The Healing Power of True Love
By Bernadette A. Moyer
My husband Brian is the “salt of the earth” kind of guy. He is strong and he is stable and to me, he is really good looking too. I have a big personality and I was once told by one of my professors “you will get noticed wherever you go!” My husband traditionally has been the under the radar type guy. “Slow and steady wins the race” has been his way of life.
This April 2012 we will have met 20 years ago and in November we will begin our 21st year in our home. August 1, 2012 we will celebrate 15 years of marriage. Today I know that our love and marriage is healthier and stronger and more loving than ever before. And anyone who knows us well knows that we have not always been a loving couple, we have endured our share of fights, disagreements, polarization, deception and hurt. At one time or another each one of us has been guilty of turning our back on the other. Our love is passionate both on the good side and has been on the not so good side too.
“The secret to a long and happy marriage is a short memory.” Lou Holtz
We have raised three children together, been responsible homeowners and he has been employed by the same employer for 33 years. I have had the luxury to be “passionate” about my work and when the “passion” waned I was afforded the opportunity to try new things. Today I have more love and respect for my husband than I ever did before and part of that comes from seeing him in the most difficult and trying situations. In times where other couples may have abandoned each other he holds on tighter and consistently has shown me that real love endures.
Most of us bring our own baggage to our relationships. I am an adult child of an alcoholic and my father arriving at home often brought me to nausea. I was never sure which one of his personalities was going to show up, was it the charming nice guy or was it going to be the angry violent man. As a teenager I could hear his car coming several blocks away, I knew the sound of it. When he entered our home on the first floor of our city house I could smell his Lucky Strike cigarettes all the way upstairs in my third floor bedroom. I suffered high anxiety as a child and young adult. For the early part of my dating years I was attracted to men just like him, men who were emotionally unavailable and who were abusive toward me. My father was unfaithful and he didn’t even try to hide it. This caused me to have major trust issues with the men in my life. I believed from what I grew up with and what I witnessed that all men cheated.
Friends and family have suggested that I should have married a doctor or a lawyer and some outright told me they wouldn’t have chosen my husband for me. What they couldn’t see or didn’t know or want to see was the healing power of my husband’s love for me. Being attracted to difficult men and widowed at just 23 years of age and 9 more years of “stuff” I was pretty weathered when Brian and I came together. Yet he saw me so pure and so virginal. He used to buy me white flowing dresses from The White House clothing boutique, dedicated the Foreigner song, “Feels Like The First Time” as our song and if he is unable to arrive home at his expected time each day, he calls me so that I don’t worry about him. I never asked him to do this he just does it and for someone with anxiety this is very calming. My husband is also not “whipped” by any standard of measure as he is very much his own man. Brian knows who he is, never forgot where he came from and always pushed hard to achieve more for himself and for his family.
Brian came to me on angel wings and I had older adult friends say, “It is a marriage made in heaven by heaven.” We were both widowed when we met and left to raise children. Our start was less than perfect and certainly not in good order. We had the kids, we bought the house and then we got married. Most people start out courting one another get married, buy a home and then have their children. Odds of us making it in the early years were probably fairly bleak since we had so much riding on our shoulders. Our conflicts didn’t begin until after the honeymoon period at around our second full year together. During that time his buried grief over losing his wife and his twin’s mother surfaced and I became the target. They say, “You always hurt the ones closest to you.” And in our case this was very true . Fortunately I knew his buried grief was just that and not about me. I knew the stages I also went through when my first husband died. Good or poor relationship there is definitely “survivor guilt” that a remaining parents goes through.
We also had some conflict over raising our kids; we were both guilty of overindulging them and on some level trying to make up for their deceased parent. We believe our kids sensed this and that we were easily manipulated. Today we know better. When a man has respect and love for his own mother he probably is going to treat women well. My husband was always so good to his mother and he was there with her when she died. He is a good son, a good brother, a good uncle, a good father and for me the best suited husband.
“Nothing so strong as gentleness; nothing so gentle as real strength.” – Francois de Sales
This quote probably best describes my husband as he has an inner strength that often goes unnoticed until you get to know him. I immediately knew that he was God’s gift to me but I could never have known in our early years just how big of a gift he would become to me. His grandparents were married for 56 years before death would separate them and his parents for 54 years before his mother would pass on. He had role models who stuck together and stayed in their marriage “until death do you part.”
For me, I struggled with my own poor examples set in motion by my parents and all these 20 years later I couldn’t be more appreciative nor could I be more in love with my husband. From where I sit and what I know and feel he feels the same way about me. What a glorious gift God has given to us in our marriage. There is so much healing that takes place in a loving relationship and I wish this for every single person on Earth. Life is so much better and so much sweeter when you find that one right person to share it with. Today I celebrate my love for my husband!