Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

When you’re planning to get married, they tell you it’s gonna be hard.

Marriage is a lot of work, they say.

It demands relentless effort. Nurturing. Forgiveness. Compromise. Communication.

And all of that is true.

But there’s one thing no one tells you before you say your vows. Truth be told, I think the sweet old couples who’ve been in the hard for 60 years probably don’t want to scare anyone off.

But I honestly wish I’d known the messy, complicated, beautiful truth. Then I wouldn’t have spent so much time wondering what I was doing so wrong.

If I could tell those blissfully happy newlyweds just one thing, it would be this:

Expect to fall out of love.

Maybe it’ll happen once, maybe a thousand times.

I suppose it never happens to the lucky few. They dance through the decades unaware that the feeling of being in love is something that can go away.

RELATED: Dear Husband, Fall Back in Love With Me

But so many of us learn the hard way—through trial and error and heartache and mending and all of that on repeat—that it can, and it does.

Hear me, sis.

It’s normal. It’s natural. It’s human.

It’s an intentional design element of marriage, not a flaw.

And it gives us this incredible opportunity to dig deeper into the sacred relationship that exists between two people who have chosen to fight for each other . . . through good times and bad.

To love is intentional.

It’s something we can act on with purpose even when the feeling has escaped us.

To love another well is a choice.

To love a partner without conditions is a choice.

To show genuine love through words and behaviors is a choice.

To commit to another human being, for better or for worse, is a choice.

And to be unrelenting in the pursuit of a love that’s bigger and better than just mere feeling . . . that’s a choice.

RELATED: Marriage Isn’t About Your Happiness

And in making this choice—over and over and over again, intentionally, purposefully, with a willing heart—something extraordinary happens.

You get the chance to fall in love again. And then again and again and again. Maybe a thousand times over. Maybe once every day.

Imagine how deeply this strengthens that bond.

It’s true—I don’t look at my husband the way I did on our wedding day. Instead, I see him through this spectacular lens I didn’t even know existed when I was looking through rose-colored glasses.

I see a husband, yes. A father to my children. But I also see something that can’t be contained within even those significant life roles. We’ve built and nurtured something that’s so much more than the sum of both of us together.

I look at our marriage and see eager hearts and open minds. I see battle-ready allies.

It’s a holy space.

It’s a mighty bubble.

It’s a sky made for soaring. It’s a rocky path that’s best traveled in tandem.

It’s a dream, and a refuge, and a promise.

This marriage creates for us the privilege of falling in love repeatedly, but it also grants a joy and peace that will never depend on a flimsy feeling.

When we’re in the winter of that loving feeling, when the warmth and the brightness are fading, and we find ourselves desperate for spring to come again, we don’t have to worry.

It will.

RELATED: Can I Let You in On a Secret? This is Real Love.

And in that gap, this marriage allows us the honor of choosing an even purer and more courageous kind of love. It’s the kind of love that overwhelms and overpowers the darkest valleys and coldest nights.

It’s a solid kind of love. It never wavers.

I love my husband in a way I didn’t know how to love back then. And that’s how he loves me, too. It’s a love that will evolve over a lifetime.

That’s a dance I wouldn’t miss for the world.

So maybe we’re the lucky ones, after all.

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Cassie Gottula Shaw

I'm Cassie, and I'm a writer, mama, Jesus enthusiast, cliche coffee drinker, and lover of all the stories. I believe in the power of faith and empathy, radical inclusivity, and the magic and beauty of ordinary days. I'm inspired every day by the firm belief that we owe something to each otherlove and human connection. When I'm not writing, you can find me running from dinosaurs, building castles, pursuing joy, or watching the sun rise over the fields of Nebraska (coffee in hand) where my husband and I are raising two spectacular children. For more stories, visit my Facebook page, From the House on a Hill with Cassie Gottula Shaw; Instagram, Cassie Gottula Shaw; and the blog,

Sometimes Love is Filling the Empty Water Bottle

In: Marriage
Husband looking at wife, color photo

It was just another typical chaotic morning in our home. As I was about to run out the door to pick up our daughter from school, I noticed my husband’s empty water bottle sitting on the counter. In a split second, I had a choice. I could leave now and take my time walking out to the parking lot. Or, I could stop to fill the water bottle up and end up doing a rushed jog out there. I stopped and filled the water bottle. I took a minute, fully knowing it would add another 60 seconds of chaos to...

Keep Reading

Marriage Is Too Short to Fight over Trash Bags

In: Marriage
Man hugging woman in front of a window

It was a Sunday, and we had just returned from a hospital stay with our medically complex daughter. We needed a reset—one of those “all house chores get tackled in a day” type of resets. We needed a fresh start. Around mid-day, my husband Josh and I were both in full cleaning mode. The morning had been chaotic. Our daughter was struggling with seizures, and our son was still buzzing with excitement from two birthday parties he had attended the day before. As he begged for the banana bread in the oven to cook faster and for more episodes of...

Keep Reading

Your Husband Needs Friendship Too

In: Faith, Friendship, Marriage
3 men smiling outside

As the clock inches closer to 7:00 on a Monday evening, I pull out whatever dessert I had prepared that week and set it out on the kitchen counter. This particular week it’s a trifle, but other weeks it may be brownies, pound cake, or cookies of some kind. My eyes do one last sweep to make sure there isn’t a tripping hazard disguised as a dog toy on the floor and that the leftover dinner is put away. Then, my kids and I make ourselves scarce. Sometimes that involves library runs or gym visits, but it mostly looks like...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, Some Days I Feel So Alone

In: Marriage, Motherhood
Woman holding toddler looking tired

Dear my love, I am sitting here at the table you built, back when time was plentiful, and money was sparse. Back when pre-drinks were always at our place, loving sleep-ins were abundant, and the days were our own. I wonder . . . back then, what we might have imagined our life would look like, 10 years later? Would we have pictured the white picket fence, the curly, fair-haired, sensitive little boy and cheeky little girl? We probably would have imagined that we would be hard working, but would we have pictured the deep-set exhaustion that is our day-to-day...

Keep Reading

I Never Thought I’d be Divorced…Twice

In: Living, Marriage
Woman walking away on boardwalk alone

Divorced. I never thought it’d be me. Especially twice divorced. Yet, here I am, single again after two failed marriages. I say failed because the marriages didn’t last. But were they really failures? Failure is defined as a “lack of success.” But by what yardstick is success measured? I know plenty of people in absolutely miserable marriages that I would not consider successful. So is it really fair to call my two marriages failures? I guess it depends on who you ask and what they see as a failure versus a success. Just because a marriage is legally intact doesn’t...

Keep Reading

Marriage Is So Much More than Love

In: Marriage
Husband and wife hugging, color photo

I met my husband when I was 19. I knew right away there was something there. I was intrigued by him—his looks, his smile, his big heart, his mysterious side. He was unapologetically himself. He listened to his music a little too loud, did his own thing, didn’t try to impress my parents, and lived his life on his own terms. With his hat backward, those big blue eyes, and that mischievous grin . . . I fell hook, line, and sinker. I loved the fact that he had his own house, his own boat, his own life. I was...

Keep Reading

Look for the Green Flags Too

In: Marriage
Couple hugs with twinkle lights in background

We all think we want that storybook romance. We want a partner to sweep into our lives, sing love songs outside of our bedroom window, buy huge bouquets of flowers for no particular reason, publicly declare their love for us every day, and when they’re wrong they should always apologize into a microphone in front of a large crowd. Besides the fact that most of the above are clues that Prince Charming is actually an undercover narcissist and you should probably run far away, this kind of romance sounds rather exhausting. Sure, it sounds fun for a while, but there’s...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, I Remember It All

In: Marriage
Man and woman touch foreheads and smile

Dear husband,  I remember when we were dating in high school, all snuggled up sitting on the couch by the fire in your parents’ basement, talking about our hopes and dreams for our future. We both hoped to be in each other’s future. I remember going on so many adventures. All the laughs, the jokes, all the times we got into trouble and said, “This will make a great story afterward.” I remember when you asked me to marry you. We were so young, so naive with no idea of what the future would hold, but we couldn’t have been...

Keep Reading

What Happens When Your Perfect Life Explodes?

In: Grief, Living, Loss, Marriage, Motherhood
Sad woman by window with her head in hands

One day you’re living your best life, writing articles about how perfect your marriage is, and the next, BOOM, life as you know it completely changes. I was blindsided by information that my husband had been lying to me for three years about certain aspects of our lives. I felt like I had been hit in the gut by the biggest rock you could imagine. What has followed has been a snowball of events and new information that has changed the course of my and my kids’ lives. So what do you do when your perfect explodes? This is one...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, In This Busy Season

In: Living, Marriage
Busy family in the kitchen, man walking into the door holding coffee

Dear husband,  I know this is a busy season for you. I see how hard you’re working. And I know you come home exhausted every night. I know you’d be here earlier—and more often—if you could. But you can’t. Because this is your busy season.  And there are a few things I need you to know.  This is hard for me too. Even on normal days, I’m on call 24/7 for the kids, but now, I don’t have you at home as backup. The needing never stops, and I no longer have you to share it with. I can’t say,...

Keep Reading