I grew up in a houseful of books, and I’m certain I’d read just about everything on the shelves at least once by the time I was 13. By this I mean Anna Karenina, Jane Eyre, books by Wharton, Austen, Dickens, etc. — all before achieving a level of emotional maturity or ability to discuss and interpret the themes found in several of these novels.
Combine this with my parents’ off-and-on tumultuous relationship, and it’s no wonder I’ve grown up believing that tragic love is the norm. In fact, I think I’ve always expected that love would be romantic, passionate, dramatic, heart-wrenching and that there would be obstacles to be overcome.
The early part of my relationship with my husband was full of these things. My love for him was ferocious, we pined for one another when we were apart, and I was certain we could overcome anything.
And then our life together became routine and steady. Ultimately, it was the boring, staid comfort of sharing daily life that I loved the most. For many years, I loved going home to him, the warmth of his body next to mine in bed each night, communicating in the shorthand we developed over time, his scent each morning when we hugged in the kitchen.
I’d like to believe that I’ve learned and matured enough to turn around and run if love comes with drama, tragedy and the kind of obstacles with lingering effects. Sure, I’m still hoping for a little romance, chemistry and excitement in my future, but I’ll be holding out for loving behaviors tempered by steadiness, companionship and responsibility.