Husband, by now I’ve fallen in love with you a hundred times. And so it follows I’ve fallen out 99.

After all these years, even though all our trials, and instead of the false ideal I used to hold, I’ve realized I have an overarching new vow to make—I’ll always fall back in love with you.

And I humbly ask you to always fall back in love with me, too.

When I talk down to you,
When I spend too much time on my phone and not enough with you,
Always fall back in love with me.

When I take you and all you do for granted,
When I expect more of you than I do of myself,
When I forgive you, but then bring it up all over again,
Always fall back in love with me.

When the division of labor goes askew,
When your time away falls well below mine,
When I fall prey to thinking you’re not enough for me,
When I spew venom at you over something like the way you chew your food,
Always fall back in love with me.

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When my sex drive is out-paced by yours,
When I lose my temper and say things I can’t take back,
When the demands of the job deplete me and I don’t save anything for you,
When I expect you to read my mind and hold it against you because you can’t,
When the stress over a struggling child leaves me raw and makes my shoulder cold,
Always fall back in love with me.

When I push you away,
When we want to parent so differently,
When I attach conditions to loving you, 
When I forget to communicate in your love language,
When we have the same argument for the hundredth time,
When we grow too far apart, leaving space for someone else to come between us,
Always fall back in love with me.

When I break a promise,
When I need some space, 
When I question our suitability,
When I compare you to someone else,
When I fail to give you my first and my best,
When I have an entirely different point of view,
When I treat you like nothing more than a business partner or a roommate,
Always fall back in love with me.

When I’m harsh,
When I forget to flirt with you,
When I put our kids before you,
When my standards are impossibly high,
When you let me down and I won’t let it go,
When I don’t give you the credit you deserve,
When my expectations leave no room for error,
When I fail to transform my personal pain and instead transmit it to you, 
Always fall back in love with me.

Husband, by now it’s plain to see we’re going to fall short with each other again and again. We’re never going to wake up one day and be perfect.

Neither of us will always do the right thing. For this world is fallen, as are we. And it turns out maintaining a happy marriage is one of the hardest of hard things.

But I’ve noticed that come what may between us, while I’ve waded out of the shallow end of what feels like love for you, I inevitably fall right back into the deep end of actual love for you. No matter how many times I fall out with you, I’ll fall back in one more.

Going forward, through it all, just do this one thing for me, too—

Always fall back in love with me.

***

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Jodie Utter

Jodie Utter is a freelance writer & creator of the blog, Utter Imperfection. She calls the Pacific Northwest home and shares it with her husband and two children. As an awkward dancer who’s tired of making dinner and can’t stay awake past nine, she flings her life wide open and tells her stories to connect pain to pain and struggle to struggle in hopes others will feel less alone inside their own stories and more at home in their hearts, minds, and relationships. You can connect with her on her blog, Utter Imperfection and on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter.