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I used to think it was cliché to hear older couples talk about how they loved their spouses more now than the day they met them. It seemed foreign to me that someone’s love could change or evolve. I mean, if you love them, you love them, right?

Nearly 13 years with the same man has taught me otherwise.

Through our 20s we were vibrant and full of energy. We had late night talks, fancy date nights out, and expendable income for weekend trips and gifts we’d never consider now.

Our 30s have brought two children, multiple health diagnosis for one of them, family loss, financial hardships, buying and selling of homes, job loss, unemployment, and a list miles long that brought with it ramifications that were far heavier than margaritas on Taco Tuesday and game nights with friends. We’ve comforted friends who have lost children and others who have adopted.

We are experiencing even more tumultuous events with our close friends in their 40s and 50s. They are going through parents falling ill, tragedies, separation, infidelity, and some divorce.

Of course, not every day is a struggle. Being married in your middle years is a hilarious ride that is totally unpredictable. For that, husband of almost 10 years, I do love you even more now than the day I met you.

I love you more now because we have learned to laugh instead of fighting. We know how to choose our battles and we know how to handle things like grown-ups (mostly). Sorry I sometimes still pout on the furthest corner of the bed, trying feebly to make a point while you sleep soundly. How do you do that!?

I love you more now because dreaming about what our lives would be like with kids looks nothing like what our lives actually became. But you have accepted the challenges we’ve been given and you constantly remind me that we are on the same team; we are in this together. You are willing to try new strategies and learn and grow to be our best selves for our kids.

I love you more now because when life gets hard—and man, has it been hard sometimes—you stick by me. You use words like “us” and “we” so I don’t feel like I’m fighting a losing battle alone. We are able to lean on the Lord and be strong when the other of us is weak. This is unbelievably beautiful to me.

I love you more now because I thought I was hideous 13 years ago and I’d pay good money to have that pre-kid body again, but you love me anyway. You tell me that I am beautiful and you make me feel just as lovely as all of those years ago. You love me just as much in make-up as you do in sweatpants.

I love you more now because I don’t know how I got so blessed but you are sincerely the best thing that has ever happened to me; you are the best decision I’ve ever made; and you are the one constant for which I am more and more grateful by the day. When life seems out of control, you are consistent. You are as much of me as I am of myself and you make me want to be better.

Thank you for loving me just as I am and, on days when I just can’t, for loving me in spite of myself. I sincerely love you more now than I ever have before and I cannot even fathom how much I will love you 10 more years from now.

Originally published on the author’s blog

Brynn Burger

Mental health advocate, extreme parent, lover of all things outdoors, and sometimes a shell of my former self. Parenting a child with multiple behavior disabilities has become both my prison and my passion. I write so I can breathe. I believe that God called me to share, with violent vulnerability and fluent sarcasm, our testimony to throw a lifeline to other mamas who feel desperate to know they aren't alone. I laugh with my mouth wide open, drink more cream than coffee, and know in my spirit that queso is from the Lord himself. Welcome!

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