Any quotes are from “the Love Dare” except where noted.

I first started going through the Love Dare on the first day of 2010.  This means to date I have spent 95 days with the books exercises.  I generally read the days reading twice through at least.  This book is so rich with insight it is truly amazing!  I am totally convinced that though my current circumstances indicate otherwise, that if you are honest and apply these principles, you will have the most gratifyingly wonderful marriage you can imagine.

Todays read is quite painful for me.  My wife repeatedly would say how I did not like her, did not accept her and was judgemental, in general not loving.  I of course verbally disagreed, but by my actions proved her to be right.  For this, above all else I am most sorry.

When I met my wife, we became fast friends.  She became my best friend ever.  I delighted in her intelligence, her quirkiness, her voice, her looks, her warmth, her smile, her touch, her talents and would float around my workplace after talking with her on the phone.  A coworker remarked, “Stans in love”, I just grinned.  She once asked me how my love life was, I couldn’t tell her then, but she was my love life!

So what happened? what buried my delight in her, my absolute devotion to her?  Simply this, I did not lead my heart, I let it and my confounding brain lead the way.  I held on to things I learned from her past that disturbed me, applying a double standard and holding on to old info and letting my experiences with her be filtered through these old ideas.

In the book a comment is made that when we choose to love, make a decision to delight in your spouse and to love her no matter how long you’ve been married, it is as powerful and fresh as new love.  In fact it is more true because your eyes are wide open.

Left to our own devices, our own best thoughts, we’ll always lean towards being critical of the other person.  We get on each others nerves, we aggravate one another.  My Aunt used to say, “life is too short” to be upset by petty problems.  Indeed, how much time do we have to waste on petty differences.  How much time is there to waste not delighting in the one you love and keeping that love foremost in your heart and mind?

Most enlightening this time through the book is the comment that we do not come into the world with presets, or “booted up” to perform and believe a certain way.  If I am irritable, it is because I choose to be irritable and if I criticize my mate more than praise her, its because I’ve allowed my heart to be selfish.

I have lead my heart back out of this free-fall that I have been.  I let go of the previous way of seeing my wife.  I remember and hold dear the fact that we were best friends and shared so many great times.  I hold in the forefront just how wonderful she really is.  At this writing I hold on to a small hope that I will be able to demonstrate what I learned through the struggles in our marriage, at times it is a very fleeting hope.

We are responsible to relearn or remember what we love about this person to whom we’ve promised ourselves forever.  I am so grateful that it is easy for me to remember all the things that I delighted in, all the things I love about my wife.