't make sense sometimes - and that is why he's the perfect man for me.
My heart is safe with him, and I'm so grateful.
Happy Anniversary, Lover. I had no idea what I was getting into when I married you, but I absolutely don't ever want to get out of it. =)