I didn’t know my husband truly loved me until there was nothing left in me worth loving. That sounds crazy, because it is, but it’s true. My husband has loved me for many years and for some reason I couldn’t completely see it. It made sense when I felt lovable. When I felt pretty, skinny, beautiful. When I worked hard and accomplished a lot. When I measured up to the goals I set for myself, I would catch glimpses of why he loved me. But most days I didn’t measure up.
Most days he sees me disheveled and in yoga pants. Most days I mess up dinner, scratch the floor, or forget to dust the fans. Most days I feel fat, bloated, or ugly. Most days I can’t play sports, or understand sports, or like to watch sports. Most days I can’t see why this amazing man would love this mess of a woman.
Then one day this mess of a woman got messier. I cracked. I had anxiety attack after anxiety attack. I couldn’t go to work, I couldn’t make coffee, I couldn’t clean the house, and worst of all I couldn’t shower. If you have never experienced anxiety or depression before, then this probably just sounds lazy. You might be thinking “just suck it up and do it already!” I was you once. I thought that way, until it happened to me. If you suffer from anxiety and depression than you know exactly what I am talking about. I see you nodding your head and thinking, “girl, I am smelling ripe these 5 days since my last shower.” It’s ok ripe smelling reader, your friends and family love you despite the smell.
It was during these days that I truly started to understand why my husband loved me. The mornings were the worst. Life was too hard to handle, the weight of the world rested on my shoulders and I thought if I just laid in bed I wouldn’t have to face it. But even while lying in my bed my anxieties would slowly creep into the corners of my mind and take my thoughts captive. They would attack me from every angle. Every fear and weakness was wrestled with until I was the weeping, snotty, hyperventilating shell of the woman I once was. It was at that moment that my husband would gently pick me up off the floor and hold me tight. He said nothing except the occasional “it’s going to be ok”. He didn’t have to say anything, his presence alone was comforting.
I was nothing and yet I was loved. I could give nothing and yet he gave everything he could. I wasn’t loved by my husband because of my beauty, deeds, or skills. There I was: five days since my last shower, puffy-red eyes, tear streaks, snot all over the sleeves of my baggy sweatshirt, crying because I had nothing left, and yet, he loved me.
I just want to make something clear here — this was not a romantic movie cry scene. It wasn’t one single, beautiful tear running down my cheek. There was nothing cute or attractive about it. I am an ugly crier.And did I mention the snot? There was snot!!! Lots and lots of snot! But it didn’t matter, he did the same thing every day for two weeks straight! TWO WEEKS!!! The only thing that changed was the location of my breakdown: kitchen floor, bedroom, couch, bedroom floor, etc.
It was the first time in our nearly 5 years of marriage that I have ever openly sobbed in front of my husband. I completely let my guard down. I couldn’t pretend I had it all together anymore. I could no longer hide my tears just because I knew how uncomfortable it made him. So, I let it all go. I let go of everything I thought was keeping him with me and he stayed anyway. It suddenly dawned on me, that even when I felt completely unlovable, I was loved.
Oh, did I mention today is our five year anniversary? Here’s to my amazing husband! May he someday fully understand how amazing he is and how blessed I am to call him mine.